Archive for June 13th, 2011

June 13, 2011

Chess & Chess Champions

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Fischer-Spassky 6

It has been a woefully long time since this jester has had eyes for the chessboard other than an occaisional romp with moja żona. So Stanczyk is ashamed that while reading the New York Times newspaper, I found out that the World Chess Champion is Viswanathan Anand (2007-current). Anand is an Indian Grandmaster and as my math informs me has been World Champion for four years (this September). When the Chess Championship was split, he also held the FIDE Championship in 2000-2002. Now I  admit I was stunned by this !

In Stanczyk’s lifetime the World Chess Champion has always been Russian/Soviet, with a brief respite for American Bobby Fischer (1972-1975). In fact, before Anand & Fischer, the last non-Russian Champion was Max Euwe (Netherlands)  1935-1937. Since 1886 when they began recording a World Chess Champion, there have only been 15 Champions across that 125 years span. So for the last four years, Stanczyk has been oblivious. Indeed, my mind’s eye still was set back in the Gary Kasparov years. So it is like I am awaking from a decade long coma to find out who the new World Chess Champion is.

The World Chess Championship is played every other year. So 2012 is the next match for the World Championship. Oddly, where the World Chess Championship will be played will not be decided until  June 30th 2011. We do know who will be competing for thte title. It will be Anand and Israeli Boris Gelfand. The Chess Clock is ticking … where will the next championship be? What is sure is that 2012 will definitely see yet again, another non-Russian World Chess Champion.

Longest reigning Champion was Emanuel Lasker, at an astounding 28 years.  The complete list of Champions:

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