Help to make Sultan Khan a Grandmaster!

by Sagar Shah
5/15/2020 – At his peak Mir Sultan Khan was one of the best players in the world. He was a three-time British Champion, and beat top players like Capablanca, Rubinstein, Yates or Tartakower. However, FIDE has never made him a Grandmaster while many other players were given the title. A petition now asks FIDE to honour Mir Sultan Khan and his achievements with the grandmaster title.

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Sultan Khan: A brief history

Sultan Khan was born in 1905 in  Mitha Tiwana in the Khushab district of the Punjab. 23 years later he became National Chess Champion of India. He went on to win the British Championships three times and won against great players like Capablanca, Tartakower, Flohr, and many others.

Some of the achievements of Sultan Khan:

1. He won the British Championship three times: 1929, 1932, 1933.

2. The first half of 1931 was probably the best period for him: he defeated Capablanca at Hastings (although he only came 3rd after throwing away a game against Euwe).

3. He then played Tartakower in a 12-game match defeating him 6½-5½.

4. In the Prague International Team Tournament he scored 11½/17 against many of the leading players of the day, drawing with the World Champion Alekhine and defeating Flohr.

We, at ChessBase, want to raise awareness what a great player Sultan Khan was and we want to make an appeal to FIDE to consider granting him the Grandmaster title posthumously. In his brief but meteoric career, Sultan Khan rose to the top of the chess world, playing on even terms with the world's best players.

Sultan Khan - A truly deserving Grandmaster

According to, a website that calculates historical chess ratings, Sultan Khan was one of the world's top ten players for a couple of years, and at his peak he was the number 6 in the world.

It would be fitting if he were given recognition for his achievements. In 1950, when FIDE first awarded the titles of International Grandmaster and International Master, Sultan Khan had not played for 15 years. Although FIDE awarded titles to some long-retired players with distinguished careers – e.g. Ossip Bernstein, Ernst Grünfeld, Boris Kostic, Géza Maroczy, Jacques Mieses, Akiba Rubinstein, Friedrich Sämisch, Savielly Tartakower, Milan Vidmar, Carlos Torre, and others – it never awarded any title to Sultan Khan.

Your support is essential

Sultan Khan deserves the Grandmaster title. He died in 1966 but a player of his stature should be recognized and celebrated with the Grandmaster title. If you sign the petition linked below you help to ask FIDE to grant him the title.


Sagar is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He loves to cover chess tournaments, as that helps him understand and improve at the game he loves so much. He is the co-founder and CEO of ChessBase India, the biggest chess news portal in the country. His YouTube channel has over a million subscribers, and to date close to a billion views. ChessBase India is the sole distributor of ChessBase products in India and seven adjoining countries, where the software is available at a 60% discount. compared to International prices.


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