Who are the best female chess players

Top female chess players of all time 2021 - Todo web media

Making a list of the best female chess players is a tricky task. The standard in women's chess has risen significantly over the past few decades, and several women are now competing against the best players in the world. With that in mind, let's take a look at our list of the best women to ever play the royal game!

Judit Polgar

While Judit Polgar has never won a World Chess Championship for women, she is without a doubt the strongest woman to have ever played chess. At the height of her career, Polgar was one of the best players in the world - male or female - and broke the top 10 of the rankings several times. Her lack of women's world championships is due to the fact that she never tried to win the title but instead focuses on fighting for the overall world championship. Polgar took advantage of this opportunity in 2005 when she finished eighth in the 2005 FIDE World Chess Championship tournament.

Maya Chiburdanidze

Maia Chiburdanidze won her first USSR girls championship at the age of 15 and a year later she won the USSR women’s championship in 1976. It became clear that she was already one of the best players in the world when she won her first World Chess Championship for women in 1978 by defeating the reigning champion, Nona Gaprindashvili. Chiburdanidze defended her title four times and retained her world title until 1991. Since then, she has been on the hunt for the women's world title and did not play the semi-finals until 2004.

Susan Polgar

Perhaps the most famous female player in the world, Susan Polgar, was recognized - along with her sisters Judit and Sofia - as a chess prodigy from an early age. Her accomplishments include becoming the first woman to achieve the title of grandmaster in tournament play instead of winning the women's world chess championship. In addition, in 1986 she was the first woman to qualify for participation in the World Championship cycle - although she was not allowed to participate due to her gender. Unlike her younger sister, Susan Polgar opted for the women's championship and won her first world title in 1996. In her career she won four women's world championships.

Xie Jun

China plays a major role in the modern chess landscape, especially in women's games. However, the first real Chinese chess star was Xie Jun, who won the 1991 World Women's Chess Championship by defeating Maya Chiburdanidze. She would hold the title until 1996 when she was defeated by Susan Polgar. However, Xie would regain her title in 1999, defeating Alisa Galliamova in the final Candidates game. Then she would lose the title if Polgar did not accept the terms of the title match. She held the title until 2001.

Vera Menchik

The first recognized women's chess world champion, Vera Menchik, was also the first real superstar of women's chess. After winning the first ever women's world championship in 1927, she successfully defended that title six times - she won every championship until her death in 1944. Menchik scored an incredible +78 -1 = 4 in her championship games, showing how far she was ahead of her competition.

Menchik was also clearly a top class player. In 1929 she finished second at Ramsgate - with Akiba Rubinstein, only half a point behind Jose Raul Capablanca. While there was no official grading system in place at the time, Chessmetrics rated her 52nd in the world during her career.