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Mir Sultan Khan
Sultan Khan 
Number of games in database: 208
Years covered: 1928 to 1935

Overall record: +112 -48 =37 (66.2%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 11 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Queen's Pawn Game (29) 
    D05 D02 D04 A46 E10
 Queen's Indian (7) 
    E18 E16 E12 E15 E17
 French Defense (7) 
    C01 C00 C13 C11
 Caro-Kann (5) 
    B13 B18
 Center Game (5) 
    C22 C21
 Sicilian (5) 
    B20 B29 B83
With the Black pieces:
 Nimzo Indian (13) 
    E23 E24 E38 E44 E41
 Ruy Lopez (11) 
    C79 C88 C78 C71 C74
 Queen's Pawn Game (11) 
    A46 D02 D00 A40
 Orthodox Defense (10) 
    D50 D55 D51 D57
 Caro-Kann (9) 
    B15 B12 B13 B10
 Sicilian (9) 
    B32 B46 B33 B30
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Sultan Khan vs Capablanca, 1930 1-0
   Sultan Khan vs H Mattison, 1931 1-0
   Sultan Khan vs Flohr, 1932 1-0
   T H Tylor vs Sultan Khan, 1933 0-1
   Sultan Khan vs Marshall, 1930 1-0
   Ahues vs Sultan Khan, 1930 0-1
   Alekhine vs Sultan Khan, 1931 1/2-1/2
   Sultan Khan vs Rubinstein, 1931 1-0
   Euwe vs Sultan Khan, 1932 1/2-1/2
   Rubinstein vs Sultan Khan, 1930 1/2-1/2

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   British Championship (1931)
   Sultan Khan - Tartakower (1931)
   British Championship (1932)
   British Championship (1933)
   British Championship (1929)
   Liege (1930)
   Hastings 1930/31 (1930)
   Hastings 1932/33 (1932)
   Hastings 1931/32 (1931)
   London (1932)
   Berne (1932)
   Hamburg Olympiad (1930)
   Scarborough (1930)
   Prague Olympiad (1931)
   Folkestone Olympiad (1933)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Mir Sultan Khan by samsloan
   Sultan Khan: Chess Biography by Dhamal Goda
   Sultan Khan: Chess Biography by jessicafischerqueen
   Berne 1932 by Tabanus
   Mir Sultan Khan - the unsung Grandmaster by MTuraga
   Sultan Khan - Tartakower by Chessical
   London International Chess Congress, 1932 by Resignation Trap
   Liege 1930 by suenteus po 147
   Hastings 1932/33 by Phony Benoni
   When Sultans played Chess by Open Defence

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Mir Sultan Khan
Search Google for Mir Sultan Khan

(born 1905, died Apr-25-1966, 60 years old) India

[what is this?]

Mir Sultan Khan was born in 1905 in Mittha in the Punjab, British India. His prowess at the Indian variety of chess brought him to the notice of Colonel Nawab Sir Umar Hayat Khan who taught him the European game.

After winning the All-India Championship in 1928 (+8, =1, -0) he went to England and quickly came to the notice of English masters William Winter and Fred Dewhirst Yates who helped him overcome his lack of theoretical knowledge. He was British Champion in 1929, 1932 and 1933.

He played on three British Empire Olympiad teams in 1930, 1931 and 1933 and participated in some international events. He was 2nd at Liege 1930, 3rd at Hastings 1930-31 and 3rd= at London 1932. In matches he beat Savielly Tartakower (+4, =5, -3) in 1931 - Sultan Khan - Tartakower (1931) lost to Salomon Flohr (+1, =3, -2) in 1932. Chessmetrics ranked him sixth in the world in May 1933, behind only Alekhine, Kashdan, Flohr, Capablanca, and Euwe.

He returned to India with Sir Umar in December 1933 and played very little serious chess again. He died in Sargodha, Pakistan in 1966. Although he was clearly of grandmaster strength during his playing career, FIDE never awarded him any title.


