The latest story in chess comes out of London as Magnus Carlsen has officially broke the rating record that Garry Kasparov had held for some 13 years. There were immediately questions of whether Carlsen would break 2900, but of course with the Norwegian at 2861 it is unlikely that he will have anyone to gain 39 points from. Besides, there are a cadre of young players who will be looking to knock Carlsen off of his perch.
At only a two-point gain for a win and the loss of several points for draws and losses, he will remain stagnant until someone else joins him in the 2850 range. There simply isn’t a rating pool large enough to warrant a steady increase of points. Vladimir Kramnik will move into the #2 position (2809) on the next ELO list with Levon Aronian (2802) taking a dive to #3 during his slump.
At the London Chess Classic, Carlsen won five out of his first six games and opened up a five-point leader finally clinching the tournament when Kramnik drew in the last round. Carlsen has won nine of his last 13 tournaments and many are beginning to utter his name with Bobby Fischer and Kasparov… albeit without him playing a single match as of yet. Carlsen will play in the Tata Steel Chess Tournament and then follow with the Candidate’s Match as a qualifier to play Anand for the World Championship in 2014.