Top 5 Chess Playing Countries

top chess countries

Chess is becoming popular year after year. It’s becoming one of the top playing games in the world. So which all countries stands at the top in chess?

As of February 2022, Russia is the top federation in the world with an average rating of 2728 (top 10 players), followed by the United States of America with an average rating of 2716 and China with an average rating of 2698.

Chess was invented in India and was later spread among different countries. With the emergence of more powerful chess engines and software, the game develops so fast. Nowadays, players can use powerful cloud engines for their chess preparations. All these combined make chess a more exciting and powerful mind game.

The International Chess Federation (FIDE)Opens in a new tab. is the governing body of the sport of chess, and all players should be registered with FIDE to get an international rating.

Top 5 chess countries/federations are ( by top 10 average ratings)

  1. Russia
  2. United States of America
  3. China
  4. Ukraine
  5. India

Table representing top 5 chess federations

RankCountryAverage Ratings ( top 10 )
1Russia2728
2United States of America2716
3China2698
4Ukraine2673
5India2670
Data As of Feb 2022

Russia

Russia has the most number of Grandmasters in the World. There are 240 grandmasters in Russia and 140 active chess grandmasters. Garry Kasparov, Mikhail Tal, Boris Spassky, Anatoly Karpov, Mikhail Botvinnik are legendary chess players from Russia who won the World Championships.

Russia won 18 gold medals and 1 silver medal in Chess Olympiads, the most by any country.

Garry Kasparov was the highest chess rated player from Russia with a peak rating of 2851. The current top 5 rated players from Russia is shown in the table (both active and inactive players).

RankPlayersRating
1Garry Kasparov2812
2Nepomniachtchi, Ian2773
3Grischuk, Alexander2764
4Kramnik, Vladimir2753
5Karjakin, Sergey2743

United States of America

The United States of America has 100 Grandmasters in total and 60 active grandmasters. Caruana, Fabiano had the peak rating of 2844, the highest rating from the United States of America.

The country won 6 chess olympiads and seven times runner up. The United States of America has won 22 medals, which is the highest among all other countries.

Current top 5 rated players from the United States of America is shown in the table (both active and inactive players).

RankPlayersRating
1Caruana, Fabiano2792
2Aronian, Levon2772
3So, Wesley2772
4Dominguez Perez, Leinier2752
5Nakamura, Hikaru2736

China

China got 48 grandmasters and 27 active Grandmasters. Ding Liren is the top Chinese chess player with a peak rating of 2816. Since 2015, Hou Yifan remains as top Women chess player in the world.

China has won 2 gold medals in the World chess olympiad and a total of 4 medals.

Current top 5 rated players from China is shown in the table (both active and inactive players).

RankPlayersRating
1Ding, Liren2799
2Wang, Hao2744
3Wei, Yi2729
4Yu, Yangyi2713
5Bu, Xiangzhi2700

Ukraine

Ukraine got 88 grandmasters and 60 active Grandmasters. Ivanchuk, Vasyl was the highest FIDE rated player from Ukraine with the peak rating of 2787.

Ukraine has won 2 gold medals in the World chess olympiad and a total of 7 medals.

Current top 5 rated players from Ukraine is shown in the table (both active and inactive players).

RankPlayersRating
1Korobov, Anton2693
2Eljanov, Pavel2683
3Kryvoruchko, Yuriy2683
4Volokitin, Andrei2681
5Ivanchuk, Vasyl2678

India

India has 72 grandmasters and 56 active grandmasters. Viswanathan Anand, the five-time world champion is on the No.1 spot. Vishwanathan Anand has a peak rating of 2817.

India was the joint winner of the Online Chess Olympiad along with Russia in 2021.

Current top 5 rated players from India is shown in the table (both active and inactive players).

RankPlayersRating
1Anand, Viswanathan2751
2Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi2727
3Harikrishna, Pentala2719
4Narayanan.S.L2658
5Nihal Sarin2656

Countries with most titled players in chess

With 2634 titled players, Russia has the most chess titled players in the world. Germany is at the second spot with 1482 titled chess players.(SourceOpens in a new tab.)

The different chess titles are:

  • GrandMaster (GM)
  • International Master (IM)
  • Woman GrandMaster (WGM)
  • Woman International Master (WIM)
  • FIDE Master (FM)
  • Woman FIDE Master (WFM)
  • Candidate Master (CM)
  • Woman Candidate Master (WCM)

We take the above titles to find the total titles for each country. The below table shows the top 5 countries with the most titled players.

RankCountryGMIMWGMWIMFMWFMCMWCMTotal
1Russia24053149107122341442282634
2Germany942751939893708931482
3United States1001601329363476345820
4Spain5713621438743662707
5Serbia51122162133633201600
Top 5 titled players by country as of Feb 2022

Harikrishnan A

I am an International Fide Rated player with 10+ years of experience.

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