Development of The World Chess Championship

Development Of The World Chess Championship

The concept of a world chess champion started to emerge in the first half of the 19th century, and the phrase "world champion" appeared in 1845. From this time onwards various players were acclaimed as world champions, but the first contest that was defined in advance as being for the world championship was the match between Steinitz and Zukertort in 1886. Until 1948 world championship contents were matches arranged privately between the players. As a result the players also had to arrange the funding, in the form of stakes provided by enthusiasts who wished to bet on one of the players. In the early 20th century this was sometimes a barrier that prevent or delayed challenges for the title.

Between 1888 and 1948 various difficulties that arose in match negotiations led players to try to define agreed rules for matches, including the frequency of matches, how much or how little say the champion had in the conditions for a title match and what the stakes and division of the purse should be. However, these attempts were unsuccessful in practise, as the same issues continued to delay or prevent challenges.

The first attempt by an external organization to manage the world championship was in 1887–1889, but this experiment was not repeated. A system for managing regular contests for the title went into operation in 1948, under the control of FIDE, and functioned quite smoothly until 1993. However, in that year reigning champion Kasparov and challenger Short were so dissatisfied with FIDE's arrangements for their match that they set up a break-away organization. The split in the world championship continued until 2006.

Read more about Development Of The World Chess ChampionshipFinancing of Championship Contests, Early Uses of "World Champion", The Reign of Wilhelm Steinitz, The Lasker Controversies, Capablanca's Attempts To Produce Agreed Rules, FIDE, Euwe and AVRO, Birth of FIDE's World Championship Cycle, Split Title 1993–2005, FIDE System Since 2006

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