The Top Chess Players in the World

GM Wang Yue

Wang Yue
Full name
Wang Yue
Mar 31, 1987 (age 36)‎
Place of birth
Taiyuan, Shanxi, China



Wang Yue is a Chinese grandmaster who holds two national championships. He’s the first Chinese player to make the top 10 of the FIDE world rankings and the first to achieve a rating of 2700. For five years, Wang was the highest-ever rated player in Chinese chess history.

Early Chess Career (1992 To 2005)

Around four or five years of age, Wang learned how to play chess. He received chess training at school right away and quickly became a strong player.

At the age of nine, Wang joined the National Junior Team and took the Li Chengzhi National Children's Cup. A few years later, in 1999, he won the under-12 section of the World Youth Chess Championship, nearly repeated with another world youth title at the under-14 section in 2000, but placed second.

Later in this period of Wang’s career, the young prodigy earned two major distinctions. In 2004, he became the youngest Chinese GM at that time. The following year, he won the Chinese Chess Championship with a score of 12.5/18. That year he also won both the National Youth Championship and the National Collegiate Championship.

Individual Gold And Silver At Chess Olympiad (2006 To 2012)

After playing as a reserve in 2004, Wang anchored board four at the Chess Olympiad for the Chinese team. He went undefeated with 10/12 points, receiving individual gold for board four and overall individual silver for his 2837-rating performance (second highest of all players, after GM Vladimir Kramnik). China finished in second place.

Wang Yue in 2008
Wang Yue in 2008. Photo: Knight Tour, CC 4.0.

Wang became a 2700-rated player in 2007 and then broke into the world’s top 20 in 2008. (From March to December 2008, Wang played 85 consecutive games without a loss.) Two years later, he went into the top 10, achieving his peak rank of number eight in May 2010 and his peak rating of 2756 in November 2010. That made him the highest-rated Chinese player of all time, which he kept until GM Ding Liren broke the record in August 2015.

Second Chinese Chess Championship (2013 To 2021)

Wang won his second national championship, taking the Chinese Chess Championship 2013 with one round to spare. Although he lost in the final round, he still managed to eclipse the field by 1.5 points.

The next year, the two-time national champion led his country to its first-ever gold at the 2014 Chess Olympiad. And despite slipping a bit in the world rankings, Wang proved how dangerous he was by taking the 2015 Danzhou tournament over the likes of GMs Wei Yi, Yu Yangyi, and Ding. Later, Wang led the Chengdu Pandas to’s 2018 PRO Chess League Finals, but they lost narrowly to the Armenia Eagles.

Present And Future

While it’s never too late for a player of Wang’s caliber to return to peak playing strength—especially as he’s still only entering his mid-30s at the time of publishing—it looks like the Chinese GM’s prime has passed. It will be interesting to see what he does in the coming years. Perhaps he’ll continue to make some more noise in major tournaments, like he did in Danzhou in 2016, and in team competitions. (All that said, Wang Yue won the Danzhou tournament again in 2022 at the age of 35.)

Wang is an incredibly talented player who has amassed an amazing career in very little time. He’s already earned the right to be recognized as one of China’s most treasured chess players of all time.

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