April 2005 FIDE Rating list released!

The world was shocked by GM Garry Kasparov's announcement that he was retiring from professional chess.  After 20 years as the top-rated player, Kasparov will end his career with a rating of 2812  (-1). His win at Linares was a most fitting finish to a sterling career. However some are not convinced that he is done.

Visions of
Michael Jordan's last second shot, his retirement and then his subsequent "unretirement" will give one an example of how an icon can come back after a wonderful finish. Will Kasparov and his 2812 rating stay put if number two Viswanathan Anand (2785, -1) should surpass it? Alexander Khalifman has gone on record to opine that Kasparov will indeed return… also Mark Dvoretsky.

GM Garry Kasparov

GM Garry Kasparov

Bulgarian Veselin Topalov will be able to lay claim to the last person ever to defeat Kasparov in a professional game. He has soared recently and has taken the #3 position by gaining a ton of points from Linares (2778, +21). Vladimir Kramnik continues a precipitous slide (2753, -1) and is now #5 behind a surging Peter Leko (2763, +14).

Vassily Ivanchuk (2739, +28) has distanced himself from countryman Ruslan Ponomariov (2695, -5) and jumps five places to #6. Michael Adams (2737, -4) lost a handful of points while Judit Polgar reclaimed her top ten position (2732, +4) after resuming play from maternity leave. Etienne Bacrot continued his ascent and bolted into the top ten (2731, +16) … the first time for a French player. Rounding out the top ten was Peter Svidler (2725, -10). Seeing the biggest drop from the top was Alexander Morozevich (2717, -24) who has lost 41 ELO points on the last two lists.

Judit Polgar (2732, +4) has reclaimed her throne of the world's highest-rated woman by overtaking her sister Susan Polgar (2577, +0). Neither Xie Jun (2573, +0) or Maia Chiburdanidze (2509, +0) saw a change in their ratings while Koneru Humpy (2508, -4) has stagnated since her entry into the 2500 ranks. Pia Crambling (2499, +18), one of the first women to earn a GM title, jumped into the top ten. Women's World Champion Antoaneta Stefanova remains steady (2495, +4).

The Ukraine's Andrei Volokitin (2679, -6) continues to hold the top junior post while  Azerbaijan's Teimour Radjabov (2673, +6) is trying to regain his crown. The biggest story is Hikaru Nakamura's rapid ascent from #8 to #3 after his U.S. Championship victory (2657, +44). Czech Republic's David Navara (2647, +3) edges into fourth position ahead of  Shakhriyaz Mamedyarov (2646, -11) while Pentala Harikrishna made big gains in Bermuda (2632, +13).

In Africa, Morocco's
Hichem Hamdouchi gains (2559, +4) to keep his #1 ranking in Africa safe. Egyptian trio of Essam El-Gindy (2506, -3), Ahmed Adly (2484, +4) and  Abdelnabbi Imed (2462, -5) represent the nucleus of a strong Egyptian side. Adly remains Africa's top junior while Bassem Amin, also a junior player from Egypt, has faltered a bit (2405, -20).

GM Hikaru Nakamura
(U.S. Chess Champion)

South of the Sahara, George Michelakis (2437, +0) of South Africa is steady while Amon Simutowe (2435, +10) of Zambia has gained from his strong showing in at the UTD GM invitational. Robert Gwaze of Zimbabwe is still active (2410, +8), but his federation does not appear on FIDE rating chart. Watu Kobese (2400, -19) has had a couple of tough tournaments in Jersey and in Gibraltar.

In the Caribbean, Cuba's
Lenier Domínguez (2669, +8) continues his climb along with his compatriot Lázaro Bruzon (2658, +6).  Barbados' Kevin Denny (2332, +0) still leads the English-speaking Caribbean, but his compatriot Philip Corbin (2261, +19) has picked up a nice cache of points.

In North America, the top player of African descent is
Maurice Ashley (2465, +0) followed by fellow "Black Bear" William Morrison (2354, +0) and tactical wizard Emory Tate  (2335, -3). Stephen Muhammad (2334, -56) has hit a tough stride and is looking to rebound in the HB Global Chess Challenge. Michael Schleifer of Canada (2340, +0) is steady. In Europe the top Black player is  Sweden's Pontus Carlsson (2400, +19) has broken 2400 and hopes to have his IM title confirmed in the coming months after completing  two IM-norm results in Spain.

FIDE Ratings (April 2005)

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Posted by The Chess Drum: 3 April 2005