Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1947- ) played basketball for 20 seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers. During his career as a center, Abdul-Jabbar was a record six-time National Basketball Association (NBA) Most Valuable Player (MVP), a record 19-time NBA All-Star, a 15-time All-NBA selection, and an 11-time NBA All-Defensive Team member. A member of six NBA championship teams as a player and two as an assistant coach, Abdul-Jabbar twice was voted NBA Finals MVP. In 1996, he was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. He is also a chess player. In 2001, while at the Bonnaroo music festival, he was seen reading a chess book. (source: Carmichael, “Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Read a Book Called Chess Tactics for Champions While at Bonnaroo,” deadspin.com, https://deadspin.com/5816332/kareem-abdul-jabbar-read-a-book-called-chess-tactics-for-champions-while-at-bonnaroo)
Svetlana Abrosimova (1980- ) is a professional basketball player who most recently played for the Seattle Storm in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). She helped the Seattle Storm with their second championship in 2010. In 2008, she won a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics. She also is a chess player and claims to be rated around 1800.
Danny Ainge (1959- ) played for 14 seasons in the NBA. He played with the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team for 3 years before deciding to pursue a career in basketball. He is the only person to be named a high school first team All-American in football, basketball, and baseball. He is s currently the general manager and President of Basketball Operations for the Boston Celtics. He is a keen chess player.
Shaun Alexander (1977- ) is a former football running back who played for the Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins. In 2005, he was named the NFL MVP. He is an avid chess player and has donated thousands of dollars to America’s Foundation for Chess to sponsor a chess-in-the-schools program. (source: “Shaun Alexander Tackles Chess - https://en.chessbase.com/post/shaun-alexander-tackles-che)
Osvaldo “Ossie” Ardiles (1952- ) was a professional soccer (football) player and one of the top soccer players in the world. In 1978, as a midfielder, he was on the Argentine national team that won the FIFA World Cup. He is also an avid chess player who spends 10 hours a week studying chess and plays chess online.
Trevor Ariza (1985- ) is a basketball player for the Phoenix Suns. He won an NBA championship with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009. He is a chess player.
LaVar Arrington (1978- ) is a former football linebacker who played in the NFL for 7 seasons. He played for the Washington Redskins for 6 seasons and played for the New York Giants for 1 season. He is an avid chess player and plays online under an alias. He has a whole room in his house devoted to chess. He used to have a chessboard set up on the sidelines during a football game. At home, he would sometimes play chess for three hours a day.
Severiano “Steve” Ballesteros (1957-2011) was a Spanish professional golfer who more than 90 international tournaments in his career. He won five major championships between 1979 and 1988: The Open Championship three times, and the Masters Tournament twice. He is generally regarded as the greatest Continental European golfer of all time. He was also a chess player.
Saquon Barkley (1997- ) is a running back for the New York Giants. During Barkley’s three-year collegiate career at Penn State, he broke and set numerous Penn State Records including most rushing touchdowns in a career, most rushing yards by a freshman and sophomore as well as most total yards in a single game. Barkley was drafted with the second overall pick by the Giants in the 2018 NFL Draft. He is a chess player.
Dick Barnett (1936- ) is a former professional basketball player. He spent 14 seasons in the NBA from 1959 to 1973, mostly with the New York Knicks. Barnett played in the 1968 NBA All-Star Game and was a member of the 1970 and 1973 Knicks teams that won the NBA championship against the Los Angeles Lakers. He is an avid chess player and played postal chess with other players around the country. (source: Lazenby, Mindgames: Phil Jacdson’s Strange Journey, p. 95)
Richard Barnett (1863-1930), an Irish barrister, was an expert sport shooter. Barnett represented Ireland in the contest for the Elcho Shield on 37 occasions, and twice made the record score. He was one of twelve competitors for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in the 1908 Summer Olympics. He finished fourth in the 1000-yard free rifle competition. He was also Irish Chess Champion from 1886 to 1889. At Oxford he was president of the Oxford University Chess Club, competing in a number of varsity matches against Cambridge in the 1880s. (Abrahams, Not Only Chess, p. 38)
Michael “Mike” Barrow (1970- ) was a linebacker in the NFL for 12 seasons. He is the Linebackers coach for the Seattle Seahawks. He is also a chess player.
Shane Battier (1978- ) was a professional basketball player with the NBA from 2001 to 2014. He has also been a member of the U.S. national basketball team. In 2001, he was NCAA Player of the Year. He is a chess player. (source: “Shane Battier Talks About Kobe, LeBron – and Chess,” 20 Second Timeout blog - http://20secondtimeout.blogspot.com/2009/01/shane-battier-talks-about-kobe-lebron.html)
Boris Becker (1967- ) was one of the greatest tennis players, winning at Wimbledon at age 17 and winning 6 grand slams of tennis. He was taught to play chess as a teenager by his coach Gunther Bosch. Becker said, “Gunther thought that I would expand my intellectual awareness of structuring a point if I learnt to play chess. Strategy is important in chess and tennis. In a one-on-one situation it’s important to always remain one step ahead of your opponent.” Becker served as tennis trainer to Novak Djokovic and they both play chess against each other on rest days. He is an avid chess player and has played Garry Kasparov and Nigel Short. (source: “Novak Djokovic Plays Chess with Boris Becker,” - http://www.chessdom.com/novak-djokovic-plays-chess-with-boris-becker/)
Charles Michael Bent (1919-2004) was a strong tennis player and played at Wimbledon. He was an English chess composer. He was the most prolific English endgame composer, publishing as many as 848 studies. From 1975 to 1985, he edited the study column in the British Chess Magazine.
Jerome Bettis (1972- ) is a former football halfback. He played for the Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams from 1993 through 1995. He played with the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1996 through 2005. He retired in 2006 after the Steelers won Super Bowl XL, beating the Seattle Seahawks. He is a chess player.
Usain Bolt (1986- ) is a Jamaican retired sprinter and world record holder in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 4 × 100 meters relay. He is a 6-time Olympic champion. He is widely considered to be the greatest sprinter of all time and was called the world’s fastest man. He is also a chess player.
Barry Bonds (1964- ) played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1986-1992) and San Francisco Giants (1993-2007). Bonds received seven National League (NL) MVP awards and 14 All-Star selections. He holds the MLB records in home runs with 762 career home runs and 73 home runs in a season. He is one of the greatest baseball players of all time. He is a chess player.
Sir Chris Bonington (1934- ) is a British mountaineer. His career has included nineteen expeditions to the Himalayas, including four to Mount Everest and the first ascent of the south face of Annapurna. He played chess on his expeditions.
