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July 2005 Rating List

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The much-anticipated list is out. Anand and Topalov are tied for 2-3, the Bulgarian's highest placing ever. It was a big story when the KKA triangle finally broke down after seven years. Now with Kasparov's retirement and Kramnik's drop, their long dominance is long forgotten. The predicted period of inter pares is well underway.

The consistent Anand has outlasted Kramnik at the top and could have been expected to rule the roost after Kasparov's retirement. It's interesting that Topalov's surge came exactly at this time. Apparently the rating list abhors a vaccuum.

Ivanchuk leapt up to #5, although he's been there various times before since 1989. There is news in the continued presence of Bacrot and the addition of Aronian to the top ten. (The highest-placed Armenian since Petrosian? [Several people have pointed out here or by email that I forgot Vaganian, who was up to #3 in the mid-80s.]) It's been a very stable stable of players for many years, with only Grischuk and Ponomariov breaking in (and now out). The amazingly consistent Adams dropped out, joined by the amazingly inconsistent Morozevich. Both will be back. Korchnoi peeps back into the top 100. Other interesting tidbits?


Aronian is not, as you suggest, the highest placed Armenian since Petrosian. They also had Rafael Vaganian, who peaked at approximately number 3 in the 80's.

The most dramatic drop: Nikolic was number 27 on the January 2005 list with 2676. Now he is only number 166, having lost 85 rating points in 6 months.

Magnus Carlsen is only number 5 on the list of players born in 1990.

a) Tell me a measurable activity where the measurement criteria does not have anything to do with age and where somebody aged 74 is among the top 100 in the world. (Of course, cumulative achievements don't count.)
(Maybe number of people murdered? We have such nice old world leaders.)

b) Tell me a measurable activity where the measurement criteria does not have anything to do with gender/beauty and where a woman is among the top 10 in the world.
(Probably number of published copies - like JK Rowling. OK, let's constrain it to sports.)

it's kinda interesting now with rising of new stars

Radjabov will be up there on the next list. His 18-point rating gain from Warsaw will land him a spot in the 2700-club.

Kramnik has officially fallen to 6th place in the world in the July 2005 FIDE rating list, and he is in danger of falling out of the top ten completely, with the tenth highest rated player Levon Aronian trailing Kramnik by only 20 points.

So far it seems as if my predictions are going accordingly. I predict Kramnik will finish in 5th place in Dortmund, and will fall to 8th place in the October 2005 FIDE rating list. By July 2006, Kramnik will be knocked out of the top ten.

2016 is probably more realistic.

July 2006:

1. Anand
2. Leko
3. Topalov
4. Kramnik
5. Polgar

say good-bye to the painter! he will go down (the list) and drag down with him the WC title (by lack of sponsor interest) thus ending the line starting with steinitz. great champion, not being qualified to defend the own title...

Does anyone recall it ever happening that an active player in his prime suddenly drops from world number 2 rank to below number 10 never to recover? There have sure been cases of temporary slumps, but can a player's chess strength really permanently vanish within one year? Especially in the case of a positional player such as Kramnik.

Unless Kramnik is permanently ill, he will certainly climb back up to the top three.

againg and again the kasparov fans has nothing to do in thier lives but to attack kramnik

My projected July 2006 rating list would look exactly like acirce's. Once Kramnik breaks out of his slump we'll have a stable top four for a couple of years, and Polgar, Adams, and Ivanchuk will swap fifth place back and forth.

Wait eg, nobody mentioned Kasparov until you did, other than my mentioning his retirement, and nobody attacked Kramnik. Pointing out that Kramnik is #6 isn't an attack, and certainly has nil to do with whether or not you like Kasparov. Bizarre.

Regarding Kramnik's drop, you can't talk about never with the top ten. Plenty of players have left the top ten, however, but usually because a strong new generation. Gelfand and Bareev were pushed down, for example. Since there isn't a big new group Kramnik can be expected to stick around even if he doesn't get back to 2800 form.

It's a more interesting question to ask whether he'll ever get to #1. He just doesn't seem that motivated anymore, and all the distractions around the title mess aren't helping. He should probably play in Argentina just to put it behind him and be able to focus on chess again. The title has ruined his game.

Can anyone comment on rating inflation?

There was certainly quite a bit of rating inflation between 1990-2000, but has this continued? Have top ratings inflated since 2000?

Kasparov apparently "psyched out" Anand in the second half of their 1995 match. And the imperturbable Kramnik may have "psyched out" Kasparov in their 2000 match. But since that match, as Mig points out, things have not gone well for Kramnik. Has he been "psyched out" of his rock-solid game?

Through 2000, Kramnik had found a nice groove consisting of an energy-conserving opening repertoire and a risk-averse tournament style. (In hindsight one wonders whether Kramnik's less than robust health left him no other choice.) After the 2000 match, however, Kasparov and his followers immediately attacked the foundations of Kramnik's success, trashing his "stock-market chess" and his "+2" tournament style. Have these attacks affected Kramnik? Has he been "psyched out" of the style that won him the world championship?

