Chess in History

Events in Sport

  • 1857-10-06 First American Chess Congress hosted by the American Chess Association
  • 1858-06-21 Louisiana chess prodigy Paul Morphy arrives in Europe
  • 1859-02-26 Paul Morphy's chess match vs Augustus Mongredien begins; Morphy wins
  • 1859-04-30 Paul Morphy returns from 10-month chess tour of Europe, retires
  • 1894-05-26 German Emanuel Lasker becomes undisputed World Chess Champion by beating Austrian-American defending titleholder Wilhelm Steinitz, 10-5 (4 draws) in Montreal, Canada
  • 1927-03-24 Cuban chess champion Jose Capablanca wins 33-day Grand Chess Tournie
  • 1935-12-15 In a major upset, Dutch grand master Max Euwe becomes world chess champion beating Russian Alexander Alekhine (9 wins, 13 draws, 8 losses) in Zandvoort, Netherlands
  • 1937-12-07 Russian chess player Alexander Alekhine recaptures his final world title from Dutch grand master Max Euwe by a large margin (+10−4=11)
  • 1945-09-04 American chess grandmaster Reuben Fine wins 4 simultaneous rapid (10 seconds per move) games blindfolded in New York City
  • 1948-05-16 First chess world championship since WWII; Russian player Mikhail Botvinnik wins a 5-player tournament to begin 20-year Russian domination
  • 1958-05-09 Russian Mikhail Botvinnik recaptures world chess championship
  • 1960-05-07 Michael Tal beats Mikhail Botvinnik 12½-8½ for world chess championship
  • 1961-05-12 Russian Mikhail Botvinnik wins world chess championship for 3rd time
  • 1970-08-07 First all-computer chess championship is conducted in New York and won by CHESS 3.0 (CDC 6400), a program written by Slate, Atkin & Gorlen at Northwestern University

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1972-09-01 American chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer beats Russian champion Boris Spassky 12.5-8.5 in Reykjavik, Iceland; most publicised world title match ever played; Fischer 1st American to win title

Chess Champion Bobby Fischer
Chess Champion
Bobby Fischer
  • 1975-04-03 Bobby Fischer stripped of world chess title for refusing to defend it

  • 1977-04-23 Czech chess master Vlastimil Hort plays 201 games simultaneously & only loses 10
  • 1981-11-20 Russian Anatoly Karpov retains world chess championship

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1985-02-15 World chess championship match abandoned-Karpov 25, Kasparov 23

Chess Grandmaster and Political Activist Garry Kasparov
Chess Grandmaster and Political Activist
Garry Kasparov

World RecordGarry Kasparov Becomes World Chess Champion

1985-11-09 Garry Kasparov becomes the youngest ever world chess champion (22), with a 13-11 win over fellow Russian Anatoly Karpov
Learn More >>

Garry Kasparov vs. Anatoly Karpov in Moscow on November 9, 1985
Garry Kasparov vs. Anatoly Karpov in Moscow on November 9, 1985
  • 1988-11-25 US & Soviet chess grand masters Donaldson & Akhmilovskaya wed
  • 1990-12-26 Garry Kasparov beats Antatoly Karpov to retain chess championship
  • 1992-11-05 "Revenge Match of the 20th century" American chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer defeats Russian Boris Spassky to win an unofficial match in Belgrade
  • 1993-10-21 Gary Kasparov defeats Nigel Short for chess championship
  • 1994-01-30 Péter Lékó becomes the youngest chess grand master.
  • 1994-08-31 Pentium computer beats world chess champ Garry Kasparov
  • 1996-02-10 IBM computer Deep Blue becomes the first computer to win a game of chess against a reigning (human) chess champion, Gary Kasparov
  • 1996-02-17 Garry Kasparov defeats Deep Blue 4-2 in chess
  • 1997-05-03 Garry Kasparov begins chess match with IBM supercomputer Deep Blue
  • 1997-05-11 Deep Blue defeats Garry Kasparov 3.5-2.5 in chess
  • 1998-01-09 Anatoly Karpov defeats Viswanathan Anand to retain chess title
  • 2012-05-30 Vishwanathan Anand wins his fifth World Chess Championship
  • 2012-09-09 Armenia wins the 40th FIDE Chess Olympiad
  • 2012-12-01 Ukranian Anna Ushenina beats Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria, 3½-2½ in 2 rapid tie breaks to win the World Women's Chess Championship in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia
  • 2013-01-01 Magnus Carlsen breaks Garry Kasparov's chess FIDE rating, reaching 2,861
  • 2013-01-27 Magnus Carlsen wins the 2013 Tata Steel Chess Tournament
  • 2013-11-22 Norwegian, Magnus Carlsen defeats Viswanathan Anand to win the 2013 World Chess Championship
  • 2014-11-23 Magnus Carlsen defends his World Chess Championship title after defeating Vishy Anand
  • 2018-06-23 Indian chess prodigy Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa becomes the second-youngest grandmaster at 12 years, 10 months, 13 days

