Magnus Carlsen, according to Chess.com's "CAPS" (Computer Aggregated Precision Score), with Vladimir Kramnik #2, Garry Kasparov #3, Bobby Fischer #4, and on it goes. It's a bit interesting, but the concept seems rather a lot like IM and computer science professor Ken Regan's Intrinsic Performance Ratings (IPRs), which have been well-known for years now - see this profile, for instance. (I didn't see any mention of him or his work either in that article or in this one, which is really surprising.)
Entries in chess ratings (12)
Sponsored by the Grand Chess Tour, the Kasparov Chess Foundation, and Chess Club and the Scholastic Center of Saint Louis; and devised by Mr. Maxime Rischard, Dr. J. Isaac Miller, Dr. Mark Glickman, and Mr. Jeff Sonas, the brand new Universal Rating System is now up and running.
It's probably not a coincidence that the sponsors aren't overwhelmingly enamored by FIDE. In fact, this is at least the second time Garry Kasparov has tried introducing an alternative rating list in competition with FIDE's. This doesn't mean that it's not better than the FIDE rating formulas - I'll leave an assessment of that to the experts. But it's pretty easy to be skeptical about whether it will have any effect in the chess world. Time will tell.
ChessBase has a nice wrap-up of the year's new rating lists, separated by gender, age and time control. Their report also notes the somewhat bizarre case of 14-year-old Azeri Parviz Gasimov, whose rating has skyrocketed from 1949 on the October list to - get ready for this - 2517! Incredible. The bizarre aspect is that while he play and performances have been remarkable, he has yet to have a TPR over 2400! Helpfully, Chess24 offers a detailed explanation of how it happened.
There won't be a world championship this year (in the unqualified sense, that is; there will be a women's world championship, rapid & blitz world championships, junior world championships and so on), so let's do a little speculating about what the top of the rating lists will look like in January of 2016. Right now the top five looks like this:
- 1. Magnus Carlsen 2862
- 2. Fabiano Caruana 2820
- 3. Alexander Grischuk 2810
- 4. Veselin Topalov 2800
- 5-6. Viswanathan Anand, Levon Aronian 2797
What do you think the top five will look like in a year? I won't try to guess the specific ratings, but my prediction for the top five is this:
- 1. Magnus Carlsen
- 2. Fabiano Caruana
- 3. Levon Aronian
- 4. Alexander Grischuk
- 5. Anish Giri
I'm also going to guess that Hou Yifan will pass Judit Polgar on the rating list at some point this year (at the moment, she only needs two points to do so) and bring her rating within ten points of 2700.
This one, Top 40 Chess, covers the top 40 players, with separate lists for classical, rapid and blitz ratings. It doesn't have all the features of the 2700 Chess site, but the reverse is true as well. Here are three pluses of the Top 40 site:
- The slider bar at the top of the page allows one to compare one day's list with another throughout the month.
- Clicking on a player's name gives the details of their rating change: who they played and both the game and the rating result.
- Having three lists means you know who the top 40 are in rapid and blitz. While one can sort the players on the 2700 site by their rapid & blitz ratings, it doesn't show players on those lists whose classical ratings aren't over 2700.
As noted above, the older site also has its advantages, so depending on your interests at a given time you might want to check one or both sites.
The latest FIDE ratings are out, and as most of the big recent events have been rated, including the Olympiad and Bilbao, it's worth a look to see where things stand at the top. Here, with some not completely arbitrary cut-offs, are a few highlights:
1. Magnus Carlsen 2848 (just three points from tying Garry Kasparov's all-time record)
2. Levon Aronian 2815
3. Vladimir Kramnik 2795
4. Teimour Rajdabov 2793
5. Fabiano Caruana 2786
6. Viswanathan Anand 2775
7. Sergey Karjakin 2775
8. Veselin Topalov 2769
9. Alexander Grischuk 2764
10. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2764
11. Vassily Ivanchuk 2763
12. Gata Kamsky 2762
13. Hikaru Nakamura 2755
14. Boris Gelfand 2751
15. Alexander Morozevich 2748
1. Judit Polgar 2705
2. Humpy Koneru 2610
3. Hou Yifan 2606
4. Anna Muzychuk 2586
5. Zhao Xue 2565
1. Fabiano Caruana 2786 (b. 1992)
2. Anish Giri 2715 (b. 1994)
3. Ding Liren 2702 (b. 1992)
4. Yu Yangyi 2681 (b. 1994)
5. Wesley So 2678 (b. 1993)
1. Hou Yifan 2606 (b. 1994)
...is out now. (The top 100 - 101, in fact - are listed on the official site; and here on TWIC, with extra information.) Rating watchers should have a look at the Live Chess Ratings as well, as there has been some interesting movement thanks to the Olympics: Levon Aronian has gained ground on Magnus Carlsen; Teimour Radjabov has leapfrogged Vladimir Kramnik into third place; and Hikaru Nakamura has equalled Bobby Fischer's all-time mark of 2785. (Though in a way, not yet; after all, there were no "live lists" in Fischer's day, but he was surely past 2785 10 games into the 1972 match with Boris Spassky.)
