Who have PhDs/doctorates that are also grandmasters?


  1. standard GM only eg no WGM (see there for WGM version), no International Correspondence Chess Grandmaster

  2. no honourary PhDs/doctorates

  3. maybe kind of a cheat but I'll allow JD/MD (and LLB to the extent that LLB=JD) i.e. doesn't have to be Doctor of Juridical Science/Doctor of Medical Sciences. Also the other stuff here eg doctor of education or doctor of engineering, just no honourary.

  4. Oh wait re Emanuel Lasker, I guess I'll allow like either world champion even if not a GM. As for the kinds of world champions allowed...ah fine just all of them: world standard, world rapid, world blitz, world fischer random (wesley so doesn't have a PhD. NEXT), world team chess, World Championship of Chess Composition, World Chess Solving Championship, and women's version of the preceding.

Re CW vs new answer: I personally don't care. But sites have rules/guidelines/discouragements so whatever. See the ff 2 comments re this

@BCLC A separate answer for each doctor/grandmaster? How many answers will that be, a hundred? Is that how these sites are supposed to work? I think they should all be in one ("community wiki") answer, and I suggested adding it to yours because it's the most extensive list that's been posted. – bof


@bof ok fine now it's community wiki but i don't care personally you can post answers but if it's better for the site then fine edit cw post or post your own answer or whatever – BCLC


Here is a list of what I have so far.


  1. Robert Byrne (UNSURE): PhD in philosophy unless you can be a 'professor' without a PhD, eg in the colloquial sense where 'professor' means instructor/lecturer
  2. Hou Yifan (SRZLY?) (UNSURE): same with the Robert Byrne thing as to what 'professor' means (I mean come on, PhD, really? I don't think so).
  3. Anatoly Karpov (UNSURE): I'm trying to find credible sources that say Karpov got a non-honourary PhD in economics. Some sources say it's honourary.
  4. Mikhail Botvinnik: could be PhD in electrical engineering or doctor of engineering
  5. Robert Hübner: phd in classical philology
  6. Jesse Kraai has a Ph.D. in Philosophy. – patbarron


  1. Karsten Müller: phd in (pure/theoretical, I guess) maths
  2. Max Euwe: phd in (pure/theoretical, I guess) maths
  3. John Nunn: phd in (pure/theoretical, I guess) maths
  4. Thomas Ernst: phd in (looks like both pure and applied) maths
  5. Emanuel Lasker: phd in (pure/theoretical, I guess) maths
  6. Jan Michael Sprenger: math and philosophy

Law (either JD or Doctor of Juridical Science)

  1. Paul Morphy: if the LLB equals a JD
  2. Michael Rohde: I guess just JD/LLB
  3. Alexander Alekhine (UNSURE): JD/LLB, but most sources seem to be unsure
  4. Florian Handke: practicing judge
  5. Xu Yuhua: if the LLB equals a JD
  6. Stanislav Bogdanovich (RIP): I guess just JD/LLB
  7. Ding Liren is a graduate of Peking University Law School. Not sure if LLB/JD or what.

Medicine (either MD or Doctor of Medical Sciences)

  1. Bassem Amin: I guess just MD
  2. Alex Scherzer (not sure if same person): I guess just MD
  3. Yona Kosashvili, husband of Sofia Polgar: I guess just MD
  4. Siegbert Tarrasch: promoted, practiced as a doctor


  1. Daniel Stellwagen: PhD in inorganic chemistry (heterogeneous catalysts)


  1. Jonathan Mestel obtained his PhD with the thesis "Magnetic Levitation of Liquid Metals" at University of Cambridge. He teaches Applied Mathematics at Imperial College London.
  2. Bart Michiels has a PhD in engineering physics - from Maxwell86 (btw i guess not Bart Michels)


  1. David Smerdon earned a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Amsterdam and Tinbergen Institute under Theo Offerman for a thesis: “Everybody’s doing it: Essays on trust, social norms and integration.”
  • 3
    Milan Vidmar looks a good call as well - "He was a professor at the University of Ljubljana, a member of the Slovene Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the founder of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering. Between 1928 and 1929 he was the 10th Chancellor of the University of Ljubljana. In 1948 he established the Institute of Electrotechnics that now bears his name" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milan_Vidmar
    – Ian Bush
    Aug 20 at 6:51
  • 1
    And of course Lasker had doctorate, but not the FIDE title - though he was refreed to as a Grandmaster in his life time
    – Ian Bush
    Aug 20 at 6:55
  • 1
    In Germany Dr. is automatically added (and almost always means a real Ph.D.), so google "GM Dr." in a German ELO list: schachbund.de/fide-top-100.html Aug 20 at 16:11
  • 1
    Jesse Kraai has a Ph.D. in Philosophy.
    – patbarron
    Aug 20 at 17:29
  • 5
    @BCLC A separate answer for each doctor/grandmaster? How many answers will that be, a hundred? Is that how these sites are supposed to work? I think they should all be in one ("community wiki") answer, and I suggested adding it to yours because it's the most extensive list that's been posted.
    – bof
    Aug 21 at 4:44

GM Pepe Cuenca likes to act a little bit like a fool, but he has got a PhD in Physics.



One more: Jonathan Mestel has a PhD in applied mathematics (full details in first paragraph of the article) and works as a university professor.


GM Ken Rogoff has a PhD in economics.


Both Mauricio Rios Flores and Parimarjan Negi are PhD students+ GM, they will get their PhD soon.


Carl Jaenisch,

He dedicated his life to mathematics and chess, two subjects which he considered closely related. He tried to show their connections in his work Découvertes sur le cavalier (aux échecs),[4] published in Petersburg in 1837.

He was one of one of the strongest players in 1840, and he had published and cited work in Mathematics.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.