|Magnus the Champ! (photo from Chessbase)|
Once the subject of a book titled Wonderboy, the Norwegian superstar Magnus Carlsen has reached the pinnacle of chess. He played in his first tournament at age 8, became Grandmaster at 13, earned the #1 rating in the world at 19, and finally claimed the World Championship one week before his 23rd birthday!
In a match watched around the globe, Carlsen defeated the Indian national hero Viswanathan Anand, nearly twice his age, with a dominant performance. The final score was 6.5 to 3.5. Already the youngest to reach #1 and the third youngest Grandmaster in history, Carlsen now stands as the second youngest champion, barely older than his former trainer Garry Kasparov.
The following list includes all of the classical World Champions, following the lineage of Kasparov after he broke away from FIDE in 1993. Vladimir Kramnik vanquished Kasparov in 2000 and reunified the chess championship in 2006.
- Wilhelm Steinitz 1886-1894
- Emanuel Lasker 1894-1921
- José Raúl Capablanca 1921-1927
- Alexander Alekhine 1927-1935 and 1937-1946
- Max Euwe 1935-1937
- Mikhail Botvinnik 1948-1957, 1958-1960 and 1961-1963
- Vasily Smyslov 1957-1958
- Mikhail Tal 1960-1961
- Tigran Petrosian 1963-1969
- Boris Spassky 1969-1972
- Bobby Fischer 1972-1975
- Anatoly Karpov 1975-1985
- Garry Kasparov 1985-2000
- Vladimir Kramnik 2000-2006
- Viswanathan Anand 2006-2013
- Magnus Carlsen 2013-
Make sure to check out this Time magazine article written by Kasparov himself.