But for the past several months a wind of change is in the air. Carlsen’s rating has gone on a slight but steady decrease, while his opposition is making huge leaps in a race towards the top. Within 22 ELO points of Carlsen are five players, all above 2800 ELO – GM Vladimir Kramnik, GM Wesley So, GM Fabiano Caruana, GM Levon Aronian, and GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.
The one that will first have a shot at the number 1 spot from the chasing pack is the ex Wold Champion Vladimir Kramnik. He is just 10 ELO points behind Carlsen and he is playing an event which starts this week – the Dortmund Chess Sparkassen Meeting 2017.
Dortmund Chess 2017 will be an eight player single round robin event that will take place from 15-23rd July. It includes GM Vladimir Kramnik, GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, GM Liviu Dieter Nisipeanu, GM Radoslaw Wojtaszek, GM Dmitry Andreikin, GM Wang Yue, GM Vladimir Fedoseev, and GM Matthias Blubaum.
Live games with analysis will be daily on Chessdom and you can follow the event on the ChessArena android application for mobile phones.
The big battle Carlsen vs Kramnik started long time ago. Exactly this clash was the basis of Carlsen winning his first World Title in India. To reach the right to challenge the throne, Magnus had to go through the Candidates tournament in London. His main opponent there was Kramnik and in the dramatic last round Kramnik had all the chances to win the event and misplayed it all in the final game.
Carlsen reached his best rating in May 2014. At that point in time the young Norwegian boasted the impressive 2882 ELO points and the question was not if anyone will overtake him, rather can Carlsen break the 2900 barrier.
Carlsen has been 73 times on the top of the rating list. Kramnik on the other hand was first in the rating list of FIDE only twice – for the first time in January 1996 and for the last time in January 2008. However, he achieved his peak rating very recently – in October 2016 at the age of 41.
In Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting GM Vladimir Kramnik has the chance to regain the number 1 position in the FIDE rating list. Will he take this chance or the strong opposition from the French GM Vachier-Lagrave, the German top player Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu, or the Chinese rock Wang Yue, can stop Kramnik’s steady walk to the top.
Dortmund Chess 2017 pairings
Round 1, 15. July, 15 hours CET
Nisipeanu – Blübaum
Vachier-Lagrave – Wojtaszek
Wang Yue – Andreikin
Kramnik – Fedoseev
Round 2, 16. July, 15 hours CET
Blübaum – Fedoseev
Andreikin – Kramnik
Wojtaszek – Wang Yue
Nisipeanu – Vachier-Lagrave
Round 3, 18. July, 15 hours CET
Vachier-Lagrave – Blübaum
Wang Yue – Nisipeanu
Kramnik – Wojtaszek
Fedoseev – Andreikin
Round 4, 19. July, 15 hours CET
Blübaum – Andreikin
Wojtaszek – Fedoseev
Nisipeanu – Kramnik
Vachier-Lagrave – Wang Yue
Round 5, 21. July, 15 hours CET
Wang Yue – Blübaum
Kramnik – Vachier-Lagrave
Fedoseev – Nisipeanu
Andreikin – Wojtaszek
Round 6, 22. July, 15 hours CET
Blübaum – Wojtaszek
Nisipeanu – Andreikin
Vachier-Lagrave – Fedoseev
Wang Yue – Kramnik
Round 7, 23. July, 13 hours CET
Kramnik – Blübaum
Fedoseev – Wang Yue
Andreikin – Vachier-Lagrave
Wojtaszek – Nisipeanu