As in the title above, since we read it everywhere about Caruana... why isn't Gata Kamsky considered the first American since Bobby Fischer to fight for the World Championship? He played Karpov in 1997 for the FIDE World Championship.

  • people forget him because he did not win it :)
    – Drako
    Nov 9, 2018 at 14:45
  • Kamsky always played for USA too, since the late 1980s, same thing is not valid for Caruana who played for Italy for a few years when he was already a strong GM. Nov 9, 2018 at 14:48

1 Answer 1


Kamsky played Anatoly Karpov for the championship during the time after Garry Kasparov and Nigel Short had split from FIDE to form the Professional Chess Association and hold their championship match under its auspices. Thus, the World Championship was "split" at the time - Kasparov held the PCA title and Karpov the FIDE title. In a sense, a split title such as this is no title, so Kamsky misses out on credit for playing for the championship.

This is partly commentary, but hopefully adds a little insight: While my skills are nowhere near good enough to say, it seems that Kasparov is generally seen as the stronger player (vs. Karpov). Thus most people who pay attention probably see Kasparov at the "true" world champion from that time. Between the fact that Kamsky played for the FIDE championship at a time when the title was split and also when the FIDE champion was not the then strongest player, he doesn't get credit for playing for the World Chess Championship.

  • 3
    The Fide world championship lacked legitimacy, because when Short and Kasparov seceded, Kasparov was world champion and Short was the legitimate challenger. The Fide kept going with the guys who came second and third in the qualifiers, Karpov and Timman. Nov 22, 2018 at 20:31

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