In 1987, the Grandmaster Association (GMA) was founded by Garry Kasparov and Bessel Kok to give a voice to grandmasters that were dissatisfied with the World Chess Federation (FIDE). The GMA soon disbanded.
In 1993, the Professional Chess Association (PCA) was created as a rival to FIDE. It was created by Garry Kasparov and Nigel Short for the marketing and organization of their chess world championship.
In 1993, FIDE regulation stated that the bids for the World Championship final would be decided by FIDE, the World Champion (Kasparov), and the Challenger (Short). However, when FIDE President Florencio Campomanes announced that the world championship match would be held in Manchester, England without consulting either Kasparov or Short, both Kasparov and Short protested and formed the PCA.
The PCA Commissioner was Bob Rice, who organized the world championship match under its auspices in October 1993. The match took place in the Savoy Theater in London, under the sponsorship of The Times newspaper. Kasparov won the match with a 12.5-7.5 score, becoming the first PCA World Chess Champion.
After the PCA match, FIDE stripped Kasparov of the FIDE World Championship title. FIDE then organized a new match between Anatoly Karpov and Jan Timman, the two final players from the previous world championship cycle. Karpov won the match to become FIDE World Champion once again.
In 1995, Kasparov defended his PCA world championbship title when he defeated Viswanathan Anand by the score of 10.5-7.5. The match was held on top of the World Trade Center, which started on September 11, 1995.
In 1996, the PCA folded after it lost its sponsor, Intel. Kasparov then played and lost his world championship title after losing to Vladimir Kramnik in 2000. That match was played under the auspices of Braingames, which also folded.
In 1998, Kasparov formed the World Chess Council, which organized a candidate match between Alexei Shirov and Vladimir Kramnik. Shirov won the match, but negotiations broke down. Kramnik later played and won the Classical World Chess Championship 2000 match between himself and Kasparov.
In September 2003, the Association of Chess Professionals (ACP) was founded in Paris as an international non-profit organization. Its web site is http://www.chess-players.org . Its motto is "Injustice done to one is a threat to all." Its President was French Grandmaster Joel Lautier, former World Junior Champion (1988). The five official founding members of the ACP are Lautier, Vladimir Kramnik, Almira Skripchenko, Pavel Tregubov, and Yannick Pelletier.
The ACP's foremost objective is the worldwide promotion of the game of chess. According to Article 2 of its terms, "The association's purpose is the protection of professional chess players' rights, the practice and promotion of chess worldwide, in particular through the organization of chess tournaments and other chess events."
The organization was founded in 2003 after some players disagreed with the European Chess Union (ECU) over the choices of hotels that all participants in the 2003 European Chess Championship were required to stay in. The event was held in Silivri, Turkey in June 2003 and chess players complained of the abnormally high hotel rates that players had to pay to attend the tournament. On one of the rest days, more than 150 players decided to form a new association that would look after their interests. This eventually became the ACP.
The first ACP Board started working on January 1, 2004.
In April and May 2004, three Internet chess tournaments were held and organized by the ACP. Over 100 Grandmasters participated in these events, with over 200,000 unique spectators online.
In July 2004, the ACP Tour was launched. This series unites all major international tournaments into one circuit for a one-year chess season. The ACP tour now includes more than 60 tournaments all over the world.
In September and October 2004, the final of the World Chess Championship was organized by the ACP. The event was held in Brissago, Switzerland between titleholder Vladimir Kramnik from Russia and challenger Peter Leko from Hungary.
In December 2004, Garry Kasparov, Ruslan Ponomariov, and Veselin Topalov withdrew from the ACP saying, "we disagree with the politics and most of the decisions of the ACP Board."
In March 2005, ACP President Lautier commented that "FIDE avoids contact with us, does not respond to our mails, and we don't expect any positive changes of the situation." The ACP had been critical of some of FIDE's decisions, such as the selection of Libya for the site of the 2004 Championships.
In September 2005, the ACP sponsored a blitz tournament that was broadcasted live on Russian television (channel NTV+).
In 2006, the President of the ACP was Grandmaster Pavel Tregubov of Russia (born in 1971). In 2005, he won the European Individual Chess Championship.
In January 2007, the first ACP World Rapid Cup was organized in Odessa in the Ukraine. The event was won by Peter Leko of Hungary over Ivanchuk in the final.
In 2008, Teimur Radjabov of Azerbajdzhan won the 2nd ACP World Rapid Cup.
The fourth ACP Tour, 2007-08, was won by Vasily Ivanchuk.
From May 22-24, 2009, the ACP held the 3rd ACP World Rapid Cup, which was held in Odessa. The winner was Boris Gelfand (pictured). The ACP tournament was sponsored by Pivdennyi Bank.
The Fifth ACP Tour 2008-09 was won by Levon Aronian of Armenia who gathered 2,799 ACP points out of seven tournaments. The 2008 ACP Women Series was won by Viktorija Cmilyte of Lithuania.
Currently, Levon Aronian is leading the Sixth ACP Tour, followed by Vassily Ivanchuk and Vladimir Kramnik.
From November 30th to December 4th, 2009, the ACP, along with the Turkish Chess Federation, will sponsor the first ACP Women World Rapid Cup in Konya, Turkey.
The ACP is run by a Board of nine elected members.
The current ACP President is Vadim Morokhovsky. He is also the Chairman of Pivdennyi Bank and Vice-President of the Ukrainian Chess Federation.
The ACP has a membership of 248 top chess professionals (204 men and 44 women) from all over the world, including 18 of the top 20 players in the world. The countries most represented are Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and the USA.