GM Veselin Topalov enroute to winning Pearl Spring.
Photo by Sina Sport.
Veselin Topalov (2796, +5) remains atop the FIDE rating list at 2796. Many project that he will vault back over 2800 in the next list. At the FIDE General Assembly, it was voted that these lists be produced every two months instead of every three months. Topalov played well in the 2008 Olympiad in Dresden as well as winning the recently-ended Pearl Spring Super-GM tournament.
Viswanathan Anand (2791, +8) gained eight points from the World Championship against Vladimir Kramnik. Vassily Ivanchuk (2779, -7) and Magnus Carlsen (2776, -10) maintained the #3 and #4 positions despite losing points. Alexander Morozevich (2771, -16) dropped a gaudy sixteen points after a mediocre performance at the Russian Championship and the Dresden Olympiad.
Azerbaijan’s Teimour Radjabov (2761, +9) inches closer to the top and is on the #6 position after gaining. He as well as the surging Russia’s Dmitri Jakovenko (2760, +23) will gain more points given their joint victory at the FIDE Grand Prix. Jakovenko played very well at the Olympiad winning a board prize. Vladimir Kramnik (2759, -13) continues his gradual descent from the top losing points in the match against Anand and at the Dresden Olympiad. Peter Leko (2751, +4) and Sergei Movsesian (2751, +19) round out the top 10 with identical ratings. Movsesian will gain more points from the FIDE Grand Prix.
One controversy is why the Pearl Spring was not included in the rating list while the FIDE Grand Prix (which ended later) was. Francisco Vallejo Pons (2702, +38) of Spain is the newest entrant in the 2700 after gaining a whopping 38 points. Nikita Vitiugov (2687, +49) of Russia had the largest gain in the top 100 players with 49 points.
In the women’s section, nothing much has changed. Judit Polgar (2693, -18) dipped under 2700, but still hold a commanding lead over Humpy Koneru (2621, +3). At least now both have the same prefix of “26”. Newly-minted Grandmaster Hou Yifan (2571, -7) represents perhaps the best chance of reaching the elite levels of chess. The mixture of youth, talent and strong backing give her a chance to eclipse the strongest female player ever.
GM Hou Yifan of China
Photo by Frederic Friedel.
In the junior, section Carlsen is leading the pack with a cadre of promising young players. The balance is evident given that the top ten junior players come from eight different countries… China and the Ukraine have two each. The region of Asia has a number of junior players in the top 20.
Sergey Karjakin seems to have been on the junior list for ages. He is #2 on the list and French sensation Maxime Vachier-Lagrave is on 2696. Wang Hao is #4 and Maxim Rodshtein (2650) had a spectacular result in Dresden. Fabiano Caruana (2646) of Italy will continue to rise given his recent victory in the Italian Championship and the Pamplona Open.
Among players of African descent, Sweden’s GM Pontus Carlsson (2509, -6) lost a few points at the Dresden Olympiad while GM-elect Amon Simutowe of Zambia gained (2485, +22) for a career-high rating. Fellow Zambian Daniel Jere (2267, +27) gained a mass of points at the Dresden Olympiad scoring 8.5/10. Other big gains were seen by Moses Kawuma (2204, +20) who scored 9/10 at the Olympiad. Adebayo Adegboyega of Nigeria gained a boatload of points (2285, +19) and Jamaica’s Jomo Pitterson scored 6.5/9 at the Olympiad earned his FM title.
WIM Oleiny Linares-Napoles (2304, +40) of Cuba who gained a whopping 40 points! She scored 9/10 at the Olympiad and won a silver medal for her accomplishment. In other news, IM Emory Tate (2333, -6) lost a handful of points mostly due to his participation in the North American FIDE events. Hopefully, he will earn more chances to play in GM tournaments.
|23||Dominguez Perez, Leinier||g||CUB||2717||10||1983|
|28||Vallejo Pons, Francisco||g||ESP||2702||34||1982|