The PCA - The Professional Chess Association

The Professional Chess Association or PCA was founded in 1993 as a rival chess organization to FIDE. FIDE is the main chess governing organization of the world. The PCA was originally formed by Garry Kasparov and Nigel Short to market and organize their chess world championship in 1993.

It all began when the Candidates Tournament of 1993 was won by Nigel Short, and this victory made him qualify as the World Chess Championship challenger to Garry Kasparov. According to FIDE regulations, three parties should have then bid on the location of the World Championship final–FIDE, then Kasparov as the World Champion, and Short as the Challenger. Kasparov and Short alleged that then FIDE president Florencio Campomanes broke regulations by announcing Manchester as the venue of the event. It was common knowledge that FIDE drew a large share of its income from the World Championship’s prize fund.

Kasparov and Short then formed the PCA in protest, and appointed Bob Rice as its Commissioner. Both players held their world championship match with the backing of the PCA, and the match was held in October of 1993 in the Savoy Theatre in London. Sponsorship of the event was by The Times newspaper. Kasparov won the match 12.5 to 7.5 and was recognized as the PCA World Chess Champion.

As a result of the controversy, FIDE took the title of the FIDE World Championship from Kasparov, and held a match between Anatoly Karpov and Jan Timman. These two players were the finalists that Short originally had to defeat in order to win the Candidates Tournament. Karpov came out the victor in that match, and was subsequently crowned the FIDE World Chess Champion. There were then two world chess champions for the first time in history: Karpov as the FIDE world champion, and Kasparov as the PCA world champion.

Kasparov later on went to defend his PCA World Championship title against Anand in a chess match that was held at the World Trade Center on September 11, 1995. Kasparov again beat out the competition, and won the 20-game event 10.5 to 7.5.

The PCA would remain in existence until 1996.The fall of the PCA was primarily brought about by the loss of Intel as its major sponsor in 1996. It was soon after that the Professional Chess Association finally ceased operations. As a result of the folding of the PCA, Kasparov was unable to organize a qualifying cycle for his title. He subsequently played a match with challenger, Vladimir Kramnik, in the Classical World Chess Championship of 2000. Kramnik came out the victor in this match, which was organized by Braingames.

The rift between the PCA and the FIDE was finally resolved in 2006, with the holding of the FIDE World Chess Championship. This match, which was a reunification of sorts, was played by Kramnik and Veselin Topalov, who was the 2005 FIDE World Champion. Vladimir Kramnik once again came out the winner in this event.