The battle for the World Chess Championship has witnessed numerous titanic struggles which have engaged the interest not only of chess enthusiasts but also of the public at large. The chessboard is the ultimate mental battleground and the world champions themselves are supreme intellectual gladiators.
These magnificent compilations of chess form the basis of Garry Kasparov's definitive history of the World Chess Championship. Garry Kasparov, who is universally acclaimed as the greatest chessplayer ever, subjects the play of his predecessors to a rigorous analysis.
Part I features the play of champions Wilhelm Steinitz (1886-1894), Emanuel Lasker (1894-1921), Jose Capablanca (1921-1927) and Alexander Alekhine (1927-1935 and 1937-1946).
Part II features the play of champions Max Euwe (1935-1937) Mikhail Botvinnik (1946-1957, 1958-1961 and 1961-1963), Vassily Smyslov (1957-1958) and Mikhail Tal (1960-1961).
Part III features the play of champions Tigran Petrosian (1963-1969) and Boris Spassky (1969-1972).
Part IV In the period between 1955 and 1972 Fischer, more or less single-handedly, took on the might of the Soviet Chess Empire, and won. During this time Fischer scored astonishing successes the like of which had not been seen before.
These included 11/11 in the 1963/64 US Championship and match victories (en route to the World Championship) by the score of 6-0 against two of the strongest players in the world, Mark Taimanov and Bent Larsen.
The climax of Fischer's campaign was his unforgettable match win in Reykjavik in 1972 against Boris Spassky.
Part V catalogues the "post-Fischer" period in the 1970's and early 1980's This period was dominated by Anatoly Karpov (world champion from 1975-1985) and his three-time challenger, Viktor Korchnoi.
The first match was in the Candidates Tournament to determine who would challenge Fischer in 1975. Fischer refused to defend his title, making the 1974 Karpov versus Korchnoi match a de facto World Championship match.