Jim Bouton (1939- ) was a major league pitcher from 1962 to 1978. He is a chess player. (source: Park City Daily News, Jul19, 1972 - https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1697&dat=19720719&id=HBMfAAAAIBAJ&sjid=l0YEAAAAIBAJ&pg=7073,3617525)
Jim Boyle (1942-2005) was head basketball coach at Saint Joseph’s University and assistant coach for the Denver Nuggets. He was an avid chess player.
Mark Boyle is a broadcaster for the Indiana Pacers NBA team. has been the “Voice of the Pacers” for 29 seasons. He is also a rated (1207) chess player and has played in the 1996 U.S. Open Chess Tournament.
Shannon “the Cannon” Briggs (1971- ) is an American professional boxer. In 1997 and 1998, he was the world heavyweight champion. Briggs became New York City Golden Gloves champion, New York State Champion, National Police Athletic League (P.A.L.) Champion and finished second place as a Heavyweight at the Pan American Games in 1991. In 1992 he became the United States Amateur Champion. He is also a chess player and used to hustle chess in Washington Square park in New York.
Jaylen Brown (1996- ) is basketball player for the Boston Celtics. He is a chess player.
Jim Brown (1936- ) was a running back for the Cleveland Browns from 1957 through 1965. He is considered to be one of the greatest football players of all time. Brown was a Pro Bowl invitee every season he was in the league, was recognized as the AP NFL Most Valuable Player three times, and won an NFL championship with the Browns in 1964. He led the league in rushing yards in eight out of his nine seasons, and by the time he retired, he had shattered most major rushing records. In 2002, he was named by The Sporting News as the greatest professional football player ever. He is a chess player.
Frank Bruno (1961- ) is a British former professional boxer who competed from 1982 to 1996. In 1995, he won the World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight title. He is a chess player.
Bob Bryan (1978- ) is an American professional left-handed tennis player. He has won twenty-three Grand Slam titles: 16 in men's doubles and 7 in mixed doubles. With his twin brother Mike, he has been the world No. 1 doubles player for much of the last several years, first achieving the top ranking in September 2003. The brothers were named ATP Team of the Decade for 2000–2009. The brothers became the second men's doubles team to complete the career Golden Slam at the 2012 Summer Olympics. He is a chess player.
Mike Bryan (1978- ) is an American professional right-handed tennis player. With his twin brother Bob, he has been world No. 1 doubles player for more than eight years, first achieving the top ranking in September 2003, and they became the second men's doubles team to complete the career Golden Slam by winning the 2012 Summer Olympics. He holds the records for the most Grand Slam doubles titles at 18, and ATP men's doubles titles (120). He is third in overall number of men's titles in the Open Era, winning all but four of them with his brother. He is a chess player. He has been quoted as saying “I have to play tennis like a chess game.”
Kobe Bryant (1978- ) is a former professional basketball player. He played for 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers. He won 5 NBA championships with the Lakers. Bryant is an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, and 12-time member of the All-Defensive team. He led the NBA in scoring during two seasons. He holds the NBA record for the most seasons playing with one franchise for an entire career and is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He is a chess player.
Joe Bugner (1950- ) is a Hungarian-born British-Australian former heavyweight boxer. Bugner twice held the British and British Commonwealth heavyweight titles and was a three-time European heavyweight champion. He was ranked among the world's top ten heavyweights in the 1970s. He fought for the world heavyweight championship in 1975, losing on points in a second bout with Muhammad Ali. He is a chess player.
Jennifer Capriati (1976- ) is an American former professional tennis player. She won three singles championships in Grand Slam tournaments, was the gold medalist at the 1992 Summer Olympics, reached the World No. 1 ranking in 2001, and is considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time. She won the Australian Open in 2001 and 2002. She won the French Open in 2001. She is a chess player.
Anson Carter (1974- ) is a Canadian retired professional ice hockey right winger. He played from 1996 to 2008. He is a chess player. In 2003, as a New York Ranger, he made the ceremonial first move for Garry Kasparov in Kasparov’s match with X3D Fritz in New York.
Maurice Carter (1976- ) is an American former professional basketball player. He was active from 1999 to 2006. He is a chess player. (source: Chess Life, Jun 1990, p. 46)
Reggie Carter (1957-1999) was a basketball player (guard) for the New York Knicks from 1980 to 1982. He was a chess player. (source: Chess Life, Jan 1983, p. 13)
Bill Cartwright (1957- ) is a retired NBA basketball player. He played 16 seasons. From 1979 to 1988, he played for the New York Knicks. From 1988 to 1994, he played for the Chicago Bulls. From 1994 to 1995, he played for the Seattle SuperSonics. He is a former head coach with the Chicago Bulls. He is a chess player who played chess on road trips. (source: Chess Life, Jun 1983, p. 13)
Patrick Cash (1965- ) is a retired Australian professional tennis player. He reached a career-high ATP singles ranking of world No. 4 in May 1988 and a career-high ATP doubles ranking of world No. 6 in August 1988. He has been described as one of the greatest net players of all time. In 1987, he won at Wimbledon. He was in the finals at the 1987 and 1988 Australian Open. He is a chess player.
Wilt Chamberlain (1936-1999) was a professional basketball player from 1958 to 1973. He is widely considered one of the greatest and most dominant players in NBA history. He is the only player to score 100 points in a single NBA game or average more than 40 and 50 points in a season. He was a chess player. He once phoned Bobby Fischer and invited him to his house for some chess, but Fischer declined. (source: Friedman, “Wilt & Bobby: Not a Random Encounter,” http://www.uschess.org/content/view/6318/158/)
Michael Chang (1972- ) is a retired American professional tennis player. He won 34 top-level professional singles titles, including the 1989 French Open when he was 17. He also was a three-time runner-up at the majors and reached a career best ranking of world No. 2 in 1996. He is an avid chess player.
Barney Chavous (1951- ) played for the Denver Broncos NFL football team from 1973 through 1985. He is a chess player.
Jordan Clarkson (1992- ) is a Filipino-American professional basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He started out with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2014. He is a chess player.
Jose Clavet (1965- ) is a former tennis player from Spain and professional tennis coach. He is a chess player.
Cris Collinsworth (1959- ) is a former professional football player who was a wide receiver in the NFL for eight seasons, all with the Cincinnati Bengals, during the 1980s. His father taught him to play chess. In 2002, he sponsored the Queen City Classic Chess Tournament in Cincinnati as part of his ProScan Fund. It is now an annual event that has hosted as many as 700 students.
