The World Champions of Chess

Before the official World Champions  
Giaochino Greco 1620-34 Italy

Chess existed a long while before Greco came along,
but he was pretty clearly the best chess player of his time and worth knowing about. 

We pick up the story a long while later:  

Adolf Anderssen 1851–58,1862–66 Prussia
Paul Morphy 1858–62 United States
World Champions    
Wilhelm Steinitz 1886–94 Austria-Hungary
Emanuel Lasker 1894–1921 Germany
José Raúl Capablanca 1921–27 Cuba
Alexander Alekhine 1927–35,1937-1948
Max Euwe 1935–37 Netherlands
Mikhail Botvinnik 1948–57, 58–60, 61–63 Soviet Union (Russia)
(David Bronstein Drew match) 1951 Soviet Union (Russia)
Vasily Smyslov 1957–58 Soviet Union (Russia)
Mikhail Tal 1960–61 Soviet Union (Latvia)
Tigran Petrosian 1963–69 Soviet Union (Armenia)
Boris Spassky 1969–72 Soviet Union (Russia)
Robert J. Fischer 1972–75 United States
Anatoly Karpov 1975–85 Soviet Union (Russia)
Garry Kasparov 1985–93*, 1993–2000 Soviet Union (Russia)
Vladimir Kramnik 2000–07 Russia
Viswanathan Anand 2007–13 India
Magnus Carlsen 2013–present Norway
Not World Champions    
Xavery Tartakower  Poland, Austria, France  (The world champion of chess writing)
Judit Polgar  Hungary (The best female player ever)

In 1993*, the World Champion, Garry Kasparov, decided to organise his own match, and so did FIDE, and so there were two World Champions from 1993-2006. 

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