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The World Chess Championship

Let's say you're interested in chess, the royal game, the game of kings. With chess databases of millions of games on the market and an extensive literature, where do you start? One excellent place is with the games of the best players. Who are they? They are the players who have fought for the title of World Chess Champion, and these pages chronicle their struggles.

Cycle Zonals O Qualifiers O Candidates O World Championship
2014-16 C27 Baku (2015) Moscow (2016) Carlsen - Karjakin (2016)
Grand Prix (2014-2015)
2012-14 C26 Tromso (2013) Khanty-Mansiysk (2014) Carlsen - Anand (2014)
Grand Prix (2012-2013)
2011-13 C25 Khanty-Mansiysk (2011) London (2013) Carlsen - Anand (2013)
2008-12 C24 Khanty-Mansiysk (2009) Kazan (2011) Anand - Gelfand (2012)
Grand Prix (2008-2009)
2007-10 C23 Khanty-Mansiysk (2007) Matches (2008-09)
incl. title match
Anand - Topalov (2010)
Anand - Kramnik (2008)
2005-07 C22 Khanty-Mansiysk (2005) Elista (2007) Mexico City (2007; Anand 1st)
Kramnik - Topalov (2006; Unification)
Timeframe O Background O Qualifiers
2004-05 Unification?! --- FIDE San Luis (Topalov 1st)
2002-04 C21 Unification!? --- FIDE Tripoli (Kasimdzhanov 1st)
Kramnik, Braingames, Einstein Dortmund Kramnik - Leko
2001-02 C20 O FIDE Moscow (Ponomariov 1st)
2000 C19 O FIDE India/Iran (Anand 1st)
Kasparov & Braingames --- O Kramnik - Kasparov
1998-99 C18 O FIDE Las Vegas (Khalifman 1st)
Kasparov & the WCC --- ---
1997-98 C17 O Groningen ! Karpov - Anand
1996-97 IBM ! (Kasparov - Deep Blue)
Cycle O Interzonal O Candidates
1994-96 FIDE C16 O Biel O Matches ! Karpov - Kamsky
1994-95 PCA O Groningen O Matches ! Kasparov - Anand
1991-93 C15 O Manila O Matches FIDE vs. PCA
! Kasparov - Short
! Karpov - Timman

In the 1990s, the World Champion title became mired in a confusing jumble of personalities, organizations, claims, and counterclaims. The following two pages cover championship events from calmer days.

FIDE events 1948-1990
Pre-FIDE events (before 1948)

The tables on these pages overview the chess events which have determined past and present World Chess Champions. Follow the links to find full crosstables for the events and to download the games in PGN format. Events marked:-
O have an additional link containing highlights from the games of the event.
! have more extensive background information about the event.

Site translation

(Use this as a starting point to browse the entire site in your own language. The dynamic translation is powered by Google. NB: Requires Flash!)

Related topics

I Zonals Index of zonal tournaments.
I Women Women's Championships.
I Roster of players Events indexed by player.
Roster of women Women's events indexed by player.
I Correspondence ICCF Correspondence Championships.
I Other World Champions Junior and Senior Championships.
I Computers Computer Championships.
I Thanks to Links and credits.
I Three star games Best games from World Chess Championship events.
I Careers Tournament, match, and exhibition records.
I Statistics Who was the greatest?
I The great rivalries Classic battles between the great rivals for the world chess title.
I News/Feedback Want to know what's new? Or have a comment? See our blog!
I PGN files Just the games for download, please!
I Positions Just the highlights, please!
I Missing... Can you help? If so, let us know.

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It is a fact that Chess games and Chess positions have a hold upon many, a hold strong enough to make them burst into applause and to cause these games and positions to be preserved in books and to be fondly remembered. - Dr. Emanuel Lasker, Lasker's Manual of Chess

Copyright © 1997-2016 Mark Weeks.