The Grandmaster title is the highest title a chess player can attain apart from the World Champion. The title of Grandmasters (GM) awarded to chess players by the world chess organization FIDE. Both men and women can attain the title of Grandmaster. The FIDE has awarded 1918 GM titles till now.
Let us look at the top ten Grandmasters of 2020:
Magnus Carlsen – Born on 30 November 1990, Magnus Carlsen, a Norwegian chess grandmaster, whose FIDE 2020 rating is 2863. He is the current World Blitz Chess Champion, World Rapid Chess Champion, and World Chess Champion. Carlsen’s classical rating of 2882 is the highest in history. He first reached the top of the FIDE (International Chess Federation) world rankings in 2010 and trails only Garry Kasparov.
Carlsen achieved second place in the world Under Twelve Chess Championship in 2002. He received the grandmaster title at the age of 13. At age 18, he surpassed a rating of 2800 and reached number one in the FIDE world rankings, becoming the youngest person to achieve it at 19.
Magnus Carlsen became World Chess Champion in 2013 by defeating the Indian Grandmaster, Viswanathan Anand. In 2014, he retained his title against him. He won both the 2014 World Rapid Championship and World Blitz Championship, thus becoming the first player to hold all three titles simultaneously, which he repeated in 2019. He defended his world title against Sergey Karjakin in 2016 and Fabiano Caruana in 2018.
Carlsen is often compared to former world champions like Bobby Fischer, Anatoly Karpov, José Raúl Capablanca, and Vasily Smyslov.
Fabiano Caruana – Born on 30 July 1992, Fabiano Luigi Caruana is an Italian and American chess grandmaster. He was the youngest Grandmaster in history at age 14. His FIDE 2020 rating is 2828. Born in Miami to Italian-American parents, Fabiano Caruana grew up in Brooklyn. He played for the United States of America until 2005. He was then transferred to Italy. He won his first Italian Chess Championship in 2007, which was repeated in 2008, 2010, and 2011. He earned his grandmaster title in 2007. Caruana won the Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting in 2012, 2014, and 2015. He won the Sinquefield Cup 2014, improving his rating to 2844, becoming the third-highest-rated player in history. In 2015, he was transferred back to the United States of America.
Liren Ding – Born on 24 October 1992, Ding Liren is a Chinese chess grandmaster. His FIDE 2020 rating is 2791. He is the highest-rated Chinese chess player in history and is also a three-time Chinese Chess Champion. He was the runner up at the Chess World Cup finals in 2017 and 2019. Liren Ding is the first Chinese player ever to play in a Candidates Tournament.
Ding recorded twenty-nine victories and seventy-one draws in classical chess from August 2017 to November 2018. These hundred games unbeaten streak was the longest in chess history until Magnus Carlsen surpassed it in 2019.
Maxime Vachier Lagrave – Maxime Vachier Lagrave, a French Chess Player, was born on 21 October 1990. At age 14, he was awarded the title of Grandmaster by FIDE in 2005. His FIDE 2020 rating is 2784.
He became a three-time French champion (2007, 2011, shared 2012) and world junior champion in 2009. Vachier-Lagrave is also a five-time winner of the Biel Grandmaster Tournament (2009, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016), and won the Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting 2016 and the Sinquefield Cup in 2017.
Ian Nepomniachtchi – Ian Alexandrovich Nepomniachtchi, a Russian chess grandmaster, was born on 14 July 1990. His FIDE 2020 rating is 2784.
In 2010, Nepomniachtchi won the Russian Superfinal and Individual European titles. He also won the Tal Memorial in 2016 and Aeroflot Open in 2008 and 2015. As a Russian team member, Nepomniachtchi won the World Team Chess Championship in 2013 and 2019. His team also won the European Team Chess Championship in 2015.
In 2016, he was ranked fourth in the world in blitz and rapid chess. He won two silver medals in the World Rapid Championship and a silver medal at the World Blitz Championship. In December 2019, Nepomniachtchi qualified for the 2020 Candidates Tournament by finishing second in the FIDE Grand Prix 2019.
Alexander Grischuk – Alexander Igorevich Grischuk, a Russian chess player, was born on 31 October 1983. In 2000, FIDE awarded him the title of Grandmaster. Alexander Grischuk was a three-time world blitz chess champion. His FIDE 2020 rating is 2777. He competed in five Candidates’ Tournaments in 2007, 2011, 2013, 2018, and 2020. He also competed in the semifinals of the 2000 FIDE World Championship.
Grischuk won two team gold medals at Chess Olympiads, three-team silvers, one team bronze, and one individual bronze medal. He also holds three team gold medals at the World Team Chess Championship, one silver for the team and individual gold, two silver, and one bronze.
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov – Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, an Azerbaijani chess grandmaster, was born on 12 April 1985. His FIDE 2020 rating is 2770. Mamedyarov competed in the Candidates Tournament in 2011, 2014, and 2018. In 2003 and 2005, he won the two-time World Junior Champion, and in 2013 he won the World Rapid Champion.
Mamedyarov became a three-time European Team Champion in 2009, 2013, and 2017. He also became a two-time winner at Tal Memorial (2010 joint and 2014 Blitz) and Shamkir Chess (2016 and 2017) and the 2018 Biel Chess Festival winner, where he beat World Champion, Magnus Carlsen.
Wesley So – Wesley Barbasa So, a Filipino-American chess grandmaster, was born on 9 October 1993. He is the present World Fischer Random Chess Champion. In 2017, he won the U.S. Chess Champion. He was also a three-time Filipino Chess Champion. His FIDE 2020 rating is 2770.
Wesley So became the youngest player to pass a 2600 Elo rating in October 2008, breaking the record of Magnus Carlsen.
Wesley So represented the Philippines until transferring to the United States in 2014. In 2015, he won the Bilbao Chess Masters. In 2016 he won the Grand Chess Tour title after claiming victory in the Sinquefield Cup and London Chess Classic and the 2017 Tata Steel Masters. He represented the US at the 42nd Chess Olympiad, winning team and individual gold.
On 2 November 2019, So became the first official Fischer Random world champion after defeating Carlsen 13½–2½ to win the FIDE World Fischer Random Chess Championship.
Levon Aronian – Levon Grigori Aronian, an Armenian chess player, was born on 6 October 1982. In 2000, FIDE awarded him the Grandmaster title. His FIDE 2020 rating is 2767.
In 2005 and 2017, Aronian won the FIDE World Cup. He led his country’s national team to the gold medals in the Chess Olympiads of 2006, 2008, and 2012. He also won the 2011 World Team Chess Championship. In 2012, he qualified for the Candidates Tournament for the World Chess Championship. He was also a Chess960 world champion in 2006 and 2007, won the 2009 rapid chess champion, and the 2010 blitz chess champion.
Teimour Radjabov – Teimour Radjabov, an Azerbaijani chess player, was born on 12 March 1987. In 2001, Radjabov earned the title of Grandmaster. At the age of 14, he became the second-youngest Grandmaster in history. After beating the then world No. 1 Garry Kasparov in the Linares tournament in 2013, he gained international attention, followed by victories over Viswanathan Anand and Ruslan Ponomariov in the same year. His FIDE 2020 rating is 2765.
He competed at the Candidates Tournament twice in 2011 and 2013 and qualified for the 2020 edition. He won the European Team Chess Championship in 2009, 2013, and 2017. His major individual achievements include joint first place in the 2007 Corus tournament, winning the 2008 Elista Grand Prix, 2017 Geneva Grand Prix, and the 2019 FIDE World Cup.