James Tarjan


U.S. Chess

Hall of Fame

Inducted 2022







Few have represented the United States in Chess Olympiads with greater distinction than James Tarjan. He played five times from 1974 to 1982, winning four team (one gold, three bronze) and three individual (two gold and one bronze) medals. His lifetime winning percentage of 75.5% places him equal second among Americans with Bobby Fischer and Arthur Dake. An active player from 1965 to his 1984 retirement, Tarjan returned to the game in 2014 with spectacular results. In 2017, he defeated former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik, then ranked number three in the world at 2803 FIDE, en route to a rating performance of 2671, to date the best ever result by an American player aged 65 or older.

Notable Games

Photographer unknown

James Tarjan at the 1975 U.S. Chess Championship and FIDE Zonal


Courtesy of US Chess

Commemorative Envelope from the 1974 Nice, France, Chess Olympiad


Collection of James Tarjan