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Carlsen and the quest for 2900

PDubya

AN ONGOING DISCUSSION TRACKING CARLSEN'S QUEST FOR 2900

Magnus Carlsen began 2015 on Elo 2862. His performance at Tata Steel raised it slightly to 2865. Now, he faces another 7 rounds against mostly highly rated opponents in his ongoing quest for 2900.

With a slew of challengers closing in on 2800, his chances of cracking this mythical milestone increase. Whether one believes this rating level is inflated, or meaningless compared to winning titles and the World Championship, it nonetheless represents uncharted territory in the Chess imagination. 

Can he reach this summit in 2015? Will he reach it in 2016, or later, or will he never quite get there? Will another young challenger such as Caruana, or Giri or So get there first?

This thread will track progress towards this Everest of chess, so stay tuned and follow the fortunes of those at the pinnacle of chess, right here!

 

Updated for Norway Chess 2014:

Carlsen faces a difficult challenge to win the Norway Chess tournament, with the 7 of the top 9 players in the world competing (himself included).

To attain 2900, Carlsen would have to play out of his skin and get 8/9 (TPR: 3073), which would be the greatest tournament performance in history. He'll do well to retain his current rating against this field, requiring 6/9 to maintain it. 
 

 Update:

Carlsen added the Gashimov Memorial to his schedule, and has so far scored 2/2.

His win against Nakamura was a chess lesson in grinding down an opponent.

He now requires a further 6.5/8 for a total of 8.5/10 to cross the 2900 barrier. Already, he has reached an all-time high live rating of 2889.2. A win tomorrow against Karjakin would push him to 2892.8, while a draw with black would see him drop to about 2887.8... 

 

Original Post:

Carlsen's 2014 quest to attain 2900 began well yesterday with a first up win under Classical time controls over Gelfand, earning him 3.7 ELO points. 

Assuming that his average opponent this year is likely to be around Gelfand's strength (2777), we can extrapolate and work out what he needs to do to achieve a rating of 2900, before the World Championship match in November.

While his schedule is not finalised, I'll assume he will play the following events:

Zurich (5 games), Norway (9 games), Tal Memorial (9 games), Sinquefield Cup (6 games). 

Assuming he earns roughly 3.7 for a Win, -1.3 for a Draw, and -6.3 for a Loss we find that to attain 2900 Carlsen will need to play these events with a cumulative score of 21.5/29. 

This is almost a rate of 75%, or 3 points for every four games played. 

Based on this, I think it's highly unlikely he will achieve this level. In fact, just to retain his current ranking he will need a score of 18/29.

Something that may help Carlsen attain 2900 is having opponents with very high ratings. With Aronian currently at 2830 (Live) it's possible a World Championship match between these two would allow Carlsen to reach 2900, assuming he gives Aronian a hiding.

Predicton: Carlsen briefly attains a Live Rating of around 2890 at some stage during the year, but finishes somewhere around 2880 prior to the World Championship.

GMVillads

Carlsens goal is to reach 2903 because it is the first prime number after 2900(!) and I think he will reach it in 2014 or 2015

ghms

It is a matter of time till someone reaches +2900.

Taking inflation into account Fischer and Kasparov >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Downy Carlsen.

fabelhaft
PDubya wrote:

Assuming he earns roughly 3.7 for a Win, -1.3 for a Draw, and -6.3 for a Loss we find that to attain 2900 Carlsen will need to play these events with a cumulative score of 21.5/29. 

This is almost a rate of 75%, or 3 points for every four games played. 

Based on this, I think it's highly unlikely he will achieve this level.

Agreed, we are talking about scores around +15 -0 =15 against World #6 rated opposition. One can compare with what players like Kramnik and Anand did during their reigns, a couple of examples:

Kramnik's results in 2003: +8 -3 =27 in 38 games against 2691 opposition (57% against around #20 in the world at the time).

Anand's results in 2009: +6 -3 =16 in 25 games against 2743 opposition (56% against around #12 in the world at the time).

