Chess News

April 2009 FIDE Rating List

Topalov extends lead, Anand is second

The 2009 April FIDE rating list is going to be published in a few weeks. The deadline for submission of results is March 15, which gives us a complete picture of the rating list.

Veselin Topalov will be number one on the list once again. He extends his lead after successful campaigns in Nanjing Grand Slam tournament (+13,2 points) and the Challengers match with Kamsky (+3,0 points). Topalov gains a total of 16 ELO points, reaching a value of 2812, just a point from his historical maximum (2813 ELO in July 2006).


Veselin Topalov and Vishy Anand

The Top Six

Vishy Anand started Linares well, but met strong opposition. Finishing mid table made him lose points due to his higher rating. He drops from 2791 to 2783. However, Anand keeps the second place due to negative period for Carlsen, Morozevich, and Ivanchuk, and inactivity by Kramnik.

The Norwegian prodigy Magnus Carlsen climbs to third position in the list despite losing 6 ELO points. A series of draws during Corus 2009 made the expectations for his position in the world ranking negative. Important wins against Anand and Grischuk during Linares brought his rating up again, and only the losses from Aronian and Wang Yue kept him away from the number 2 position in the list.

Kramnik will be on 4th position without any rated games, but he has Radjabov and Aronian just a few points away. Radjabov has a positive balance from Corus after wins against Kamsky and Wang Yue, but the loss from Van Wely and the negative results from Linares against Anand and Grischuk bring his rating down 5 points. Aronian participated in all 3 Grand Slam events with Nanjing on +4,20, Corus on +3,60, and Linares on -3,6 to complete the top 6.

Vladimir Kramnik square 3

Vladimir Kramnik

Movements in the 2700 club

There have been drastic movements in the 2700 club in the last period. GM Tiviakov, the defending European Champion, made a good re-entry with 24 points gain. Same is valid for Malakhov who was very active and will become a member of the club again with 9,8 points gain. Topalov’s 16,8 points, Grischuk’s 15 points after fantastic Linares, Karjakin’s 15,2 points from his brilliant performance at Corus, and the 15 points of Ni Hua are other notable gains in the period.

However, the negative movement has dominated the list and currently we can notice a rating deflation (if we consider the players that went out of the 2700 list as well). Ivanchuk flew out of top 10 after losing 33 points, Morozevich is 9th with 20 points loss, while Movsesian dropped to 15th with 17 points loss. Out of the top 10 players only 3 gain rating points – Topalov, Grischuk, and Aronian.

Karjakin serious 1 Alexander Grischuk 1

Sergey Karjakin and Alexander Grischuk

The list has shrinked to 29 players, continuing the downward trend (32 players in October, 31 in January). Yet, it is much larger than the 24 players in April 2008, the 20 players in 2007, the 17 players in 2006, the obvious cause being the large number of strong tournaments that have emerged in the last years.

Sources: – by Hans Arild Runde – FIDE ratings server

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