FIDE April rankings: Vishy Anand is numero uno

4/2/2007 – FIDE came under worldwide pressure and – relented. Over the last two days the April rating list was corrected to include the important Morelia/Linares tournament. In the new and now official list India's Viswanathan Anand is in first place, with 2786 rating points, ahead of Veselin Topalov and Vladimir Kramnik, both 14 points lower. Congratulations Vishy! Lists, statistics and commentary.

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The official FIDE rating list was published on April 2nd 2007, after a first list, published on March 31 had left out the very important Morelia/Linares Super-GM event (and consequently left Veselin Topalov in the number one notch). Protests from chess fans all over the world – including 1.1 billion in India – led to the FIDE ratings commission rethinking its policy and including Morelia/Linares. Strictly speaking the submission date for this event, which ended on March 10, had expired on February 28. But since FIDE had in the past always included Linares, and because scores of other events rated in the April 2007 list had also been submitted late, the final decision to include Morelia/Linars made perfect sense. [GM Ian Rogers has pointed out that Gibtel was still not rated, which saved Michael Adams a number of rating points. GM Zhu Chen confirmed that she played in Gibtel but her rating had not been corrected.]


Vishy Anand in Morelis, on the way to displacing his main rival on the FIDE rankings

One might add that even if the arguments for including the events were not so compelling it would still have been expedient to do so. The accuracy of the ratings and their up-to-dateness should certainly take precedence over burocratic guidelines. In fact with modern-day computers easily able to cope we wish FIDE would publish its list more often, perhaps with a second topical list appearing every time a tournament is properly submitted. There is good news: FIDE has just set up a new Rating Server which looks like it is ready to do exactly what we are advocating.


Vishy Anand, highest ranked chess player in the world, talking to the press


... and getting mobbed by fans

The man at the top of the April 2007 list is India's Viswanathan Anand, who becomes the sixth player to be ranked as the strongest player on the planet since FIDE started its ratings in 1970, with Bobby Fisher in first place. The players who subsequently topped the list were Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik (in one list he shared first with Kasparov) and Veselin Topalov. Anand is the first Asian player to achieve this extraordinary distinction and, political correctness be damned, the first non-white player to do so. Incidentally Anand becomes the world's number one with a rating below his peak of 2803 in the April 2006 list, where he was a single point below Topalov and number two in the world.


Veselin Topalov, now equal second with Vladimir Kramnik

Veselin Topalov, who has been in top place since the retired Kasparov was taken off the list, drops to second, together with Vladimir Kramnik. Both are 14 points below Anand. Alexander Morozevich is in place four, the highest he has ever been in his electrifying career. Aronian has dropped (!) to place five, and is followed by the Azeri startups Mamedyarov and Radjabov. Peter Leko is in a for him disappointing eighth place, with the other Peter, Svidler from Saint Petersburg, back in the top ten at place nine. The unobtrusive Michael Adams of the UK has dropped one place to ten.

Anand gained seven points from the previous list, Kramnik six, while Topalov lost eleven to frame the top three places. Alexander Morozevich was the big winner with +21 points, with Lev Aronian gaining 15 and Radjabov 18. Peter Leko shed 11 points, and Vassily Ivanchuk 21 to drop out of the top ten and occupy place 12. Other notable players are Dimitry Jakovenko (rank 18 after gaining 17 points) and Magnus Carlsen, who has reached place 22 with just seven points below the 2700 mark – all done at the age of sixteen years and four months.

Historians will note that Anatoly Karpov has been taken off the list, presumably for inactivity, and that Viktor The Amazing Korchnoi is still in the top hundred at the age of 76. His current rating, according to Mig Greengard, is MMDCXXIII.

Addendum: Mike Jaqua of Firestone, Colorado points out that the current rating list is the first without any player rated above 2800 in a long time, probably over 15 years.

