When reading our various chess profiles, an astute reader might have noticed that we often talk about "undisputed" world champions. That is because, for over a decade, the world championship was... disputed.
In 1993, champion Garry Kasparov broke away from FIDE, the world chess federation, on charges of corruption. (A corrupt world organization??? What are the odds!!!) So, for twelve years, there were two champions: Kasparov defended his title in what was deemed "classical" chess, and FIDE held their own tournaments.
Also, for some reason, FIDE decided to switch it up. Instead of a champion facing a challenger, like was done for decades prior, they moved to a knockout tournament. Top 100 or so players would match up, eliminating one another after two-game matches. Since this format made it easier for strong players to be eliminated early, it resulted in some "world" champions who were not exactly the best in the world.
For instance, Alexander Khalifman, then ranked #36, became the "disputed" world champion in 1999. He is Jewish, so that gives us another chess champion. Not sure if he was "deserving" or not, but he won, so...
In any case, FIDE reunified two titles in 2006, and we're back to "undisputed" champions. Oh, and FIDE is still incredibly corrupt.
Sorry, Mr. Kasparov.