Carlsen, Wei Yi and the young Elo curve





Recently I heard some people discussing wether Carlsen was


already 'out of reach' as a young player. The recent performance of Wei Yi pointed at the issue again: has he an even greater potential? (And what about the young Karjakin, Caruana etc?).

I do not have an answer, but I updated some Elo graph. I report FIDE rating vs age (in days). For a few players (So, Wei Yi, Giri, Ding Fedoseev) I entered also their January performance as of today, since it implied a sensible change (and the month is almost over).

The first graph reports only the players at the top of the Elo/age curve. The second one represents a slightly less exclusive club. The thirs is a bit messy and includes all recent chess prodigies+Nakamura (since somebody asked).

You should right click the image and open in a new tab/window to get a decent image size.

And yes, they are all impressive players. And yes, Wei Yi is a tactical monster.




Very interesting.


Great graph!

Wei is certainly on a trajectory to eclipse Carlsen. He hit 2500 very early, and then went into a bit of a lull, but is now shooting up again. It's entirely possible he will reach 2700 in his very next game in Gibraltar, and there's every likelihood he will push on towards 2800, reaching it sometime before his 18th birthday. 

Giri is also looking likely to break through 2800 very soon, as is So. MVL and Ding are also on rapidly upward trajectories, and are all Carlsen's age or younger. Very exciting time for chess! 


Wei Yi all set to break into 2700, his live rating is 2698.7 . Its amazing the kind of chess he plays at 15 .

He might as well break into 2800 before his 18th birthday which would be a very remarkable achievement . I would love to see him have a go against 2750+ players right now.


I don't think it's all that likely that Wei will be 2800 already at 17. Going from 2700 to 2800 is very difficult. He might reach 2800 in his teens but my guess is that he won't do it at 17.


Well, I think... who can possibly know? It's possibly that he will not even reach 2800. Look at Karjakin, he has been by far the best before reaching 15, he turned into a top GM but far from Carlsen level. Wei Yi and Carlsen appear to have a more similar curve, not as high as Karjakin at a very young age, but growing faster. Still, Wei Yi has a lot of road ahead to reach the top. As for me, I just hope Caruana and Giri can spice up the next years in chess before this even younger generation arrives.


Wei will officially be 2706 (March, 2015 List), Hou Yifan (2686).
Giri is 2799 (live) and is playing the FIDE Grand Prix this month, so chances are he will be 2800+ in the next ratings list.
Nakamura and Anand are playing a lot this month as well, so may both be 2800+ in the next list. Record number of simultaneous 2800's coming up!