Lester Conner (1959- ) is an American professional basketball coach and former professional basketball player, who played for numerous NBA teams. As a player, he was active from 1982 to 1997 as a shooting guard. He is a chess player. (source: Friedman, “Chess and Basketball,” http://www.uschess.org/content/view/7853/810/)
Troy Daniels (1991- ) is a basketball player for the Phoenix Suns. He played college basketball for Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), where in 2013, he set the Atlantic 10 Conference record for made three-point field goals in a single game. He is a chess player.
Steve Davis (1957- ) is an English retired professional snooker player. He is known for dominating the sport during the 1980s when he won the World Championship six times and was ranked world number one for seven consecutive seasons. He is a keen chess player and has written two chess books. (source: Silver, “BBC’s Across the Board” Steve Davis,” https://en.chessbase.com/post/bbc-s-across-the-board-steve-davis)
Elena Dementieva (1981- ) is a Russian former professional tennis player. She won the singles gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, having previously won the silver medal at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. She won 16 WTA singles titles, reached the finals of the 2004 French Open and 2004 US Open and reached seven other Grand Slam semifinals. In 2004, she was ranked #3 in the world among women. She became the first Russian female to reach the US Open semi-finals. She is a chess player. She was often seen at tennis tournaments playing blitz chess. (source: Dementieva biography - http://elenadementieva.tripod.com/biography.htm)
Vlade Divac (1968- ) is a Serbian professional basketball executive and retired player (center), currently serving as the vice president of basketball operations and general manager of the Sacramento Kings. He was a professional player from 1983 to 2005. He is a chess player.
Novak Djokovic (1987- ) is a Serbian professional tennis player who is currently ranked world No. 3 in the world. Djokovic has won 14 Grand Slam singles titles, five ATP Finals titles, 31 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 series titles, 12 ATP World Tour 500 tournaments, and has held the No. 1 spot in the ATP rankings for a total of 223 weeks. In majors, he has won six Australian Open titles, four Wimbledon titles, three US Open titles and one French Open title. He is a chess player.
Alexandr Dolgopolov (1988- ) is a Ukrainian professional tennis player, and the top-ranked Ukrainian male tennis player. Dolgopolov reached the quarterfinals of the 2011 Australian Open and achieved a career-high singles ranking of World No. 13 in January 2012. He is a chess player.
Don Drysdale (1936-1993) was an American professional baseball player (pitcher). He played for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers from 1956 to 1969. Drysdale won the 1962 Cy Young Award and in 1968 pitched a record six consecutive shutouts and ?58 2?3 consecutive scoreless innings. He was a chess player. (source: Chess Review, May 1956, p. 133)
Shelley Duncan (1979- ) is a former professional baseball player. He was active from 2007 through 2013. He is a chess player.
Mike Dunleavy, Jr. (1980- ) is a professional basketball player. He currently plays for the Atlanta Hawks. He is a chess player.
Jim Egerton (1961- ) is a retired professional hockey player. He was active from 1978 to 1988. He is a chess player.
Roger Federer (1981- ) is a Swiss professional tennis player who is currently ranked world No. 2 in men's singles tennis by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). Federer has won 20 Grand Slam singles titles—the most in history for a male player—and has held the world No. 1 spot in the ATP rankings for a record total of 310 weeks, including a record 237 consecutive weeks. After turning professional in 1998, he was continuously ranked in the top ten from October 2002 to November 2016. He has won the Australian Open 6 times. He has won the French Open once. He has won at Wimledon 8 times. He has won the U.S. Open 5 times. He is a chess player. In his early days, he would lose a game to his father and knock all the pieces off the board. (source: USA Today, Sep 1, 2003 - https://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/tennis/open/2003-09-01-day-eight_x.htm)
Eric Flaim (1967- ) is an American former speed skater. He became a world champion in 1988, as well as capturing Olympic silver medals, namely in speed skating at the 1988 Winter Olympics and in short track speed skating at the 1994 Winter Olympics. He is a chess player.
Peter Fleming (1955- ) is a former professional tennis player from the United States. In his doubles partnership with John McEnroe, he won 52 titles, of which seven were at Grand Slams (four at Wimbledon, three at the US Open). As a singles player, he peaked at World No. 8, winning three titles. He is a chess player.
Andrew Flintoff (1977- ) is an English former international cricketer. He was active from 1995 to 2015. He is a keen chess player.
Jason Forte (1981- ) is a professional basketball player. From 2001 to 2002, he played for the Boston Celtics. From 2002 to 2003, he played for the Seattle SuperSonics. In high school, he was captain of his chess team.
Frank Francisco (1979- ) is a Dominican former professional baseball pitcher. He was active from 2004 to 2014. He is a chess player.
Mike Gatting (1957- ) is an English former cricketer. He was active from 1975 to 1987. He is a chess player.
Anton Geesink (1934-2010) was a Dutch 10th dan judo expert. He was the first non-Japanese judoka to win gold at the World Judo Championship, a feat he accomplished in 1961 and 1965. He was also an Olympic Champion, having won gold at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Japan, and won a record 21 European Judo Championships during his career. He was a chess player.
Joe Girardi (1964- ) is an American former professional baseball catcher and manager. He was an active player from 1989 to 2003. Girardi won three World Series Championships as a player, all with the Yankees. In 2006, he managed the Florida Marlins and was named the National League Manager of the Year. Girardi managed the Yankees from 2008 to 2017, winning the 2009 World Series. He is a chess player, learning the game at age 5.
Curt Gowdy (1919-2006) was an American sportscaster, well known as the "voice" of the Boston Red Sox and for his coverage of many nationally televised sporting events. He was a chess player. (source: Chess Life, Jan 1992, p. 74)
William Gilbert Grace (1848-1915) was one of the best amateur cricketers in England and is widely considered one of its greatest-ever players. He played from 1865 to 1908. He was a chess player.
Wesley Grant (1946- ) was a professional football player from 1971 through 1973. In college, he played for the UCLA Bruins. He is a chess player.
Wayne Gretzky (1961- ) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player and former head coach. He played 20 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) from 1979 to 1999. He has been called "the greatest hockey player ever.” Gretzky is the leading scorer in NHL history, with more goals and assists than any other player. He garnered more assists than any other player scored total points, and is the only NHL player to total over 200 points in one season – a feat he accomplished four times. In addition, Gretzky tallied over 100 points in 16 professional seasons, 14 of them consecutive. At the time of his retirement in 1999 and persisting through 2018, he holds 61 NHL records; 40 regular season records, 15 playoff records, and six All-Star records. He is a chess player and did a commercial playing chess.
