Gary Kasparov – Gary started learning his training at the age of 10 at Mikhail Botvinnik’s chess school. In 1979, he accidentally entered into a professional tournament which he won. Started ruling the chess kingdom at the age of 22, youngest ever undisputed champion in 1985, he remained #1 until his retirement in 2005.
ANATOLY KARPOV – Youngest ever Soviet National Master (age 15), World junior chess champion in 1969, defeated Korchnoi and Spassky in 1974 and challenged Fischer for the World Title. He won the 1995 Linares tournament which is considered to be the strongest tournament in history.
EMANUEL LASKER – The longest ever(27 years) to dominate the chess world. Emanuel Lasker began his reign in 1894 by defeating Steinitz by 10 wins, 5 losses and 4 draws to win the World Title. Later in 1907 he defended his title against Marshall and won flawlessly.
Wilhelm Steinitz – He was branded as Austrian Morphy. In 1866 he defeated Adolf Andersson, then he became the strongest active player in the world. 1873-1882, the period when he only ended up playing one match, against Blackburne but won it flawless 7-0.
Jose Capablanca – Capablanca, the undisputed master of the Blitz chess, he began his chess at the age of 4. At 13 defeated the Cuban champion, at 18, defeated the US Champion Frank Marshall 15-8. Finally, in 1921, he won the World Championship and ended the Lasker reign and set up himself as the new World Champion which he successfully defended for next 6 years.
BOBBY FISCHER – Fischer, began his career at the age of 14, winning 8 US Championships, at 15, became the youngest Grandmaster and the youngest ever candidate for World Championship. In 1970 he on 20 consecutive matches in “1970 Interzonal”. By 1972, he defeated Boris Spassky to become the World Champion.
Alexander Alekhine – Alexander Alekhine, one of the strongest players of Russia by 16, and strongest player in the world by 22, as mentioned earlier, began his reign by defeating Capablanca in 1927.
Mikhail Botvinnik – He began his reign in 1948 which continued till 1963. He retired in 1970 and devoted himself to development of chess programs and training young Soviet Players.
Paul Morphy – He is considered to be the most gifted chess player. Morphy participated in the first American Chess Congress which he won to become the champion of United States.
Viswanathan Anand – The highest rated player in the world and World Chess Champion, he held the FIDE World Chess Championship from 2000-2002. Anand is one of the six players to cross the 2800 mark. He officially gained the #1 on November 1, 2010. Anand is the most versatile player as he is the only one to win the world championship in many formats including Knockout, Tournament, Match, Rapid, and Blitz.