Time and again women have proven themselves to being great athletes when it comes to various sports, be it indoors or outdoors. Even in chess, they have proven that they don’t lag behind their male counterparts. After all, chess is undoubtedly a game of mental strength and definitely one that challenges the greatest of minds.
Judit Polgar: She is a fomer World Champion from Hungary. She is considered the strongest female chess player of all time. She is the sister of Grand master Susan Polgar and International Master Sofia Polgar. They are famously known as the Polgar sisters. She achieved the title of Grand master at the age of 15 years and 4 months. She was known for her tactical, fearless style of play.
She is the only woman player to have won games against many reigning world champions, be it Garry Kasparov, Vishwanathan anand or even Magnus Carlsen. She is the first and till date the only woman player to have surpassed the 2700 Elo Rating barrier.
Hou Yifan: She is a Chinese chess prodigy and a former world champion. Hou started playing chess regularly at the age of five. She is the youngest ever to contest in the Women’s World Chess Champion at the age of 12 and also the youngest female player ever to qualify for the title of Grandmaster.
She is the youngest ever player to win the women’s world championship at the age of 16. She is currently the No. 1 ranked woman player in the world.
Maia Chiburdanidze: She is a Georgian chess grandmaster. She is the only player who has won nine Women’s Chess Olympiads. She was known for her solid, but aggressive style of play.
She has been honored many times by her country and several postage stamps have even been designed to celebrate her chess achievements.
Nona Gaprindashvili: She is a Georgian Grandmaster. She is the first woman to be awarded the FIDE title of Grandmaster. She won as many as 25 medals, among which 11 team gold medals and 9 individual gold medals.
She was known for her brave, risk loving style of play. There is a women’s tournament organized every year by her name in Georgia. On the occasion of the match played between Nona and her compatriot Nana Alexandria, a perfumery in Georgia released a perfume “Nona” and “Nana”. She too has stamps made in honor to celebrate her excellence in chess.
Koneru Humpy: She is an Indian chess Grandmaster. She is the current women’s world rapid champion. She is a Padmashri Awardee and an Arjuna Awardee.
She participated in the Women’s World Chess Championship for the first time in 2004 and since then, she has competed in every edition of the event held with the knockout format.
She was named ‘Hampi’ by her parents which means a ‘champion’. Later they changed it to Humpy to make it sound Russian.
These were the top 5 female chess players of all time. There are many new upcoming talents who might soon make it to this list and then this elusive list will have to be updated.