E Spencer/ G Abrahams vs Sultan Khan / Yates, 1931

Wikipedia article: Mir Sultan Khan

Last updated: 2023-02-21 19:17:16

 page 1 of 9; games 1-25 of 208  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Sultan Khan vs Gurubaksh Rai 1-0331928Ch-All IndiaC22 Center Game
2. Ramsukh Kaka vs Sultan Khan  0-1451928Ch-All IndiaD51 Queen's Gambit Declined
3. Sultan Khan vs V N Gadre 1-0241928Ch-All IndiaC44 King's Pawn Game
4. Sultan Khan vs Morbhat Mehendale  1-0771928Ch-All IndiaC44 King's Pawn Game
5. Sultan Khan vs N J Roughton  1-0381928Ch-All IndiaD10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
6. Manzur Hassan vs Sultan Khan  0-1361928Ch-All IndiaC00 French Defense
7. V K Khadilkar vs Sultan Khan 0-1511928Ch-All IndiaD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
8. Sultan Khan vs N R Joshi 1-0251928Ch-All IndiaC21 Center Game
9. Sultan Khan vs S V Bodas  ½-½441928Ch-All IndiaC49 Four Knights
10. B Siegheim vs Sultan Khan 0-1371929MatchD57 Queen's Gambit Declined, Lasker Defense
11. Capablanca vs Sultan Khan 0-1241929Simul, 35bD50 Queen's Gambit Declined
12. Sultan Khan vs Yates  0-1681929Quadrangular tE30 Nimzo-Indian, Leningrad
13. A G Conde vs Sultan Khan  0-1551929Quadrangular tD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
14. Sultan Khan vs W Winter  0-1381929Quadrangular tB20 Sicilian
15. Yates vs Sultan Khan 1-0461929Quadrangular tC17 French, Winawer, Advance
16. F E Hamond vs Sultan Khan 1-0431929British ChampionshipD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
17. Sultan Khan vs G Abrahams 1-0371929British ChampionshipC01 French, Exchange
18. W Fairhurst vs Sultan Khan 0-1401929British ChampionshipD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
19. H E Price vs Sultan Khan  0-1381929British ChampionshipB12 Caro-Kann Defense
20. R P Michell vs Sultan Khan 0-1561929British ChampionshipD15 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
21. Sultan Khan vs W Winter ½-½731929British ChampionshipB20 Sicilian
22. A Eva vs Sultan Khan ½-½411929British ChampionshipD10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
23. Sultan Khan vs E Irving 0-1281929Simul, 33bB01 Scandinavian
24. Sultan Khan vs C W Brown  0-1291929Simul, 33bA41 Queen's Pawn Game (with ...d6)
25. Sultan Khan vs R N Coles 1-0351929SimulD85 Grunfeld
 page 1 of 9; games 1-25 of 208  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Sultan Khan wins | Sultan Khan loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 10 OF 10 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-16-20  Sally Simpson: ***

Chessbase are fronting a petition to get Sultan Khan a G.M. title.

Of course the fact Danny King has just brought a book on him is just a coincidence.


The grand daughter of Sultan Khan is so disappointed with the 'facts' in Danny King's book she wants it recalled.

I'm thinking the solution to this is to give Danny King's G.M. title to Sultan Khan.


Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: @#$% off! Where's Staunton's GM title!? I feel a top 10 list of most retrospectively deserving of a GM title coming on.... Repeat after me: IT DONT MATTER!
May-16-20  JimNorCal: Staunton?
Wasn't he more of an organizer than a player?
Did all the pieces move the same way back then as they do now? :) :) :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Get out of here! Bobby Fischer never claimed Staunton was one of the ten best organisers of all time.
May-16-20  Sally Simpson: ***

Hi MissScarlett,

As I said on chessbase I think it's an advertising ploy to shift copies of the 'soon to be recalled' book on Sultan Khan.

Agree it does not matter, it stopped mattering the day FIDE scrapped the old much harder and more deserved of method becoming a G.M. and introduced the norm format.

When they do my bio book I hope my grand daughter gets copy to can put me up for an honorary G.M. title. (though in my case G.M. = Geoff's Mad.)


May-16-20  JimNorCal: "Bobby Fischer never claimed Staunton was one of the ten best organisers of all time."

Yes, well, was there a later interview with Bobby where he said calling Staunton a strong player was a practical joke? Because a bunch of Bobby's rivals suddenly sat up and were alarmed. "Bobby has been studying Staunton's games AND Bobby says they're really good!" Then said rivals proceed to waste weeks going over Staunton games looking for insights.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: If we are talking about FIDE GM titles, it means people who were alive since FIDE started awarding them in 1950, right? After all, not even Steinitz, Lasker, Capablanca and Alekhine got one. As far as I know, FIDE has never given out titles posthumously.

Of people alive in 1950, Sultan Khan and Znosko-Borovsky come to mind as players who were worthy of at least IM titles, but it probably comes down to lack of advocacy by their national chess federations.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: According to some, Staunton would barely merit an FM title, and Morphy, being generous, an IM.
May-17-20  Sally Simpson: ***
Hi beatgiant

FIDE awarded Rudolf Maric a pothumas G.M. title.

Rudolf Maric (kibitz #5)

I think another player got one as well, (other name escapes me.)

Guess FIDE gave up the idea when it was realised no one would pay the 'you are now a G.M.' fee.

Once you have gathered your norms, by fair means or foul, you, or your federation pay FIDE a fee - in 2010 the fees were thus:

50 euro for CM.
70 euro for FM.
165 euro for IM.
330 euro for GM.

