The 5 Most Dangerous Chess Players Ever
These five players unleash fire, fury and frankly power on the chessboard.

The 5 Most Dangerous Chess Players Ever

| 389 | Chess Players

There's a lot of discussion about who are the best chess players—but today we're interested in the most dangerous assassins of the chess battlefield.

Magnus Carlsen might be the greatest ever, but his games are marked by calm precision and consistent accuracy.

Who are the most menacing players—the ones who can blow their opponents off the board? While these dangerous players are also very accurate, they add another presence to their chess battles: an intimidating sense of peril.

Here are the top five most dangerous chess players of all time, and a quintessential attacking game for each.

Let us know your most savage chess players and games in the comments section.

5. Mikhail Tal

mikhail tal

Mikhail Tal

It's well established that Tal was a chess genius who was probably the most creative attacker of all time. GM Serper checked in earlier this week with a column on Tal's attacking secret. 

In this game, Tal not only exposes his opponent's king, but he demolishes the entire kingside, with the hapless black monarch occupying an astounding rectangle of 18 squares without a friendly piece or pawn as it is eviscerated by Tal's heavy pieces.

This is what happens when you play Tal on his home turf in Riga.

4. Paul Morphy

paul morphy

Paul Morphy

Playing through Morphy's games in 2018 feels like watching a time-traveler defeat the outclassed players of old. His simple yet brutal attacking style makes you feel that you can understand the purpose of every move made, and that's why the end result is not only devastating, but beautiful.

In this game, Morphy needs only 19 moves to absolutely demolish Adolf Anderssen, one of the best players of the era. Black's rooks in the final position look like helpless bystanders to the regicide on the board.

3. Garry Kasparov

garry kasparov

Garry Kasparov

Kasparov is on the short list of the greatest chess players ever (Carlsen, Fischer, Kasparov in some order), so it's not a surprise he is also one of the most dangerous.

Kasparov in his prime was perhaps the most intimidating opponent to sit across your chessboard, and a great example is the thrashing he gave to the future world champion Vladimir Kramnik, himself in the discussion for best players ever.

Here Kasparov overcomes an unsound knight sacrifice offer by throwing his queen in as well, emerging with a new lady and then winning Kramnik's queen to end the game. How many of you would calmly push your h-pawn one square immediately after your opponent threatens your most valuable piece?

2. Bobby Fischer

Bobby Fischer

Bobby Fischer

Fischer needs no introduction here, as he is universally known as one of history's greatest competitors not just in chess but in any competitive pursuit.

Fischer had an obsessive mind and probably the greatest will to win in chess history, and it resulted into some true slaughters on the chessboard.Playing against the ultra-solid Tigran Petrosian and an equally sound Caro-Kann opening is a guaranteed draw at best, right? Not for Fischer.

Petrosian makes one small mistake by gobbling up a wing pawn and Fischer makes him pay in the most efficient way possible, forcing resignation just three moves afterwards, throwing an inescapable mating net over the former world champion's king.

1. AlphaZero

alphazero chess


Anyone who knows my chess leanings could have predicted the number-one "player" on this list.

But it's well deserved for AlphaZero to take the top spot. At least with the other players on this list, when the victims get beat, they know what is happening to them.

That's not the case with AlphaZero, whose understanding of chess and ruthless, intuitive attacking style are so far above anything else that its opponents don't even realize they are losing.

Watch as the world's second-best chess-playing entity (ever) happily evaluates its position as fine—right up until the moment it is completely ruined.

This one gets my vote as the greatest chess game ever played.

Who do you think are the most dangerous chess players ever? Make your case in the comments—if you dare.

More from Pete
Can You Solve Our 2023 Holiday Puzzler?

Can You Solve Our 2023 Holiday Puzzler?

Can You Solve Our 2022 Holiday Puzzler?

Can You Solve Our 2022 Holiday Puzzler?