Birthdays in Sport

  • 1726-09-07 François-André Danican Philidor, French composer and chess champion, born in Dreux, France (d. 1795)

Person of interestPeter Mark Roget

1779-01-18 Peter Mark Roget, British lexicographer (Roget's Thesaurus) and inventor (slide rule, pocket chessboard), born in London (d. 1869)

Lexicographer and Inventor Peter Mark Roget
Lexicographer and Inventor
Peter Mark Roget
  • 1794-02-12 Alexander Petrov, Russian chess player (d. 1867)
  • 1818-07-06 Adolf Anderssen, German world chess champion (1851-66), born in Kingdom of Prussia (d. 1879)
  • 1833-02-05 John Watkinson, founder of British Chess Magazine (oldest chess mag)
  • 1833-11-14 Antonius von der Linde, Neth/German librarian/chess player
  • 1836-05-17 Wilhelm Steinitz, Austrian world chess champion (1866-94), born in Prague, Bohemia, Austrian Empire (d. 1900)
  • 1837-06-22 Paul Morphy, greatest chess player of all time (1857-61), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 1842-09-07 Johannes Zukertort, German chess player, born in Lublin, Russian Empire (d. 1888)
  • 1845-02-14 Cecil De Vere, 1st official British chess champion (1866), born in London (d. 1875)
  • 1850-11-12 Mikhail Chigorin, Russian chess player (d. 1908)
  • 1856-11-07 Semyon Alapin, Russian chess master, born in St. Petersburg, Russian Empire (d. 1923)
  • 1862-03-05 Siegbert Tarrasch, German chess player (d. 1934)
  • 1866-03-14 Alexey Troitsky, Russian chess problemist, born in St. Petersburg, Russia (d. 1942)
  • 1868-12-24 Emanuel Lasker, German world chess champion (1894-21), born in Barlinek, Poland (d. 1941)
  • 1872-12-05 Harry Nelson Pillsbury, American chess player, born in Somerville, Massachusetts (d. 1906)
  • 1877-08-10 Frank Marshall, American chess player (d. 1944)
  • 1881-02-21 Savilly Tartakower, Austrian/Polish/French chess player
  • 1882-12-12 Akiba Rubinstein, Polish chess player (openings theorist), born in Stawiski, Poland (d. 1961)
  • 1883-12-26 Carl Oscar Ahues, German International Chess Master (1950)
  • 1885-06-22 Milan Vidmar, Slovenian engineer and chess player (d. 1962)
  • 1886-11-07 Aron Nimzowitsch, Latvian chess player (openings theorist), born in Riga, Russian Empire (d. 1935)
  • 1887-02-21 Savielly [Xavier] G Tartakower, Austrian/Polish/French chess player
  • 1888-11-19 José Raúl Capablanca, Cuban world chess champion (1921-27), born in Havana, Cuba (d. 1942)
  • 1889-04-14 Efim Bogoljubov, Russian-German chess player, born in Stanislavchyk, Tarashcha Uyezd, Kiev Governorate, Russian Empire (d. 1952)
  • 1889-07-29 Lajos Asztalos, Hungarian chess player (International Chess Master 1950), born in Pécs, Hungary (d. 1956)
  • 1892-11-01 Alexander Alekhine, Russian, French chess player (world champion 1927-35, 37-46), born in Moscow, Russia (d. 1946)
  • 1896-09-16 André Chéron, French chess and bridge theorist (d. 1980)
  • 1901-05-20 Max Euwe, Netherlands, world chess champion (1935-37)
  • 1903-08-25 Arpad Elo, American chess writer and creator of the Elo rating system for two-player games such as chess, born in Egyházaskesző, Hungary (d. 1992)
  • 1906-01-31 R W Bonham, founder (International Braille Chess Association)
  • 1906-02-16 Vera Menchik, Russian 1st official women's world chess champion (1927), born in Moscow (d. 1944)
  • 1907-04-15 Gerald Abrahams, English author (Teach Yourself Chess), born in Liverpool, England (d. 1980)
  • 1909-05-14 Vladimir Alatortsev, USSR, International Chess Master (1950)
  • 1911-03-01 Harry Golombek, British chess grandmaster and author (3-time British champion), born in London, England (d. 1995)
  • 1911-04-17 Mikhail Botvinnik, Russian world chess champion (1948-63), born in Repino, Russia (d. 1995)
  • 1911-11-26 Samuel Reshevsky, Polish-American chess grandmaster, born in Ozorków, Congress Poland, Russian Empire (d. 1992)
  • 1913-02-15 Erich Eliskases, Austrian chess player (d. 1997)
  • 1914-02-21 Arnold S Denker, NY, US chess champion (1944-46)
  • 1916-01-07 Paul Keres, USSR, chess grandmaster (1950)
  • 1916-08-20 Paul Felix Schmidt, Estonian-German chess player, born in Narva, Estonia (d. 1984)
  • 1917-03-19 Laszlo Szabo, Hungarian chess player (d. 1998)
  • 1919-06-09 Izaak Boleslavski, Russian chess player
  • 1920-07-20 Lev Aronin, USSR, International Chess Grandmaster (1950)
  • 1922-02-08 Joeri Averbach, Russian chess grandmaster
  • 1924-02-19 David Bronstein, Ukrainian chess player (d. 2006)
  • 1927-07-06 Jan Hein Donner, Dutch chess grand master, born in The Hague, Netherlands (d. 1988)
  • 1928-01-03 Frank Ross Anderson, Canadian International Chess Master (1954)
  • 1928-07-15 Pál Benkő, Hungarian-American chess player, author (Grandmaster; record 8 US Open Championships), born in Amiens, France (d. 2019)
  • 1929-05-14 Vladimir Antoshin, USSR, International Chess Grandmaster (1964)
  • 1929-06-17 Tigran Petrosian, Soviet Armenian world chess champion (1963-69), born in Tiflis, Georgian SSR, Soviet Union (d. 1984)
  • 1930-06-12 Donald Byrne, American chess player, born in NYC, New York (d. 1976)
  • 1931-03-28 Anatoly Lein, Soviet-American chess player (Grandmaster 1968; World Chess Hall of Fame), born in Leningrad, Russia (d. 2018)
  • 1931-07-23 Viktor Korchnoi, Russian-born chess grandmaster, born in Leningrad (d. 2016)
  • 1933-03-05 Evgeni Vasiukov, Russian chess grandmaster (World Senior Champion 1995), born in Moscow, Russia (d. 2018)
  • 1935-12-08 Tatiana Zatulovskaya, Israeli chess player (Women's Soviet Chess Championship 1960, 62, 63), born in Baku, Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic, USSR (d. 2017)
  • 1937-01-30 Boris Spassky, Russian chess player (world champion 1969-72, born in Leningrad, Russia
  • 1937-03-11 Milan Vukcevich, Yugoslavian chemist and a grandmaster of chess problem composition, born in Belgrade, Serbia (d. 2003)
  • 1937-09-09 Mikhail N Tai, Latvia, World chess champion (1960-61)
  • 1941-05-03 Nona Gaprindashvili, Georgian world women's chess champ (1962-78), born in Zugdidi, Georgian SSR, Soviet Union

