The current world chess champion is GM Viswanathan Anand of India. Born on December 11, 1969, he picked his early lessons in chess, at the age of six from his mother, Susila Viswanathan. Anand holds a degree in Commerce and lives in Spain and India. He has been honoured with many prestigious awards like the Arjuna Award, the Padma Shri, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, the Padma Bhushan, the Sportstar, Sportsman of the Millennium, the Birla Living Legends and the Jameo de Oro Award.

“Anand is one of the greatest sport persons that India ever had.” – Rajendra S. Pawan, Chairman, NIIT

The current women’s world chess champion is GM Xu Yuhua of China. Xu Yuhua, defeated Alisa Galliamova of Russia in the best-of-four finals at the Women's World Chess Championship in Ekaterinburg, Russia. At the concluding press conference Yuhua announced that she is four months pregnant. She said "I think that my baby helped me".

chess players xie xu

Jun Xie and Xu Yuhua

GM Jun Xie is the first Chinese to become a World Chess Champion when she defeated Maia Chiburdanidze in 1991, ending decades of Georgian and Soviet dominance. Her celebrity in China is often compared to that of Michael Jordan in the US.

Xu Yuhua Blog:
Jun Xie Blog:

Women’s World Chess Champions
Vera Menchik, 1927–1944, Czechoslovakia / United Kingdom
Lyudmila Rudenko, 1950–1953, Soviet Union / Ukraine
Elisabeth Bykova, 1953–1956, Soviet Union / Russia
Olga Rubtsova, 1956–1958, Soviet Union / Russia
Elisabeth Bykova, 1958–1962, Soviet Union / Russia
Nona Gaprindashvili, 1962–1978, Soviet Union / Georgia
Maya Chiburdanidze, 1978–1991, Soviet Union / Georgia
Xie Jun, 1991–1996, People's Republic of China
Susan Polgar, 1996–1999, Hungary / USA
Xie Jun, 1999–2001, People's Republic of China
Zhu Chen, 2001–2004, People's Republic of China / Qatar
Antoaneta Stefanova, 2004–2006, Bulgaria
Xu Yuhua, 2006–present, People's Republic of China

Susan Polgar Blog:

The World Chess Championship is played to determine the World Champion. Both men and women are eligible to compete for this title. The official world championship is generally regarded to have begun in 1886, when the two leading players in the world played a match. From 1886 to 1946, the chess championship was conducted on an informal basis, with a challenger having to defeat the incumbent in a match to become the new world champion. From 1948 to 1993, the world chess championship was administered by FIDE, the international chess organization. In 1993, the reigning champion Garry Kasparov broke away from FIDE, meaning there were two rival world championships. This situation remained until 2006, when the title was unified at the World Chess Championship 2006. In addition, there is a separate event for women only, for the title of Women's World Champion, and separate competitions and titles for juniors and seniors.