Magnus Carlsen Tops FIDE January Rating List With 42-Point Gap

Magnus Carlsen Tops FIDE January Rating List With 42-Point Gap

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
Jan 1, 2015, 7:34 AM |
54 | Misc

Without playing a game, GM Magnus Carlsen (2862) saw his lead in the world rankings increase to 42 Elo points. GM Fabiano Caruana lost nine points but is still the world #2.

After winning his match with Vishy Anand in November in Sochi, Magnus Carlsen took some rest. Nonetheless his rating, 2862, is impressive.

In a recent interview Anand left no doubt about who he thinks is the best player in the world:

“Right now, he is just astounding. I mean he is not just difficult for me. There is no player in the world who can claim to dominate Carlsen and that is a very real assessment. He wins against everyone. So it isn't just me. [...]

The record is unbelievable. He has been at over 2860 plus ELO [sic] rating points for a long time now and he has maintained that rating with ease. It is the kind of rating that many people will never achieve and even in this lot, it is only Caruana who is close. So is he the most formidable player ever? That is hard to answer but in the current generation no one comes close.”

We only have to wait nine days to see the world number one behind the chess board again. After skipping a year, Carlsen will be back in Wijk aan Zee. His main rivals will be GM Fabiano Caruana, GM Levon Aronian, GM Anish Giri, GM Wesley So and GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.

Caruana made the headlines in September when he scored his amazing 7-game winning streak at the Sinquefield Cup. His rating jumped from 2801 to 2844, but in subsequent lists he lost 24 points. Will he manage to stop that trend at Tata?

It's a pity that we won't see world number three GM Alexander Grischuk in Wijk aan Zee. The Russian number one, who didn't play classical games in December, is only 10 points behind Caruana. Like Grischuk, GM Veselin Topalov wasn't active and remains the world number four.

GM Viswanathan Anand and GM Levon Aronian switched places; the Indian won 3.9 rating points thanks to his victory in London while there were still a few games of Aronian from his match with GM Hikaru Nakamura in November that weren't calculated yet.

GM Anish Giri was number seven in October and November but dropped back to number 10 in December. In the new year we find the young Dutch GM back at seven after an impressive rating gain of 16.1 points earned in Qatar and London.

In 12 months, Giri, who is now rated 2784, won exactly 50 Elo points. 

GM Vladimir Kramnik was briefly out of the top 10 at the end of 2014 but is firmly back again, rated 2783, one point behind Giri. He also got his points (+13.7) from Qatar and London.

GM Hikaru Nakamura won a modest 2.1 rating points in this period but dropped two places because of Giri and Kramnik's successes. Nakamura is still the U.S. number one but GM Wesley So is getting closer: the difference is 14 points for FIDE, but only 6.4 points in the live ratings.

Don't miss Chess.com's Death Match between Nakamura and So on January 3, 2015 at 9 a.m. Pacific, noon Eastern, 6 p.m. Central Europe! The U.S. #1 and #2 will battle it out over three hours with 5 1, 3 1 and 1 1 games to determine who is the best player in speed chess! Follow the match with GM commentary on Chess.com/TV.

GM Sergey Karjakin lost 12.9 points in the Russian Championship Superfinal and dropped out of the top 10. GM David Navara entered the top 20 after winning 10.9 points in the Czech and Chinese leagues.

Up-and-coming player GM Yu Yangyi gained 19.1 points with his win in Qatar and six more games from the Chinese league. Yu is now the world's 29th player. GM Arkadij Naiditsch lost no fewer than 37 points, but as we saw yesterday he's already on the way back.

January 2015 FIDE Ratings (Top 20)

Rank Name Title Country Rating Games B-Day
1 Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2862 0 1990-11-30
2 Caruana, Fabiano g ITA 2820 5 1992-07-30
3 Grischuk, Alexander g RUS 2810 0 1983-10-31
4 Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2800 0 1975-03-15
5 Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2797 5 1969-12-11
6 Aronian, Levon g ARM 2797 0 1982-10-06
7 Giri, Anish g NED 2784 14 1994-06-28
8 Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2783 14 1975-06-25
9 Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2776 5 1987-12-09
10 So, Wesley g USA 2762 0 1993-10-09
11 Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2760 9 1990-01-12
12 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar g AZE 2759 9 1985-04-12
13 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime g FRA 2757 9 1990-10-21
14 Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2747 2 1968-06-24
15 Wojtaszek, Radoslaw g POL 2744 0 1987-01-13
16 Svidler, Peter g RUS 2739 9 1976-06-17
17 Adams, Michael g ENG 2738 5 1971-11-17
18 Andreikin, Dmitry g RUS 2737 0 1990-02-05
19 Vitiugov, Nikita g RUS 2735 9 1987-02-04
20 Radjabov, Teimour g AZE 2734 0 1987-03-12

(You can find the top 100 here.)

