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  • Semyon Alapin (1856 - 1923)
  • Atousa Pourkashiyan
    Atousa Pourkashiyan (Persian: آتوسا پورکاشیان; born 16 May 1988) is an Iranian-American chess player. She holds the title of Woman Grandmaster, which FIDE awarded her in 2009.[1] Pourkashiyan is seve...
  • Praveen Balakrishnan
    Praveen Balakrishnan (born May 21, 2002)[1] is an American chess grandmaster from Centreville, Virginia. He was awarded the title of Grandmaster (GM) by FIDE in 2021, and he is a recipient of the 202...
  • Abhimanyu Mishra
    Abhimanyu Mishra (born February 5, 2009) is an American chess grandmaster. A chess prodigy, he became the youngest player ever to qualify for the grandmaster title on June 30, 2021, at the age of 12 ...
  • Iván Faragó (1946 - 2022)
    Iván Faragó (1 April 1946 – 12 December 2022) was a Hungarian chess grandmaster.[3] He was awarded the grandmaster title in 1976, won the Hungarian championship in 1986 and was an active player for o...

The World Chess Championship is played to determine the World Champion in the board game chess. Men and women of any age are eligible to contest this title.

The official world championship is generally regarded to have begun in 1886, when the two leading players in Europe, William Steinitz and Johann Zukertort, played a match. From 1886 to 1946, the champion set the terms, requiring any challenger to raise a sizable stake and defeat the champion in a match in order to become the new world champion. From 1948 to 1993, the championship was administered by FIDE, the world chess federation. In 1993, the reigning champion (Garry Kasparov) broke away from FIDE, leading to the creation of two rival championships. This situation remained until 2006, when the title was unified at the World Chess Championship 2006.

The current world champion is Viswanathan Anand, who won the World Chess Championship 2007 and successfully defended his title against former world champion Vladimir Kramnik in the World Chess Championship 2008, and again against the challenger Veselin Topalov in the World Chess Championship 2010.

The World Chess Championship 2012 was a chess match between the defending world champion Viswanathan Anand of India and Boris Gelfand of Israel, winner of the 2011 Candidates tournament. The match, held under the auspices of the World Chess Federation FIDE, took place between 10 and 30 May 2012 in the Engineering Building of the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia. The prize fund was US$2.55 million.

Anand was the defending champion, having gained the title in 2007 and defended it in 2008 (against Vladimir Kramnik) and in 2010 (against Veselin Topalov). Boris Gelfand became the challenger in 2012 after winning the eight-player 2011 Candidates Tournament. Anand's subsequent victory, therefore, was his third consecutive title defence.

The match conditions called for twelve games to be played with classical time control. If a player scored at least 6½ points, he would be declared the winner and the match ended. By the end of the twelve games, however, the match was tied at 6 points each, so four rapid games were played in order to produce a result. Anand won the rapid-game playoff with a win in the second game and draws in the other three games.

The World Chess Championship 2013 will be a match between the World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand (winner of the World Chess Championship 2012) and Magnus Carlsen, to determine the 2013 World Chess Champion. It will be held under the auspices of FIDE, the World Chess Federation, from 6 to 26 November 2013.

The challenger was determined in the 2013 Candidates Tournament. For the first time in more than 50 years it was a double round-robin tournament (instead of a knock-out tournament). It took place in the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Savoy Place, London, from 15 March to 1 April 2013.

Below needs tidying

Leading chess masters before 1886

Name Year Country Approx. Age

  • Franci de Castellví
  • Narcís Vinyoles
  • Bernat Fenollar
  • Francesc Vicent ~1475 Crown of Aragon
  • Luis Ramirez de Lucena ~1490 Spain ~25
  • Pedro Damiano ~1520 Portugal ~40
  • Ruy López de Segura 1559–1575 Spain 19–35
  • El Morro ~1560–1575 Portugal
  • Leonardo da Cutro 1575 Naples 33
  • Paolo Boi 1575 Sicily 47
  • Giulio Polerio ~1580 Naples ~32
  • Alessandro Salvio ~1600 Naples ~30
  • Gioachino Greco ~1620–1634 Naples ~20–34
  • Pietro Carrera ~1640 Sicily ~67
  • Alexander Cunningham (in Dutch) ~1700 Scotland ~45
  • Legall de Kermeur ~1730–1745 France ~28–43
  • François-André Danican Philidor 1745–1795 France 19–69
  • Johann Baptist Allgaier ~1795–~1815 Austrian Empire ~32–~52
  • Verdoni ~1795–~1804 Italy, France
  • Jacob Henry Sarratt ~1805–~1815 United Kingdom (England) ~33–~43
  • Alexandre Deschapelles 1815–1821 France 35–41
  • Louis-Charles Mahé de La Bourdonnais 1821–1840 France 26–45
  • Alexander McDonnell 1834[71] United Kingdom (Ireland) 36
  • Pierre Charles Fournier de Saint-Amant 1840–1843 France 40–43
  • Howard Staunton 1843–1851 United Kingdom (England) 33–41
  • Adolf Anderssen 1851–1858 Prussia 33–40
  • Paul Morphy 1858–1862 United States 21–25
  • Adolf Anderssen 1862–1866 Prussia 44–48
  • Wilhelm Steinitz 1866–1878 Austria-Hungary (Bohemia) 30–42
  • Johannes Zukertort 1878–1886 German Empire (Prussia) 36–44

Undisputed world champions 1886–1993

Name Year Country Age

FIDE world champions 1993–2006

Name Year Country Age

  • Anatoly Karpov 1993–1999 Russia 42–48
  • Alexander Khalifman 1999–2000 Russia 33
  • Viswanathan Anand 2000–2002 India 31–33
  • Ruslan Ponomariov 2002–2004 Ukraine 19–21
  • Rustam Kasimdzhanov 2004–2005 Uzbekistan 25
  • Vesselin Topalov 2005–2006 Bulgaria 30'

Classical (PCA/Braingames) world champions 1993–2006

Name Year Country Age

  • Garry Kasparov 1993–2000 Russia 30–37
  • Vladimir Kramnik 2000–2006 Russia 25–31

Undisputed world champions 2006–present

Name Year Country Age

  • 14 Vladimir Kramnik 2006–2007 Russia 31–32
  • 15 Viswanathan Anand 2007–present India 38–

See also:

In addition, there is a separate event for women only, for the title of Women's World Champion, and separate competitions and titles for juniors, seniors and computers. Computers are barred from competing for the open title.