Person of interestBobby Fischer

1943-03-09 Bobby Fischer, American chess player (world champion (1972-75), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2008)

Chess Champion Bobby Fischer
Chess Champion
Bobby Fischer
  • 1943-11-11 Jan Adamski, Polish International Chess Master (1976)
  • 1944-01-12 Vlastimil Hort, Czechoslovak-born German chess player, born in Kladno, Czech Republic
  • 1946-08-21 Lev Alburt, International Chess Master (1976), born in Orenburg, Russia
  • 1947-01-08 Igor Ivanov, Russian-born Canadian chess champion (1981-84, 1985- ), born in Leningrad, USSR
  • 1949-01-10 Walter S. Browne, Australian-born American chess Grandmaster (1974-78, 1980-84), born in Sydney, Australia (d. 2015)
  • 1949-12-13 Nana Alexandria, Georgian International Woman's Chess Grandmaster (1976), born in Poti, Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, Soviet Union
  • 1951-05-23 Anatoly Karpov, Russian chess player (world champion 1975-85, 93-99), born in Zlatoust, Russia
  • 1951-06-27 Ulf Andersson, Swedish International Chess Grandmaster (1972), born in Västerås, Sweden
  • 1951-12-14 Jan Timman, Dutch chess player, born in Amsterdam
  • 1953-09-04 Michael Stean, English chess grandmaster, born in London, United Kingdom
  • 1955-01-23 Ruth Haring, American chess player & president of the US Chess Federation, born on Cape Cod, Massachusetts (d. 2018)
  • 1955-04-23 Tony Miles, English chess grandmaster, born in Birmingham, England (d. 2001)
  • 1955-04-25 John Nunn, English chess grandmaster, born in London
  • 1957-03-11 Elena Donaldson-Akhmilovskaya, Leningrad, Soviet Union, Chess Grandmaster, (d. 2012)
  • 1960-02-13 Artur Yusupov, Russian chess player, born in Moscow, Russia
  • 1960-10-20 Konstantin Aseev, Russian chess player (d. 2004)
  • 1961-01-17 Maia Chiburdanidze, Soviet women's world chess champ, born in Kutaisi, USSR
  • 1962-10-14 Jaan Ehlvest, Estonian chess player

