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In 1907, frustration over the failure of Siegbert Tarrasch to be granted a shot at the World Championship title held by Emanuel Lasker, led to the creation of a rival "World Tournament Championship", awarded at Ostend, 1907. As a result of next year's Lasker-Tarrasch World Championship Match, this title was quickly forgotten.

Fast forward to 1999. After Garry Kasparov had walked out with the World Title, FIDE, who had administered this title from 1948-1993, attempted to replace him and continue holding their own rival championship title. When this attempt proved less than successful, FIDE abandoned its Match-based, King-of-the-Hill style championship system entirely, and replaced it with a title designed to be re-awarded in regularly held tournaments. The effect was remarkably similar to what was done to the US Title in 1936, with the difference that this time it was not done with the consent of the existing title holder, Anatoly Karpov, who resisted the changeover unsuccessfully.

FIDE's first four World Tournament Championship tournaments were conducted under the same knockout format that had been used for the 1997 Groningen Candidates. With the 2005 event, they moved to a Round Robin format.

NOTE: FIDE itself continues to refer to this title simply as "the World Championship", leading some to confuse it with the World Championship Title instituted by Steinitz in 1886.


Year Winner Country Winning Score Format Site Notes
1907 Siegbert Tarrasch Germany + 8-3= 9 6-Man Quadruple Round Robin Ostend, Belgium -
1999 Alexander Khalifman Russia +12-5=13 7 Round Knockout Las Vegas, Nevada -
2000 Viswanathan Anand India + 8-0=12 7 Round Knockout New Delhi/Tehran -
2001-2 Ruslan Ponomariov Russia +12-1=14 7 Round Knockout Moscow, Russia -
2004 Rustam Kasimdzhanov Uzbekistan +13-3=14 7 Round Knockout Tripoli, Libya -
2005 Veselin Topalov Bulgaria +6-0=8 8-Player Double Round Robin San Luis, Argentina -


  • Rustam Kasimdzhanov was the World's #54 Player when he won the 2004 Championship.

  • Some, critical of the brevity of the Best of 2 matches used in the 7 Round Knockout tournaments have dubbed the format "The FIDE Lottery".

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