World Chess Championship

The World Chess Championship (sometimes abbreviated as WCC) is played to determine the world champion in chess. Since 2014, the schedule has settled on a two-year cycle with a championship held in every even year. Magnus Carlsen has been world champion since he dethroned Viswanathan Anand in 2013. He then went on to successfully defend his title against Anand in 2014, against Sergey Karjakin in 2016 and against Fabiano Caruana in 2018.

The official world championship is generally regarded to have begun in 1886, when the two leading players in Europe and the United States, Johann Zukertort and Wilhelm Steinitz respectively, 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, which led to the creation of the rival PCA championship. The titles were unified at the World Chess Championship 2006.


Click here for the results & games & live shows of the world chess championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Carunana in 2018

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List of World Chess Championships

Year Host country Host city World champion Runner(s)-up Won (+) Lost (−) Draw (=) Format
Unofficial World Chess Championships (1834–1886)
1834
 United Kingdom
London
 Louis de La Bourdonnais
 Alexander McDonnell
45 28 13
1843
 United Kingdom
London
 Pierre Saint-Amant
 Howard Staunton
3 2 1
1843
 France
Paris
 Howard Staunton
 Pierre Saint-Amant
11 6 4
1846
 United Kingdom
London
 Howard Staunton
 Bernhard Horwitz
14 7 3
1858
 France
Paris
 Paul Morphy
Prussia Adolf Anderssen 7 2 2
1866
 United Kingdom
London Austria-Hungary Wilhelm Steinitz Prussia Adolf Anderssen 8 6 0
Official World Chess Championships (1886–1946)
1886
 United States
New York City
Saint Louis
New Orleans
Austria-Hungary Wilhelm Steinitz
 Johannes Zukertort
10 5 5 first-to-10 wins
1889
 Cuba
Havana
 Wilhelm Steinitz
 Mikhail Chigorin
10 6 1 best-of-20 + tiebreak
1891
 United States
New York City
 Wilhelm Steinitz
Austria-Hungary Isidor Gunsberg 6 4 9
1892
 Cuba
Havana
 Wilhelm Steinitz
 Mikhail Chigorin
8+2 8 4+1
1894
 United States and
 Canada
New York City
Philadelphia
Montreal
German Empire Emanuel Lasker
 Wilhelm Steinitz
10 5 4 first-to-10 wins
1897
 Russian Empire
Moscow German Empire Emanuel Lasker
 Wilhelm Steinitz
10 2 5
1907
 United States
New York City
Philadelphia
Washington, D.C.
Baltimore
Chicago
Memphis
German Empire Emanuel Lasker
 Frank Marshall
8 0 7 first-to-8 wins
1908 German Empire German Empire Düsseldorf
Munich
German Empire Emanuel Lasker German Empire Siegbert Tarrasch 8 3 5
1910 Austria-Hungary Austria-Hungary and
German Empire German Empire
Vienna
Berlin
German Empire Emanuel Lasker Austria-Hungary Carl Schlechter 1 1 8 best of 10; disputed whether challenger had to win by 1 or 2 points
1910 German Empire German Empire Berlin German Empire Emanuel Lasker
 Dawid Janowski
8 0 3 first-to-8 wins
1921
 Cuba
Havana
 José Raúl Capablanca
 Emanuel Lasker
4 0 10 best-of-24;[1]Emanuel Lasker resigned after 14 games
1927
 Argentina
Buenos Aires
 Alexander Alekhine
 José Raúl Capablanca
6 3 25 first-to-6 wins
1929
 Germany and
 Netherlands
Wiesbaden
Heidelberg
Berlin
The Hague
 Alexander Alekhine
 Efim Bogoljubov
11 5 9 first-to-6 wins AND 15 points
1934
 Nazi Germany
 Alexander Alekhine
 Efim Bogoljubov
8 3 15
1935
 Netherlands
 Max Euwe
 Alexander Alekhine
9 8 13
1937
 Netherlands
 Alexander Alekhine
 Max Euwe
10 4 11
Interregnum (1946–1948)
Alexander Alekhine died in 1946 as World Chess Champion.
FIDE World Chess Championships (1948–1993)
1948
 Netherlands and
Sovjet Union Soviet Union
The Hague
Moscow
Sovjet Union Mikhail Botvinnik 4 players 14 points out of 20 5-player, 5-cycle round-robin tournament
1951 Sovjet Union Soviet Union Moscow Sovjet Union Mikhail Botvinnik Sovjet Union David Bronstein 5 5 14 best-of-24
1954 Sovjet Union Soviet Union Moscow Sovjet Union Mikhail Botvinnik Sovjet Union Vasily Smyslov 7 7 10
1957 Sovjet Union Soviet Union Moscow Sovjet Union Vasily Smyslov Sovjet Union Mikhail Botvinnik 6 3 13
1958 Sovjet Union Soviet Union Moscow Sovjet Union Mikhail Botvinnik Sovjet Union Vasily Smyslov 7 5 11