Ron Guidry (1950- ) is a former professional pitcher. He played his entire 14-year baseball career for the New York Yankees, from 1975 through 1988. Guidry won the AL Cy Young Award in 1978 as the best pitcher in the AL. He also won five Gold Glove Awards, given for superior fielding, and appeared in four All-Star games. He has the highest winning percentage in major league baseball. He was on the cover of September 1983 Chess Life magazine. He has played chess with Bruce Pandolfini. He was quoted as saying, “In both baseball and chess, you are always looking ahead and cannot afford to underestimate your opponent.” (source: Chess Life, Sep 1983, p. 6)
Travis “Pronk” Hafner (1977- ) is a former professional baseball player. He was active from 2002 through 2013, mostly with the Cleveland Indians. He is a chess player who played hours of computer chess on the road.
Cole Hamels (1983- ) is a baseball pitcher for the Chicago Cubs. From 2006 through 2015, he was with the Philadelphia Phillies. From 2015 through 2018, he was with the Texas Rangers. He was the top pitcher for Philadelphia entering the 2008 season, and during the Phillies' postseason run, during which they ultimately won the 2008 World Series over the Tampa Bay Rays, he won the World Series Most Valuable Player Award. He is a chess player.
Dominik Hasek (1965- ) is a Czech retired ice hockey goaltender. He played for 16 seasons in the NHL. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion, both with the Detroit Red Wings. He was one of the league's most successful goaltenders of the 1990s and early 2000s. He is a chess player and had a chess computer to play chess while on road trips.
David Hemery (1944- ) is a British former track and field athlete, winner of the 400 meters hurdles at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. At the time, he set a new world record in the hurdles. His margin of victory was the largest since 1924. He is a chess player.
Ben Hogan (1912-1997) was an American professional golfer who is generally considered to be one of the greatest players in the history of the game. He was the best golfer of his generation. He won the Masters twice, the U.S. Open 4 times, and the PGA Championship twice. He was a chess player.
Priest Holmes (1973- ) is a former football running back who played eleven seasons in the NFL. From 1997 through 2000, he played for the Baltimore Ravens. From 2001 through 2007, he played for the Kansas City Chiefs. Holmes earned a Super Bowl ring with the Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV over the New York Giants. He is a chess player and taught chess to children at the Kansas City Boys and Girls Club. He was on the chess team in high school. (source: “Priest Holmes – Part Jock, Part Chess Club Geek,” kidsworld.com - https://www.kidzworld.com/article/3766-priest-holmes-biography)
Ken Holtzman (1945- ) is a former professional pitcher. He was active in the MLB from 1965 through 1979. He was a two-time All Star and a three-time World Series champion (1972-1974), all while with Oakland. He is a chess player. (source: Chess Life, Jan 1983, p. 6)
Evander Holyfield (1962- ) is a former professional boxer who competed from 1984 to 2011. He reigned as the undisputed champion in both the cruiserweight and heavyweight divisions, being the first and—to date—only boxer in history to do so. Holyfield is the only four-time world heavyweight champion, having held the WBA, WBC, IBF, and lineal titles from 1990 to 1992; the WBA, IBF, and lineal titles again from 1993 to 1994; the WBA title from 1996 to 1999; the IBF title from 1997 to 1999; and the WBA title for a fourth time from 2000 to 2001. As an amateur, Holyfield represented the United States at the 1984 Summer Olympics, winning a bronze medal in the light heavyweight division. He is a chess player.
Allan Houston (1971- ) is a retired professional basketball player (shooting guard) who played in the NBA from 1993 to 2005. He played for the Detroit Pistons from 1993 through 1996. He played for the New York Knicks from 1996 through 2005. He is currently the assistant general manager for the New York Knicks. He is a chess player.
Andre Iguodala (1984- ) is a basketball player for the Golden State Warriors since 2013. He played for the Philadelphia 76ers from 2004 through 2012. He played for the Denver Nuggets from 2012 through 2013. He is a chess player.
Derek Jeter (1974- ) is an American former professional baseball shortstop. He played for the New York Yankees from 1995 to 2015. He is a 5-time World Series champion. He is the Yankees' all-time career leader in hits (3,465), doubles (544), games played (2,747), stolen bases (358), times on base (4,716), plate appearances (12,602) and at bats (11,195). His accolades include 14 All-Star selections, five Gold Glove Awards, five Silver Slugger Awards, two Hank Aaron Awards, and a Roberto Clemente Award. He is a chess player.
Earvin “Magic” Johnson (1959- ) is a retired professional basketball player and current president of the Los Angeles Lakers. He played for the Los Angeles Lakers from 1979 through 1991, and in 1996. He was rated the greatest NBA point guard of all time by ESPN in 2007. He is a chess player and has installed chess tables at the Starbucks that he owns in Los Angeles.
Larry Johnson (1969- ) is an American retired basketball player who spent his professional career in the NBA with the Charlotte Hornets (1991-1996) and New York Knicks (1996-2001). In 1992, he was NBA Rookie of the Year. He is a chess player and supported an after-school chess program at the Police Athletic League in Harlem.
Robert “Bobby” Jones (1902-1968) was an American amateur golfer who was one of the most influential figures in the history of the sport. Jones founded and helped design the Augusta National Golf Club, and co-founded the Masters Tournament. Jones was the most successful amateur golfer ever to compete at a national and international level. During his peak from 1923 to 1930, he dominated top-level amateur competition. He won 13 major championships. He was a chess player.
Greg Kite (1961- ) is an American retired professional basketball player. He was active from 1982 through 1996. As a Boston Celtic, he won two championship rings in 1984 and 1986. He is a chess player.
Dr. Vitali Klitschko (1971- ) of Ukraine is a former WBC and WBO boxing heavyweight champion. He is a three-time world heavyweight champion, the second longest reigning WBC heavyweight champion of all time. He held the WBO title from 1999 to 2000; the Ring magazine title from 2004 to 2005; and the WBC title twice, from 2004 to 2005 and from 2008 to 2013. He is the first professional boxing world champion to hold a PhD degree (sports science). He is an avid chess player.
