Yip Celebrity Chess Players

Jan 5, 2015, 11:20 AM |


There are games in chess databases showing Napoleon defeating amateurs but are widely thought to not be genuine. According to most sources, Napoleon was a mediocre player; maybe acceptable for an amateur but nonetheless a decent player. 


Marcel Duchamp

One of the most important artists of the 20th century also an excellent chess player. In the 1920 and early 1930s, he was strong enough to put up an even score in the French championships, and even played for the French team in the Chess Olympiad. Chessmetrics has him ranked as high as #95 in the world in 1931.


Howard Stern

He lists chess among his favorite pastimes and after some private lessons and some study has gotten to about 1700 on ICC. He uses an anonymous username.


Humphrey Bogart

One of the greatest actors in the history of cinema as well as accomplished chess player. Many sources say he was at or near master strength. Bogart even managed to make a draw against Grandmaster Samuel Reshevsky in a 1955 simul.


Woody Harrelson

American actor and also a chess enthusiast. I'm not sure how strong a player he is due to not much information but he drew a skittles game against Kasparov. I'd say he played about 1200-1500 in skill. That game can be found here.


Ray Charles

Ray Charles was one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century.  While not much is known about his chess career, he was known to play frequently with Willie Nelson. His chess talents came to the public eye when he was interviewed by Larry Evans for Chess Life magazine. In a game played between the two, Charles actually played evenly with the accomplished grandmaster for some time before making an error in move order during a capturing sequence, which cost him a pawn and sent him into a losing endgame.