So if you did it the ideal FIDE way, in steps, the total would be 615 euro. Since 2010 the fees may have gone up, or even lowered.


Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Sally Simpson> But now you are talking about "honorary grandmaster" which is not the same title as "grandmaster" and I doubt it requires payment of a fee. This matters even less than the actual title, except as a publicity stunt for the book as you pointed out, but more importantly, as publicity for chess, especially in South Asia, Sultan Khan's native place.
May-17-20  Sally Simpson: Hi Beat Giant,

Who will pay the fee was a wee joke.

But yes. When you mention the publicity Sultan Khan should get some recognition. Just hope it will not be viewed as an apology for the misunderstandings about him in print.

Reuben Fine calls him a grandmaster! in this piece which may indeed contain some mistakes regarding his nationality and role.

"In the meantime Sultan Khan, who was our real entrée to his presence, was treated as a servant by the maharajah (which in fact he was according to Indian law), and we found ourselves in the peculiar position of being waited on at table by a chess grand master.’

pages 24-25 of 'Lessons from My Games' by Reuben Fine. This is also repeated in Danny King's book.

For more see Edward Winter's site:


Sep-30-21  WNRRRWN: how good was this guy, like jacob yuchtman?
Sep-30-21  WNRRRWN: what are results khan vs alekhine?
Sultan Khan vs Alekhine, 1933
Oct-08-21  RookFile: <Boomie: On the surface it appears that England oppressed India. >

I almost choked on my meatball sub when I read this.

Feb-06-22  Sally Simpson: I'm going through a large bundle of loose BCM's I bought for 10p each. (I haggled down to 12 for a £1.00)

First port of call in each issue is 'Quotes and Queries' ran by D. J. Morgan.from 1953-1978. See 'Chess Morganisms'

He rather humorously got caught out once with a genuine piece of information.

In an earlier Q&Q he has asked for information on Sultan Khan and in May 1960 Q&Q he stated 'Mystery Solved' as a Mr Kurt Dryer confirms Sultan Khan is now an opera singer currently performing in South Africa. I re-read the whole piece a few times looking for the Morgan quip. There is none. (surely not true.)

The following issue D.J.M. printed a brief apology and thanked a K.W. (Ken Whyld?) for pointing out the error.

It was not a joke sent in by Kurt Dryer. I even looked for the 'give away' anagram of that name after I saw 'Turkey' popping at me.

The piece was in a copy of a 1959 South African chess magazine and there was an Opera Singer called Sultan Kann (1940-2011) and by all accounts he was rather good.

Apr-29-22  Albertan: Asia’s First Grandmaster ´´was an unsung Chess genius who shattered many glass ceilings’´.:

Jun-05-22  Albertan: Sultan Khan-greatest chess hero in undivided India:

Jun-24-22  adbat: As Capablanca said, Mir Sultan Khan was a chess genius, a natural talent, a unique case in chess.
Feb-21-23  Mississaugan: Could we have a picture of Mr. Sultan Khan, the legendary chess wizard from India.
Feb-21-23  stone free or die: <Mississaugan: Could we have a picture of Mr. Sultan Khan, the legendary chess wizard from India.>

I heartily second this suggestion.

(What an oversight on <CG>'s part)

Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: I thought we had a picture up years ago...

I checked Wikipedia and their source for the image they use is CG from 2008!

Not sure why CG took it down. Was there a copyright violation in play?

Feb-22-23  stone free or die: <<jn> Was there a copyright violation in play?>

Likely yes, as per your link (just scroll down a little):

<This work is copyrighted (or assumed to be copyrighted) and unlicensed. It does not fall into one of the blanket acceptable non-free content categories listed at Wikipedia:Non-free content

§ Images or Wikipedia:Non-free content

§ Audio clips,

and it is not covered by a more specific non-free content license listed at Category:Wikipedia non-free file copyright templates. However, it is believed that the use of this work:

• To illustrate the subject in question

• Where no free equivalent is available or could be created that would adequately give the same information

• On the English-language Wikipedia, hosted on servers in the United States by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation,

qualifies as fair use under United States copyright law. Any other uses of this image, on Wikipedia or elsewhere, may be copyright infringement. See Wikipedia:Non-free content and Wikipedia:Copyrights.>

Since <CG> is a for-profit website, they (we?) don't get a "fair-use" pass.

I like the one used here now almost as much - just wish we captioned not only the source, but the photograph context (e.g. what trophy, when taken, etc.)


Feb-22-23  Sally Simpson: The trophy is for winning the British Championship.


Feb-22-23  stone free or die: Yes, but it would be nice to have that in the photo caption instead of the comments (where it will ultimately be washed away upon the rocky shoals and out to sea!).
Feb-22-23  Mississaugan: Thanks CG! now we have the photo of Mr Sultan Khan in place!
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