Garry Kasparov has been an unsuccessful politician and there have been several successful politicians who have also been quite good chess players, but have any of them achieved the IM or GM title?

Some candidates who didn't quite make it -

  1. Nathan Sharansky, who according to his Wikipedia page, was the champion of Donetsk at 15, and who beat Garry Kasparov in a simul in 1996 has never even had a rating. He was in the Israeli parliament and government in the late 90's, round about the time he beat Kasparov.

  2. I was sure that I read somewhere that Kirsan Ilyumzhinov who, as well as being FIDE president was also president of the former Soviet republic of Kalmykia, was a master level chess player. According to his Wikipedia page he was champion of Kalmykia at the age of 14. But according to his FIDE rating profile he has only ever played in one FIDE rated blitz in 2012 where he scored 2.5/7 against opponents with an average rating of 1954 for a performance rating of 1852.

  3. British member of parliament, Angela Eagle, was according to her Wikipedia page, British girls under 18 champion in 1976 but, again, she never got a FIDE rating let alone a title.


2 Answers 2


Dana Reizniece-Ozola holds the title of Woman Grandmaster (2001) and is a politician who served as Minister of Economics (2014–2016) and Minister of Finance (2016–2019) of the Republic of Latvia. In the Olympiad of 2016, she beat Hou Yifan.

Perhaps not a minister, but in chess he reached the absolute top: former World Champion Anatoly Karpov. He's member of the Russian parliament since 2005.

Another example is GM Viktorija Čmilytė. She was European women's champion in 2011 and a member of the Lithuanian parliament since 2015.

One more example is GM Loek Van Wely. He was rated among the world's top ten in 2001 with a rating of 2714. He's elected for the Dutch parliament in 2019, so it's still hard to say whether he's a successful or unsuccesful politician.

  • Utut Adianto is a GM since 1986 and politician. He serves as the deputy speaker of the People's Representative Council since March 2018.

  • Marmaduke Wyvill (1815-1896) would surely have been a titled player if FIDE titles had been awarded in the past. He was a Member of Parliament and a leading English chess master. He won a nice game against Adolf Anderssen (winner the same year of the "Immortal Game")

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