Top 100 Players April 2007

Rnk  Name Title Country Rating Games B-Year
 1  Anand, Viswanathan  g  IND  2786  27  1969
 2  Topalov, Veselin  g  BUL  2772  27  1975
 3  Kramnik, Vladimir  g  RUS  2772  13  1975
 4  Morozevich, Alexander  g  RUS  2762  21  1977
 5  Aronian, Levon  g  ARM  2759  27  1982
 6  Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar  g  AZE  2757  3  1985
 7  Radjabov, Teimour  g  AZE  2747  13  1987
 8  Leko, Peter  g  HUN  2738  14  1979
 9  Svidler, Peter  g  RUS  2736  27  1976
 10  Adams, Michael  g  ENG  2734  1  1971
 11  Gelfand, Boris  g  ISR  2733  0  1968
 12  Ivanchuk, Vassily  g  UKR  2729  24  1969
 13  Polgar, Judit  g  HUN  2727  0  1976
 14  Navara, David  g  CZE  2720  19  1985
 15  Ponomariov, Ruslan  g  UKR  2717  13  1983
 16  Grischuk, Alexander  g  RUS  2717  0  1983
 17  Bacrot, Etienne  g  FRA  2709  3  1983
 18  Jakovenko, Dmitry  g  RUS  2708  32  1983
 19  Kamsky, Gata  g  USA  2705  0  1974
 20  Shirov, Alexei  g  ESP  2699  20  1972
 21  Akopian, Vladimir  g  ARM  2698  9  1971
 22  Carlsen, Magnus  g  NOR  2693  27  1990
 23  Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter  g  ROM  2693  4  1976
 24  Short, Nigel D  g  ENG  2691  0  1965
 25  Sasikiran, Krishnan  g  IND  2690  9  1981
 26  Eljanov, Pavel  g  UKR  2686  16  1983
 27  Karjakin, Sergey  g  UKR  2686  13  1990
 28  Rublevsky, Sergei  g  RUS  2680  1  1974
 29  Malakhov, Vladimir  g  RUS  2679  14  1980
 30  Alekseev, Evgeny  g  RUS  2679  9  1985
 31  Dominguez Perez, Lenier  g  CUB  2678  8  1983
 32  Kasimdzhanov, Rustam  g  UZB  2677  4  1979
 33  Milov, Vadim  g  SUI  2676  21  1972
 34  Vallejo Pons, Francisco  g  ESP  2676  12  1982
 35  Almasi, Zoltan  g  HUN  2675  9  1976
 36  Van Wely, Loek  g  NED  2674  15  1972
 37  Inarkiev, Ernesto  g  RUS  2669  0  1985
 38  Tiviakov, Sergei  g  NED  2663  30  1973
 39  Onischuk, Alexander  g  USA  2663  0  1975
 40  Krasenkow, Michal  g  POL  2661  13  1963
 41  Lautier, Joel  g  FRA  2661  3  1973
 42  Georgiev, Kiril  g  BUL  2660  3  1965
 43  Zvjaginsev, Vadim  g  RUS  2659  5  1976
 44  Jobava, Baadur  g  GEO  2658  9  1983
 45  Timofeev, Artyom  g  RUS  2658  9  1985
 46  Nakamura, Hikaru  g  USA  2658  5  1987
 47  Zhang, Pengxiang  g  CHN  2657  9  1980
 48  Bu, Xiangzhi  g  CHN  2656  22  1985
 49  Wang, Yue  g  CHN  2656  9  1987
 50  Sokolov, Ivan  g  NED  2655  4  1968
 51  Ni, Hua  g  CHN  2654  27  1983
 52  Naiditsch, Arkadij  g  GER  2654  22  1985
 53  Volokitin, Andrei  g  UKR  2654  17  1986
 54  Miton, Kamil  g  POL  2653  3  1984
 55  Tkachiev, Vladislav  g  FRA  2652  3  1973
 56  Sargissian, Gabriel  g  ARM  2651  31  1983
 57  Harikrishna, P.  g  IND  2650  9  1986
 58  Smirin, Ilia  g  ISR  2650  9  1968
 59  Nielsen, Peter Heine  g  DEN  2649  3  1973
 60  Beliavsky, Alexander G  g  SLO  2648  8  1953
 61  Areshchenko, Alexander  g  UKR  2647  9  1986
 62  Miroshnichenko, Evgenij  g  UKR  2646  9  1978
 63  Cheparinov, Ivan  g  BUL  2646  7  1986
 64  Gashimov, Vugar  g  AZE  2644  34  1986
 65  Fressinet, Laurent  g  FRA  2644  12  1981
 66  Avrukh, Boris  g  ISR  2644  0  1978
 67  Bareev, Evgeny  g  RUS  2643  0  1966
 68  Movsesian, Sergei  g  SVK  2642  20  1978
 69  Motylev, Alexander  g  RUS  2642  14  1979
 70  Seirawan, Yasser  g  USA  2642  1  1960
 71  Izoria, Zviad  g  GEO  2641  20  1984
 72  Socko, Bartosz  g  POL  2641  13  1978
 73  Tomashevsky, Evgeny  g  RUS  2641  9  1987
 74  Ehlvest, Jaan  g  USA  2640  54  1962
 75  Volkov, Sergey  g  RUS  2640  9  1974
 76  Kobalia, Mikhail  g  RUS  2639  0  1978
 77  Wang, Hao  g  CHN  2638  25  1989
 78  Sutovsky, Emil  g  ISR  2637  9  1977
 79  Bologan, Viktor  g  MDA  2636  25  1971
 80  Asrian, Karen  g  ARM  2635  23  1980
 81  Gurevich, Mikhail  g  TUR  2635  17  1959
 82  Fridman, Daniel  g  LAT  2635  5  1976
 83  Lputian, Smbat G  g  ARM  2634  0  1958
 84  Dreev, Alexey  g  RUS  2633  40  1969
 85  Sakaev, Konstantin  g  RUS  2633  3  1974
 86  Azmaiparashvili, Zurab  g  GEO  2632  0  1960
 87  Ye, Jiangchuan  g  CHN  2632  0  1960
 88  Smirnov, Pavel  g  RUS  2631  18  1982
 89  Spraggett, Kevin  g  CAN  2631  11  1954
 90  Nikolic, Predrag  g  BIH  2631  9  1960
 91  Moiseenko, Alexander  g  UKR  2630  14  1980
 92  Bauer, Christian  g  FRA  2629  22  1977
 93  Khenkin, Igor  g  GER  2629  18  1968
 94  Afromeev, Vladimir  f  RUS  2628  0  1954
 95  Vladimirov, Evgeny  g  KAZ  2627  7  1957
 96  Gagunashvili, Merab  g  GEO  2625  20  1985
 97  Istratescu, Andrei  g  ROM  2625  5  1975
 98  Najer, Evgeniy  g  RUS  2624  18  1977
 99  Khalifman, Alexander  g  RUS  2624  9  1966
 100  Korchnoi, Viktor  g  SUI  2623  18  1931

