The Best Women Chess Players Of All Time

Since the standard of play has significantly been raised in woman’s chest over the last few decades, there are now several women competing against the top players in the world. Therefore making any list of the top female chess players of all time is quite a tricky job. With that said let’s take a look at some of the best women to ever play the Royal game of chess.

Judith Polgar is one of the strongest women ever to play the game of chess. She’s never actually won a world woman’s chest championship however there is no doubt that she really is talented. She was one of the best players in the world at the height of her career, male or female, which led her to break the top 10 on the rating list several times. However, her lack of women’s world championships is primarily because she’s never actually tried to win the title, instead always being focused on competing for the ultimate world championship. Polgar finally got that opportunity in the year 2005 when she had the opportunity to play in the year 2005 FIDE world chess championship tournament and ultimately finished in the eighth place.

Maia Chiburdanidze was only 15 years old when she won her first USSR golf championship and then amazingly won the USSR are women’s championship again in the year 1976. This made it clear that she was already one of the best female chess players in the world when she won her first women’s world chess championship in the year 1978. As a bonus, she did this by defeating the reigning champion Nona Gaprindashvili. She thereafter held onto her world title four times in a row until the in 1991. However, since then she has remained active in a hunt for the woman’s world title, making the semifinal matches as recently as 2004.

Susan Polgar is perhaps one of the most famous female chess players in the world. Along with her sisters Judith and Sophia, Susan was recognized as a chess prodigy early in her life. One of the greatest achievements is becoming the first woman to win the Grand Master title for tournament play as opposed to winning the world woman’s chess championship. She was also the first woman to qualify for participation in the world championship cycle, which she took part in during the year 1986. This was made possible for her even though she was not allowed to participate due to her gender. Susan after that chose to compete for the woman’s championship and won her first FIDE title in the year 1996. Throughout her career, Susan Polgar has won a total of four woman’s world championships.

Xie Jun is considered the first authentic Chinese chess star. She won the women’s world chess championship in the year 1991 after defeating Maya Chiburdanidze. She thereafter kept the title until the year 1996 after Susan Polgar defeated her. However, she did when the title back in the year 1999 by beating Alisa Galliamova in the final candidate’s match. She also went on to win the title by forfeit when Paula did not accept the conditions for the title match. Thereafter she held the title until the year 2001.

Nona Gaprindashvili was the first woman to receive the FIDE-title- Grandmaster. She is also a Georgian chess player. She’s the sixth woman’s world chess champion and the most talented female player of her generation. Throughout her career in woman’s chess, Nona has won several awards between 1961 in 1980. Making her one of the greatest female chess players of all time.

Vera Menchik is the first recognized world woman’s chess champion. She was also the first true superstar in woman’s chess. In 1927 she won the first-ever women’s world championship and thereafter successfully defended it a total of six times as she won every championship until she passed away 1944. She also scored an incredible +78 -1= 4 in her championship matches which showed just how far ahead of the competition she really was. Menchik was a chess player in the top class. She finished tied for second at Ramsgate in 1929, finishing tied with Akiba Rubenstein and was just a half a point behind. She was rated by chess metrics as 52nd in the world at the height of her career although there was no official rating system in place at that point in time.

Rohini Khadilkar is perhaps the youngest of the famous Khadilkar sisters. One of the highlights of her career is the fact that she won the Indian woman’s chess championship five times in a row and thereafter went on to compete in the Indian men’s chess championship in 1976. Her participation in the men’s championship was very debatable at the time, calling for a decree from Max Euwe – FIDE president, which explicitly stated that women could not be barred from men’s competitions. Therefore, Rohini pushed for equality by participating in the Indian men’s chess championship. And thereafter opened the door for women all over the world to compete in a wide variety of chess events. Perhaps the most amazing fact is that she was only 13 years old at the time.

So perhaps it does make a difference to start teaching young girls the Royal game of chess from an early age. Some of the greatest chess players throughout history were and are women. So if you have a young lady in the family that has a desire to play chess, why not get them the best training and motivation to ensure that they too can one day achieve the best women chess players recognition. The variations in skin scores in performance between men and woman chess players stem from the simple fact, and that is there far more male players in chess, and they are female players. So is ultimately a matter of statistics. This theory is confirmed by a recent study conducted by the Oxford University’s Merim Bilalic which basically shows that in the event there are two groups of an unequal size competing against each other, the top performers will ultimately come from the larger group for the simple fact that it is larger.

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