I was thinking about the way that chess has taken to being streamed recently and it got me wondering how far back one could go if they were to watch WCC matches instead of playing through them.

So which match was the first to be completely (not just one game or the awards ceremony, etc.) recorded as it was being played?

  • 3
    Interesting question! Fischer-Spassky famously wasn't recorded, due to Fischer's antics. Somehow I think the first completely recorded match might be surprisingly recent. May 5, 2015 at 13:50
  • The match Kasparov-Short in 1993 was broadcast on TV in England by Channel 4.
    – Tanj
    Jul 20, 2015 at 10:30

2 Answers 2


From a report by Harry Golombek on the seventh game of the Botvinnik v Smyslov world championship match in Moscow on 30 March 1954:

Television made its first appearance in the history of world chess championship matches during the course of this game, which was televised from 8 till 8.30 p.m.

Source: BCM, May 1954, page 141.

The 24-game match had 14 decisive games, 12 of the first 16, including a streak of 8 decisive results in a row! All the games were full of fight, and many of the games were of theoretical significance.


I doubt that anything was redcorded before 1972 since all matches after 1950 were played in Moscow between Soviet players. In 1972 ChesterFox had purchased rights to televise the Fischer-Spassky match. Fischer kept protesting and insisting that the cameras be removed, so little of the match was recorded.


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