Dr. Wladimir Klitschko (1976- ) of Ukraine is a former boxing heavyweight world champion. He held the world heavyweight championship twice, including the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO, Ring magazine and lineal titles. As an amateur, Klitschko represented Ukraine at the 1996 Olympics, winning a gold medal in the super-heavyweight division. He has a PhD in sport science. He is an avid chess player. (source: “Chess playing boxer Klitschko retains heavyweight title,” ChessBase News, Mar 12, 2007, https://en.chessbase.com/post/che-playing-boxer-klitschko-retains-heavyweight-title)
John “Jack” Kramer (1921-2009) was a tennis player of the 1940s and 1950s. A World No. 1 player for a number of years, and one of the most important people in the establishment of modern men's "Open"-era tennis, he was the leading promoter of professional tennis tours in the 1950s and 1960s. He won at Wimbledon in 1947. He won the U.S. Championships in 1946 and 1947. He was a chess player.
Chuck Knox (1932-2018) was an American football coach. He served as head coach of the Los Angeles Rams (twice), Seattle Seahawks, and Buffalo Bills. He was a three-time AP NFL Coach of the Year. He was a chess player.
Anna Kournikova (1981- ) is a Russian former professional tennis player. Despite never winning a singles title, she reached No. 8 in the world in 2000. With Marina Hingis, she was ranked No. 1 in the world in doubles in 1999. She is a chess player.
Kola Kwariani (1903-1980) was a Georgian professional wrestler, known as Nick the Wrestler. He had been a Greco-Roman champion in Europe before Wo War II and a professional wrestler in the United States afterward. He was a chess player and an active player at the Chess and Checker Club in New York City, also known as "The Flea House".
Matt LaPorta (1985- ) is a former professional baseball player. He played for the Cleveland Indians from 2009 to 2012. He played on the 2008 USA Olympic Team. He is a chess player.
Cliff Lee (1978- ) is a former professional baseball pitcher. He was active from 2002 through 2014. A four-time All-Star, Lee won the American League Cy Young Award in 2008 as a member of the Cleveland Indians after he led the American League in wins and lowest earned run average (ERA). He is a chess player.
Ivan Lendl (1960- ) is a retired Czech-American professional tennis player. He is often considered among the greatest in the sport's history. He was the world No. 1 for 270 weeks in the 1980s and finished his career with 94 singles titles. At the majors he won 8 titles and was runner-up a record 11 times. He also won seven year-end championships. He won the Australian Open in 1989 and 1990. He won the French Open in 1984, 1986, and 1987. He won the US Open in 1985, 1986, and 1987. He is a chess player and plays chess against chess computers. His father, Jiri Lendl, was a chess master, Czech junior champion and played in the Czechoslovakian chess championship. In 2001, Jiri Lendl played Kasparov in a charity simultaneous exhibition in the Czech Republic.
Lennox Lewis (1965- ) is a former professional boxer who competed from 1989 to 2003. He is a three-time world heavyweight champion, a two-time lineal champion, and remains the last heavyweight to hold the undisputed title. He represented Canada as an amateur at the 1988 Summer Olympics, winning a gold medal in the super-heavyweight division. He is an avid chess player and plays chess almost daily. He has funded after-school chess programs for disadvantaged children.
Grant Long (1966- ) is a retired professional basketball player. He was active from 1988 through 2003. He is a chess player.
Nate Loughran is an American mixed martial artist. In 2013, he won the Tachi Palace Fights (TPF) Welterweight Championship. He is an avid chess player.
Mark Madsen (1976- ) is a former professional basketball player and current assistant coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. He played for the Lakers from 2000 through 2003. He played for the Minnesota Timberwolves from 2003 through 2009. He is a chess player. (source: Benyon, “Mark Madsen: The People’s Player,” nba.com - https://www.nba.com/timberwolves/features/madsen_040309.html)
Felix Magath (1953- ) is a German football (soccer) manager and former player, who played as a midfielder. He was active as a player from 1972 to 1986. For parts of the 1970s and ’80s, he was considered Germany’s finest playmaker. He is an avid chess player, a chess patron, and played Garry Kasparov in 1985. (source: Goldsworthy, “Yes2Chess…with Felix Magrath,” ChessBase News, Mar 10, 2014 - https://en.chessbase.com/post/yes2chess-with-felix-magath)
Laurence Maroney (1985- ) is a former football running back who played five seasons in the NFL. He played with the New England Patriots from 2006 to 2010. He played with the Denver Broncos in 2010. He is a chess player and started the Laurence Maroney Chess Club in Taunton, Massachusetts. He was a member of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center in St. Louis, his native city.
Terry Marsh (1958- ) is an English former professional boxer who was an undefeated world champion in the light welterweight division. Marsh was a three-time ABA senior amateur champion who went on to become the British, European and IBF light welterweight world champion as a professional. He was the first European boxer ever to retire as an undefeated World Champion. He is a chess player and, at one time, was a junior chess champion and was London junior champion at age 12. He is a chessboxing champion. He was lured back into the ring by chessboxing, which involves up to six rounds of chess, each followed by a round of boxing. Victory can be secured by check-mate on the board or by knocking out your opponent. (source: “Terry Marsh comp!,” BBC Sport Boxing - http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/boxing/4250848.stm)
Mike Marshall (1943- ) is a former professional pitcher. He played in 1967 and from 1969 through 1981 for nine different teams. He was on two All-Star teams in 1974 and 1975. In 1974, he won the National League Cy Young Award. He is a chess player. (source: Park City Daily News, Jul19, 1972 - https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1697&dat=19720719&id=HBMfAAAAIBAJ&sjid=l0YEAAAAIBAJ&pg=7073,3617525)
Curtis Martin (1973- ) is a former football running back who played in NFL for the New England Patriots (1995-1997) and New York Jets (1998-2006). In 1995, he was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. He played in 5 Pro Bowls. In 2004, he led the NFL in rushing yards. He is a chess player.
Mike Matheny (1970- ) is a former professional baseball catcher. He was active from 1994 through 2006. He was manager of the St. Louis Cardinals from 2012 to 2018. One of the most accomplished defensive players of his era, he won four Rawlings Gold Glove Awards. As manager, Matheny's teams have claimed one National League (NL) pennant and three NL Central division titles. He is an avid chess player and a supporter of the Saint Louis Chess Club. (source: Langosch, “Cardinals bonding over chess in clubhouse,” https://www.mlb.com/news/chess-has-brought-cardinals-closer-together/c-177155310)
Christy Mathewson (1880-1925) was a professional pitcher who played 17 seasons with the New York Giants, from 1900 to 1916. He also played for the Cincinnati Reds in 1916. From 1916 to 1918, he was manager of the Cincinnati Reds. He led the Giants to victory in the 1905 World Series by pitching three shutouts. He was an avid chess player. He once played 12 opponents simultaneously in chess at the Pittsburgh Athletic Club and beat them all. (source: Hughson, “Christy Mathewson Bio,” mopupdaily.com - http://mopupduty.com/christy-mathewson-bio/)
Cedric “Cornbread” Maxwell (1955- ) is a retired professional basketball player. He played for the Boston Celtics from 1977 to 1985. He played for the Los Angeles Clippers from 1985 to 1987. He played for the Houston Rockets from 1987 to 1988. He was an NBA champion in 1981 and 1984 with the Celtics. He is a chess player.
