World chess champions

Top 5 World Chess Champions

Chess history has a lot of legendary players who enrapture and inspire with their art. Oftentimes, we compare ourselves with great players from the past and contemporary masters. This article contains the greatest examples of the World Chess Champions.

Overall, there are 16 world chess champions, if we talk about the classical line. However, there are 6 more people who have had this title, as the FIDE states. Here we present the top 5 most eminent world chess champions. Obviously, it’s not an easy task to choose the strongest ones. Everyone is great in their own way. Nevertheless, we will try to mention the main colossi of chess. 

№5 José Raúl Capablanca

World chess champions
José Raúl Capablanca

The first person that comes to mind when thinking about talent is this Cuban grandmaster. He was born in Havana on the 19th of November, 1988. Young Capa had never been taught by anyone. While at the age of 4 he already explained to his father how to play! He became the champion of Cuba at 12 without ever reading professional literature. The child didn’t know any openings either.

After that, a series of successful events followed. Capablanca became the champion of the USA. Then he won his first super tournament in San Sebastián. Later, he placed second in the Saint Petersburg tournament (1914). And it became obvious he would be a challenger in a battle with Champion Lasker. 

But the First World War changed the plans. The game occurred in 1921 in Havana which was a perfect place for José Raúl. In fact, there wasn’t a big battle. Emanuel gave up after the 4rth loss in the 14th game. Thus, Capablanca became the third champion in chess history.

The uniqueness of this person is about the following fact. He didn’t lose a single game during the period from 1916 to 1924. And there were just 34 losses during his whole career! 

The first player who managed to fundraise the necessary ten thousand dollars was Alekhine. Unlike Capa, he went through a full-scale half-year preparation for the game. So the first one forfeited his title.

Of course, José Raúl was eager to “restore justice”. However, he couldn’t collect the necessary sum of 10,000$ that he set himself. Further, there was one more victory in one of the strongest tournaments: Nottingham, 1936. 

He was gone in 1962 in New York. Capablanca went down in history as the most genius chess player. His intuition and positional sense were incredible. He was truly kissed by god. 

№4 Anatoly Karpov

World chess champions
Anatoly Karpov

Legendary Anatoly Yevgenyevich was born on the 23d of May 1951 in the Chelyabinsk region. He is the 12th World Champion in chess. 

At the age of 15, the guy became an International Master. Starting from 1971, he began to familiarize himself with the elite. A series of qualifying matches in 1974 was a real game changer in Karpov’s career. He consecutively won against Polugaevsky and Spassky. That brought Anatoly to the final where Korchnoi waited for him. The fierce battle turned out to be a success for the young player. The final scores: 3-2 in Karpov’s favor after 24 games.

Fischer refused the title, so the chess world met a new champion! Karpov quickly proved his success wasn’t random by winning one game after another. 

Further, he won two other competitions against Korchnoi and confirmed his title. It happened in 1978 and 1981. 

The main battles in chess history are the ones involving Karpov’s rivalry with Kasparov. Two of those games resulted in a draw, and Garry won three of them. 

Karpov was a champion for 10 years: from 1975 to 1985. However, after that, he also had some success. In 1993, Anatoly became the World Champion (following the FIDE version). It was due to the victory over Jan Timman. Three years later, he managed to confirm the title playing against Kamsky. In 1998, he defeated Vishy Anand. In 1999, he refused to participate in a knock-out tournament and lost his crown. 

Karpov had an amazing positional understanding of the game. It was extremely hard to win against him since he could save any position! After gaining a minor advantage, he would accurately lead the games to their logical ending.

№3 Robert Fischer

World Chess Champions
Robert Fischer

The chess game has never ever had such a bright, eccentric, and unforgettable player! Fischer was born on the 9th of May, 1943. He became the 11th World Champion. At the age of 15, Bobby was the youngest grandmaster. He entered the big game abruptly as his gigantic talent dictated. 

The most impressive achievement was the player’s triumph at the Interzonal in 1970. He won 7 times at the final stage. Then, he consecutively defeated Taimanov and Larsen at the Candidate Matches scoring 6:0. Petrosian also lost with scores of 6.5 to 2.5. 

The final match against Spassky was, obviously, full of scandals. For example, Fisher didn’t appear in the second game. Technically, it was considered a loss. However, it didn’t prevent Bobby from removing this disadvantage and overcoming Spassky by 4 points. So the world met a new champion!

Three years later, he forfeited the title after refusing to play with Karpov. And only in 1992, Fisher won a rematch against Spassky.

The player died in Reykjavik (2008), the place of his chess triumph in 1972. In terms of the game, he was fantastically hardworking and universal.

№2 Magnus Carlsen

World Chess Champions
Magnus Carlsen

He was born in Norwegia on the 30th of November, 1990. Nowadays, it’s the current World Champion. The boy discovered chess at the age of 5. But he got really interested in the game when he was 8. Once Magnus turned 13, he managed to become a grandmaster. 

In 2009, Magnus won the Nanjing tournament with a rating performance of more than 3000. The same year, he crossed 2800 points for the first time. Carlsen was the one who achieved the highest rating in chess history: 2882 points.

2013 was the first time he was announced the World Champion after confidently defeating Anand. The same happened with Anand again, Karjakin. Later, Caruana and Nepomniachtchi followed their path.

Magnus won dozens of classical tournaments. But he is a universal player. Carlsen’s a four-time World Champion in a particular style of chess called rapid. Also, he won this title five times in blitz chess.

In every tournament, the player considers first place as the only option that exists. Any other result is a loss. No doubt, he can be called number one. But there was a chess player who reigned longer than Magnus.

№1 Garry Kasparov

World Chess Champions
Garry Kasparov

He was born on the 13th of April, 1963. This person is known as the 13th World Champion! When he was 5, Garry learned chess which was highly respected in the Soviet Union. He showed great results since childhood. At the age of 15, he showed a master’s standard in the Sokolsky Memorial. Before that, the player became the Champion of the Soviet Union among adolescents. 

The first international tournament occurred in Banja Luka (1979), and it was another triumph. The young man won by gaining 11.5 points out of 15. By the age of 19, Garry was already considered a candidate for the main title. 

The battle against Karpov in 1984 was not very successful. However, Kasparov finally managed to change the situation. By the 49th game, the scores were 5:3 in Karpov’s favor. But the battle was interrupted. In 1985, the world saw another Kasparov. He was able to hold the initiative from the very first game. As a result, he became the youngest of all World Chess Champions in history! 

The rematch in 1986 was also won by Harry. He had a significant advantage over his competitor. In 1987, he attained victory in the final 24th game and, thus, confirmed his title. 3 years later, there wasn’t any intrigue in a battle between two “K”s. Kasparov won easily. 

In 1993, he established an alternative to FIDE that was called the PCA. Later on, he defended his title playing against Short and Anand. It was in 2000 when he lost the game with Kramnik. However, until the very retirement, he had held first place at the international table. He shared the crown with Topalov in his last tournament in Linares.

Kasparov dominated chess for over 20 years. By winning dozens of tournaments, he became a historical figure and one of the best World Chess Champions!

24 Comments

  1. whats a jawn???
    My Version:
    1. Carlsen
    2.Fischer
    3. Kasparov
    4.Tal
    5.Anand

  2. Nick, you really think garry stronger than magnus? In their peak? Are y serious??) Y just ussr fan really!))

  3. Garry was carlsen coach! If he wasnt, magnus wont win anand and stay champion

  4. Dont argue boys, i teach pupils by Capablanka games, he is classic legend

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