Chess News

Improved FIDE July List top ratings estimate

Measure Up, with Hans Arild Runde (June 17th)

Like I wrote in my previous article, the Live Top List is a best effort type of initiative, and sometimes it happens that the occasional event sneaks by below my radar! After the July list preview, 4 additional events have come to my attention – 3 team events and the Chinese Individual Championships. This has added one event and some minor corrections to the following 5 players: Gashimov, Nakamura, Ni, Milov and Wang Yue. We therefore want to present an improved estimate of the top ratings in the FIDE July list. Please also consider the section ‘Assumptions Made’ below.

FIDE July List Preview

Rank Name Rating Games Change Born
01 Anand 2798 2 -5 1969
02 Morozevich 2788 20 14 1977
03 Kramnik 2788 0 0 1975
04 Ivanchuk 2781 25 41 1969
05 Topalov 2777 10 10 1975
06 Carlsen 2775 16 10 1990
07 Radjabov 2744 31 -7 1987
08 Mamedyarov 2742 23 -10 1985
09 Shirov 2741 11 1 1972
10 Leko 2741 0 0 1979
11 Svidler 2738 32 -8 1976
12 Aronian 2737 11 -26 1982
13 Adams 2735 20 6 1971
14 Grischuk 2728 21 12 1983
15 Karjakin 2727 27 -5 1990
16 Movsesian 2723 53 28 1978
17 Kamsky 2720 22 -6 1974
18 Gelfand 2720 10 -3 1968
19 Ponomariov 2718 10 -1 1983
20 Gashimov 2717 34 38 1986
21 Eljanov 2716 23 29 1983
22 Polgar 2711 3 2 1976
23 Jakovenko 2709 20 -2 1983
24 Dominguez 2708 19 13 1983
25 Alekseev 2708 12 -3 1985
26 Nakamura 2707 21 21 1987
27 Ni 2705 28 1 1983
28 Bu 2705 25 -3 1985
29 Milov 2705 16 15 1972
30 Wang Yue 2704 28 15 1987

Notable Changes

The list above includes all relevant events played, with the exception of one (see the next subsection for details). In the top of the list, we see that Morozevich has caught up with Kramnik, who hasn’t played any games in this rating period. The reason for Morozevich being ranked ahead of Kramnik despite them having the exact same rating, is FIDE’s tie-break criteria, which is number of games played. Moro won the big majority of his 14 point gain by winning Bosna Sarajevo in style, while snatching the final points needed in the Bosnia Herzegovina league competition. Ivanchuk has made a huge leap upwards after several strong events, mainly his break-out win in MTel, with a TPR of 2977 after an undefeated 8/10. The same event was miserable for Aronian, who ended up dropping out of top 10 for the first since time since April 2005. Topalov and Carlsen gained around 10 points each, but both were pushed one place down due to Ivanchuk’s big leap.

In the lower half of the list, we can welcome several players to the 2700 club, most of them for the first time: Since the April list, Movsesian (2723), Gashimov (2717), Eljanov (2716), Dominguez (2708), Nakamura (2707), Milov (2705) and Wang Yue (2704) have crossed the somewhat less magical 2700-border – the lesser magic explained by a record-breaking 30 players above 2700.

Events Included

The events being the basis for the July preview above, are the following:

French League (rounds 1-3) Magistral Ruy Lopez (7 rounds)
Russian Team Championship (11 rounds) French League (rounds 4-7)
Czech League (11 rounds) German Bundesliga (15 rounds)
European Individual Championship (11 rounds) Baku Grand Prix (13 rounds)
Dutch League (rounds 7-9) Capablanca Memorial (9 rounds)
M-Tel Masters (10 rounds) President’s Cup Baku (9 rounds)
Chicago Open (7 rounds) Chinese League (rounds 1-3)
Chinese League (rounds 4-9) Ukrainian League (9 rounds)
Hungarian Team Championship (11 rounds) French League (rounds 8-11)
Bosna 2008 (10 rounds) German Verbandsliga (2 games rated)
Israel National League (11 rounds) Bosnia-Herzegovina League (9 rounds)
SGM League (1 game rated) Chinese Individual Championship (11 rounds)
Iranian League (8 games rated) World Amateur Team (3 games rated)

Assumptions Made

One interesting omission above, is the 2008 National Open played in Las Vegas last weekend. The two American GMs Kamsky and Nakamura participated in this event that finished June 8th. Kamsky placed shared first and gained almost 3 rating points, while Nakamura had a rather miserable event, with a 2445 TPR, losing 10 rating points. If this event were to be rated for the July list, GM Kamsky’s position in the FIDE list would be unchanged, 17th with a rating of 2723, while GM Nakamura would not break 2700 for the first time, but still set a new personal rating record of 2697. As of today, June 17th, the National Open is not registered among US events to be rated for July 2008. This event is included in the Live Top List, though, explaining why Nakamura currently isn’t present there.

Another possible difference between the final FIDE July list and the list presented above, is the rating and rank of Chinese Bu. The reason for this, is the game of the final round of the Russian Team Championship, between Sakaev (white) and Bu (black). The rating report submitted to FIDE has this game as a win for Bu, while every source I’ve seen, has this game as a draw, including the official site of the Russian Team Championship. The pgn of this game can be downloaded from If there still is some twist to the result of this game, making the rating report correct after all, Bu would appear in 23rd place with a rating of 2710 instead, pushing everyone between Polgar and Bu down one place in the rankings.

There is also some uncertainty pertaining to the ongoing Aerosvit event in Foros, with several top players participating (those with a current live rating of 2700+ are Carlsen, Svidler, Ivanchuk, Shirov, Karjakin, Eljanov, Jakovenko and Alekseev). Aerosvit finishes June 20th and hence shouldn’t be included in the July list if FIDE’s rules are to be followed strictly. However, big events featuring many elite players like Linares and certain FIDE events like the WCC, have on several occasions been rated despite ending after the official deadline. Still, due to this deadline and Aerosvit not being finished yet, we’ve chosen to leave it out of today’s July list preview. However, if we include the results of the first 6 rounds of Aerosvit, the top ten of a theoretical FIDE list as of June 14th would look like this:

Rank Name Rating Games Change Born
01 Anand 2798 2 -5 1969
02 Carlsen 2791 22 26 1990
03 Morozevich 2788 20 14 1977
04 Kramnik 2788 0 0 1975
05 Ivanchuk 2777 31 37 1969
06 Topalov 2777 10 10 1975
07 Radjabov 2744 31 -7 1987
08 Mamedyarov 2742 23 -10 1985
09 Leko 2741 0 0 1979
10 Shirov 2739 17 -1 1972

The most amazing in this table, is of course Magnus Carlsen in 2nd place, 17,5 years old! If Carlsen is able to score +1 in his final 5 games (something he actually is expected to do, and then some, based on his current rating of 2765), he will remain number 2 unofficially, also after the Aerosvit event has ended. If FIDE additionally would choose to rate the event for July, Carlsen would officially be number 2, with a rating of 2790+. Irrespective of this, you can follow further changes to the top standings day by day, by going to If there are questions, comments or suggestions to this article or the Live Top List, I’ll be delighted to read and respond to those, either via email or in a future article. Until then, have a nice time!

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