John McEnroe (1959- ) won 4 US Open titles and 3 Wimbledon titles in tennis. He was ranked No. 1 in the world from 1981 to 1984. He is often considered among the greatest in the history of the sport with 77 singles titles. He also plays chess. When he wasn’t playing tennis, he played chess with other tennis players. He described himself as a good, but no great, chess player among the other tennis players. He would play two-hour chess matches between tennis. He and tennis player Peter Fleming played a lot of chess together.
Kevin McHale (1957- ) is a retired professional basketball player. He played for the Boston Celtics from 1980 through 1993. He is regarded as one of the best power forwards of all time. He is a chess player.
Mark Messier (1961- ) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey center of the NHL. He was active from 1978 to 2004. Messier is considered one of the greatest NHL players of all time. He is second on the all-time career lists for playoff points (295) and regular season games played (1756), and is third for regular season points (1887). He is a six-time Stanley Cup champion—five with the Oilers and one with the Rangers—and is the only player to captain two professional teams to championships. He is a chess player and did a commercial playing chess with Wayne Gretzky.
Phil Mickelson (1970- ) is an American professional golfer. He has won 43 events on the PGA Tour, including five major championships: three Masters titles (2004, 2006, 2010), a PGA Championship (2005), and an Open Championship (2013). He is a chess player and plays chess for an hour before going golfing.
Max Mirnyi (1977- ) is a Belarusian professional tennis player. In 2003, he was ranked No. 18 in the world. In June 2003, he was ranked No. 1 in the world in doubles. In doubles, holds ten Grand Slam titles: Men's Doubles in the 2000 and 2002 US Open and in the 2005, 2006, 2011 and 2012 French Open; and mixed doubles in the 1998, 2007, and 2013 U.S. Opens and 1998 Wimbledon. He is a chess player. (source: USA Today, Sep 1, 2003 - https://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/tennis/open/2003-09-01-day-eight_x.htm)
Daryl Morey (1972- ) has been the general manager of the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association since 2007. He is an avid chess player.
Thurman Munson (1947-1979) was a baseball catcher for the New York Yankees from 1969 to 1979. He was in 7 All-Star games. He played in 2 World Series championships. He won the Gold Glove Award in three consecutive years (1973–75). He was a chess player. (source: Chess Life, Jan 1983, p. 6)
Dale Murphy (1956- ) is a former American baseball player. He played for the Atlanta Braves from 1976 to 1990. He played for the Philadelphia Phillies from 1990 to 1992. He played for the Colorado Rockies in 1993. He played in 7 All-Star games. He included chess as one of his hobbies.
Toni Nadal (1961- ) is the uncle and ex-coach of tennis player Rafael Nadal. As of 2018, he is the most successful coach in the history of tennis in terms of Grand Slam titles, winning 16 Grand Slam trophies with Rafael Nadal. He is a chess player and is often seen playing chess in the player’s lounge.
Mark Noble (1962- ) is a New Zealand lawns bowls player. Noble competed in the Open para-sport triples event at the 2014 Commonwealth Games where he won the silver medal. He won another silver medal in the Open para-sport triples event at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. He is a Correspondence Grandmaster, the first New Zealand player to be awarded this title. He has an Elo rating of 2320.
Jim O’Brien (1952- ) is an American basketball coach. He is currently the assistant coach of the Philadelphia 76ers. He had been head coach of the Boston Celtics (2001-2004), the Philadelphia 76ers (2004-2005), and the Indiana Pacers (2007-2013). He is an avid chess player. (source: “Chess and Basketball,” http://www.uschess.org/content/view/7853/810/)
Steve Ovett (1955- ) is a former middle-distance runner from England. He was a gold medalist in the 800 meters at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, and set world records for 1500 meters and the mile run (3 minutes, 48.4 seconds). He is a chess player.
Manny Pacquiao (1978- ) is a Filipino professional boxer. He currently ranks #4 in BoxRec's ranking of the greatest pound for pound boxers of all time. In 2016, Pacquiao was ranked number 2 on ESPN's list of top pound for pound boxers of the past 25 years. He is the only eight-division world champion in the history of boxing, having won eleven major world titles, as well as being the first boxer to win the lineal championship in five different weight classes. Pacquiao is also the first boxer in history to win major world titles in four of the original eight weight classes of boxing: flyweight, featherweight, lightweight, and welterweight. He is a chess player which is important to his training.
Mike Patrick (1944- ) is a retired American sportscaster, known for his long tenure with ESPN, 35 years. He is a chess player.
Hunter Pence (1983- ) is a Major League Baseball left fielder with the San Francisco Giants. He played in 3 All-Star games and 2 World Series championships (2012, 2014). He is a chess player and plays online chess.
Brayan Pena (1982- ) is a Cuban-American former professional baseball catcher. He was active from 2005 to 2016. He is a chess player who learned the game in Cuba.
Mike Powell (1963- ) is an American former track and field athlete, and the holder of the long jump world record (29 ft 4.25 in). He is a two-time world champion in this event and two-time Olympic silver medalist. He is a chess player.
Tommy Prothro (1920-1995) was an American football coach from 1942 to 1978. He was an avid chess player.
Lance Rentzel (1943- ) was a professional wide receiver and running back. He played for the Minnesota Vikings from 1965 to 1966. He played for the Dallas Cowboys from 1967 to 1970. He played for the Los Angeles Rams from 1971 to 1974. He is a chess player.
Harry “Butch” Reynolds (1964- ) is a former track and field athlete who competed in the 400-meter dash. He held the world record for the event for 11 years with his personal best time of 43.29 seconds set in 1988. That year, he was the silver medalist at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and a relay gold medalist. He is a chess player.
Ray Rice (1987- ) is a former football running back who played his entire professional career with the Baltimore Ravens, from 2008 through 2013. He was a member of the 2012 Ravens team that won Super Bowl XLVII. He has been a chess player since he was 9 years old.
Mickey Rivers (1948- ) is a former professional baseball player. He played for the California Angels from 1970 through 1975. He played for the New York Yankees from 1976 through 1979. He played for the Texas Rangers from 1979 to 1984. As a member of the Yankees, he was part of two World Series championship teams, in 1977 and 1978. He is a chess player.
