World's Top 10 To Play At Norway Chess
This week the organizers of the Altibox Norway Chess tournament announced a most spectacular field for the 2017 edition. The current world's top 10 will be playing.
It's the organizers' (and sponsors'!) dream: to have the best players in the world, and only the best players. For this year, the Altibox Norway Chess tournament managed just that.
2017 Altibox Norway Chess | Participants
A fitting field for celebrating its fifth edition, that would be an understatement. In fact, this list of players begs a comparison with other ultra-strong classical tournaments in chess history.
A field with all, and only, top-10 players never seems to have occurred. Based on that, Norway Chess will be the strongest tournament ever held, if the current top 10 remains the same.
The AVRO 1938 tournament had the eight best players of that moment—and no tournament ever repeated that. They were Paul Keres, Reuben Fine (who shared first place), Mikhail Botvinnik, Max Euwe, Samuel Reshevsky, Alexander Alekhine, José Raúl Capablanca and Salo Flohr.
AVRO 1938 | Final Standings
|2||Reuben Fine||United States||0½||1½||10||10||11||½½||1½||8½|
|3||Mikhail Botvinnik||Soviet Union||½½||0½||½0||1½||1½||½1||½½||7½|
|5||Samuel Reshevsky||United States||0½||1||0½||1½||½½||½½||1½||7|
|7||José Raúl Capablanca||Cuba||0½||½½||½0||10||½½||½0||½1||6|
The Las Palmas 1996 tournament had five of the world's top six players (Garry Kasparov, Vishy Anand, Vladimir Kramnik, Veselin Topalov, and Anatoly Karpov), and Vassily Ivanchuk, who was the world number-seven at the time. It was a double round-robin with an average Elo of 2756.
Las Palmas 1996 | Final Standings
A more recent event that should be mentioned is the 2014 Sinquefield Cup. With Fabiano Caruana, Magnus Carlsen, Veselin Topalov, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Levon Aronian and Hikaru Nakamura, it was by rating the strongest in the history of chess, as measured by actual average Elo ratings of 2802.
Sinquefield Cup 2014 | Final Standings
|1||Fabiano Caruana||2801||1 ½||1 1||1 1||1 ½||1 ½||8½||3103|
|2||Magnus Carlsen||2877||0 ½||½ ½||½ ½||1 ½||½ 1||5½||2822|
|3||Veselin Topalov||2772||0 0||½ ½||1 ½||0 ½||1 1||5||2807|
|4||Maxime Vachier-Lagrave||2768||0 0||½ ½||0 ½||1 ½||½ ½||4||2738|
|5||Levon Aronian||2804||0 ½||0 ½||1 ½||0 ½||½ ½||4||2731|
|6||Hikaru Nakamura||2787||0 ½||½ 0||0 0||½ ½||½ ½||3||2658|
Earlier that year the Zurich Chess Challenge was in fact the first-ever Category 23 tournament with an average rating of 2801. That event combined classical and rapid chess.
At the moment the Norway Chess tournament has an average Elo of 2800 exactly. We'll have to wait and see if that will go up; the tournament will be using the June 2017 FIDE ratings.
"The fact that we are the first ones ever to bring together the top 10 players in the world in one tournament shows that Altibox Norway Chess has established itself as the strongest and one of the most important tournaments in the chess world," said the founder of the tournament, Kjell Madland.
"We have, since the tournament’s inception in 2013, wanted to create a unique chess tournament. This shows that we have succeeded."
The 2017 Altibox Norway Chess tournament takes place from June 5 to 17 at the Clarion Energy Hotel and at the Stavanger Concert Hall in Norway.