The World Championship Match by FM Paul Whitehead | Mechanics' Institute

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The World Championship Match by FM Paul Whitehead

Thursday, September 3, 2020 - 6:30pm to Thursday, October 1, 2020 - 8:00pm


The World Championship Match:

de la Bourdonnais – McDonnell (1834) to Carlsen – Caruana (2018).

Taught by FM Paul Whitehead


An in-depth look at the World Championship matches – the great games, styles and personalities of the World Champions and their challengers.  The central idea of the class will be the study of chess ideas and theory, as practiced by the greatest players.  In each class we’ll look through a selection of the most famous games ever played: games where literally everything was at stake.

The class will be lecture-style, with brief questions and answers.

Classes will be available for review on YouTube and Lichess.

Part 1: Sept 3 through Oct 1

1.  Early days: the de la Bourdonnais – Mcdonnell match (1834) to the London Tournament (1862).

2.  Wilhelm Steinitz and the birth of Modern Chess: matches from 1866 to 1892.

3.  Emmanuel Lasker: 27 years as World Champion.

4.  Capablanca, Alekhine and Euwe: the great post and pre-war matches.

5.  Moscow/Hague 1948 to Botvinnik-Smyslov 1958: Soviet Domination Part 1.


Part 2: Oct 8 through Nov 5

6.  Tal, Petrosian and Spassky: Soviet Domination Part 2.

7.  Fischer-Spassky 1972: The Match of the Century. 

8.  The 3 K’s: the Karpov-Korchnoi and Karpov-Kasparov Matches.

9.  Fractured Chess World: FIDE and Classical World Championship Matches 1993 to 2005.

10. The new Modern Era 2006 – 2018: Kramnik, Anand and Carlsen.




It was fascinating to me and a wonderful challenge. Now I have many directions to follow in my studies, and I am newly interested in the history of many of these World Champions. Paul had obviously done a great deal of research, and I can't believe how much I learned in speeding through so many games. I enjoyed both Part I and Part II very much. I've done more reading about chess and chess history than I have playing chess. " Terri C.