World Chess Championship 1948

World Chess Championship 1948

World Chess Championship 1948

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The 1948 World Chess Championship was a tournament played to determine a new World Chess Champion following the death of the previous champion Alexander Alekhine in 1946. The tournament marked the passing of control of the championship title to FIDE, the International Chess Federation which had been formed in 1924. Mikhail Botvinnik won the five-player championship tournament, beginning the era of Soviet domination of international chess that would last over twenty years without interruption.


Previously, a new World Champion had won the title by defeating the former champion in a match. Alekhine's death created an interregnum (gap between reigns) that made the normal procedure impossible. The situation was very confused, with many respected players and commentators offering different solutions. FIDE found it very difficult to organise the early discussions on how to resolve the interregnum because problems with money and travel so soon after the end of World War II prevented many countries from sending representatives - most notably the Soviet Union. The shortage of clear information resulted in otherwise responsible magazines publishing rumors and speculation, which only made the situation more confused. See Interregnum of World Chess Champions for more details.

The eventual solution was very similar to FIDE's initial proposal and to a proposal put forward by the Soviet Union. The 1938 AVRO tournament was...
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