In the last several years Kramnik tabled his bomb-proof 1 d4 1 Nf3 opening repertoire and now opens with the king's pawn. And he's been trying harder to win more of his games. At the same time, Kramnik's rating and his health have deterioriated. One gets the impression that Kramnik is no longer playing "within himself."

From the recent Anand interview:
Anandaram : ... Kasparov always tried to humiliate you. Why is that?
Viswanathan Anand : Its normal to try and psyche your opponents. That simply comes with the territory.

Kasparov has retired, but it's unlikely that his followers will abandon the "chicken", "lowest dog around" type of attacks on Kramnik published in Chessbase and elsewhere. The only questions, then, are whether Kramnik can learn to deal with it, and whether he can regain his former place atop the chess world.

Gotta love the arm chair psychology lessons.

Classic stuff, blame the media! The all-powerful media is to blame for his scores, his health, his blunders. Maybe if Kramnik and his fans took some responsibility and stopped saying that losing is okay, that doing poorly in a tournament is fine because it's not a world championship match, it wouldn't happen so often. Instead of blaming others for Kramnik changing his style, wonder why it's not working.

Meanwhile, don't be so quick to root for a return to his drawing half his games in 25 moves. Stock-market chess might have worked for him on occasion (giving him his only clear first in recent memory, albeit still +2), but it was poison for the game. And rules like those used in Sofia, brought in as an antidote, also make it harder to practice. Changing to a sharper style, which he used to have anyway, may be his best chance to stick around. With the relevance of his title under serious challenge, winning a few tournaments would help.

I'd rather be optimistic and hope he can achieve this transition even if he has to take some lumps for a while. It took Leko over a year to do it, although he still has relapses.

The usually absurd comment by MIG...It doesn't make sense try to argue with him.
On other side of things, How many points the +5 result by Aronian in Poland means?. I think he should be close to 2740

Why not rename this blog "The Daily Kramnik" and be done with it?

Sorry to decline your advice, Realchess.

Those publishing "Kramnik is the lowest dog around" and other attacks can take pride in them or not as they see fit. Kramnik himself is responsible for his health, his scores, his style, and his blunders.

Can one blame the two greatest players of all time for producing an endless succession of short draws at the 1984 World Chess Championship? Would you have advised a temporarily overwhelmed Kasparov, down 5-0, to get in there and fight!? Can one blame lesser players if they regard the "general good of chess" as less important than doing their best to win titles and cash money? Blame the rules which rewarded energy-saving short draws. The Sofia experiment may indeed be the best way to put this problem behind us.

I'd also prefer to see Kramnik winning with a sharper style. But I'd rather have him win like Petrosian than lose as he's been doing.

This might be relevant to what greg koster is saying:
At around game 30 in the 1984 match, the news was that Botvinnik sent a telegram to Kasparov telling him that Karpov was obviously very tired and that if he (Kasparov) would just focus on getting draws from that moment on, the championship would be his... this strategy was working well until Campo intervened to stop the match...

More relevantly, the rules were changed afterwards to prohibit that sort of exploit. Now we are seeing anti-draw, or anti-short draw, rules. Exploiting the rules in a way that is bad for the sport but that give you the best chances is worthy of public criticism, but is somewhat understandable. Unfortunately, few organizers have taken action.

mig no body is blaming media for kramniks bad result but what i blame is many people keeps attacking him in almost every topic in many site with and without out reson just check the leko-adams match comments some how it turned by the same people to the same anti kramnik comments that never happens to any other player even when ivanshuk was droped out the top 10 times ago i couldnt find any negative comment attack about him same goes for adams and Morozevich yet again it was kramnik who gets all the attack

to say that kasparov or his fans has nothing to do with it is just pointless from what i c the kasparov fans which are alot still cant belive that thier man was unbeatable thats why they spend thier time attacking kramnik cuz he didnt gave him arematch accusing him of all sort of bad thing
no one denays that he is having a boad area but that cant explain all that atack against him

Can anyone who speaks the same punctuation free language as eg translate?

Despair, paranoia, the ballad of the house of wounded feelings.


It's probably silly of me to criticize the grammar of your post while ignoring its content, but the words "punctuation" and "free" should be linked by a hyphen.

KKA dominate the Chess Oscars 1995-2004

1st place--5 times
2nd place--2 times
3rd place--2 times

1st place--4 times
2nd place--1 time
3rd place--1 time

1st place--1 time
2nd place--2 times
3rd place--3 times


Karpov and Leko
1st place--0 times
2nd place--1 time
3rd place--1 time

Topalov, Moro, Khalifman and Svidler each achieved one 2nd or 3rd place spot.

Pono also got a 3d place...in 2001.

In his articles on Chessbase on the greatest chessplayer of all time, Jeff Sonas pointed out the great coincidence between the predictions made by his chessmetrics system and the Chess Oscars, which is a strong validation of his system, that is, performace strength as perceived by chess columnists worldwide... although he is modest enough not to present it in this way.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on July 2, 2005 11:54 PM.

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