55 Famous People That Play Chess

55 Famous People That Play Chess

Many chess players are curious about famous people who at the same time are also chess players. I decided to compose a list of famous people who play chess and have semi-official chess rating.

The numbers may not be exact and in some cases such as with Lenin, the rating may be given just as representation of the chess strength, not as the actual rating published by chess federation. Anyway, enjoy the list and feel free to comment about other famous people of known chess strength.


Name, Occupation Rating

Akins, Claude actor 1500

Alda, Alan actor 1400

Amory, Cleveland writer 1700

Archer, Jeffrey writer 1000

Ardiles, Ossie soccer 1700

Ayers, Lew actor 1500

Barnes, Julian writer 1100

Bellamy, Guy writer 1100

Bogart, Humphrey actor 1950

Bonar Law, Andrew politics 2100

Boyer, Charles actor 1900

Brando, Marlon actor 1100

Bronowski, Jacob writer 2000

Buchwald, Art humorist 2000

Burton, Tony actor 1642

Cage, Nicholas actor 1500

Cartwright, Bill NBA 1400

Casillas, Graciella karate 1100

Castro, Fidel president 1900

Chamberlain, Wilt NBA 1300

Chang, Michael tennis 1400

Chaplin, Charlie actor 1400

Charles, Ray musician 1600

Che Guevara, Ernesto revolutionary 1950

Churchill, Randolph politics 1800

Cooke, Alistair TV1600

Cornforth, John nobel 2200

Crane, Les talk show 1500

Danson, Ted actor 1400

Darin, Bobby musician 1500

Darrow, Henry actor 1700

Davis, Steve sports 1500

Dee, Sandra actress 1500

Diamond, Dustin actor 1369

Duchamp, Marcel artist 2300+

Dunsany, Lord writer 2000

Elman, Mischa violinist 2100

Estrada, Erik actor 1400

Falk, Peter actor 1400

Fry, Stephen comedian 1200

Garcia, Carlos president 1700

Kissinger, Henry politics 1400

Klitschko, Vitaly boxer 1800

Klitschko, Vladimir boxer 1800

Koestler, Arthur journalist 1500

Komack, James producer 1500

Krauthammer, Charles columnist 1630

Kubrick, Stanley director 2000

LaGuardia, Fiorello NY mayor 1100

Landsbergis, Vytautas president 2300

Ledger, Heath actor 1800

Lenin, Vladimir Russian leader 1900

Letterman, David TV talk host 1100

Levin, Bernard writer 1100

Marks, Johnny writer 1700


If you are interesting in chess statistics I suggest also checking out 40 Facts About Chess Most People Don’t Know , 31 Yet Other Chess Facts Most People Don’t Know ,and 23 Funny Chess Aphorisms.


Resources Used:

ChessBase Terminator Image

Famous People Who Play/ed Chess

Akins, Claudeactor 1500

Alda, Alanactor 1400

Amory, Clevelandwriter 1700

Archer, Jeffreywriter 1000

Ardiles, Ossie soccer 1700

Ayers, Lewactor 1500

Barnes, Julianwriter 1100

Bellamy, Guywriter 1100

Bogart, Humphreyactor 1950

Bonar Law, Andrewpolitics 2100

Boyer, Charlesactor 1900

Brando, Marlonactor 1100

Bronowski, Jacobwriter 2000

Buchwald, Arthumorist 2000

Burton, Tonyactor 1642

Cage, Nicholasactor 1500

Cartwright, BillNBA 1400

Casillas, Graciellakarate 1100

Castro, Fidelpresident 1900

Chamberlain, WiltNBA 1300

Chang, Michaeltennis 1400

Chaplin, Charlieactor 1400

Charles, Raymusician 1600

Che Guevara, Ernestorevolutionary 1950

Churchill, Randolphpolitics 1800

Cooke, Alistair TV 1600

Cornforth, JohnNobel 2200

Crane, Lestalk show 1500

Danson, Tedactor 1400

Darin, Bobbymusician 1500

Darrow, Henryactor 1700

Davis, Stevesports 1500

Dee, Sandraactress 1500

Diamond, Dustinactor 1369

Duchamp, Marcelartist 2300+

Dunsany, Lordwriter 2000

Elman, Mischaviolinist 2100

Estrada, Erikactor 1400

Falk, Peteractor 1400

Fry, Stephencomedian 1200

Garcia, Carlospresident 1700

Kissinger, Henrypolitics 1400

Klitschko, Vitalyboxer 1800

Klitschko, Vladimirboxer 1800

Koestler, Arthurjournalist 1500

Komack, James producer 1500

Krauthammer, Charlescolumnist 1630

Kubrick, Stanleydirector 2000

LaGuardia, FiorelloNY mayor 1100

Landsbergis, Vytautaspresident 2300

Ledger, Heathactor 1800

Lenin, VladimirRussian leader 1900

Letterman, DavidTV talk host 1100

Levin, Bernardwriter 1100

Marks, Johnnywriter 1700

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Updated 02.09.2024


Vladimir Nabokov, writer. Major omission.
Sam Sloan:
Hedy Lamarr, famous actress, mentions chess three times in her biography "Ecstasy and me". She writes that she taught three of her husbands how to play chess and the last one got so good that he was able to beat her.
Michael Atkins:
I directed the tournament/section that Krauthammer played in 2002. The 4 games wore him out so much he said he might never play again.
Mike somers:
John Wayne was an avid player
Taurus Bailey:
What about LENOX LEWIS?
vm maggie:
I M Wonder,if presinedt PUTIN W also play chess.
Norcliffe Otto:
Will smith--actor Barry Black--current chaplain of the US senate!
Ashik Uzzaman:
What about Will Smith?
Jeffrey Vollmer:
Howard Stern is missing and he has a published USCF rating. I have played him before when he was studying with Dan Heisman he was a strong player. The rest of the ratings listed seem a bit high. Carmen Cass supermodel and head of the Estonian Chess federation also is not listed. Again as far as rating my guess is most players listed are less than 1200 if they are not tournament players.
where is Bill Gates :) ?
Gaddafi was quite an enthusiast too.
Missed my name on this list. But I forgive this mistake.
this is the Memorial where we can Play Chess in the memory of the late# Heath in West Australia! RIP#
[img]http://i1216.photobucket.com/albums/dd369/imaginehiggs/Chess%20outback/IMG532.jpg[/img][img]http://i1216.photobucket.com/albums/dd369/imaginehiggs/Chess%20outback/IMG520.jpg[/img] ....this is the Memorial in West Australia where we can play Chess and remember Heath...RIP#!!