Chess News

FIDE’s top dominated by youth

Richard Rapport has just won the final of the FIDE Grand Prix in Belgrade and added extra 14 ELO points to his rating. This puts him at 7th position in the live rating list with 2776 ELO, two points behind Wesley So and three points ahead of the World Championship finalist Nepomniachtchi.

Rapport is just 25 years old, but is likely to qualify for the Candidates tournament, confirming a continuous trend in chess – the top is dominated by the youth. While the FIDE World Championship was played by two players aged 31 – Carlsen and Nepo, half of FIDE’s top 40 players are aged under 30. Only two of the remaining players are over 40 years old – Anand and Topalov.

While Aronian (39), Vallejo (39), Dominguez Perez (38), Grischuk (38), and Mamedyarov (36) are keeping up the fight, we see youngsters shoot up the rating list. Alireza Firouzja (18) is the youngest Grandmaster to ever cross 2800 and is already qualified for the Candidates 2022. Andrei Esipenko (19) alredy put up a solid fight against Carlsen in the World Cup, and Parham Maghsoodloo (21) is at his peak rating and currently going strong in the Belgrade tournament.

FIDE top youngest players

NameFIDE ratingAgeExpected position in the April rating list
Wei Yi27292222
Van Foreest27142226

Candidates Chess 2022 is getting younger

Candidates Chess 2021 included Grischuk (36 at the time of the tournament), Radjabov (33), Wang Hao (30), Nepo (30), Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (30), Caruana (27), Ding Liren (27), Anish Giri (25), and Kirill Alekseenko (22), making the average age of the players 28,8 years.

Candidates Chess 2022 currently consists so far of Teimour Radjabov (35, nominated by FIDE), Ian Nepomniachtchi (31, runner up of World Chess Champinoship 2021), Sergey Karjakin (32, Chess World Cup 2021 runner-up), Fabiano Caruana (29, runner-up of the FIDE Grand Swiss Tournament 2021), Richard Rapport (25, qualified through Grand Prix with 96,7% certainty), Jan-Krzysztof Duda (23, Chess World Cup 2021 winner), Alireza Firouzja (18, winner of the FIDE Grand Swiss Tournament 2021), making the average age of players 27,5 years.

This makes the Candidates 2022 a year younger, despite the event age being highly skewed in the opposite direction by the FIDE nominee – Alekseenko (22) in 2021 and Radjabov (35) in 2022.

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