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List of strong chess tournaments

Magnus Carlsen vs. Levon Aronian at Linares 2007

Typical tournament crosstable, showing individual and total scores

This article depicts many of the strongest international chess tournaments in history.

Introduction

Tournament Book for the Lake Hopatcong tourney of 1926 (pub: Madrid 1973)

The following list is not intended to be an exhaustive or definitive record of tournament chess, but takes as its foundation the collective opinion of chess experts and journalists (see references below) over the strongest tournaments in history.

Events that merit inclusion have been largely judged according to the strength (and relative strength in depth) of their participants. Other factors were taken into account, but have less influence; for example the quality of chess played, the closeness of the contest and the number of world top 10 and/or 'big reputation' players that took part. Inevitably, this introduces a degree of subjectivity, but the vast majority of tournaments in the list range from FIDE Category 10 to FIDE category 21 and beyond.

Competitions such as City Championships and team competitions have been omitted for reasons of consistency and clarity. Of course, had they been included, then many of them, particularly the Soviet Championships, would have featured prominently.

The names of the tournament winners have been included next to the year and venue. Many of the tournaments have had books written about them (such as the Lake Hopatcong tournament book pictured) and whilst these will be mostly out of print, they are occasionally available at online auction sites, second-hand specialist book shops etc.

No attempt is made at comparing the relative strengths of tournaments in the list, as this is the subject of inconclusive debate amongst experts.

While events are listed in year order, they are not listed chronologically within the same year.

Tournaments

 

1850-1859

1860-1869

1870-1879

1880-1889

1890-1899

1900-1909

St. Petersburg, 1909.

1910-1919

1920-1929

1930-1939

1940-1949

1950-1959

1960-1969

1970-1979

1980-1989

1990-1999

2000-2009

2010-2019

World Cup

Number of wins in major recurring chess tournaments

Among the many tournaments organized, some particularly stand out because of history or category. This tabulation gives an overview of the number of wins by major current and past chess players in the major recurring chess tournaments and world championship matches. The notation 'n/a' is used when a player has never participated in the tournament, or when the tournament began after a player's retirement.

Linares (1978) Wijk aan Zee (1938) Dortmund (1928) Tal Memorial (2006) M-Tel Masters (2005) Nanjing Super-GM (2008) London Chess Classic (2009) Biel (1968) Fide Grand Prix (2009) Bilbao Masters (2008) Zurich Chess Challenge (2012) WC match/tournament Total won
Magnus Carlsen 4 2 2 4 2 1 2 1 2 20
Vladimir Kramnik 2 1 10 2 n/a 1 n/a n/a 1 3 20
Viswanathan Anand 3 5 3 1 1 n/a 1 1 5 20
Garry Kasparov 9 3 1 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 6 19
Anatoly Karpov 2 2 1 n/a n/a n/a n/a 3 n/a n/a n/a 6 14
Veselin Topalov 1 2 1 n/a 3 1 n/a n/a 1 1 n/a 1 11
Levon Aronian 1 3 3 n/a n/a 2 1 10
Vassily Ivanchuk 3 1 1 1 n/a 1 1 n/a 8
Peter Leko 1 1 3 1 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 1 7
Viktor Korchnoi 4 n/a n/a n/a n/a 2 n/a n/a n/a 6
Mikhail Botvinnik n/a 1 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 5 6
Max Euwe n/a 4 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 1 5
John Nunn 3 n/a n/a n/a n/a 2 n/a n/a n/a n/a 5
Fabiano Caruana n/a 3 n/a n/a n/a 1 1 5
Jan Timman 1 2 n/a n/a n/a n/a 1 n/a n/a n/a n/a 4
Sergey Karjakin n/a 1 1 1 n/a n/a n/a n/a 1 4
Alexander Morozevich n/a n/a 3 1 n/a n/a 4
Tigran Petrosian 1 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 2 3
Boris Spassky 1 1 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 1 3
Bent Larsen 2 n/a n/a n/a n/a 1 n/a n/a n/a 3
Peter Svidler 2 1 n/a n/a 3
Mikhail Tal 1 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 1 2
Ljubomir Ljubojević 1 1 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 2
Teimour Radjabov 1 n/a 1 n/a 2
Alexander Grischuk 1 n/a 1 n/a 2
Boris Gelfand n/a n/a n/a 1 1 n/a 2
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov n/a 1 n/a n/a n/a 1 n/a n/a 2
Alexei Shirov 1 n/a n/a 1 n/a n/a 2
Bobby Fischer n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 1 1
Hikaru Nakamura n/a 1 n/a n/a 1
Wesley So n/a n/a n/a 1 1

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