Chess has long been considered the best game to measure mental strength and aptitude in its players. Because of that, the game has been played competitively for an extremely long time, and every competition, year after year, has endeavoured to find the best minds in the world. Now, it should be noted that when we say an extremely long time, that is exactly what we mean. People have been competing at chess since Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492. And perhaps even before that!
A History of Champions
As a result, throughout our modern history, there has always been a player that is considered to be the best. You sometimes hear of one player or another being hailed as the best and might have found yourself wondering which player it could be. Chances are high that these players may well have been the best in the world, but they may have held their titles at different times.
The World Chess Championship is probably one of the most widely known and respected chess tournaments, and it is through this competition that many of the world’s best players have been discovered. One organization that has hosted the most World Chess Championships throughout history goes by the acronym FIDE which is a French acronym meaning ‘International Federation of Chess’. The first competition hosted by this organization was held in 1948, and the winner of the first-ever championship competition run by the FIDE was Mikhail Botvinnik.
For many years, the competition continued to grow stronger and more influential but it had some issues when one of its best players ever decided to move away from the organization that hosted the event. Garry Kasparov is considered by many to be one of the best chess players ever due to the amount of time he spent as the reigning champion. His split from the organization created extensive ripples in the chess world that shook the entire foundation and accountability of the processes that was then responsible for deciding the criteria to identify a true champion. Kasparov’s split took place in 1993, and there remained a significant void as to who was then considered to be the best player in the world until such time as the chess world was finally able to unify the players once again in 2006.