1960 Sovjet Union Soviet Union Moscow Sovjet Union Mikhail Tal Sovjet Union Mikhail Botvinnik 6 2 13
1961 Sovjet Union Soviet Union Moscow Sovjet Union Mikhail Botvinnik Sovjet Union Mikhail Tal 10 5 6
1963 Sovjet Union Soviet Union Moscow Sovjet Union Tigran Petrosian Sovjet Union Mikhail Botvinnik 5 2 15
1966 Sovjet Union Soviet Union Moscow Sovjet Union Tigran Petrosian Sovjet Union Boris Spassky 4 3 17
1969 Sovjet Union Soviet Union Moscow Sovjet Union Borris Spassky Sovjet Union Tigran Petrosian 6 4 13
1972
 Iceland
Reykjavík
 Bobby Fischer
Sovjet Union Boris Spassky 7 3 11
1975
 Philippines
Manila Sovjet Union Anatoly Karpov
 Bobby Fischer
by default first-to-10 wins
1978
 Philippines
Baguio Sovjet Union Anatoly Karpov  Viktor Korchnoi 6 5 21 first-to-6 wins
1981
 Italy
Kurhaus
Merano
Sovjet Union Anatoly Karpov
 Viktor Korchnoi
6 2 10
1984 Sovjet Union Soviet Union Moscow Sovjet Union Anatoly Karpov Sovjet Union Garry Kasparov 5 3 40 first-to-6 wins; unfinished match
1985 Sovjet Union Soviet Union Moscow Sovjet Union Garry Kasparov Sovjet Union Anatoly Karpov 5 3 16 best-of-24
1986
 United Kingdom and
Sovjet Union Soviet Union
London
Leningrad
Sovjet Union Garry Kasparov Sovjet Union Anatoly Karpov 5 4 15
1987
 Spain
Seville Sovjet Union Garry Kasparov Sovjet Union Anatoly Karpov 4 4 16
1990
 United States and
 France
New York City
Lyon
Sovjet Union Garry Kasparov Sovjet Union Anatoly Karpov 4 3 17
Classical World Chess Championships (1993–2006)
World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov and challenger Nigel Short split from FIDE, the official world governing body of chess, and played their title match under the auspices of the Professional Chess Association.
1993
 United Kingdom
London
 Garry Kasparov
 Nigel Short
6 1 13 best-of-24
1995
 United States
New York City Garry Kasparov
 Viswanathan Anand
4 1 13 best-of-20
2000
 >United Kingdom
London
 Vladimir Kramnik
 Garry Kasparov
2 0 13 best-of-16
2004
 Switzerland
Brissago
 Vladimir Kramnik
 Peter Leko
2 2 10 best-of-14
FIDE World Chess Championships (1993–2006)
Garry Kasparov was stripped of his FIDE title after he and challenger Nigel Short split from FIDE in 1993.Anatoly Karpov, former champion and the challenger in the 1990 FIDE World Chess Championship match, was announced as incumbent World Champion. Beginning with the FIDE World Chess Championship 1996, FIDE changed its rules and the incumbent World Champion was no longer automatically qualified for the final match.
1993
 Netherlands and
 Indonesia
Zwolle
Arnhem
Amsterdam
Jakarta
 Anatoly Karpov
 Jan Timman
6 2 13 best-of-24
1996
 Russia
Elista
 Anatoly Karpov
 Gata Kamsky
6 3 9 best-of-20
1998
 Netherlands and
 Switzerland
Groningen
Lausanne
 Anatoly Karpov
 Viswanathan Anand
2+2 2 2 single-elimination tournament with finals best-of-6 + tiebreaks
1999
 United States
Las Vegas
 Alexander Khalifman
 Vladimir Akopian
2 1 3
2000
 India and
 Iran
New Delhi
Teheran
 Viswanathan Anand
 Alexei Shirov
3 0 1
2002
 Russia
Moscow
 Ruslan Ponomariov
 Vassily Ivanchuk
2 0 5 single-elimination tournament with finals best-of-8 + tiebreaks
2004
 Libya
Tripoli Rustam Kasimdzhanov
 Michael Adams
2+1 2 2+1 single-elimination tournament with finals best-of-6 + tiebreaks
2005
 Argentina
Potrero de los Funes
San Luis
 Veselin Topalov
7 players 10 points out of 14 8-player double round-robin tournament
World Chess Championships (2006–present)
2006
 Russia
Elista
 Vladimir Kramnik
 Veselin Topalov
3+2 3+1 6+1 best-of-12 + tiebreaks
2007
 Mexico
Mexico City
 Viswanathan Anand
7 players 9 points out of 14 8-player double round-robin tournament
2008
 Germany
Bonn
 Viswanathan Anand
 Vladimir Kramnik
3 1 7 best-of-12 + tiebreaks
2010
 Bulgaria
Sofia
 Viswanathan Anand
 Veselin Topalov
3 2 7
2012
 Russia
Moscow
 Viswanathan Anand
 Boris Gelfand
1+1 1 10+3
2013
 India
Chennai
 Magnus Carlsen
 Viswanathan Anand
3 0 7
2014
 Russia
Sochi
 Magnus Carlsen
 Viswanathan Anand
3 1 7
2016
 United States
New York City
 Magnus Carlsen
 Sergey Karjakin
1+2 1 10+2
2018
 United Kingdom
London
 Magnus Carlsen
 Fabiano Caruana
0+3 0 12