Reggie Rivers (1968- ) was a running back for the Denver Broncos from 1991 to 1996. He is a chess player.
David Robinson (1965- ) is a retired professional basketball player (center). He was with the San Antonio Spurs from 1989 through 2003. Robinson is a 10-time NBA All-Star, the 1995 NBA MVP, a two-time NBA Champion (1999 and 2003), a two-time Olympic Gold Medal winner (1992, 1996), a two-time Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee (2009 for his individual career, 2010 as a member of the 1992 United States men's Olympic basketball team), and a two-time U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame inductee (2008 individually, 2009 as a member of the 1992 Olympic team). He is widely considered one of the greatest centers in both college basketball and NBA history. He is a chess player.
Bill Robinzine (1953-1982) was a professional basketball player. He was active from 1975 to 1982. He was a chess player.
Greg Rusedski (1973- ) is a Canadian-born former British tennis player who represented Canada until 1995. He was the British No. 1 in 1997, 1999 and 2006, and reached the ATP ranking of world No. 4 for periods from 6 October 1997 to 12 October 1997 and from 25 May 1998 to 21 June 1998. In 1997, he made it to the finals of the US Open. He is an avid chess player.
Bill Russell (1934- ) is a retired professional basketball player. He was the center for the Boston Celtics from 1956 to 1969. A five-time NBA Most Valuable Player and a twelve-time All-Star, won 11 NBA championships during his thirteen-year career. Russell is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players in NBA history. He is a chess player.
Pete Sampras (1971- ) is an American former tennis player, widely regarded as one of the greatest in the history of the sport. He won the Australian Open twice. He won at Wimbledon 7 times. He won the U.S. Open 5 times. He is a chess player.
Barry Sanders (1968- ) is a former football running back who played for the Detroit Lions from 1989 to 1998. A Pro Bowl invitee in each of his ten NFL seasons and two-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year, Sanders led the league in rushing yards four times and established himself as one of the most elusive runners in pro football with his quickness and agility. In 2007, he was ranked by NFL Network’s NFL Top 10 series as the most elusive runner in NFL history. He is a chess player.
Miroslav Satan (1974- ) is a Slovak former NHL ice hockey right winger. He was active from 1992 to 2014. He is a chess player. (source: “Hockey and Football at the chess board,” ChessBase, https://en.chessbase.com/post/hockey-and-football-at-the-chess-board)
Flip Saunders (1955-2015) was an American basketball player and coach. He was a coach from 1977 to 2015 and was the NBA All-Start Game head coach twice (2004 and 2006). He was a chess player.
Dick Schaap (1934-2001) was an American sportswriter and broadcaster. For a while, he was a good friend with Bobby Fischer. Fischer acknowledged that Dick had been a “father figure” to him. They later had a falling out. At the 1990 World Chess Championship in New York between Karpov and Kasparov, he was a guest speaker at the pre-match dinner. (source: Chess Life, 1979, p. 133)
Arnold Schwarzenegger (1947- ) is a former professional bodybuilder and powerlifter. Schwarzenegger began lifting weights at the age of 15. He won the Mr. Universe title at age 20 and went on to win the Mr. Olympia contest seven times, remaining a prominent presence in bodybuilding and writing many books and articles on the sport. The Arnold Sports Festival, considered one of the best professional bodybuilding competitions in recent years, is named after him. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest bodybuilders of all-time. He is a chess player and has played Garry Kasparov. (source: Silver, “2015 Arnold Classic: Chess and the Terminator,” ChessBase News, Jun 5, 2015 - https://en.chessbase.com/post/2015-arnold-classic-chess-and-the-terminator)
Mike Shanahan (1952- ) is a former American football coach, best known as the head coach of the Denver Broncos. He has coached 3 Super Bowl championships. He is a chess player.
Gary Sheffield (1968- ) is a former professional baseball outfielder. He was active from 1988 to 2009. He was in 9 All-Star games and was a World Series champion (1997). He is a chess player.
Brandon Short (1977- ) was an NFL linebacker who played for the New York Giants (2000-2003, 2006) and the Carolina Panthers (2004-2005). He was a member the Giants' team that played in Super Bowl XXXV. He is a chess player.
Dick Skeen (1906-1990) was an American professional tennis player and coach. In 1941, he was ranked No. 7 in the world. He was runner-up in the 1941 U.S. Pro Tennis Championships. He was a chess player.
Steve Smith (1969- ) is a retired professional basketball player who was active from 1991 through 2005. He won an NBA championship with the Spurs in 2003. He is a chess player.
Latrell Sprewell (1970- ) is a retired professional basketball player. He played for the Golden State Warriors from 1992 through 1998. He played for the New York Knicks from 1998 through 2003. He played for the Minnesota Timberwolves from 2003 through 2005. He played in 4 NBA All-Star games. He is an avid chess player.
Sergiy Stakhovsky is a Ukrainian professional tennis player. In 2010, he was ranked No. 31 in the world. He is an avid chess player. He plays as often as 20 games of chess a day online. (source: “Chess: Tennis for the Mind,” TennisHead, - http://www.tennishead.net/news/academy/2015/07/23/chess-tennis-for-the-mind)
George Steinbrenner (1930-2010) was owner of the New York Yankees for 37 years, from 1973 to 2010. During that period, the Yankees won 7 World Series and 11 pennants. He was a chess player.
Erick Strickland (1973- ) is a former professional basketball player. He was active from 1996 through 2005. He is a chess player.
Kurt Thomas (1972- ) is a retired professional basketball player. He was active from 1995 through 2013. He is a chess player.
Klay Thompson (1990- ) is a basketball player for the Golden State Warriors, joining the team in 2011. He is a chess player. He plays chess on his phone.
Scott Treibly is a tennis player and coach to the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). He is a chess player.
Gary Trent (1974- ) is a retired professional basketball player. He was active from 1995 through 2007. He is a chess player. (source: Benyon, “Mark Madsen: The People’s Player,” nba.com - https://www.nba.com/timberwolves/features/madsen_040309.html)
Gene Tunney (1898-1978) was a professional boxer. He held the world heavyweight title from 1926 to 1928, and the American light heavyweight title twice between 1922 and 1923. He retired undefeated as a heavyweight. He was a chess player.
John Urschel (1991- ) is a retired professional American football guard and center. He played for the Baltimore Ravens from 2014 through 2016. He is a chess player and has played Fabiano Caruana. He plays chess online.
