The 7 Most Amazing Chess Records
Have you ever wondered what are the most impressive chess records? Here, we present you the top-7!

The 7 Most Amazing Chess Records

| 179 | Fun & Trivia

Records inspire us all to strive for greatness. The long legacy of chess has birthed some records which have stood for decades, and some that may well stand for centuries.

Here are seven of the most amazing chess records ever etched into history.

Longest Winning Streak: World Champion Bobby Fischer – 20 (or 19?) Games

Bobby Fischer, World Chess Champion
Bobby Fischer, world-record holder for most consecutive victories in master chess. | Photo: Wikipedia.

In the title run that ultimately culminated in his match with Boris Spassky, Bobby Fischer won a remarkable 20 games against elite competition. He began his run in the Palma de Mallorca Interzonal of 1970 where he won seven games in a row to finish the tournament. Because Oscar Panno forfeited his game, some chess historians choose to discount this game.

In the Candidates' matches that followed in 1971, Fischer defeated both Mark Taimanov and Bent Larsen with perfect 6-0 scores. An initial win in the next match against Tigran Petrosian was followed by a loss in game two, ending the streak.

Fischer went on to handily defeat both Petrosian and Boris Spassky to become world chess champion.

Honorable Mentions:

  • World Champion Bobby Fischer – 11/11 in the 1963/4 U.S. Championship
  • GM Fabiano Caruana – 7 wins at the 2014 Sinquefield Cup
  • Wilhelm Steinitz – 25 consecutive tournament and match wins from August 5, 1873 to May 11, 1882

Longest Undefeated Streak: Magnus Carlsen – 125 Games

Magnus Carlsen
Is Magnus Carlsen's 125-game undefeated streak his greatest achievement?

In the newest record on this list, Magnus Carlsen was undefeated for 125 games from July 31st, 2018, when he lost to GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in Biel to October, 9, 2020 when he lost to Jan-Krzysztof Duda in Norway Chess. Carlsen's record shatters previous marks and spans more than two years.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Ding Liren — 100 games from August 9, 2017 to November 11, 2018
  • Mikhail Tal — 95 games from October 1973 to October 1974
  • Sergey Tiviakov — 110 games from 2004-2005
  • World Champion Jose Raul Capablanca – 63 Games from February 10, 1916 to March 21, 1924

Longest-Reigning World Champion: Emanuel Lasker – 27 Years

Emanuel Lasker, World Chess Champion
Emanuel Lasker, longest-reigning world champion. | Photo: Wikipedia.

Emanuel Lasker became the second world champion when he defeated Wilhelm Steinitz in 1894. He retained his title until he was defeated by Jose Raul Capablanaca in 1921. He continued to play and perform in elite tournaments into the 1930s. It is often noted that Lasker's reign was extended because the intervention of World War I postponed intended matches with Rubinstein and Capablanca. Even accounting for those uncontested years, Lasker's reign would remain far longer than any other champion.

Honorable Mentions:

  • World Champion Garry Kasparov – 15 Years from 1985 to 2000
  • World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik – 13 Non-Consecutive Years from 1948 to 1963

Highest Elo Ever Recorded: World Champion Magnus Carlsen – 2882

Magnus Carlsen, World Chess Champion
World Champion Magnus Carlsen, the highest-rated player of all time. Photo: Emelianova.

Magnus Carlsen made this mark in May of 2014 on the FIDE lists. Unofficially, he reached the even higher mark of 2889 on the live ratings list. Some argue that rating inflation renders these records meaningless, but's analysis shows that chess skill is actually improving over time.

As of the time of writing, only 12 players have reached a rating of 2800. Carlsen has been the only player to approach 2900.

Honorable Mentions:

  • World Champion Garry Kasparov – 2851 on July 1999
  • GM Fabiano Caruana – 2844 on October 2014

Youngest Player To Become Grandmaster: GM Abhimanyu Mishra – 12 years, 4 months, and 25 days

Abhimanyu Mishra
Abhimanyu Mishra broke Sergey Karjakin's record. Photo courtesy Swati Hemant Mishra.

On June 30th, 2021, American junior Abhimanyu Mishra became the youngest grandmaster of all time at the age of 12 years, 4 months, and 25 days. Mishra broke Sergey Karjakin's record of 12 years and 7 months which had stood for 19 years. Making Mishra's record more impressive was that he achieved in spite of the lack of available norm tournaments during the COVID pandemic.

Honorable Mentions:

  • World Champion Bobby Fischer – 15 years, 6 months, 1 day in 1958
  • GM Judit Polgar – 15 years, 4 months, 28 days in 1991
  • GM Sergey Karjakin - 12 years, 7 months

Most Simultaneous Games: GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami – 604 Games

Ehsan Ghaem Maghami, Simultaneuos Chess
GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami, world-record holder for simultaneous chess. | Photo: Wikipedia.

A simultaneous exhibition is a set of games against multiple opponents at a time. Usually opponents are seated in a row or circle and the master circles the players, making moves against each opponent before moving on to the next.

Ehsan Ghaem Maghami, the nine-time Iranian champion, played a staggering 604 simultaneous opponents to claim the world record for most simultaneous opponents. He won 580 games, drawing only 16 games and losing eight in a simultaneous exhibition in Tehran, Iran. The exhibition took place on February 8–9 of 2011 in the sports stadium of the Shahid Beheshti University.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Susan Polgar – 326 Opponents, Scoring 309 Wins, 14 Draws, 3 Losses in 2005
  • José Raúl Capablanca – 103 Opponents, Scoring 102 Wins, 1 Draw in 1922

Most Simultaneous Blindfold Games: GM Timur Gareyev – 48 Games

Timur Gareyev, Blindfold Chess
Timur Gareyev, world-record holder for blindfold chess. | Photo: Klein.

One of the most remarkable feats in chess is the blindfold game. In a blindfold game, a player is not allowed to look at the board. Players must hold the entire position in their heads as the moves are communicated by chess notation. In a simultaneous blindfold exhibition, the exhibition giver must hold all of the positions in memory at one time, a staggering feat of chess skill and concentration.

Timur Gareyev set a new world for this format on December 3–4 of 2016 when he played 48 opponents at one time. He scored 35 wins, seven draws, and six losses. Relive the experience with's report on the world record attempt.

Honorable Mentions:

  • FM Marc Lang – 46 opponents in 2011
  • GM Miguel Najdorf – 45 opponent games in 1947

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