In the women's list there were few changes (the top six remained the same) as not many female players were active in December — as far as classical games are concerned.

GM Judit Polgar remains the number one player for at least another month, just two points ahead of GM Hou Yifan.

GM Valentina Gunina won the Russian women's championship and took GM Alexandra Kosteniuk's place as world number seven. GM Bela Khotenashvili was the best female player in Qatar, won 22 points and entered the world's top 10. 

January 2015 FIDE Women Ratings (Top 20)

Rank Name Title Country Rating Games B-Day
1 Polgar, Judit g HUN 2675 0 1976-07-23
2 Hou, Yifan g CHN 2673 0 1994-02-27
3 Koneru, Humpy g IND 2581 0 1987-03-31
4 Dzagnidze, Nana g GEO 2570 0 1987-01-01
5 Ju, Wenjun g CHN 2547 16 1991-01-31
6 Muzychuk, Anna g UKR 2544 0 1990-02-28
7 Gunina, Valentina g RUS 2538 9 1989-02-04
8 Lagno, Kateryna g RUS 2530 0 1989-12-27
9 Kosteniuk, Alexandra g RUS 2529 9 1984-04-23
10 Khotenashvili, Bela g GEO 2526 16 1988-06-01
11 Cmilyte, Viktorija g LTU 2525 0 1983-08-06
12 Muzychuk, Mariya m UKR 2520 0 1992-09-21
13 Cramling, Pia g SWE 2518 0 1963-04-23
14 Stefanova, Antoaneta g BUL 2515 9 1979-04-19
15 Zhao, Xue g CHN 2514 8 1985-04-06
16 Harika, Dronavalli g IND 2496 9 1991-01-12
17 Ruan, Lufei wg CHN 2491 0 1987-10-02
18 Kosintseva, Nadezhda g RUS 2489 0 1985-01-14
19 Danielian, Elina g ARM 2488 9 1978-08-16
20 Tan, Zhongyi wg CHN 2487 7 1991-05-29

(You can find the top 100 here.)

K-factor

The “K-factor” is the maximum possible rating adjustment per game. In recent years FIDE has increased the K-factor for certain categories of players, up to 40 at present. According to the current rating regulations,

K = 40 for a player new to the rating list until he has completed events with at least 30 games
K = 20 as long as a player's rating remains under 2400.
K = 10 once a player's published rating has reached 2400 and remains at that level subsequently, even if the rating drops below 2400.
K = 40 for all players until their 18th birthday, as long as their rating remains under 2300.

The January 2015 list has caused some discussion about whether 40 might be too high. Especially the case of the 14-year-old Azerbaijani player Parviz Gasimov raised eyebrows: he was rated 1949 in October, and 2517 in January!

WGM Natalija Pogonina tweeted:

GM Michal Krasenkow posted about it on Facebook too, where it was discussed.


Two remarks from that discussion:

GM Sam Shankland: “This is pretty ridiculous. For the most part FIDE ratings are much better than the U.S. national ones, But we did get one thing right -- compounding events and not assuming the monthly supplement for one's rating change in the second tournament of the cycle. In this player's case for example, if they had compounded his results and used his live rating of 2510 for his last tournament, a score of 5.0 / 9 against a 2240 average would have definitely brought the published rating back down to earth. Not that this makes K = 40 any more sensible, but it would at least limit some damage.”

GM Michal Krasenkow: “Sam Shankland, thanks for your remark! That would be the best way to do but, apparently, the FIDE infrastructure does not allow instant recalculation of thousands of tournaments worldwide. For instance, the Qatar Open WAS Reported and Rated later than Bundesliga and other events which finished a couple of weeks later. And there are a lot of rated tournaments we do not even know about. Therefore it looks like rating periods can not be abandoned yet and live ratings can not become official. Alas :-( ”

Update: Here's a critical reaction to FIDE on the Parviz Gasimov case.

Chess.com Blitz & Bullet

Let's move on to our very own lists for Blitz and Bullet chess — something we also did back in November. We only look at players who have been active on the site recently.

In our blitz ratings GM Hikaru (Hikaru Nakamura) has a similar lead as Carlsen in the FIDE ratings. Compared to November he gained 8 points and is now 50 points ahead of the number two. We find a new name there: GM LyonBeast, a.k.a. “MVL,” or Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. The Frenchman gained no less than 102 points!