According to this German site, Bobby Fischer has the record: 2787, with Garry Kasparov #2 at 2759, Anatoly Karpov #3 with 2722, Mikhail Tal in fourth at 2700 and Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik are tied for fifth-sixth at 2699. I'm not sure what their method is and am sure that Ken Regan would disagree with it, but it's at least an entertaining list.
Many, probably most of us do believe that there has been some rating inflation, but even so it's hard to believe that even the Viktor Korchnoi of the late 1970s was stronger - measurably stronger, at that! - than Magnus Carlsen. Korchnoi's peak rating was 2695, while Carlsen is 2835, and our understanding of the game has developed since then. (Even Korchnoi now must know a lot more than he did then, even if at the age of 81 he can longer play with the same strength and endurance that he used to.)
The top ten on the new FIDE rating list is the same as the March edition, though some of the places changed. Sergey Karjakin gained 13 points to reach #6, and further down Viktor Bologan gained 29 points (and incredibly gained 16 more points this quarter that didn't get rated in time - what a colossal jump in two months!) to reach #28 in the world - #18 on the Live list. That's a remarkable achievement for anyone, and even more for a man who turned 40 this past December.
Indeed, there's good news for the over-the-hill gang. Going by the Live list, five players are in the top 21: Viswanathan Anand (42 years old, #4 on both lists), Vassily Ivanchuk (43, #10 on both), Bologan (40, #18 Live, #28 official), Michael Adams (40, #19 on both) and Boris Gelfand (43, #21 Live, #20 official). And it's good that the 40+ set is reasonably well-represented, as the Anand-Gelfand World Championship match is just a few weeks away!
Almost all of the top ten have been in action lately, so here's what the current top ten looks like on the Live Chess Ratings list. (The parenthetical numbers tell how many games they've played since the last official rating list.)
1. Magnus Carlsen 2835 (0)
2. Levon Aronian 2824.9 (3)
3. Vladimir Kramnik 2801 (0)
4. Viswanathan Anand 2791 (4)
5. Teimour Radjabov 2784 (0)
6. Sergey Karjakin 2778.6 (7)
7. Hikaru Nakamura 2775 (5)
8. Fabiano Caruana 2772.9 (27)
9. Alexander Morozevich 2769 (7)
10. Vassily Ivanchuk 2764 (0)
Except for Anand, who has lost eight points since the last list, all those who have played have gained, with the biggest success story being the 12.6 point jump by Karjakin. (Further down the list at #21 is Boris Gelfand, who hasn't played in this rating period, no doubt too busy preparing for the match and doing his altitude training.)
It's an odd-numbered month, and that means that FIDE has released its latest official rating list. You can find their top 100 (or rather, 103, since there's a tie for the last spot) here, and on the right sidebar of that page you'll find links to other rating information. If you want to look up particular players, this is the link you want.
Two other links of possible interest: Mark Crowther of TWIC offers some comments about the list's winners and losers, compared to the January list, while 2700chess.com keeps you abreast of what's happening with 2700-rated players in between lists. In fact, it already has some interesting information: quite a few of the top players, including world #2 Levon Aronian, still have unrated games not taken into account in the new official list. In Aronian's case, he has three games (at least two from the Bundesliga) which have yet to be rated and which bring him about five points closer to Magnus Carlsen and the #1 spot.