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.
I. WORLD TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS
|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||-|