Garry Kasparov became the youngest man to win the world chess championship when he beat fellow Russian Anatoly Karpov in 1985 at age 22. In 1993, Kasparov and then-#1 challenger Nigel Short of England broke away from the established International Chess Federation (FIDE) to form the Professional Chess Association (the PCA was disbanded in 1998). FIDE retaliated by stripping Kasparov of the world title and arranging a playoff that was won by Karpov, the former title-holder. Karpov successfully defended the FIDE title several times before failing to show up for the 1999 FIDE World Championship Tournament that was won by Alexander Khalifman. Indian Viswanathan Anand won the 2000 FIDE World Championship. The FIDE title holders between 2000 and 2006 include, Ruslan Ponomariov (2002), Rustam Kasimdzhanov (2004), and Veselin Topalov (2005).
In his first title defense in five years, Kasparov faced world #2 Vladimir Kramnik for 16 matches in the unofficial (though more widely recognized) world championship from Oct. 8-Nov. 4, 2000 in London. The 25-year-old Kramnik defeated the longtime world champion 81/2-61/2 in a stunning result. Kasparov failed to win a single game, but despite the loss is still the top-ranked player in the world.
The split between the Classical World Chess Championships and FIDE World Chess Championships ended in 2006 in one FIDE World Chess Championship. The historic match between champions Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov ended with Vladimir Kramnik as the undisputed World Chess Champion.
|1866-94||Wilhelm Steinitz, Austria|
|1894-1921||Emanuel Lasker, Germany|
|1921-27||Jose Capablanca, Cuba|
|1927-35||Alexander Alekhine, France|
|1935-37||Max Euwe, Holland|
|1937-46||Alexander Alekhine, France|
|1948-57||Mikhail Botvinnik, USSR|
|1957-58||Vassily Smyslov, USSR|
|1958-59||Mikhail Botvinnik, USSR|
|1960-61||Mikhail Tal, USSR|
|1961-63||Mikhail Botvinnik, USSR|
|1963-69||Tigran Petrosian, USSR|
|1969-72||Boris Spassky, USSR|
|1972-75||Bobby Fischer, USA*|
|1975-85||Anatoly Karpov, USSR|
|1985-2000||Garry Kasparov, RUS|
|2000–2006||Vladimir Kramnik, RUS|
|2007–2008||Viswanathan Anand , India|