World Champions

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Undisputed World Champions
World Champion Games Homepage Country of origin World champ reign
Steinitz, William Games Click Bohemia/ USA 1886-94
Lasker, Emanuel Games Click Germany 1894-1921
Capablanca,Jose Raśl Games Click Cuba 1921-27
Alekhine, Alexander Games Click Russia/France 1927-35; 1937-1946
Euwe, Machgielis (Max) Games Click Holland 1935-37
Botvinnik, Mikhail Games Click USSR 1948-57; 1958-60; 1961-63
Smyslov, Vassily Games Click USSR 1957-58
Tal, Mikhail Games Click USSR 1960-61
Petrosian, Tigran Games Click USSR 1963-69
Spassky, Boris Games Click USSR 1969-72
Fischer, Robert James Games Click USA 1972-75
Karpov, Anatoly Games Click USSR 1975-85
Kasparov, Garry Games Click USSR 1985-1993


FIDE World Champions 1993-2006
Karpov, Anatoly Games Click Russia 1993-1999
Khalifman, Alexander Games Click Russia 1999-2000
Anand, Viswanathan Games Click India 2000-2002
Ponomariov, Ruslan Games Click Ukraine 2002-2004
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam Games Click Uzbekistan 2004-2005
Topalov, Veselin Games Click Bulgaria 2005-2006


FIDE World Champions 2006-present
Kramnik, Vladimir Games Click Russia 2006-2007
Anand, Viswanathan Games Click India 2007-present


PCA "Classical" World champions
The PCA was formed in 1993 by Garry Kasparov and Nigel Short for the marketing and organization of its own chess world championship, as a consequence of the then FIDE President, Florencio Campomanes, ignoring the voting rights of the players. By official regulations, the bids for the World Championship final should have been decided by three parties - FIDE, the World Champion and the Challenger. However Campomanes apparently (according to Wiki Chess Encylopaedia) broke these rules by simply announcing the venue of winning bid as being Manchester. FIDE derived a substantial part of its income from the prize fund of the World Championship.
Kasparov, Garry Games Click Russia 1993-2000
The PCA lost its main sponsor Intel in 1996 and folded soon after. Therefore it was unable to organise a proper "classical" candidates cycle. Kasparov hand-picked his challenger Kramnik in 2000, and played the match under the auspices of Braingames which now also appears to have folded
Kramnik, Vladimir Games Click Russia 2000-2006



Women World Champions
Note: Unlike many other sports, Women are able to compete against men in chess, and so some women do not compete for the women's world championship title. For example Judit Polgar has never competed for the Women's World championship title. But her sister Susan Polgar, who is objectively weaker than her taking a 20 year rating period into account, has competed in this.
Menchik, Vera Games Click Britain 1927-1944
Rudenko, Ludmilla Games Click USSR 1950-1953
Bikova, Elisabeth Games Click USSR 1953-1956;1958-1962
Rubtsova, Olga Games Click USSR 1956-58
Gaprindashvili, Nona Games Click USSR 1962-78
Chiburdanidze, Maia Games Click USSR 1978-1991
Xie, Jun Games Click China 1991-1996; 1999-2000
Polgar,Zsuzsa Games Click Hungary 1996-1999
Zhu,Chen Games Click China 2001-2004
Stefanova, Antoaneta Games Click Bulgaria 2004-2006
Xu,Yuhua Games Click China 2006-present
Correspondence Chess World Champions
Australia Cecil John Seddon Purdy(1950-53)
Soviet Union Viacheslav Ragozin (1956-59)
Belgium Alberic O'Kelly de Galway (1959-62)
Soviet Union Vladimir Zagorovsky (1962-65)
United States Hans Berliner (1965-68)
Germany Horst Rittner (1968-71)
Soviet Union Yakov Estrin (1972-76)
Denmark Jorn Sloth (1975-80)
Soviet Union Tonu oim (1977-83)
United States Victor Palciauskas (1978-84)
East Germany Fritz Baumbach (1983-89)
Soviet Union Grigory Sanakoev (1984-91)
Soviet Union Mikhail Umansky (1989-98)
Estonia Tonu oim (1994-2000)
Netherlands Gert Jan Timmerman (1996-2002)
Turkey Tunc Hamarat (1999-2004)
Norway Ivar Bern (2002-07)
Netherlands Joop van Oosterom (2003-05)
France Christophe Leotard (2004-07)
Finland Pertti Lehikoinen (2004-11)
Netherlands Joop van Oosterom (2005-08)
Russia Aleksandr Surenovich Dronov (2007-10)
Germany Ulrich Stephan (2007-10)
Slovenia Marjan Semrl (2009-11)
Italy Fabio Finocchiaro (2009-13)
Netherlands Ron Langeveld (2010-14)
Russia Aleksandr Surenovich Dronov (2011-14)