• Items per page:

    Wilhelm Steinitz

    • Born: May 17, 1836
    • Died: Aug 12, 1900 (Aged 64)
    The first undisputed World Champion and one of the first players to study rather than simply play chess
    Full profile

    José Raúl Capablanca

    • Born: Nov 19, 1888
    • Died: Mar 8, 1942 (Aged 53)
    The third World Champion and perhaps the greatest natural talent chess has ever known
    Full profile

    Alexander Alekhine

    • Born: Oct 31, 1892
    • Died: Mar 24, 1946 (Aged 53)
    The fourth World Champion was one of the game’s greatest attacking players
    Full profile

    Max Euwe

    • Born: May 20, 1901
    • Died: Nov 26, 1981 (Aged 80)
    Often, perhaps unfairly, considered the one World Champion not to have been a great, or at least dominant, player of his time
    Full profile

    Mikhail Botvinnik

    • Born: Aug 17, 1911
    • Died: May 5, 1995 (Aged 83)
    The "patriarch" of Soviet Chess - he played 7 World Championship matches and held onto the title for almost 15 years
    Full profile

    Vasily Smyslov

    • Born: Mar 24, 1921
    • Died: Mar 27, 2010 (Aged 89)
    Although Smyslov only held onto the World Championship title for a year he outscored Mikhail Botvinnik over the course of their three matches
    Full profile

    Mikhail Tal

    • Born: Nov 9, 1936
    • Died: Jun 27, 1992 (Aged 55)
    The 8th World Champion, nicknamed the "Magician from Riga", overwhelmed opponents with dazzling attacking chess
    Full profile

    Tigran Petrosian

    • Born: Jun 17, 1929
    • Died: Aug 13, 1984 (Aged 55)
    The 9th World Champion, famous for being perhaps the hardest man to beat in world chess
    Full profile

    Bobby Fischer

    • Born: Mar 9, 1943
    • Died: Jan 17, 2008 (Aged 64)
    • Peak Rating: 2785
    Robert James Fischer was a lone genius who took on and defeated the might of the Soviet chess machine, winning the World Championship in 1972
    Full profile

    Viktor Korchnoi

    • Born: Mar 23, 1931
    • Died: Jun 6, 2016 (Aged 85)
    • Peak Rating: 2695
    "Viktor the Terrible" is many people’s choice as the "strongest player never to become World Champion"
    Full profile
Register
or

Create your free account now to get started!

I am aged 16 or older.

By clicking ‘Register’ you agree to our terms and conditions and confirm you have read our privacy policy, including the section on the use of cookies.

Lost your password? We'll send you a link to reset it!

After submitting this form you'll receive an email with the reset password link. If you still can't access your account please contact our customer service.

Which features would you like to enable?

We respect your privacy and data protection guidelines. Some components of our site require cookies or local storage that handles personal information.