There are just two days to go - a day and a half, really - before the final super-tournament of the year, the London Chess Classic, gets underway. Here are the participants and their official and then live ratings:
1. Viswanathan Anand (2804, 2808.4)
2. Magnus Carlsen (2802, 2812)
3. Vladimir Kramnik (2791, 2786.2)
4. Hikaru Nakamura (2741, 2748.2)
5. Michael Adams (2723, 2728)
6. Nigel Short (2680, 2680)
7. Luke McShane (2645, 2645)
8. David Howell (2611, 2611)
The first round starts at 2 p.m. local time in London on Wednesday (= 9 a.m. ET/3 p.m. CET). The time controls are 40 moves in 2 hours, then 20 moves in 1 hour, and then 15 minutes + a 30 second increment after every move for the rest of the game.
Anand hasn't been terribly busy this year, and although he won the event that mattered most of all - the world championship match with Topalov - some of his results were only so-so. His most recent performance was pretty good though: he came in second (to Carlsen) in the Pearl Spring tournament at the end of October was pretty good and pushed his 2800+ rating a little higher.
Carlsen started the year well, then had a couple of horrible results before enjoying success in the Pearl Spring event. I don't know if the blitz championship helped or hurt his form and ego, but after winning it convincingly in 2009 his third place this year was perhaps a continuation of his up-and-down form.
Kramnik had excellent results most of this year (most notably winning Bilbao over Carlsen and Anand), but he was a bit shaky in the Tal Memorial.
Nakamura has been very competitive in his super-events this year, and tweets that he has worked himself into the best shape of his life. Of course, Nakamura always starts events with a lot of confidence (which is useful!), so a self-report to that effect may not mean what it would coming from someone like Anand or Kramnik.
Adams has had a good 2010 (a nice chunk of rating points, and don't forget his crush vs. Carlsen from the Olympiad) and is showing signs of returning to where he was from the mid-90s to the mid-00s.
Short hasn't had a fantastic year, but he has been in the super-elite and at his best can play with anyone here.
McShane took a few years off from high-level chess, but seems to be working his way back up.
Howell is up and coming (like Carlsen, he's 20), but for now at least he's an outsider in this company.