Chess records

General Chess records

Longest game

Nikolic – Arsovic, Belgrade 1989. It lasted for 269 moves and finished draw. Later on was introduced the fifty move rule and this record is unlikely to be broken. The longest chess game with a winner is 193 moves when Yedael Stepak beat Yaakov Mashian in the Israel Championship seminfinals in 1980. It is also the longest game in time, lasting 24 hours and 30 minutes.

Shortest game

There are many games which fiished before they started with the result agreed beforehand. Considering a non short draws rule (as the Sofia rule) the shortest game ever played is the two moves Fool’s mate. (1.g4 e5 2.f3?? Qh4#)

Latest first capture

Filipowicz and Smederevac (Polanica Zdroj 1966), lasted 70 moves without a single capture.

Longest series of checks

In 1995 in the Czech Republic, a game between Rebickova and Voracova ended with 74 checks by the black Queen.

Most moves in a chess game

The longest chess game is 269 moves between Ivan Nikolic vs. Goran Arsovic, Belgrade, 1989. The game ended in a draw. The game lasted over 20 hours.

Greatest number of checks

In Wegner – Johnson, Gausdal 1991, there were 141 checks in the game. White had 100 checks and Black had 41 checks. The game lasted 200 moves.

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World Chess Championship records

Shortest world championship win

In 1872, Steinitz defeated Zukertort in 19 moves.

Most world championship games

Botvinnik played 157 world championship games. He won 36, lost 39, and drew 82.

Most world championship career wins

Lasker had 52 career wins in world championship play.

The longest world championship match

The longest world championship match was the 1984-85 Karpov-Kasparov match. It lasted 48 games and 159 days.

Best world championship record

Vera Menchik-Stevenson (1906-1944) was World Women’s Chess Champion from 1927 to 1944. She defended her title 6 times. In world championship play, she won 78 games, drew 4 games, and only lost once.

Youngest world chess champion

Ruslan Ponomariov, born October 11, 1983, became the youngest world chess champion on January 23, 2002 at the age of 18 years, 104 days. Maya Chiburdanidze, born January 17, 1961, became the youngest women’s world chess champion in 1978 at the age of 17.

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Tournament records

Largest chess tournament

In 1935-36, the USSR Trade Unions chess championship was held. It had 700,000 entrants, the largest of any chess tournament.

Largest Olympiad

The 35th Chess Olympiad in Bled in 2002 had 136 men’s teams and 92 women’s teams, the large Olympiad ever.

Largest ETCC

The largest European Team Chess Championship was in Crete, Greece. 39 countries sent their delegations

Most Grandmasters in one tournament

In 1989, the Belgrade Grandmaster’s Association had 98 grandmasters participating, the most grandmasters in one tournament.

Biggest simultaneous chess event

14000 is the number of players who had appeared in in Mexico City, in 2005.

Strongest chess tournament.

The 1996 Las Palmas tournament was a Category 21 tournament with the average rating of 2756, making it the strongest tournament ever. The event took place from December 9 through Decmber 21, 1996. The six best players in the world participated in a double round event. The event was won by Kasparov (2785), followed by Anand (2735), Kramnik (2765), Topalov (2750), Karpov (2775), and Ivanchuk (2730). Five of the six have been world champions.

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Chess players records

Youngest grandmaster

Sergey Karjakin, born in 1990, became a grandmaster at the age of 12 years, 7 months. On August 20, 2002 he fulfilled his 3rd and final GM norm at the international tournament in Sudak. The youngest American grandmaster is Hikaru Namamura, who earned the title at the age of 15 years, 2 months. The youngest female grandmaster is Koneru Humpy, who became a grandmaster at the age of 15 years, 1 month, and 27 days.

Players that became GMs before age 15: Sergey Karjakin, Parimarjan Negi, Magnus Carlsen, Bu Xiangzhi, Teimour Radjabov, Ruslan Ponomariov, Etienne Bacrot, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Peter Leko, Yuriy Kuzubov, Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son, Fabiano Caruana

Youngest FIDE master

Etienne Bacrot, born in 1983, became the youngest FIDE master a the age of 10.

Most tournaments won

Anatoly Karpov has won over 160 chess tournaments, more than anyone else in history.

Highest Elo rating

In the July 1999 and the January 2000 FIDE rating list, Garry Kasparov had an Elo rating of 2851. In July 2005, Judit Polgar had an Elo rating of 2735, the highest for any woman.

Most drawing Grandmaster

Ulf Andersson of Sweden has drawn 74% of his games against top-level opposition, winning 10%, and losing 16%.

Youngest gold medallist

Judit Polgar won a gold medal in the 1988 Saloniki chess olympiad at the age of 11. In 2000, Alexander Grischuk won a gold medal at the age of 17 in the Istanbul Olympiad. In 1992, Vladimir Kramnik won a gold medal at the age of 17 in Manila Olympiad.

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Fun chess records

Oldest movie with a chess scene

In 1903, R.W. Paul (Paul’s Animatograph Works of England) made a silent movie called A Chess Dispute. It featured two men playing chess, then getting into a fight over a disputed move.


Bill Wall