World Champion Viswanathan Anand (2817, +7) ascends back to the top of the list after his strong performance in Tata Steel Tournament. In a recent interview it was asked about his latest feat and whether it was comparable to the world crown.
The world title is more specific and a bigger challenge whereas ranking is constant. I would say the ranking is a validation of how consistently I play and a reflection of me playing well. But I will admit being world No 1 is sweet. I’m happy as this is the highest rating points (2,817) that I’ve reached. (full story)
Queen and King Indian… It would be safe to say that Aruna Anand has been instrumental in his perch atop the chess world.
While he was indeed happy to be at the top of the chart his energy was focused on the 2012 World Championship match. Having recently moved his base back to India, he mentions that his biggest challengers as Magnus Carlsen (2815, +1) and Levon Aronian (2808, +3). However, Carlsen has withdrawn from the Candidate’s matches and will not be able to challenge Anand for years to come.
Carlsen has had spotty play since late last year and has lost several games… some trivially. However, he has compensated in tournaments by stringing together impressive wins. Aronian, Vladimir Kramnik (2785, +1) and Vassily Ivanchuk (2779, +15) make up the top five. Ivanchuk has rebounded from his occasional implosions and will be a threat in the Candidate’s matches.
Sergey Karjakin (2776) and Veselin Topalov (2775) did not see a change, but Hikaru Nakamura (2774, +23) has had the most precipitous increase in his standing. Winning the Tata Steel tournament ahead of the top four players in the world, he has certainly caused the chess world to reconsider his status as an elite chess player. Shakhiyar Mamedyarov (2772) is steady and then a big drop sees Alexander Grischuk (2747, -26) plummeting three positions to #10.
Not much change at the top of the women’s charts as there is a big gap between the top three and the rest. Judit Polgar (2686), Humpy Koneru (2607) and Hou Yifan (2602) remained perched at the top. We will see more rating activity in coming months. The FIDE Grand Prix tournament is currently going on in Doha, Qatar where Humpy and Nana Dzagnidze (2567, +17) are playing. Nadezhda Kosinteva (2567, +15) and her sister Tatiana Kosinteva (2569, -11) round out the top tier.
Asia is rising! Vietnam’s Le Quang Liem and the Philippines’ Wesley So represent a bright future in Asian chess. Photo by Chessvibes.com.
There is a new leader on the junior list since Carlsen’s dropping from the junior list. Fabiano Caruana (2716, -5) is not at the top of the list followed by the surging Anish Giri (2690, +4) and Le Quang Liem (2689, +25). Le won the strong Aeroflot tournament for a big gain. Wesley So (2667, -6) also shows promise amongst an exciting crop of stars emerging in chess! Hou Yifan still reigns supreme on the girl’s list and Dronavali Harika (2524, +4) is a distant second.