world champions

The first officially recognized world Chess championship was held in 1886, when Wilhelm Steinitz beat Johannes Zukertort in a match held in the USA. The outstanding players before this date are well known, but there were no official champions. Each champion has their own particular brand of play - be it aggressive, attacking, tactical or strategic - which is just as personal as their signature.  --Chesmayne

world champions page 1     1 | 2 | 3     World Champions page 3

spassky pic

Boris Vasilievich Spassky
10th World Champion *
1969 - 1972

In 1969, Boris Spassky defeats Tigran Petrosian by a 12 - 10 score.  A child prodigy, Spassky became an International Master at the age of 16 and in 1955, at age 18, he became an International Grandmaster. He was born in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg).

fischer pic

Robert James Fischer
11th World Champion *
1972 - 1975

Bobby Fischer ended the Russian domination of the World Championship. He defeated Boris Spassky in 1972 in Reykjavik, Iceland by a score of 12 to 8 and becoming the first American to win the title. He was born in Chicago, Illinois on March 9, 1943.

karpov pic

Anatoly Yevgenyevich Karpov
12th World Champion *
1975 - 1985  |  1993 - 1999

In 1975, Anatoly Karpov won the World Championship by default when Bobby Fischer refused to agree to the terms for a match.  His series of matches against Garry Kasparov set a record for the most games by two opponents. He was born in the former Soviet Union.

kasparov pic

Garry Kimovich Kasparov
13th World Champion *
1985 - 1993

In 1985, Garry Kasparov defeats Anatoly Karpov for the title by a 13-11 score. He defeats Karpov again in three more attempts for the title in 1986, 1987, and 1990.  In 1993, he splits with FIDE to form PCA.  Kasparov was stripped of the FIDE title in that year.

khalifman pic

Alexander Valeryevich Khalifman
14th World Champion *
1999 - 2000

Russian Grandmaster Alexander Khalifman won the FIDE World Championship in 1999. He defeated 8 players in a knockout event held at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada from July 31 to August 29. He was born in Leningrad, in the former Soviet Union.

anand pic

Viswanathan Anand
15th World Champion *
2000 - 2001

Viswanathan Anand won the FIDE World Chess Title on Christmas Eve 2000, in a match held in Teheran, Iran and New Delhi, India. He beat Alexei Shirov in the final game by a score of 3.5 - .5. He was born in Mayiladuthurai, a small town in Tamil Nadu, India.

ponomariov pic

Ruslan Olegovich Ponomariov
16th World Champion *
2002 - 2004

Ruslan Ponomariov became the youngest Chess Grandmaster in history. At the age of 18, (born Oct. 11, 1983) he won the World Chess Championship by beating Vasilly Ivanchuk in Moscow by 4 1/2 - 2 1/2. He was born in Horlivka, Ukraine, Soviet Union.


Rustam Kasimdzhanov
17th World Champion *
2004 - 2005

Rustam Kasimdzhanov GM won the FIDE title in 2004 beating a string of world-class players like Almsi, Ivanchuk, Grischuk, Topalov and Adams. This match was held in Tripoli, Libya. He was born in Tashkent, in the former Soviet Union on Dec. 5, 1979.

veselinl pic

Veselin B. Topalov
18th World Champion *
2005 - 2006

Veselin Topalov finished undefeated with 10 points on this match held in San Luis, Argentina with 1.5 points ahead of the runner-up GM Viswanathan Anand.  Topalov's performance rating was 2890. He was born on March 15, 1975 in Rousse, Bulgaria.

kramnik pic

Vladimir B. Kramnik
19th World Champion *
2006 - 2007

Vladimir Kramnik defeats GM Veselin Topalov in a twelve game match held in Elista, the Capital of Kalmykia southern Russia. After four extra rapid tie break games, Kramnik wins with a final 9-8 score. He was born on June 25, 1975 in Tuapse, USSR.

world champions page 1     1 | 2 | 3     World Champions page 3

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