The World Championship


Chess strength in general and chess strength in a specific match are by no means one and the same thing. - Garry Kasparov


For me right now I think being the world number one is a bigger deal than being the world champion because I think it shows better who plays the best chess. That sounds self-serving but I think it’s also right. (2012) - Magnus Carlsen


All I expect are wins and to get pleasure from the game. And if someone thinks something about me, if someone’s dissatisfied with something… that’s not my headache. I hope someday I’ll become World Champion – and I’ll make all these people happy. But even if for some reason that doesn’t happen it won’t stop me getting pleasure from chess. I’m sure of that.  (2012)  -  Magnus Carlsen


I am pleased that in a match for the World Championship I was able to conduct a game in the style of Akiba Rubinstein, where the entire strategic course was maintained from the first to the last move. (on Game 7 of his 2012 match with Anand) - Boris Gelfand


The chess world is obligated to organize a match between the champion of the world and the winner of this Carlsbad tournament - indeed, this is a moral obligation. If the world of chess should remain deaf to its obligation, on the other hand, it would amount to an absolutely unforgivable omission, carrying with it a heavy burden of guilt.  -  (upon finishing clear first ahead of Capablanca in Carlsbad 1929, where reigning world champion Alekhine did not participate)  -  Aaron Nimzowitsch


I love the game - and I hate the Russians because they've almost ruined it. They only risk the title when they have to, every three years. They play for draws with each other but play to win against the Western masters. Draws make for dull chess, wins make for fighting chess.  -  Bobby Fischer


Americans really don't know much about chess. But I think when I beat Spassky, that Americans will take a greater interest in chess. Americans like winners.  -  Bobby Fischer


The system set up by F.I.D.E. ... Insures that there will always be a Russian world champion ... The Russians arranged it that way.  - (1962)  -  Bobby Fischer


After I won the title, I was confronted with the real world. People do not behave naturally anymore – hypocrisy is everywhere.  -  Boris Spassky


To play a match for the World Championship is the cherished dream of every chess player.  -  David Bronstein


… in itself the title of world champion does not give any significicant advantages, if it is not acknowledged by the entire chess world, and a champion who does not have the chess world behind him is, in my view, a laughing-stock.  -  Emanuel Lasker


All that now seems to stand between Nigel and the prospect of the world crown is the unfortunate fact that fate brought him into this world only two years after Kasparov.  -  (prophetic comment in 1987)  - Garry Kasparov


The cherished dream of every chessplayer is to play a match with the World Champion. But here is the paradox: the closer you come to the realization of this goal, the less you think about it.  -  Mikhail Tal


When I started out playing chess as a kid I thought I should be world champion. As a kid you have no idea what that means and you only sort of picture it. It is hard to imagine that I waited all those years and it happened in a late stage of my career.  - Viswanathan Anand


In the current FIDE World Championship, on the knock-out system, weaker players have good chances. Those, who in a long match would practically have no chance, here may creep through.  -  Vladimir Kramnik


Chess is thriving. There are ever less round robin tournaments and ever more World Champions.  -  (1990, Schach)  -  Robert Huebner


Capablanca used to talk calmly and moderately about everything. However, when our conversation turned to the problems of the battle for the world championship, in front of me was a quite different person: an enraged lion, although with the fervour typical only of a southerner, with his temperamental patter, which made it hard to follow the torrent of his indignant exclamations and words.  -  Alexander Koblenz