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Looking at today's live rating list there are three western players in the top five. This is something that never happened on official Elo rating lists in the more than 40 years they existed, or on unofficial rating lists of the 1960s. Many top ten lists of the past didn't have a single player from west of the old Warsaw bloc.
Now, if Aronian and Kramnik drop a few points in their next event and Caruana and Nakamura gain a few points the top three would be all western. The last time that happened was maybe at the end of the 1800s, with Lasker, Tarrasch and Pillsbury. Even then one could make a case that the top three was more "eastern" than it would be with Carlsen, Caruana and Nakamura, since both Lasker and Tarrasch were born in what is now Poland.
Got even closer to a western top two after today, with Nakamura now only six points from second place on the rating list, even if Caruana's distance to the top increased.
Now, if Aronian and Kramnik drop a few points in their next event and Caruana and Nakamura gain a few points the top three would be all western.
Except that would never happen.
Actually no, that might happen someday, but it's definitely not in their next event.
I don't think it will happen in the next event either, but it's not impossible. Aronian (2795 if the official list was made today) dropped seven points in his last event, and Kramnik (2796) always underperformed in the national championship. He hasn't won it yet but this year it doesn't look too strong without Grischuk and Moro.
Nakamura (2790) is quite close to second place already, so the biggest "problem" could be Caruana (2780). Even if he recently was 2800 on the live rating list he will need a strong finish to return to the 2790s.
Still, Carlsen, Caruana and Nakamura have time on their side, being the youngest of the top rated players. The guy just behind Caruana on the live rating list is 24 years older. At the same time he did just pass Anand for the first time in more than 22 years, so age isn't everything.
Updated ratings in the fight for second spot behind Carlsen after today's round:
Nakamura and Caruana both have finishes where it looks as if they might pick some more points. Nakamura first has two whites in a row against opponents that both lost today (Ponomariov and Gelfand), and then black against a Giri in bad shape. Caruana has black against the same Giri, then white against Tomashevsky and black against Dominguez, and he will need to win a couple of those games to reach the Candidates so he will certainly try hard to do it.
Hmmm... Nakamura achieved the highest live rating until now.
Nakamura is playing better and better, like he is slowly maturing... Maybe the positive impact of Arthur Kogan ?
He really has improved a lot lately. It is easy to forget that his highest world ranking before 2011 was 15th, and now he is one win in two white games from reaching 2nd place in 2013 (and make the top two the most western ever).
At the same time Carlsen begins to reach Kasparov's levels in distance to #2. The biggest difference Kasparov ever had down to #2 was 82 points, while Carlsen has 74 points on the October list that was published today.
OK, for the November list Nakamura is in the club house with 2789 after falling from 2794 in the last rounds, and the three other contenders for second place all start tournaments this week. Kramnik (2796) in the Russian Superfinal, Aronian (2795) in Bilbao, and Caruana (2789) in Bucharest. Carlsen in first place will stay 2870.
Well i dont consider Nakamura the typical westerner, seriously i think in 50 years the top ten will all be chinese
Ofc i know Nakamura is Japanese...
When it finally happened no one even thought about how unusual it was: March 2015 had an all western top three (Carlsen, Caruana and Nakamura), probably the first since the 1800s without East European players.
It's clear that the fall of the Soviet Union, where chess was taken very seriously, has had a negative effect on the chess in the countries that once were part of it. The year the Soviet Union was dissolved, 1991, the top rated players were Kasparov, Karpov, Gelfand, Ivanchuk, Bareev, Gurevich, Ehlvest, Yudasin, Salov, Beliavsky, Khalifman, Kamsky etc, but today there are no players from ex-Soviet countries in the top 7 of the live rating list.
8/30/2015 - Corner Pocket
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