The History Of Chess: The World Chess Championship

Learn about the champions who have defined the game such as Paul Morphy, Bobby Fischer, Garry Kasparov, and Magnus Carlsen from some of the game’s greatest players and commentators, including Viswanathan Anand, Bruce Pandolfini, Ben Finegold, and Danny Rensch.

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Executive Producer:
Dean J. Andrews

Michael Pennywark

Dean J. Andrews

Jonathan Corblah

Alexandra Kostenyuk (Women’s World Chess Champion 2008-2010)
Andrey Terekhov Ph.D. (FIDE Master)
Ben Finegold (Grandmaster)
Bruce Pandolfini (USCF National Master)
Danny Rensch (International Master)
Dejan Bojkov (Grandmaster)
Jonathan Tisdall (Grandmaster)
Nigel Short (Grandmaster)
Paul van der Sterren (Dutch Chess Champion 1985 & 1993)
Viswanathan Anand (Five Time World Chess Champion)

Editing & Post Production:
Ironik Design & Post
Michael Pennywark

Special Thanks:
Getty Images
Peter Doggers
Sam Copeland
Yury Solomatin
Emily Cole

*26:25 Bogoljubov first defeated Lasker in a tournament game in 1934 (Zurich) and never won a game vs Capablanca. He did however finish ahead of Capablanca and Lasker in Moscow in 1924, and ahead of Capablanca again in Bad Kissingen in 1928.

00:00 Origins of Chess
05:15 The First World Chess Championship
09:39 The Lasker Reign
20:01 Viva Cuba
24:02 The Alekhine Era
27:28 Pre-War Tensions
29:40 Enter FIDE
32:15 Soviet Dominance Part 1
42:22 Soviet Dominance Part 2
44:00 Finding Bobby Fischer
50:36 Chess Moves Off the Table
52:39 Kasparov v. Karpov
56:53 The Split Titles
01:00:56 The Anand Reign
01:08:55 The Magnus Era

#chess #historyofchess #chesshistory


  1. Even if you don't play the game you gotta admit this documentary was extremely well done, between the music and interviews, let alone historical accuracy and attention to important details

  2. I played on RedHotPawn back In the day…I was always Drunk when I played…

    …Won more than I lost Boys and Germs…

  3. What the heck does Magnus do at 1:09:08? Seems to remove two pieces from the board – one of each colour – and then move a pawn?

  4. how the fuck are you not gonna mention fischers insane racism and bigotry???

  5. Didn't really cover Magnus vs Nepo. Game 6 was the longest ever. Should have got a mention.

  6. It's weird how Indians (Bharatiya) invented chess and then almost forgot it……but Mr. Vishy Anand revived it and made it popular again:)

  7. It's not that deep bro. Don't make chess into a national geographic documentary. ITS NOT THAT DEEP BRO 1:05

  8. Congratulations to the producers, an excellent documentary.

  9. 26:20 Bogolyubov was born in my village 100km south of Kyiv. Like with many artists (think Malevich etc.), the fact that he's famous as a Russian player is cultural appropriation.

  10. In1894 2000 bucks must defenitely been sizable. Must Aljechine's shortened life be read as 'Euwe didn't just look like a liver and kidney Docters but was one?' i.e. was it know then he d not be old..or did stuff develop later? As we speak Tata Steel challengers Erwin L'Ami really looks like what a General Practitioner is supposed to look like. Being a follower of Denmarks 'any well paid job must be women's asap,andmen must be happy if we let em live' in the Netherlands this is .. being a dissident..His wife could be a nurse btw. Wanna visual Alina L'Ami my name can be read backwards too, c'est cool quoi?
    Don t tell anyone, its EU all data is secret especially economic but hospitals are in trouble, and GPs ar intentionally the residual budget crumbs thing..what use is a without hospitals? Well 20% is techn. Bancrupt.Petrosian has a flat building sized grave, and he is on a banc note. To be famous in small shithole countries is underrated, and fame in usa or West europe over~ my conclusion is. What s on EU bancnites, well its the some place,somwhere..The note is blueish grey looks..un inspired..first/foremost hey Nigel wazzup.