John Walker (1952- ) is a former middle-distance runner from New Zealand who won the 1500 m event at the 1976 Olympics. In 1975, he was also the first person to run the mile in under 3:50 (3.49.4). He is a chess player.
Bill Walsh (1931-2007) was head coach of the San Francisco 49ers from 1978 through 1988. He was head coach at Stanford from 1977 through 1978, and from 1992 through 1994. Walsh went 102–63–1 with the 49ers, winning 10 of his 14 postseason games along with six division titles, three NFC Championship titles, and three Super Bowls. He was named NFL Coach of the Year in 1981 and 1984. He was a chess player.
Bill Walton (1952- ) is a retired professional basketball player. He played for the Portland Trail Blazers from 1974 through 1978. He played for the San Diego/Los Angeles Clippers from 1979 through 1985. He played for the Boston Celtics from 1985 through 1987. He was the NBA MVP in 1977 and won two NBA championships, in 1977 and 1986. He is an avid chess player.
Jason (Jay) Williams (1981- ) played college basketball for the Duke University Blue Devils and professionally for the Chicago Bulls in the NBA. Then known as Jason Williams, he won the 2001 NCAA championship with Duke, and was named NABC Player of the Year in 2001 and 2002. He is a chess player. (source: “Jay Williams,” wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jay_Williams_(basketball)
Kellen Winslow, Jr. (1983- ) is a former professional tight end football player. He was active from 2004 through 2013. He played college football at the University of Miami, where he earned unanimous All-American honors and was recognized as the top college tight end. He is a chess player.
Kellen Winslow, Sr. (1957- ) is a former professional tight end football player. He was active from 1979 through 1987, playing for the San Diego Chargers. He is widely recognized as one of the greatest tight ends in the league's history. He started playing chess in high school.
Tiger Woods (1975- ) is an American professional golfer who is among the most successful golfers of all time. Woods is generally considered one of the greatest golfers of all time. He has won the Masters Tournament 4 times. He has won the U.S. Open 3 times. He has won The Open Championship 3 times. He has won the PGA Championship 4 times. He is a chess player.
Mike Woodson (1958- ) is a former basketball player. He was active as a player from 1980 to 1990. From 2004 through 2010, he was head coach of the Atlanta Hawks. From 2012 through 2014, he was head coach of the New York Knicks. He is a keen chess player.
Sir Clive Woodward (1956- ) is an English former rugby union player and coach. He was coach of the England team from 1997 to 2004, managing them to victory in the 2003 Rugby World Cup. He is a chess player.
Zlatko Zahovic (1971- ) is a Slovenian retired footballer (soccer) who played as an attacking midfielder. The all-time record holder in goals for Slovenia, Zahovic was an essential member of the squad as they qualified for the first time ever to a European Championship and a World Cup, in the early 2000s. He is a chess player.
Emil Zatopek (1922-2000) was a Czechoslovak long-distance runner best known for winning three gold medals at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki. He won gold in the 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters runs, but his final medal came when he decided at the last minute to compete in the first marathon of his life. In 1954, Zatopek was the first runner to break the 29-minute barrier in the 10,000 meters. Three years earlier in 1951, he had broken the hour for running 20 km. He was one of the greatest runners of the 20th century and was also known for his brutally tough training methods. He was a chess player.
Chess Players Who Were Athletes or Played Sports
Grandmaster (GM) Simen Agdestein (1967- ) represented Norway on their professional soccer (football) team but had to give it up due to injuries (torn ligament in his knee). He was a teacher at the Norwegian Sports Gymnasium, teaching soccer and chess. He was also a ballroom dancer.
Ulf Andersson was a tennis player.
Walter Browne played tennis. I played tennis with him in the 1970s.
Robert Byrne played tennis
Jose Capablanca played baseball and tennis. He attended Columbia University to played baseball. He played shortstop on the freshmen team. At one time, he considered becoming a professional baseball player, but abandoned the idea after as shoulder injury.
Magnus Carlsen plays soccer and tennis.
Henry Chadwick (1824-1908) is considered the “father of baseball.” He compiled the first baseball rulebook, created the box score, and kept statistics on batting average and earned run average for each baseball player. In 1860 he edited The Beadle Baseball Player, the first baseball guide on public sale. He wrote several chess books and wrote a chess column in his own newspaper, the American Chronicle. He played chess at the Brooklyn Chess Club and the Queens County Chess Club.
Larry Christiansen was a swimmer in college.
Istvan Csom is a tennis player.
Arnold Denker was a Golden Gloves boxer.
GM Yuri Eliseev (1996-2016) of Russia was involved in the extreme sport of parkour. He died after falling from a balcony on the 12th floor of his Moscow apartment, apparently while undertaking parkour. He was trying to reach the balcony of a neighboring apartment. In 2012, he was the world under-16 chess champion.
Max Euwe was a boxer.
Bobby Fischer played tennis.
GM Laurent Fressinet is a two-time French chess champion. He is probably the strongest chess grandmaster tennis player. (source: Marschner, “Laurent Fressinet: First chess-tennis Wolrd Champion,” ChessBase News, Aug 13, 2018 - https://en.chessbase.com/post/laurent-fressinet-first-chess-tennis-world-champion)
Anna Hahn is a kick-boxer.
Robert Hess was a football player.
Paul Keres was a tennis player.
George Mackenzie (1837-1891) played baseball and captained a baseball team made up of New York chess players.
Lajos Portisch was a tennis player.
GM Samuel Herman Reshevsky (1911-1992) played on the tennis team at the University of Detroit. He also listed has his hobbies, table tennis and ice skating.
Jackson Whipps Showalter (1859-1935), 5-time U.S. chess champion, was an avid baseball fan and amateur player. He was a noted pitcher in Lexington, Kentucky, and famous for his curve ball (he did not invent it as some sources say).
Boris Spassky was a tennis player.
Sir George A. Thomas (1881-1972) was 7-time British badminton champion (he won 21 British badminton titles between 1903 and 1928). He was on the winning tennis doubles team championship at Wimbledon in 1919. In 1922, he was a quarter-finalist tennis player at Wimbledon. He played at Wimbledon from 1919 to 1926. He won between 300 and 400 first prizes in badminton tournaments. He played at Wimbledon from 1919 to 1926. He was also an internationally ranked hockey, squash and table-tennis player. He won the British chess championship twice, in 1923 and 1934. (source: Chess Review, Feb 1935, p. 35)
Eugenio Torre is a tennis player.
International Master Josh Waitzkin (1976- ) is a martial artist. In 2004, he won the world champion title in the competitive sport of Taiji Push Hands (Taiji Tui Shou).
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