World chess championship winners list: If you are a chess player, people will often identify you as someone with a brain. Being a chess player is not everyone’s cup of tea. Becoming a World Chess Champion is a rarity. Only 21 players in history have held that title. Of those, seventeen of them are considered the Classical Champions, while the rest, because of the political disparity in the chess world between 1993 and 2006, are called FIDE World Champions. Let’s find out who has sat in the chair of the World Chess Champion to date.
World Chess Championship Winners List
Classical World Champions (1886-present)
Ding Liren (2023-present)
GM Ding is the current reigning champion of the world. He defeated Ian Nepomniachtchi in the World Championship 2023 final, following the announcement by Magnus Carlsen that he would not defend his title in 2023.
Magnus Carlsen (2013–23)
Magnus Carlsen is one of the best, if not the best. He held the title between 2013 and 2023 until he finally decided not to defend it. He is a five-time world champion.
Viswanathan Anand (2007-2013)
India’s Viswanathan Anand is a four-time world champion. He lost his title to Magnus Carlsen.
Vladimir Kramnik (2000–07)
Vladimir Kramnik won the World Championship three times between 2000 and 2007.
How many times has Magnus won world chess championship?
Garry Kasparov (1985-2000)
Between 1985 and 2000, Garry Kasparov won the championship six times. He is considered one of the best in the game.
Anatoly Karpov (1975–85)
Anatoly Karpov has won the game three times in history. He became champion by forfeit.
Bobby Fischer (1972–75)
Bobby Fischer is a well-known name among chess lovers. He had secured 20 back-to-back wins without even a single draw between 1969 and 1972. He became the world champion in 1972.
Boris Spassky (1969–72)
Boris Spassky has a specialty in his championship records. He is the last world champion to use the King’s Gambit. He has become the world champion once.
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Tigran Petrosian (1963–69)
Tigran Petrosian has won it twice, in 1963 and 1966.
Mikhail Tal (1960–61)
Tal was one of the most dynamic players of his time. He was known for his tremendous calculation and risk-taking mentality, which made him the world champion in 1960.
|SL No||Player||Dates||Wins||Years Won|
|1||Wilhelm Steinitz||1886-94||4||1886, 1889, 1890, 1892|
|2||Emanuel Lasker||1894-1921||6||1894, 1896, 1907, 1908, 1910*, 1910|
|3||Jose Raul Capablanca||1921-27||1||1921|
|4||Alexander Alekhine||1927-35, 1937-46||4||1927, 1929, 1934, 1937|
|6||Mikhail Botvinnik||1948-57, 1958-60, 1961-63||5||1948t, 1951*, 1954*, 1958, 1961|
|9||Tigran V. Petrosian||1963-69||2||1963, 1966|
|12||Anatoly Karpov||1975-85||3#||1975d, 1978, 1981, 1984#|
|13||Garry Kasparov||1985-2000||6||1985, 1986, 1987*, 1990, 1993, 1995|
|14||Vladimir Kramnik||2000-07||3||2000, 2004*, 2006**|
|15||Viswanathan Anand||2007-13||4||2007t, 2008, 2010, 2012**|
|16||Magnus Carlsen||2013-2023||5||2013, 2014, 2016**, 2018**, 2021|
Vasily Smyslov (1957–58)
Vasily was one of the toughest players to beat at that time. He became the world champion in 1957.
Mikhail Botvinnik (1948–57, 1958–60, 1961–63)
A dominant name for years as a player and later coaching multiple world champions, including Karpov and Kasparov, Mikhail Botvinnik is the first ever player to become a champion through winning a FIDE tournament. He was crowned champion five times.
Max Euwe (1935–37)
The only Dutch world champion to date, Max Wuwe, was incredible during his time, and he got one world championship (1935) in his pocket.
Alexander Alekhine (1927–35, 1937–46)
Alekhine was one of the best attacking chess players, and he won the championship a mind-boggling four times (1927, 1929, 1934, 1937). He passed away while being the champion in 1946.
Jose Raul Capablanca (1921–1977)
Who are the best endgame players ever? Jose Raul Capablanca would be one of the first names that pops up in your mind. In 1921, he had his dream come true when he became the champion of the world.
Also READ: World Chess Championship winners list
Emanuel Lasker (1894–1921)
Photo: Chess Base
ONE…TWO…THREE…FOUR…FIVE…SIX. That’s how many times Lasker has kissed the world championship. At once, he was the longest-reigning champion in chess history.
Wilhelm Steinitz (1886–94)
The father of positional chess, Steinitz, has become a champion four times in history. His winning years were 1886, 1889, 1890, and 1892.
FIDE World Champions (1993-2006)
GM Veselin Topalov (2005t)
Veselin Topalov won the FIDE World Title once, in 2005.
Rustam Kasimdzhanov (2004t)
Rustam Kesimdzhanov won the FIDE championship in 2004.
Ruslan Ponomariov (2002t)
His only championship win was in 2002–04.
Viswanathan Anand (2000t)
The Indian legend, who is also a multiple-time Classical World Champion, was crowned the FIDE World Champion in 2000.
Also READ: World Chess Championship winners list
Alexander Khalifman (1999t)
Alexander Khalifman won the FIDE World Championship once, in 1999.
Karpov (1993, 1996, 1998)
Karpov is the only player to have won the FIDE World Championship multiple times. His reign was between 1993 and 1998.
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