The January FIDE Rating list is now available for download at the FIDE website. GM Garry Kasparov barely held onto his 2800 rating after a few mediocre results. However, his +5 at the Russian Super Final saved him (2804, -9). Despite winning every tournament in his path, Viswanathan Anand only gained five points (2786, +5). However, several of his tournaments may not have been rated. For the first time in many years, Vladimir Kramnik (2754, -6) is not amongst the top three players in the world having fallen behind Veselin Topalov who was steady at 2757. Peter Leko (2749,+6) takes the fifth position from Alexander Morezevich (2741, -17) who lost a boatload of points in the Olympiad and the Russian Super Final and tumbled to a 6th place tie with Michael Adams (2741, +1). Peter Svidler (2735, +8), Alexij Shirov (2726, +1) and top-ten newcomer Etienne Bacrot (2715) round out the top ten. Judit Polgar (2728) was not on the list due to inactivity.
No change in the top two women's positions…Zsuzsa Polgar (2577) has reclaimed her throne of the world's highest-rated woman by overtaking Xie Jun (2573, +4). Both have recently resumed competitive play. Koneru Humpy (2512, +9) is back on the upswing and hold the #3 position followed by Georgian legend Maia Chiburdanidze (2509, +6). Notable changes include: Women's World Champion Antoaneta Stefanova tumbling from the #3 to #7; newly-minted Grandmaster Alexandra Kosteniuk (2490, -18) dipping from #4 to #8. Koneru remains the highest rated girl, but Zhao Xue is on her heels at 2502.
The Ukraine's Andrei Volokitin (2685, +33) continues his rapid ascent and bolts past Azerbaijan's Teimour Radjabov (2667, +4) as the world's top junior. Shakhriyaz Mamedyarov (2657, -3) is steady while the Czech Republic's David Navara (2644) come from nowhere to claim the fourth position. Pentala Harikrishna is making a substantial improvement after winning the World Junior title (2632, +20). Perhaps the biggest story is Hikaru Nakamura (2613, -7) loses a few points, but should be close to 2640 given his U.S. Championship victory and his 4˝-1˝ match win over Sergey Karjakin.
In Africa, Morocco's Hichem Hamdouchi is battling bouts of inconsistency and drops a ton of points (2555, -20), yet his #1 ranking in Africa is safe. Egyptian trio of Essam El-Gindy (2509, +8), Ahmed Adly (2480, -2) and Abdelnabbi Imed (2467) represent the nucleus of a strong Egyptian side. Adly remains Africa's top junior. South of the Sahara, Amon Simutowe (2425, +1) of Zambia will gain points from his recent strong showing in at the UTD GM invitational. drops to #2 while George Michelakis (2437, -1) of South Africa and Watu Kobese (2419, +11) are #1 and #3 respectively. Kobese had a strong Olympiad. Robert Gwaze of Zimbabwe has gained about 60 points since moving to England and is now at 2402.
In the Caribbean, Cuba's Lenier Domínguez (2661, +16) scored well in the Olympiad and his compatriot Lázaro Bruzon (2652, +15) sparkled in the recent Pamplona… both rising in tandem. Barbados' Kevin Denny (2332, +14) has picked up a nice cache of points to lengthen his lead in the English-speaking Caribbean.
In North America, the top player of African descent is Maurice Ashley (2465) followed by Stephen Muhammad (2390, +3), Emory Tate (2338, +4) and William Morrison (2354). Michael Schleifer of Canada (2340) is steady. In Europe the top Black player is Sweden's Pontus Carlsson (2381, +21) who will soon vault over 2400 with several good results including two IM-norm results. He has clinched the IM title which will be awarded in April.
FIDE Ratings (January 2005)