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No. 1 for Vishy!

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We've gone from blunder to exclam in a very short spell, but it has been made clear to me now that FIDE will follow tradition and rate Linares. Anand will be the #1 on the April list. No, not an April Fools' joke. [The updated list is now posted at FIDE.]

From FIDE Ratings Commission member Mikko Markkula:

Gibtelecom is a bad mistake by the organizer, Linares is clearly a tournament that belongs to July list. The others I do not know.
After discussion with Casto Abundo we decided that they will be rated on the April list, partially because Linares has been incorrectly rated in earlier years.
In the congress in Turkey clear rules will be decided to have equal treatment to tournaments from different parts of the world and tournaments at different level.
The interval between the deadline and the publishing of the rating list will be tried to get shorter in the future.

This FIDE item on February 16 (the day Linares started, by the way) is being held up by FIDE as prior notification, but it's a routine reminder to federations and indicates no change in policy. "Elista FIDE Office reminds all National Chess Federations that the deadline for submission of tournament reports for the April 2007 FIDE Rating List is 28 February 2007. Reports received late will be rated for the next list, July 2007." Well, as pointed out in the last item there were many dozens, if not hundreds, of tournaments submitted after February 28 that were rated anyway. The difference in actual application was using a deadline based on the tournament having been completed on February 28 (with a tiny handful of exceptions already noted).

We have the right to expect predictability and consistency in these matters, as well as increasing promptness and accuracy. The new ratings server should improve matters once organizers learn to use it. A full month in advance is way too much in today's high-tech world. (I now see that Mark has similar in his rating list item, which he'll need to update with the change.)

Anyway, we can put the lid back on the teapot to quell this tempest. Congratulations to Vishy, who goes to Dortmund as the #1. I'm sure this will provide additional fire for Topalov at Mtel, which has been a spectacular fighting event every year so far. The last rating list predictions I saw showed Topalov and Kramnik at =2-3, but we'll see about that very soon, I hope.



I should appreciate DD,CB and Chessgames Forums for their support to Anand and bring out the absurdity of not counting Linares all of a sudden.Nothing comes easy to Anand, I guess.I wish he be at no.1 for sometime.

Well it is hard to become #1 and remain as #1 if someone is cheating using hand signals with computer suggested moves.

It is doubly unfair if that person wins a so called title by cheating at San Luis.

It then becomes triply unfair if the cheater at San Luis is given another shot at the title after Mexico.

Come on FIDE make sure you only promote the honest players.

Anand is the best. He is very honest. No one questions his honesty.

I hope we have a world championship match between Anand and Kramnik. I believe the chess fans of the world want that. I suspect that Kramnik has the edge. He is very good at matches. But I do like both of them. I have always been an Anand fan but I have recently come to appreciate Kramnik's play. Both are fine chess players. It would be an awesome matchup.

I have no respect for Danailov and his friend.

Congratulations, Vishy!!!!!

Btw, for those keeping count - Anand did play in Bundesliga's final round today and drew Wojtaszek (2630; that is, his rating when the league started - Anand's was 2779. This is what you use for rating calculation purposes, I think). I guess that should be his last game to count on the next list.

"The last predictions I saw showed Topalov and Kramnik at =2-3, but we'll see about that very soon, I hope."

I am confused...Kramnik is playing Mtel?

No no, the rating list predictions.

kudos to someone who predicted this title for the daily dirt tidbit.

clearly Mr. Markkula's explanations fall short of being accepatable and this episode still reeks of FIDE (at least SOME FIDE officials) ex-post trying to circumvent known traditions and rules to help one player and his "influential" manager.

DD (and its posters) & Chessbase should also be complimented for highlighting the issue and getting justice done (What was the ACP doing? - injustice to one is a threat to all etc.?). nice job MIG's army and Freddy at CB.

Rating list include draw and loss numbers? Or did you mean they were #2 and #3? confused...
"How threads imitate rating lists" by Mig Greengard coming soon

Reads like an April Fools joke if it is it is a weak one. Maybe it is true I don't know.

It's true, Glenn. You must be thinking about last year's :-)


Kenny Foster, maybe we should not be so hard on Topalov. It is Danailov who is tainting Topalov's name. I think Topalov should kick Danailov to the curb and pick up a new manager/second. Maybe Ivan Cheparinov?!

I'm downing bubbly tonight, I am.

I'm downing bubbly tonight, I am.

maybe FIDE will finally correct something correctly... ok, they tried hard to take the wrong decision, but it was way too stupid to persist :) long live vishy!

Matt, you can forget Cheparinov because he's more running than alpha dog. The only way Topalov could follow a managing act like Danailov would be to hire Dave Frost. They are about equal at the integrity level and Frost understands group versus isolationist dynamics.

What is the purpose of all this fuss? To deprive Topalov of his No. 1 position as sonn as possible? Or perhaps some people here are too afraid that after "Mtel 2007" in May, and a (possibly) not-so-successful Anand in the German Bundesliga, Topalov might retain the No. 1 spot?
What a "drama" !

