The Top Chess Players in the World

GM Simon Williams

Simon Williams
Full name
Simon Kim Williams
Nov 30, 1979 (age 44)‎
Place of birth
Surrey, England



Simon Williams is an English grandmaster, author, streamer, content creator, businessman, and world-class commentator. Williams is also affectionately known as the "Ginger GM" in the chess world.

An aggressive player, Williams reached his peak rating of 2550 in 2009 and is among the top 20 players in England as of December 2020.

Early Career To Grandmaster

When he was six years old, Williams learned chess from his father. According to the GM, his father was a strong player who taught him many of the openings he still uses, like the Dutch Defense. Williams was a powerful junior player growing up, accumulating impressive results in multiple English and European tournaments.

Simon Williams, the Ginger GM.
Simon Williams, or the Ginger GM. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Williams earned his international master title when he was 18 years old. The Ginger GM had already made his final GM norm two years earlier but needed to cross the 2500-rating threshold to earn the title. He met that last requirement during the 83rd Hastings International Chess Congress. In the meantime, he won the British Blitz Championship in 2005.

Simon Williams, the Ginger GM.
GM Simon Williams. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

According to the English master, he draws inspiration from former world champion and attacking wizard GM Mikhail Tal. The game below against GM Aloyzas Kveinys is a fine example of Williams's playing style. After using the h-pawn to open lines to the enemy king, Williams offers a series of sacrifices to gain the initiative and build a crushing attack. A few moves later, Black had to resign.

Here is a video of the Ginger GM himself analyzing his amazing game against Kveinys:

GingerGM Channels

Williams is an accomplished content creator and has a large audience on his YouTube and Twitch channels.

On Twitch, Williams regularly streams his blitz games and provides commentary on numerous tournaments to his almost 20,000 followers. Watching his live streams is always entertaining, as Williams has a unique sense of humor that makes chess even more enjoyable. Here's a clip of Williams delivering a beautiful checkmate to a FIDE master during one of's Titled Tuesdays.

The Ginger GM has also popularized the famous "Harry the h-pawn." Williams often pushes his h-pawn to attack his opponents, as he did in the video below against GM Alexander Grischuk. He eventually ended up naming other pawns as well.

On his YouTube channel, Williams has almost 50,000 subscribers. There he posts videos about chess openings, games analysis, speedruns, and more. One of his most popular videos is his take on the Jobava London System:

GingerGM Publishing Company

Williams started the publishing company Ginger GM in 2008 with IM Simon Ansell. According to Williams, their company "concentrates on all things chess. DVDs, books, ebooks, and a lot more."

Simon Williams: the Ginger GM publishing company.
The Ginger GM publishing company's website. Image: Simon Williams/Ginger GM. Content Creator

Williams is also a regular content creator for He has made several videos that analyze games and moves of great players, like the following video on Carlsen's top five moves:

He has also authored numerous interactive lessons for the website. Among his most popular courses are the ones on openings, such as the London System, the King's Indian Defense, and the Evans Gambit.

Best Game

Most Played Openings