The championship is organized as an eleven-round Swiss system tournament. It is an open tournament, and each FIDE member federation may send as many players as desired. A separate women's tournament is held if there are enough participants (at least 10 women from 4 different FIDE zones). The men's winner is awarded the title of Grandmaster if he did not already have it, the women's winner receives the Woman Grandmaster title if she did not already have it.
The 8th World Senior Championship was held 9–23 November 1998 in Grieskirchen, Austria. Vladimir Bagirov (Latvia) won the 200-player men's section on tie-break over Wolfgang Uhlmann (Germany), both with 8.5/11. Ten players tied a half point behind with 8.0/11, including former World Championship Candidates Mark Taimanov and Borislav Ivkov. WGM Tamar Khmiadashvili (Georgia) won the 24-player women's section outright with 9.5 points.
The 13th World Senior Championship was held 16–29 November 2003 in Bad Zwischenahn, Germany. IM Yuri Shabanov (Russia) won the 272-player men's section 9.0/11 on tie-break over GM Jānis Klovāns (Latvia) and IM Vladimir Bukal (Croatia). WGM Tamar Khmiadashvili (Georgia) won the 22-player women's section 7.5/9 on tie-break over WGM Marta Litinskaya-Shul (Ukraine).
The 14th World Senior Championship was held 24 October–5 November 2004 in Halle (Saale), Germany. IM Yuri Shabanov (Russia) defended his championship, winning the 215-player men's section on a tie-break with five players scoring 8.5/11. GM Elena Fatalibekova (Russia) won the 19-player women's section outright with 8.0/9.
The 16th World Senior Chess Championship was held 11–23 September 2006 in Arvier, Italy. Former World Chess Championship challenger and top seed GM Viktor Korchnoi (Switzerland) won the 126-player men's section 9.0/11. Competing in his first Senior's Championship at age 75, Korchnoi won his first four games, drew in the fifth round with Jānis Klovāns, and then won the next three. Entering the ninth round with a full point lead, Korchnoi drew his final three games to take the € 3000 gold medal. WGM Ludmila Saunina (Russia), age 54, won the 14-player women's section by a full point, 8.5/11, to earn € 700.