Karpov's results 1971-80: +171 -21 =221 in 413 games against 2569 opposition (68%, but all top ten players were rated above 2600 throughout the period so his opposition was comparatively weak).

Looking at such comparisons it looks extremely difficult to score 75% against opponents ranked much higher than those Anand, Kramnik and Karpov faced without ever getting close to 75%.

ChessBooster

even if he reaches 2900 what does it means ? that he is a man from space or what? every strong player could run for highest ELO ever (Fischer if wanted to play, Gary, Kramnik, Aronian still could). Gary had 2852 i think, almost 15 years ago and he could run for 2900, all he needed is to play several tournaments and make +5 or +10 each which was easy for him those days.

it's just a fist of numbers nothing more than that.

GMVillads

If he continues with the +2900 performances it is only a matter of time

TheGreatOogieBoogie

The way he took out Anand so decisively I think Carlsen's ELO is underrated.  A 2870 strength player should lose at least a couple of times against Anand (while ultimately still beating him of course)

Alec92
ghms wrote:

It is a matter of time till someone reaches +2900.

Carlsen is one of a kind I doubt anyone is going to climb that high in my life time.

varelse1

I agree with OP.

While Carlsen rarely loses, he draws WAY too much. Which keeps bringing his rating down, as the best playersin the world are mostly 80-100 points beneath him.

Carlsen is becomeing the victim of his own awesomeness.

wasted_youth
GMVillads wrote:

Carlsens goal is to reach 2903 because it is the first prime number after 2900(!) and I think he will reach it in 2014 or 2015

He'll have to do it in 2017 then, because that's the next prime number year. After that: next chance 2027.

PDubya

@Tigerprowl, Carlsen loses points for every draw, even against Aronian. Against #100 he'd probably lose 2-3 points, and 8-10 for a loss, so he does have to win regularly to maintain his rating.

@ChessBooster. I agree to some extent. There's definitely something to be said for inflation.I think a more valid measurement is overall percentage against Top 10/20 as @fabelhaft outlined. Clearly, Karpov towered over Kramnik/Anand, which seems valid.

Having said that, in matchplay, and at the ends of tournaments, when draws are all that's required for victory, I doubt many players obsess over the rating points they will lose. Aronian lost in the final round at Tata Steel, which didn't really matter, yet it cost him around 7 points, or more if you consider he could have won.

In the end, ELO is still a decent system, and ranks players well enough. I think something like Carlsen attaining 2900 captures the imagination, even if it is all just a fistful of numbers.

ChessBooster
TheGreatOogieBoogie wrote:

The way he took out Anand so decisively I think Carlsen's ELO is underrated.  A 2870 strength player should lose at least a couple of times against Anand (while ultimately still beating him of course)

The truth, but it is question what do you see as "Annand". Despite his name and rating and the fact he was WCH, his present chess fitness is very deep below his current 2770 ELO.

samtoyousir

Thing is, I wouldn't really bother about rating inflation saying that someone will eventally. FIDE will proably find some way to bring ratings back down to believeable levals... I predict Magnus will hit 2890, but not much further...

ChessBooster

there is no reason to bring back rating points, it's a just temporary indicator of somebodys chess strenght+activity.

But you have titles (read GM) which are devaluated badly and this is the problem, title is for life time, rating you loose if you do not play well at some point of career. how can Magnus C be categorized same as some average 2400-2500 local player ?

L_coolmint

Carlsen's quest ended when he went up against the McDonald's Gambit: Extended Variation.

Scottrf

Nice to see someone actually understand what it takes to reach these elo levels.

L_coolmint

Carlsen loses 58.5 times out of 59 matches against the McDonald's Gambit.

PDubya

Carlsen is now 2882.6. A win against Anand tomorrow puts 2900 very much in the picture this year.

samtoyousir

Wow, yep! Looking much better for Magnus! A win tomorrow will practically do it.

EvgeniyZh

Well he's playing black... If he wins his rating will be 2886, which means in Norway he needs to score at least 7.5 to hit 2900 in July which I think is hard but possible.