Top 10 Best Female Chess players of all time.

Boss Ladies of chess

Chess as a sport has been experiencing a boom in recent times. With the advent of the Queen’s Gambit and popular chess players streaming, the sport has witnessed an exponential rise, in terms of quantity as well as quality. However, despite the increase in the number of chess players overall, women’s participation remains much lower in number, leading to a massive participation gap. In this article, we will look at ten of the best Women chess players of all time, and inspire more girls to pick up the sport!

1. JUDIT POLGAR (2675)

This is the name every chess follower and player knows and never raises a question mark when she makes it to the top of the list of best chess players the world has ever had. She has been the only female chess player to have crossed 2700elo and has defeated 11 (out of a total of 20) World Champions so far. She became a Grandmaster at the age of 15, beating the record of Bobby Fischer to become the youngest-ever grandmaster in chess. She has been a chess prodigy for not just being a top female player in chess history, but also for always choosing to play open events and being part of the Men’s team in European championships and Olympiads along with being a contender for the World Chess Championship in 2005. Judit is also a Guinness record holder for leading the world rankings for more than 25years.

2. VERA MENCHIK (2350)

Vera Menchik was not just the first but also the longest-reigning Women’s World Chess Champion ever. Menchik was believed to be the strongest female chess player in the world before the Second World War. ‘Vera Menchik Club’ includes a list of players who lost against her, members of this club have been notable players like World Champion Max Euwe, Mir Sultan Khan, George Thomas, Samuel Reshevsky Friedrich Sämisch. She was the first ever female to have been inducted into the World Chess Hall Of Fame. In her honor, FIDE has named the gold-winning Women Chess Olympiad team trophy as “Vera Menchik Trophy”

3. HOU YIFAN (2650)

Hou Yifan from China is the World’s No 1 women’s chess player. A prodigy since birth, she broke the record of Judit Polgar and went on to become the youngest female Grandmaster at the age of 14 and is also the youngest Women’s World Chess Champion. Her first international win was marked in 2003 by winning in World Youth Championship in U-10 girls. At a very young age and with a shorter active career than her counterparts (since she is semi-retired), she has already been the winner of the FIDE Grand Prix for consecutive three years.


Hailing from Georgia, she was the second woman to be awarded the title of Grandmaster by FIDE. She played in 15 Olympiads until 2008 and was a part of the gold-winning team nine times, silver thrice and bronze once. She defeated her predecessor Gaprindashvili in 1978 to become the Women’s World Champion and defended her title for fourteen years. Notably, she was the first female player ever who paved her way to the list of FIDE Top 50-rated players.


Nona remains to be one of the most historic female chess players in the world as she was the pioneer and the first ever female to be awarded the title of Grandmaster. Gaprindashvili has carved a legacy of her own by being The Women’s World Champion for 16years (2nd longest), the Soviet Women’s World Championship, and European Women’s Senior Championship. She is the only women’s world champion to have also successfully won and defended her title of Women’s World Senior Championship. Since 1997, Gaprindashvili Cup is awarded in the Chess Olympiad to the nation with the best overall performance in the open and women’s sections. She has played in 12 Olympiads and her team has won 11 gold medals and one silver. She has won eight individual golds as well.

6. XIE JUN (2574)

Xie was the first woman and overall second player from China to become a Grandmaster and the first ever from Asia to become a Women’s World Champion by breaking the four-decade-long supremacy of the Soviet Union by defeating Chiburdanidze. She is among the very few women players to have regained her World Championship title back after losing it.


Anna Muzychuk is a household name in Ukraine for being a chess prodigy. She’s the only player besides Magnus Carlsen and Susan Polgar to have won World Rapid and World Blitz championships in the same year. She has won two Women’s World Blitz Chess Championships and one Women’s World Rapid Chess Championship. She won European Youth Chess Championship six times, she has also been a World Youth Champion and World Junior Champion in her age category. Soon after she crossed

2600, she also reached her career best and was the second-highest woman in ratings behind Judit for short time. She has been part of the Ukraine Team in four Olympiads and medalled in all of them, two bronze, and one silver, and then went on to win a gold in the latest 44th Olympiad.

8. PIA CRAMLING (2468)

This 59-year young lady happens to be the only women chess grandmaster in any Scandinavian country. While almost all of her female counterparts are no more active in the chess scene, Pia chooses to still show up over the board and play exceptionally. Her game just like herself has aged like fine wine. In 1984, she was ranked as the no.1 female chess player in the world. Her accolades include being a two-time winner at the Women’s European Individual Chess Championship and six team golds in European Club Cup for Women. The most notable part about Pia is that she debuted in the Chess Olympiad 44years back and began playing for Sweden in the open section and later on in Sweden Women’s Team. Including the latest Olympiad results, Pia has won three individual gold medals in the Olympiad and a total of nine individual medals so far.


While Kosteniuk is an exceptional chess player, she is also a chess streamer, author, model, and chess educator. She’s the current Women’s World Rapid Chess Champion. She has been Women’s World Chess Champion in 2008 by beating prodigy Hou Yifan. She was crowned several times as Russian Women’s Chess Champion, and European Women’s Chess Champion and has also won European Youth and World Youth Chess Championship in her age categories as a child. She has also been the first woman to have won the men’s Swiss Chess Championship in 2013. Kosteniuk has been part of the gold-winning Russian Women’s teams in three Chess Olympiads, five European Team Chess Championships, and the Women’s Team Chess Championship once.

10. KONERU HUMPY (2574)

An Indian chess prodigy, Humpy was the first woman in India to become a grandmaster at the tender age of 15! Humpy has made two World Youth Chess Championship titles and one World Girls Junior Championship title to her name from her childhood. Humpy has been a perennial first runner-up in FIDE Women’s Grand Prix till 2021. She was part of the Gold medal-winning team at the Online FIDE Chess Olympiad, in 2020 and the bronze-winning team in the 2021 edition. In the 2022 Chess Olympiad at Chennai, she was part of the Indian Women’s A team winning bronze. Humpy has proved herself across all formats by being the Women’s Rapid World Champion in 2019. She has also been a British Women’s Champion, Asian Individual Women’s Champion, and Indian Women’s Champion.