Person of interestGarry Kasparov

1963-04-13 Gary Kasparov, Russian chess player (world champion 1985-93), born in Baku, Azerbaijan

Chess Grandmaster and Political Activist Garry Kasparov
Chess Grandmaster and Political Activist
Garry Kasparov
  • 1963-07-25 Julian Hodgson, English chess player, born in London
  • 1964-08-25 Vassilios Kotronias, Greek chess grandmaster, born in Athens, Greece
  • 1964-10-01 Jonathan Sarfati, New Zealand chess player, scientist, and author (FIDE Master), born in Ararat, Australia
  • 1966-01-18 Alexander Khalifman, Russian chess player, born in Saint Petersburg, Russia
  • 1966-03-30 Efstratios Grivas, Greek chess grandmaster and author
  • 1969-03-18 Vassily Ivanchuk, Ukrainian chess player
  • 1969-09-06 Ben Finegold, American chess player, born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1969-12-11 Vishwanathan Anand, Indian chess grandmaster, born in Mayiladuthurai, India
  • 1971-12-07 Vladimir Akopian, Armenian chess Grandmaster, born in Baku, Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic, Soviet Union
  • 1974-06-02 Gata Kamsky, American chess player
  • 1975-03-15 Veselin Topalov, Bulgarian chess player
  • 1975-06-25 Vladimir Kramnik, Russian chess grandmaster, born in Tuapse, Krasnodar Krai, Russia
  • 1976-07-23 Judit Polgár, Hungarian chess player
  • 1978-01-08 Boris Avrukh, Israeli chess grandmaster, born in Karaganda, Kazakhstan
  • 1978-09-05 Zhang Zhong, Chinese-Singaporean chess player, born in Chongqing, China
  • 1983-10-11 Ruslan Ponomariov, Ukrainian chess player, born in Horlivka, Ukraine
  • 1984-04-23 Alexandra Kosteniuk, Russian chess grandmaster (Women's World Chess Champion 2008-10), born in Perm, Russia
  • 1987-03-31 Humpy Koneru, Indian chess player (youngest woman to achieve title of grandmaster), born in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh
  • 1988-12-11 Murugan Thiruchelvam, English chess player, born in England
  • 1990-01-12 Sergey Karjakin, Ukrainian chess player, born in Simferopol

Deaths in Sport

  • 1795-08-31 François-André Danican Philidor, French composer and chess champion, dies at 68

Person of interestPeter Mark Roget

1869-09-12 Peter Mark Roget, British lexicographer (Roget's Thesaurus) and inventor (slide rule, pocket chessboard), dies at 90