In the women's section we have Judit Polgar virtually in a category of her own, in place 13 of the "men's" list after having given birth to two children. In second place is India's Koneru Humpy who has crept up to Judit's sister Susan Polgar's record of 2577 and is set to take her place as the second highest ranked women in chess history. What's with these Indians?!


India's Koneru Humpy, second highest rated female player

Top 50 Women April 2007

Rnk  Name Title Country Rating Games B-Year
 1  Polgar, Judit  g  HUN  2727  0  1976
 2  Koneru, Humpy  g  IND  2575  8  1987
 3  Cramling, Pia  g  SWE  2535  11  1963
 4  Zhu, Chen  g  QAT  2518  0  1976
 5  Kosteniuk, Alexandra  g  RUS  2515  0  1984
 6  Hou, Yifan  wg  CHN  2513  22  1994
 7  Chiburdanidze, Maia  g  GEO  2510  0  1961
 8  Stefanova, Antoaneta  g  BUL  2496  9  1979
 9  Socko, Monika  m  POL  2481  0  1978
 10  Sebag, Marie  m  FRA  2479  3  1986
 11  Galliamova, Alisa  m  RUS  2477  14  1972
 12  Kosintseva, Nadezhda  m  RUS  2475  22  1985
 13  Ushenina, Anna  m  UKR  2475  20  1985
 14  Muzychuk, Anna  wg  SLO  2474  12  1990
 15  Hoang Thanh Trang  g  HUN  2472  12  1980
 16  Dembo, Yelena  m  GRE  2470  9  1983
 17  Khurtsidze, Nino  m  GEO  2469  12  1975
 18  Harika, Dronavalli  wg  IND  2467  33  1991
 19  Lahno, Kateryna  m  UKR  2467  15  1989
 20  Zhao, Xue  wg  CHN  2467  9  1985
 21  Krush, Irina  m  USA  2464  15  1983
 22  Cmilyte, Viktorija  m  LTU  2462  2  1983
 23  Zatonskih, Anna  m  USA  2462  0  1978
 24  Kosintseva, Tatiana  m  RUS  2459  22  1986
 25  Zhukova, Natalia  wg  UKR  2452  11  1979
 26  Gaponenko, Inna  m  UKR  2451  20  1976
 27  Paehtz, Elisabeth  m  GER  2442  18  1985
 28  Shen, Yang  wg  CHN  2440  9  1989
 29  Peng, Zhaoqin  g  NED  2439  18  1968
 30  Hunt, Harriet V  m  ENG  2436  0  1978
 31  Dzagnidze, Nana  m  GEO  2435  9  1987
 32  Arakhamia-Grant, Ketevan  m  GEO  2435  2  1968
 33  Kovalevskaya, Ekaterina  m  RUS  2432  9  1974
 34  Korbut, Ekaterina  wg  RUS  2429  18  1985
 35  Skripchenko, Almira  m  FRA  2428  0  1976
 36  Ciuksyte, Dagne  m  LTU  2426  11  1977
 37  Javakhishvili, Lela  m  GEO  2425  12  1984
 38  Vijayalakshmi, Subbaraman  m  IND  2424  38  1979
 39  Mkrtchian, Lilit  m  ARM  2424  27  1982
 40  Danielian, Elina  m  ARM  2424  18  1978
 41  Jackova, Jana  m  CZE  2423  4  1982
 42  Peptan, Corina-Isabela  m  ROM  2422  9  1978
 43  Pogonina, Natalija  wg  RUS  2419  27  1985
 44  Li, Ruofan  wg  CHN  2417  15  1978
 45  Tairova, Elena  wg  RUS  2414  9  1991
 46  Gvetadze, Sopio  wg  GEO  2411  12  1983
 47  Wang, Pin  wg  CHN  2410  8  1974
 48  Rajlich, Iweta  m  POL  2408  10  1981
 49  Bojkovic, Natasa  wg  SRB  2408  9  1971
 50  Vajda, Szidonia  m  HUN  2407  0  1979

