ELO ELO ELO. Is anybody out there?
In July 1971, when the first compilation of FIDE's International Rating List was produced using Prof. Arpad Elo's statistical evaluation, the list contained the names of only 600 players.
The publication of the latest November list this week contained some 83,000 names; but regardless of how many names are actually on the list, the important part will always be who is up and who is down in the top 10 - and for the first time ever, we have four players now rated 2800 and above.
Vladimir Kramnik's recent good form sees the former world champion rejoin the "2800 club", though he still remains in the #4 berth. Magnus Carlsen is still the #1 ranked player, slightly increasing his lead over world champion Vishy Anand in #2 spot. Lev Aronian holds on to position #3, all of which leaves the top four unchanged. But there are some significant movers and shakers elsewhere on the list.
Teimour Radjabov and Alexander Morozevich are the seismic gainers by jumping eight places to rejoin the top 10 at #5 and #9 respectively. Hikaru Nakamura also bounces back into the top 10 at #10 (and in the process one of the worst kept secrets in chess came out this week, with the latest edition of New in Chess magazine confirming from Garry Kasparov that - like he did with Carlsen - he's now coaching the top US player). Meanwhile, Alexander Grischuk slips out of the top 10, now ranking at #13, and there are even bigger falls for Gata Kamsky and Ruslan Ponomariov, down to #19 and #25 respectively.
With 47 players above 2700, you practically need this rating to be in the top 50 in the world. The scale is not steep enough and we find the 100th position at 2651, just 49 points away. Interesting is the comparison with a list from 2008 where there were no 2800+ players, 2700 meant you are on the verge of top 20, while 2627 guaranteed you a spot in top 100.
Statistically, the average rating of the top 100 players grows to the psychological 2700 barrier. That means that a player needs 56 ELO points more than in the year 2000 to hope for a spot in top 100.
November FIDE top 10: 1. M Carlsen, 2826 (+3); 2. V Anand, 2811 (-6); 3. L Aronian, 2802 (-5); 4. V Kramnik, 2800 (+9); 5. T Radjabov, 2781 (+29); 6. V Ivanchuk, 2775 (+10); 7. V Topalov, 2768 (=); 8. S Karjakin, 2763 (-9); 9. A Morozevich, 2762 (+25); 10. H Nakamura, 2758 (+5).
Greek Euro Battle
No, nothing to do with the plight of the European currency. During arguably the biggest crisis in its long and storied history, Greece plays host to the 18th European Team Chess Championship at the 5-star Porto Carras Grand Resort in Halkidiki, 3-11 November - this is a very strong team tournament that features some of the strongest players in the world.
There's 38 countries in the open section, with 135 GMs and 175 titled players and there's also a strong women's section. In the main event, Russia (Svidler, Karjakin, Grischuk, Morozevich, Nepomniachtchi), Ukraine (Ivanchuk, Ponomariov, Eljanov, Efimenko, Moiseenko) and Azerbaijan (Radjabov, Gashimov, Mamedyarov, Guseinov, Safarli) are the top three seeded teams, just ahead of defending champions Armenia (Aronian, Movsesian, Akopian, Sargissian, Hovhannisyan).
ICC has live game coverage of the top team pairings each day, with play starting at 9am ICC Server Time.
Join ICC today by clicking here for live coverage of the European Team Championships - and be ready for our extended live Chess.FM commentary for two upcoming and amazing year-ending elite tournaments: the Tal Memorial (16-25 November) with Carlsen, Anand, Aronian, Kramnik, Karjakin, Ivanchuk, Nakamura, Gelfand, Svidler & Nepomniachtchi (!), followed by the London Chess Classic (3-12 December) with Carlsen, Anand, Aronian, Kramnik, Nakamura, Adams, Short, McShane & Howell (!).
Chess.FM presents: GM Larry Christiansen's tribute to the great Larry Evan
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