Lexicographer and Inventor Peter Mark Roget
Lexicographer and Inventor
Peter Mark Roget
  • 1874-06-22 Howard Staunton, English world chess champion, designer of chess pieces, dies at 84
  • 1875-02-09 Cecil De Vere, 1st official British chess champion (1866), dies at 28
  • 1879-03-13 Adolf Anderssen, German world chess champion (1851-66), dies at 60
  • 1884-07-10 Paul Charles Morphy, US lawyer/chess wizard, dies at 47
  • 1888-06-20 Johannes Zukertort, German chess player, dies at 45
  • 1900-08-12 Wilhelm Steinitz, Austrian world chess champion (1866-94), dies at 64
  • 1906-06-17 Harry Nelson Pillsbury, American chess player, dies at 33
  • 1908-01-25 Mikhail Chigorin, Russian chess player (b. 1850)
  • 1908-04-11 Henry Bird, English Chess player and author (b. 1829)
  • 1934-02-17 Siegbert Tarrasch, German chess player (b. 1862)
  • 1935-03-16 Aron Nimzowitsch, Latvian-born chess player (b. 1886)
  • 1941-01-11 Emanuel Lasker, German chess player (b. 1868)
  • 1942-03-08 José Raúl Capablanca, Cuban world chess champion (1921-27), dies at 53
  • 1944-06-27 Vera Menchik, Russian 1st official women's world chess champion (1927), dies in a London air raid at 38
  • 1944-11-09 Frank Marshall, American chess player (b. 1877)
  • 1946-03-24 Alexander Alekhine, Russian-French chess player (world champion 1927-35, 37-46), dies choking on meat at 53
  • 1952-06-18 Efim Bogoljubov, Russian-German chess player, dies at 63
  • 1956-02-05 Savilly Tartakower, Austrian/Polish/French chess player, dies at 74
  • 1956-11-01 Lajos Asztalos, Hungarian chess player (International Chess Master 1950), dies at 67
  • 1961-02-09 Grigory Levenfish, Russian International chess grandmaster, dies at 70
  • 1961-03-14 Akiba Rubinstein, Polish chess player (openings theorist), dies at 78
  • 1968-12-31 Carl Oscar Ahues, German International Chess Master (1950), dies at 85
  • 1973-07-04 Leonid Stein, Russian chess player, dies at about 39
  • 1975-06-05 Paul Keres, Estonian chess player (b. 1916)
  • 1976-04-08 Donald Byrne, American chess player, dies at 45
  • 1977-02-05 Izaak Boleslavski, Russian chess player, dies at 67
  • 1980-03-15 Gerald Abrahams, English author (Teach Yourself Chess), dies at 72
  • 1981-11-26 Max Euwe, Dutch world chess champion (1935-37), dies at 80
  • 1984-08-11 Paul Felix Schmidt, Estonian-German chess player, dies at 67
  • 1984-08-14 Tigran Petrosian, Soviet Armenian world chess champion (1963-69), dies at 55
  • 1988-11-27 Jan Hein Donner, Dutch chess grand master, dies at 61
  • 1992-04-04 Samuel Reshevsky, Polish-American chess grandmaster, dies at 80
  • 1992-06-28 Mikhail Tai, World chess champion (1960-61), dies at 55
  • 1992-11-05 Arpad Elo, Hungarian physicist (chess classification system), dies at 89
  • 1995-01-07 Harry Golombek, British chess grandmaster, author (3-time British champion), dies at 83
  • 1995-05-05 Mikhail Botvinnik, Russian influential world chess champion, dies at 83
  • 1997-02-02 Erich Eliskases, Austrian chess player (b. 1913)
  • 1999-04-13 Ortvin Sarapu, New Zealand chess player, dies at 74
  • 2001-11-12 Tony Miles, English chess grandmaster, dies at 46
  • 2003-05-10 Milan Vukcevich, Yugoslavian chemist and a grandmaster of chess problem composition, dies at 66
  • 2004-08-22 Konstantin Aseev, Russian chess player (b. 1960)
  • 2006-12-05 David Bronstein, Ukrainian-born chess grandmaster (b. 1924)

Person of interestBobby Fischer

2008-01-17 Bobby Fischer, American chess player (world champion (1972-75), dies of renal failure at 64

Chess Champion Bobby Fischer
Chess Champion
Bobby Fischer
  • 2010-11-15 Larry Evans, American chess grandmaster and journalist (b. 1932)
  • 2011-02-12 Mato Damjanović, Croatian chess grandmaster (b. 1927)
  • 2012-11-18 Elena Donaldson-Akhmilovskaya, Russian Woman Grandmaster of chess, dies from brain cancer at 55
  • 2013-01-19 Anatoly Bannik, Ukranian chess master, dies at 91
  • 2013-04-12 Robert Byrne, American grand chess master, dies from Parkinson’s disease at 84
  • 2016-06-06 Viktor Korchnoi, Russian-born chess grandmaster, dies at 85
  • 2017-07-02 Tatiana Zatulovskaya, Israeli chess player (Women's Soviet Chess Championship 1960, 62, 63), dies at 81
  • 2018-03-01 Anatoly Lein, Soviet-American chess player (Grandmaster 1968; World Chess Hall of Fame), dies at 86
  • 2018-05-10 Evgeni Vasiukov, Russian chess grandmaster (World Senior Champion 1995), dies at 85
  • 2018-11-29 Ruth Haring, American chess player and President of the US Chess Federation, dies at 63
  • 2019-08-25 Pál Benkő, Hungarian-American chess player, author (Grandmaster; record 8 US Open Championships), dies at 91