Chess is known as the thinking man's game—a great equalizer that ignores physical prowess in favor of sheer mental skill. There's something cold-blooded and methodical about the whole thing—maybe because the Soviets reigned supreme for decades and we know them to be patient, reptilian bastards. At Complex, however, we love chess for its elegance and the respect its players command so effortlessly—be it two old-timers surrounded by pigeons at a park or Wu-Tang's RZA beating dudes silly at the Kings Invitational.

The current top-ranked player isn't Russian, though. He isn