I have spent far too much time on this as is, but here we go. Time control phase X/Y means X moves in Y minutes for each player, + means increment per moves (in seconds).
An idiosyncratic era with matches decided by direct negotiations.
- 1886: Steinitz-Zukertort, FT10 wins with 8-8 or 9-9 declared as draw
- 1889: Steinitz-Chigorin,?
- 1890: Steinitz-Gunsberg, FT10 wins with 8-8 or 9-9 declared as draw
- 1892: Steinitz-Chigorin, ?
The time control for all of these is 15/60, except Lasker-Marshall 1907 and Lasker-Janowski 1910 which I couldn't find.
- 1894: Steinitz-Lasker, FT10 wins
- 1896: Lasker-Steinitz, FT10 wins
- 1907: Lasker-Marshall, FT8 wins
- 1908: Lasker-Tarrasch, FT8 wins
- 1910: Lasker-Schlechter, BO10
- 1910: Lasker-Janowski, FT8 wins
- 1921: Lasker-Capablanca, FT8 wins
Capablanca's "London Rules", subsequently adopted by Alekhine, made this fairly regular. Formats is first to 6 wins capped at 30 games, except the 1927 match which had no game limit. Time controls are 40/150.
- 1927: Capablanca-Alekhine
- 1929: Alekhine-Bogoljubov
- 1934: Bogoljubov-Alekhine
- 1935: Alekhine-Euwe
- 1937: Euwe-Alekhine
After the death of Alekhine, a quintuple round-robin with five of the best players in the world (Botvinnik, Smyslov, Keres, Reshevsky, Euwe). Botvinnik won. Games were 40/150 followed by 16/60.
FIDE era I
FIDE's championships were generally of a standard format, notwithstanding player disputes, leg-swinging, yoghurts and gurus, return matches and off-the-board politics.
All matches from Botvinnik-Bronstein 1951 to Kasparov-Karpov 1990 were 40/150 followed by 16/60.
All were also BO24 (champion retains title if 12-12), except the cancelled Fischer-Karpov 1975 (that was a point of contention in the negotiations), Karpov-Korchnoi 1978 and 1981, and the aborted Karpov-Kasparov 1984, which were all first to 6 wins.
Welcome to the era of FIDE and PCA and general chaos.
Direct matches (PCA/BrainGames/whatever really)
- 1993: Kasparov-Short, BO24, champion retains if 12-12
- 40/120 then 20/60 then adjournment
- 1995: Kasparov-Anand, BO20, champion retains if 10-10
- 40/120 then 20/60 then G/30
- 2000: Kasparov-Kramnik, BO16, champion retains if 8-8
- ? There is a time control at 40 moves but I can't find the details.
- 2004: Kramnik-Leko, BO14, champion retains if 7-7
Direct matches (FIDE)
- 1993: Karpov-Timman, BO24, tiebreaks if 12-12
- 40/150 then 16/60
- Tiebreaks four sets of two games at 40/60 then 20/15
- 1996: Karpov-Kamsky, BO20, tiebreaks if 10-10
- 40/120 then 16/60 then adjournment
- 1998: Karpov-Anand, BO6, tiebreaks if 3-3
- I can't find the details.
Because FIDE had the brilliant idea to create a knockout format and further annoy the champions and challengers.
- 1999 (Khalifman), 2000 (Anand)
- 40/100 then 20/50 then G10+30
- Tiebreaks G25+10 rapid, G15+10 blitz, Armageddon G5 vs G4 (+10 second increment?)
- 2002 (Ponomariov), 2004 (Kasimdzhanov)
- 40/75 then G15+30 (in 2004, 40/90 then G15+30)
- Tiebreaks G20+10 rapid, G5+10 blitz (?), Armageddon G6 v G5
FIDE era 2
The reunification of the championship begins with an 8-player double round-robin in 2005.
- 2005 (Topalov)
- 40/120 then 20/60 then G15+30
Sanity ensues when Topalov wins in 2006, and from there everything becomes much nicer.
- 2006 to 2014: BO12, tiebreaks if 6-6
- 40/120 then 20/60 then G15+30
- Tiebreaks 1 set of 4 games of G25+10, then 5 sets of 2 games of G5+3, then Armageddon G4 v G5 with +3 seconds increment from move 61 and above.
In 2016 the classical time control was tweaked slightly, but format and tiebreaks remained the same.
- 2016 and 2018: BO12, tiebreaks if 6-6
- 40/100+30 then 20/50+30 then G15+30
- Tiebreaks see 2006-2014.
Wikipedia, chessgames.com, Edward Winter's history pages, Mark Week's WCC pages, 2005 FIDE regulations (Wayback Machine, .doc file), FIDE regulations (.pdf files) (2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018, and a bunch of books and other pages I am not fully remembering now.)