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As of Sunday's game, Carlsen is at 2868 in the "live" ratings. He only has 32 points to go to 2900! At 22, he is 15 years or so from his peak strength on historical average.
As to the "life happens" dilemma posited by philidor_position, it tends to affect those who have reached a peak level, or who realize their peak will be nowhere near the World Championship class. Of top contenders, only Fischer has walked away from the game at his peak, and he had already attained the goal of the title and was ten years older than Carlsen when he quit playing.
2872 now. At this rate, he'll reach 2900 before the end of the year.
It is easily possible given rating inflation and his recent achievements.
Let's play it by gaps instead of rating. Take the calculation ELO of Number 1 - ELO of Number 2. Carlsen is +62 right now. What's the widest gap we've seen in the last 60 years?
Of course not. Nobody lives that long. :)
A little research has yielded the gap of +125 for Bobby Fischer over No. 2 in July 1972. To match this now Carlsen will need a 2810+125=2935 ELO rating.
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