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5 countries that have won the chess world

chess world

By Moharif YuliantoPublished about a month ago 3 min read
5 countries that have won the chess world
Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

The history of the World Chess Championship is a fascinating journey through strategy, intellect, and the evolution of the game itself. While chess has likely been played for centuries, the official World Chess Championship title, as we know it today, began in 1886. Since then, the prestigious title has been held by players from a select group of countries, each leaving their mark on the game's legacy. Here's a closer look at five countries that have produced World Chess Champions:

1. Austria/Hungary/United States - Wilhelm Steinitz (1886-1894)

Wilhelm Steinitz, born in Prague in 1836, was a fascinating figure in chess history. He initially represented Austria and later Hungary, but ultimately spent a significant portion of his life in the United States. Steinitz is widely considered the "father of modern chess." He revolutionized positional play, emphasizing strategic control over material advantage. In 1886, at the age of 50, he defeated Johannes Zukertort in the first official World Chess Championship match, becoming the first official World Chess Champion. Steinitz held the title for eight years, defending it successfully against several challengers.

2. Germany - Emanuel Lasker (1894-1921)

Emanuel Lasker, born in Prussia in 1868, was a brilliant and unorthodox player. He dethroned Steinitz in 1894, ushering in a new era of chess dominated by his aggressive style. Lasker held the title for an incredible 27 years, the longest reign of any World Chess Champion. During his reign, he successfully defended his title against numerous challengers, including some of the strongest players of his time. Lasker was also a prolific writer and philosopher, contributing significantly to chess theory.

3. Cuba - José Raúl Capablanca (1921-1927)

José Raúl Capablanca, born in Havana in 1888, is considered one of the greatest chess prodigies ever. He learned the game at a young age and displayed exceptional talent. Capablanca defeated Lasker in 1921, becoming the first Latin American World Chess Champion. He was renowned for his positional mastery and endgame technique, often winning games with seemingly effortless ease. Capablanca's reign lasted for six years, but he lost the title to Alexander Alekhine in 1927, sparking a fierce rivalry that dominated chess for the next decade.

4. Russia/France - Alexander Alekhine (1927-1935, 1937-1946)

Alexander Alekhine, born in Moscow in 1892, was a complex and controversial figure. He was a brilliant player with a dynamic and aggressive style. Alekhine defeated Capablanca in 1927, regaining the World Chess Championship title for a turbulent period. He lost the title to Max Euwe in 1935 but reclaimed it in a rematch two years later. Alekhine held the title until his death in 1946, making him the only World Chess Champion to die with the title. His legacy is a mix of brilliance and controversy, but his influence on chess strategy remains undeniable.

5. Soviet Union/Russia (multiple champions)

The Soviet Union, and later Russia, has produced a long line of World Chess Champions. This dominance began with Mikhail Botvinnik, who won the first post-World War II championship in 1948. Several other Soviet players, including Vasily Smyslov, Mikhail Tal, Tigran Petrosian, Boris Spassky, and Garry Kasparov, would hold the title throughout the Cold War era. These players represented a diverse range of styles, from the positional mastery of Botvinnik to the tactical brilliance of Tal and Kasparov. The Soviet dominance continued even after the fall of the USSR, with Vladimir Kramnik holding the title from 2000 to 2007.

These five countries represent just a snapshot of the rich history of the World Chess Championship. Other nations, like India with Viswanathan Anand and China with Magnus Carlsen (who currently holds the title), have also emerged as major players in the chess world. As the game continues to evolve, we can expect even more countries to contribute champions and shape the future of chess.

Beyond the Big Five

It's important to acknowledge that the list above focuses on countries with multiple World Chess Champions. However, several other nations have also produced champions who have made significant contributions to the game. Here are a few examples:

Netherlands - Max Euwe (1935-1937): Euwe was a brilliant positional player who famously defeated Alekhine in 1935, becoming the first player to deth


About the Creator

Moharif Yulianto

a freelance writer and thesis preparation in his country, youtube content creator, facebook

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    Moharif YuliantoWritten by Moharif Yulianto

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