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With 461 biographies, Chess Players are the 39th most common occupation in Pantheon, behind Boxers, Skaters, and Coaches.


Pantheon has 461 people classified as chess players born between 1475 and 2009. Of these 461, 274 (59.44%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living chess players include Boris Spassky, Anatoly Karpov, and Garry Kasparov. The most famous deceased chess players include Bobby Fischer, Wilhelm Steinitz, and José Raúl Capablanca. As of April 2024, 60 new chess players have been added to Pantheon including André Chéron, Horatio Caro, and Hermanis Matisons.

Living Chess Players

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Deceased Chess Players

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Newly Added Chess Players (2024)

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Most chess players were born in Russia (78), Ukraine (32), and Hungary (22). By city, the most common birth places were Saint Petersburg (16), Baku (14), and Moscow (12).The most common death places of chess players were United States (28), Russia (26), and United Kingdom (20). By city, these were Moscow (16), London (16), and Budapest (13).

Places Over Time

The earliest biographies classified as chess players in Pantheon are Ruy López de Segura, Pedro Damiano, and Luis Ramírez de Lucena.  The concentration of chess players was largest during the Television Era, which lasted from 1950 to 1989. Some birth or death locations for earlier chess players are unknown, which may account for timeline differences below.


Which Chess Players were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Chess Players since 1700.