The Top Chess Players in the World

GM Markus Ragger

Markus Ragger
Full name
Markus Ragger
Feb 5, 1988 (age 36)‎
Place of birth
Klagenfurt, Austria



Markus Ragger is an Austrian grandmaster and currently the best player in his country.

He is a multiple Austrian champion and Olympic participant. In October 2016, he was the first Austrian player ever to reach the Elo mark of 2700.

Early Life And Career

Markus Ragger was born on February 5, 1988, in Klagenfurt and now lives in Graz, Austria.

Ragger learned the rules of chess from his mother when he was about three years old after his interest was aroused by a daily chess game of his grandparents. At the age of six, he joined the chess club MPO Maria Saal, for which he is still playing.

In 1996, at the age of eight, Markus became the Austrian champion for the first time and when in the under-10 section. Over the years, this success was followed by six more youth national championship titles, and in 2004 he became the European champion in the under-16 section.

In the eighth round of this championship, he played the Nimzo-Indian Defense with Black, and his knight almost single-handedly destroyed the position of Hungarian Laszlo Horvath:


In 2006 he won the Austrian Open championship for the first time, and this year he also started working with GM Zoltan Ribli from Hungary. Through this collaboration, Ragger went from a strong international master with an Elo of around 2470 to the youngest grandmaster in the history of Austrian chess.

2700 Club

In May 2011, Ragger played in the European Championship, the best tournament of his career until this point. Among others, he defeated Hungarian chess legend GM Judit Polgar, and the 60 Elo points he gained that month were enough to reach the top 100 of the world.

In 2016, world-class Indian player GM Pentala Harikrishna offered him a collaboration that would benefit both players. In the next two years, not only Harikrishna reached his peak rating of 2770, but also Ragger reached his best Elo of 2703, putting him at number 41 in the world rankings. Partly responsible for this was a shared first place in the Challenger Group of the Tata Steel Tournament in Wijk ann Zee 2017, even though he also worked as the second of Harikrishna at this tournament.

On the Austrian national team, Ragger played on the top board at seven Chess Olympiads and just as many European championships. In the German Chess Bundesliga, Ragger played for SG Solingen and won the league in 2016. In Austria, he still plays for the chess club Maria Saal, the club where he started his chess journey at the age of six.

Markus Ragger at the Chess Olympiad 2022. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Present And Future

During the coronavirus pandemic, Ragger focused on new chess endeavors. He took a position at the Austrian Chess Federation, where he still works as coach of the national team and created a fantastic Chessable course in German that has a complete repertoire for players who like to start games with the move 1.e4.

Although his Elo rating has suffered a little from these "sideline" activities, Ragger is determined to return to the 2700 grandmaster club.

Chessable Course of Markus Ragger.

Best Game

Most Played Openings