  11. Amazing documentary, very well-made!! Would love to see more in future!!!

  12. i beleivehe was there at that diner with the president for some show off reason , look he on our side, that the power of chess

  13. as a Mikhail Tal Fan its so sad that he was not included on the final slideshow of chess world champions 🙁 I mean he held it once too.

  14. Amusingly, right at the end, 1:14:32 – they show a shot of kids playing – "chess inspiring future generations for years to come" – you realise those kids are using those chess pieces to play draughts (checkers), right? Not chess.

  15. the fact that this doesn't have even 1 million is ludicrous. Best documentary ever

  16. "Chess is a reflection of us." You call'n me a Pawn, buddy?

  17. Where are the women? When are we going to see a woman playing for the world championship? Or is it that FIDE segregates women in this game?

  18. Magnus Carlsen is the best ever , based on the computer setups and machines we have today where many are topp class players , and still be able to win all 3 World Championship is much harder to day then before when they dident have computers, Close is Boby Fisher and Kasparov, still nr 1 is Magnus Carlsen

  19. I was supposed to play GM Korchnoi in 1978 after I had defeated GM Gligoric in 1975( at age 14) Unfortunately, Korchnoi 's detection made it impossible.

  20. Anand managed to end 80 years of supremacy of the Soviet Union chess school from Alexander Alekhine 1927-vladimir kramnik 2007

  21. Poor americans! They Always think there Is a goat, Always a "best of"… They come to Venice and ask for "the best ICE cream in Venice", they dont even know that taste exists, that Life Is complex and variable, and not everything can come down to some silly numbers.
    But even of we indulge in this childish stuff, how can someone Say that carlsen Is the goat?!? Did these fella see Fischer or Kasparov? Do they know some Paul morphy lived in the 19th century, and everywhere he went he took that country's chess elite by storm? And also we must agree that ex. Kasparov definitely changed the way we play, so chess did a 20years lap forward Just because he arrived on the scenes, extremely young…

  22. Probably the most controversial championship was the first Karpov vs Korchnoi match in 1978. But for some reason the blockhead who made this video did not think where it was held was worth mentioning. But did so to their forgettable second match in 1981. Well, the 1978 match was held in Baguio City up in the cold mountains of northern Philippines. There's a nice movie released in 2019 about that very dramatic match. Early in 2023, Karpov made a sentimental visit to the Philippines to celebrate the 45th anniversary of that historic match.

    In that match, when Korchnoi was catching up, having psychics of his own, Karpov took a time out and traveled down to Manila to watch the world basketball championship match between the USSR and Yugoslavia. The latter won that. Had Karpov lose the final game of his own match too, the Soviet Union would have lost 2 world championships in the Philippines at that time.

  23. Martin can seem incredibly obnoxious and full of himself. I wish not,since he's a capable actor and comedian, but it's hard to enjoy watching him even ehre!

  24. In the beginning of the vid, the narration states that "chess is a reflection of us."
    I agree with that, because it is a thinking game, and only humans can "think". It is our nature to think, but it is not solidly automatic. Thinking can be sabotaged, and is.
    Have you talked with a recent college graduate lately? It is on purpose, and it is disgusting.

  25. Would chess ever have existed if mankind was never a bunch of primitive tribal warfare groups before the age of reason that spurred individualism, civility, free enterprise and the founding of the USA? I say, if the world always had the philosophies that created the USA, chess would never exist. How could it.

  26. 45 min. The gentleman talking about Spasky and Fischer. "People made it ideological, but it was JUST a match between the 2 best chess players in the world."
    Of course it was a match between the 2 best players in the world, it always is. This was ideological, (Russia even touted it.), and I know what ideology would like to forget that,——————————-sir comrade.

  27. I enjoyed the history of the world championships. Thank you.

  28. i now know that the real GOAT of chess is none other than EMMANUEL LASKER.. guy is a legit chess terminator.. beating opponents winless twice .. 💪💪

  29. one of the best chess docs i could find not enough long form videos on chess history

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