Related matches

Year Host country Host city Winner Runner-up Won (+) Lost (−) Draw (=) Format
Independent World Chess Championships
1928
 Netherlands
The Hague
 Efim Bogoljubov
 Max Euwe
3 2 5 one-time FIDE championship, before the 1948 system
1992 former Yugoslavia Yugoslavia Sveti Stefan and Belgrade
 Bobby Fischer
 Boris Spassky
10 5 15 First to reach 10 wins, draws not counting


Undisputed world champions (1886–1993)

# Name Year Country Age
1 Wilhelm Steinitz 1886–1894 Austria-Hungary Austria-Hungary
 United States
50–58
2 Emanuel Lasker 1894–1921
 Germany
26–52
3 José Raúl Capablanca 1921–1927
 Cuba
33–39
4 Alexander Alekhine 1927–1935
 France
Sovjet Union Soviet Union
35–43
5 Max Euwe 1935–1937
 Netherlands
34–36
(4) Alexander Alekhine 1937–1946
 France
Sovjet Union Soviet Union
45–53
6 Mikhail Botvinnik 1948–1957 Sovjet Union Soviet Union 37–46
7 Vasily Smyslov 1957–1958 Sovjet Union Soviet Union 36
(6) Mikhail Botvinnik 1958–1960 Sovjet Union Soviet Union 47–49
8 Mikhail Tal 1960–1961 Sovjet Union Soviet Union 24
(6) Mikhail Botvinnik 1961–1963 Sovjet Union Soviet Union 50–52
9 Tigran Petrosian 1963–1969 Sovjet Union Soviet Union 34–40
10 Boris Spassky 1969–1972 Sovjet Union Soviet Union 32–35
11 Bobby Fischer 1972–1975
 United States
29–32
12 Anatoly Karpov 1975–1985 Sovjet Union Soviet Union 24–34
13 Garry Kasparov 1985–1993 Sovjet Union Soviet Union
 Russia
22–30

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

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
Veselin Topalov 2005–2006
 Bulgaria
30

Undisputed world champions (2006–present)

# Name Year Country Age
14 Vladimir Kramnik 2006–2007
 Russia
31–32
15 Viswanathan Anand 2007–2013
 India
38–43
16 Magnus Carlsen 2013–until present
 Norway
22–27


World Chess Championship  World Chess Championship  World Chess Championship