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. Awesome video! Although you spelled the narrator’s name incorrectly in the description.

  2. 32:00: False. All of the OTHER players. Botvinnik did not have a plus score against himself.

  3. 32:35: Rensch really trashes Botvinnik here by saying that everyone ELSE (e.g. you and I) did at least as much for the game as MMB. What an idiot.

  4. I thought chess was discovered by US like the question mark.

  5. were those parachutists playing classical or blitz?


  7. Mostly played by people in jail/prison. That includes Grand Masters.

  8. how about the KGB had Korchnoi's son in detention during the match? why don't you mention that? A little more relevant than yogurt. In terms of psychological stress

  9. Do it in spanish, please! 🤞

  10. Napoleon never played chess with his Generals… His Marshals on the other hand…

  11. I like Morphy's games because they are easy to follow but Magnus would crush him 10-0 in a 10 game match and it wouldnt be pretty. But Hans Niemann armed with Stockfish would crush them all!

  12. had to slip in a photo of the demonic entity known as obama, didn't you? @1:07:48

  13. Why can I not add this to my 'watch later' list?12543112.

  14. Magnus is the GOAT so I won't be following the WCC this year. Won't know winner until I find out by accident.

  15. 27:50 Rubbish. By all standards, applied then and now, Euwe was a worthy challenger, and regarded as such by his fellow top chess competitors.

  16. The thing I love about chess is it doesn't involve luck.
    The thing I hate about chess is it doesn't involve luck. A lot of life is based on luck as much as skill.

  17. Well done, been looking for a documentary like this for a while.

  18. This left out its movement to Southeast Asia which is the version of the game i play now

  19. You can’t suffer from insomnia during a match. You’re supposed to be awake

  20. Remember chickens, oxen, bulls, sheep, goats, horses, cayotes, red roaches and stars

  21. Whoever invented chess was one hell of a genius.

  22. Appalled to see this at less than 1M , let alone 200K views.

  23. Finally I could not take the piano play in the background. Got to 25 minutes. No meaning, no brilliant ide, just sound in the background.

  24. Very very very nice documentary 👏👏👏 A pleasure to watch, thanks really a lot 🙏🙏🙏

  25. Denny Rensch parts should be cut out. The Hans issue confirmed that Denny is genuinely sleezy. I am thankful for the fast-forward feature, but I still hear just enough of his voice to make me nauseated.

    The rest of the video is great. (Maybe we can look forward to Hans owning ChessCom one day. But Denny can afford to be in denial right up to the eve of the trial…)

  26. The voice production of the narrator is bad. It's back to Golombek's book for me.

  27. compliments to the folks that produced this video….really well done. About halfway thru and really enjoying it!

  28. Fischer won game 3 as well . He played the benoni .

  29. It should be respected that Paul Morphy was forced out of chess because he was so talented, the world famous players refused to play him. His family tried to encourage him to practice a livelihood other than playing chess, but P. Morphy was so dedicated to the game and traumatized by his rejection, he died of suicide. While a bad omen for the beginning of professional chess, I would think P. Morphy would be astounded at the vast culture that has bloomed in the phenomena of modern world chess, among both people and high tech competition.

  30. i'm 16 years old to watching this nice history

  31. Spassky deserves tons of credit, for putting up with Fischers shit and refusing the KJB telling him to come home and give up and agreeing to Bobbys weird rules.

  32. I can't handle the stress of a normal game anymore. As a Rapid player, I feel much better.

  33. Did he have beads in his Niemann ??? … No cameras sounds a bit beady to me… It all sounds a bit fish(cer)y… 🐟🐠🐟🐠📿

  34. Wow…many things that I've learn from this video. History of chess. Those great players in old time. But for me,. bobby Fischer is the best..! 🤘

  35. Central & South
    cultures were imbued
    by the 1400's
    introduction of millions of slaves
    & hundreds of thousands
    of conquistadors.

    South & Central America
    were made dependent
    by established
    cultural & economic norms
    reliant upon
    European & North American settlers.

    As trade amongst
    international economies
    increased in frequency;
    the contextually neglected
    by mainstream, recorded history
    were utilized
    by secretive organizations
    to prevent
    knowledgable populaces
    from valuing
    one another's prosperity.

    The KU kLUx KLAN maintain gangs
    as their ancestors
    maintained selected slaves;
    while addressing
    problematic circumstances;
    so external pressures
    key aggressors
    within communities & nations
    increase internal pressures
    those who establish
    Democractic sovereignty
    are left

    Consistent international
    cultural & economic dependence
    reliant upon overwhelming leaders
    leads self maintenance
    through codes of silence
    susceptible to predatory,
    secretive organizations
    established throughout colonization.

    prevalent throughout
    that endured slavery
    seems to be a byproduct
    of overwhelmed, disparaged

    🧰🌎gardens on every [urban] sidewalk🌎🧰
    could resolve hunger & unemployment.

  36. The 1990s was when I played the most chess. Friendships fizzled. I joined a club in the early 2000s. Found a new friend there. Enjoyed playing him the most. That friendship ended in the late 2000s. At some point I realised something: it is just a game. There is no rationale to why the pieces move as they do or why the board is 8×8. May well be the least popular comment under a chess video but: why care about chess? My life is better now that I no longer play chess. Easier to meet people as equals.

    Easier to get along with people. People have written and continue to write of the benefits of chess. For some reason the costs of chess are… it is almost as if people think it is inconceivable that playing chess can come with any cost. That.. at the very least.. that is dangerous. One cost is that it embeds an "other people are my enemy" psyche into players. That having a competitive attitude is a goal in and of itself in life. Chess may have benefits but what 'higher purpose' does it serve? Really it is none outside of chess itself. It is an artificial game. It traps the mind rather than liberates it.

    Yes, I did watch this video i.e. all the way through. The human side was kinda interesting, but also annoying e.g. variations in rules, prize money, playing conditions and locations, schisms. If a person wants to be a fanatic and turn a blind eye to all of that then… well okay… that choice is up to each person. I just see it for what it is: artificial and ego based nonsense. I am hardly going to "unsee" that. No, it does not make it more interesting. It makes it less interesting. It also blows away any argument that chess is pure.

    Yeah, anyway, not going to be returning to chess any time soon.

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