Soon Teimour Radjabov, who turned 20 last month, will be off the Juniors list, which will then be dominated by the duo Carlsen and Karjakin, 16 and 17 respectively. They are almost a year apart (Sergey is older) and seven points apart (Magnus is higher). Both are being chased by Nakamura and Wang Yue, who do not have much time left to top the Juniors list.

Addendum: Michael von Keitz from Kirkland Lake, Canada, notes that there is some level of injustice in leaving out Koneru Humpy's name on the "Top 20 Juniors" list? She fully satisfies the requirements for designation as a junior (shw was born 19 days after Teimour Radjabov), except perhaps that she is female, if this is a "Top 20 Boys" list.


Magnus Carlsen, the hottest young star on the chess scene


Sergey Karjakin, who became a full grandmaster at the age of t-w-e-l-v-e!

Top 20 Juniors April 2007

Rnk  Name Title Country Rating Games B-Year
 1  Radjabov, Teimour  g  AZE  2747  13  1987
 2  Carlsen, Magnus  g  NOR  2693  27  1990
 3  Karjakin, Sergey  g  UKR  2686  13  1990
 4  Nakamura, Hikaru  g  USA  2658  5  1987
 5  Wang, Yue  g  CHN  2656  9  1987
 6  Tomashevsky, Evgeny  g  RUS  2641  9  1987
 7  Wang, Hao  g  CHN  2638  25  1989
 8  Wojtaszek, Radoslaw  g  POL  2620  22  1987
 9  Balogh, Csaba  g  HUN  2617  9  1987
 10  Predojevic, Borki  g  BIH  2609  18  1987
 11  Laznicka, Viktor  g  CZE  2608  23  1988
 12  Nepomniachtchi, Ian  m  RUS  2602  22  1990
 13  Stellwagen, Daniel  g  NED  2600  25  1987
 14  Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime  g  FRA  2593  16  1990
 15  Vitiugov, Nikita  g  RUS  2592  9  1987
 16  Lysyj, Igor  m  RUS  2590  28  1987
 17  Khairullin, Ildar  g  RUS  2586  9  1990
 18  Mamedov, Rauf  g  AZE  2584  29  1988
 19  Brkic, Ante  g  CRO  2567  25  1988
 20  Czarnota, Pawel  g  POL  2562  0  1988

In the girls' section the star is Hou Yifan, who turned thirteen a month ago. Hou is set to become the youngest female grandmaster in history and a celebrity chess player people will welcome at any tournament. And she has promised us to devote part of her time to learning English, so that we can communicate properly with this vivacious young lady.


Hou Yifan, over 2500 at the tender age of 13

Top 20 Girls April 2007

Rnk  Name Title Country Rating Games B-Year
 1  Koneru, Humpy  g  IND  2575  8  1987
 2  Hou, Yifan  wg  CHN  2513  22  1994
 3  Muzychuk, Anna  wg  SLO  2474  12  1990
 4  Harika, Dronavalli  wg  IND  2467  33  1991
 5  Lahno, Kateryna  m  UKR  2467  15  1989
 6  Shen, Yang  wg  CHN  2440  9  1989
 7  Dzagnidze, Nana  m  GEO  2435  9  1987
 8  Tairova, Elena  wg  RUS  2414  9  1991
 9  Melia, Salome  wg  GEO  2396  9  1987
 10  Mongontuul, Bathuyag  wg  MGL  2388  22  1987
 11  Ruan, Lufei    CHN  2370  0  1987
 12  Purtseladze, Maka  m  GEO  2348  18  1988
 13  Zawadzka, Jolanta  wg  POL  2348  11  1987
 14  Vasilkova, Svetlana  wm  RUS  2346  18  1988
 15  Ju, Wenjun    CHN  2345  9  1991
 16  Karavade, Eesha  wg  IND  2343  23  1987
 17  Rogule, Laura  wg  LAT  2339  9  1988
 18  Malysheva, Polina  wm  RUS  2336  0  1988
 19  Vega Gutierrez, Sabrina  wm  ESP  2335  17  1987
 20  Foisor, Sabina-Francesca  wm  ROM  2333  18  1989

Lists and data by courtesy of FIDE


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