GM LexySexy (Baadur Jobava), however, lost 74 points and dropped out of the top 10. Another world-class player, GM 2Vladimirovich90 (Dmitry Andreikin), entered the top 20 and reached #5 by playing his Death Match with MVL and the recent Titled Tuesday tournament.

That, as we know, was won by Chess.com author GM DanielNaroditsky, who jumped to #7 in the blitz ratings:

Chess.com Live Chess | Blitz, 1 January 2015 (Top 20)

# Name Rating Win Loss Draw
1 GM Hikaru 2795 154 (88%) 15 (9%) 6 (3%)
2 GM LyonBeast 2745 81 (76%) 17 (16%) 9 (8%)
3 GM Tamirn 2720 1131 (86%) 139 (11%) 50 (4%)
4 FM Kulinarist 2715 583 (92%) 31 (5%) 20 (3%)
5 GM 2Vladimirovich90 2708 106 (77%) 20 (15%) 11 (8%)
6 GM FabianoCaruana 2654 207 (82%) 28 (11%) 18 (7%)
7 GM DanielNaroditsky 2639 19 (83%) 3 (13%) 1 (4%)
8 GM Nouki 2636 398 (70%) 146 (26%) 26 (5%)
9 GM GeorgMeier 2633 80 (68%) 23 (19%) 15 (13%)
10 GM erwinlami 2621 405 (74%) 95 (17%) 46 (8%)
11 GM Duhless 2619 60 (68%) 22 (25%) 6 (7%)
12 GM LexySexy 2611 14 (82%) 3 (18%) 0 (0%)
13 GM VerdeNotte 2599 28 (68%) 10 (24%) 3 (7%)
14 GM Dlugy 2599 481 (64%) 215 (29%) 55 (7%)
15 GM JackSnipe 2585 37 (70%) 7 (13%) 9 (17%)
16 GM Janosik 2578 122 (70%) 43 (25%) 10 (6%)
17 NM TheTruth 2571 1203 (98%) 20 (2%) 3 (0%)
18 FillTheGap19 2568 19 (100%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
19 GM Contora 2568 291 (62%) 121 (26%) 55 (12%)
20 IM Yaacovn 2566 1022 (58%) 606 (34%) 146 (8%)

Nakamura's lead is even bigger in our bullet list: there he's 157 points ahead of Andreikin. In November IM brute4ever (Siddharth Ravichandran) was the number two on the list, but because of inactivity he fell out.

IM MEsserman (Marc) is not in the blitz top 20, but holds an impressive third place in the bullet. Recently it looks like he's been playing against engines only!

Chess.com Live Chess | Bullet, 1 January 2015 (Top 20)

# Name Rating Win Loss Draw
1 GM Hikaru 3031 1356 (89%) 113 (7%) 60 (4%)
2 GM 2Vladimirovich90 2874 57 (71%) 16 (20%) 7 (9%)
3 IM MEsserman 2863 5635 (58%) 3648 (38%) 417 (4%)
4 GM Phoenix 2850 203 (89%) 19 (8%) 5 (2%)
5 GM LyonBeast 2847 327 (85%) 38 (10%) 21 (5%)
6 GM erichansen 2800 653 (68%) 265 (28%) 40 (4%)
7 FM GulamaliRises 2773 931 (57%) 593 (36%) 114 (7%)
8 IM penguingm1 2753 2178 (60%) 1261 (35%) 207 (6%)
9 FM Kulinarist 2749 4005 (72%) 1257 (23%) 304 (5%)
10 IM TigerLilov 2743 159 (63%) 87 (34%) 7 (3%)
11 NM matein28 2737 120 (77%) 26 (17%) 9 (6%)
12 FM wonderfultime 2730 760 (52%) 605 (42%) 87 (6%)
13 IM Mutalisk 2729 712 (68%) 263 (25%) 75 (7%)
14 IM Boryboy 2701 856 (49%) 791 (45%) 109 (6%)
15 GM Tamirn 2700 1084 (72%) 345 (23%) 80 (5%)
16 IM Yaacovn 2690 6169 (62%) 3107 (31%) 658 (7%)
17 GM FabianoCaruana 2685 533 (82%) 87 (13%) 32 (5%)
18 GM Duhless 2680 29 (81%) 7 (19%) 0 (0%)
19 GM Janosik 2677 5846 (72%) 2025 (25%) 283 (3%)
20 GM LittlePeasant 2675 654 (58%) 388 (35%) 76 (7%)
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