FIDE have updated their website with the top 100 players at http://www.fide.com/ratings/top.phtml?list=men no showing Anand at #1 rated 2786.
Topalov & Kramnik are next at 2772.

FIDE have updated their website with the top 100 players at http://www.fide.com/ratings/top.phtml?list=men now showing Anand at #1 rated 2786.
Topalov & Kramnik are next at 2772.

Looking at the rating list now, I can't help but remember these words....

"There’s a big difference in our ratings, in chess 60 Elo points means a different class altogether."

Life sure is unpredictable, isn't it?


"We have the right to expect predictability and consistency in these matters, as well as increasing promptness and accuracy."

Exactly. With respect to inconsistensies, it's been noted several times that 4 tournaments finishing in March has indeed been rated (disregarding Linares, which will be the 5th).

Earlier, we've seen that tournaments finishing before March 1st (and therefore qualified for rating according to their new rule) but submitted as late as March 20th actually has been rated for the april list. So far so good.

But by searching the lists of reported tournaments, I for instance found 5 spanish tournaments which indeed finished before March 1st, which were submitted/received March 13th or earlier - [that is one full week before the mentioned tournaments above that _were_ rated] - these 5 tournaments were NOT rated for April.

So this is just another piece of evidence that there is a major element of randomness in which tournaments get rated when. It should be really easy, actually - assuming they will use the same cut off for the July list, then:

If some day, the Xth of June (e.g. 20th), is the last day they will accept submissions, and tournaments must have finished before June 1st, then

1) ALL tournaments submitted at or before June 20th shall be rated, and

2) ALL these tournaments must have been finished before June 1st.

This time, FIDE managed to treat both 1 and 2 above inconsistently, thereby weakening arguments that a certain tournament can NOT be included.

"[The] FIDE item on February 16 is being held up by FIDE as prior notification, but it's a routine reminder to federations and indicates no change in policy."

FIDE has used the exact same reminder for several years, so trying to put this forward as an argument is just a provocation - I wonder if they will ever learn to be a tad humble.

This quote from the FIDE pages, is just another example:

"Our policy has been transparency in all data and calculations. With openness we earn trust and respect for the FIDE Ratings system."

Adding little words like "increased" in front of "openness", and not being so sure of success - "we earn trust and respect" would've sounded better in my ears as "we hopefully will earn trust and respect" or something similar. They are in desperate need of someone with some PR and communication skills to get rid of their somewhat arrogant image...

Now Linares is rated, and Anand is at the top, but Gibtelecom is still unrated, and Koneru Humpy is still NOT on the junior top list, which she should be, based on her rating.

I would have been very bothered by this even if Topalov hadn't lost his number one place. The whole top 10 has been transformed by the inclusion of Linares/Morelia. I'm bothered that some way couldn't have been found to include Gibraltar too. I am however encouraged that the new system can be made to work and that an April list will be a true April list.

Apparently 2762 is a personal high for Morozevich. I'm hoping he wins at Mexico - would be nice to see a match between a player that does high quality prep and one that relies heavily on OTB surprises. Would be soooo reminiscent of Botvinnik-Tal.
It might actually ameliorate the rematch clause if someone that *didn't* rely on prep, like Moro, were to win in Mexico since I think any other winner would put either Kramnik or Topalov at an advantage, a la Karpov against Anand, 1998.

Oh dear, Chucky is out of the top 10 :(

But at least Moro is now number 4 :)

Anand being first definitely is not an April Fool's joke. This is the real one:


An apropos to cheating allegations, here is a (translated) excerpt from the latest chess news item from the official chinese internet news provider:

"After some initial problems with different on-chip firmware, the chinese chess federation now reports that the same firmware has been successfully flashed to all the top chinese players. The first test period has been carried out, and the players' level seem to have stabilized.

During the next quarter, the chinese players will enable tablebases and upgrade to their rybka-aligned software, performing at 90% of the capacity of Rybka 2.3. The chess federation expect our top players to be around 2690 for the July rating list, 2 rating points. The proof of success can be read from the table below, which is an excerpt from the FIDE april rating list with the rating development for the last year included (jul 06, oct 06, jan 07, apr 07):

47 Zhang, Pengxiang... g CHN 2622 2636 2643 2657
48 Bu, Xiangzhi ......... g CHN 2664 2671 2644 2656
49 Wang, Yue............ g CHN 2626 2644 2644 2656
51 Ni, Hua................. g CHN 2607 2621 2632 2654


Well, at least we can learn something about openness and being methodical from the chinese...

BS, Kramnik's prep came second best in the match v Topalov. He used is greater solidity and positional understanding to (more than) compensate for this.

I couldn't see Moro having much chance v Kramnik. It may well be that Kramnik will achieve new heights in the coming years. As he said himself at Corus his repertoire was designed for matches but when MExico comes round he'll be ready to win with Black. He seems to be over his illness. I think he had just sufficient recovery to beat Topa but would strongly fancy him for a future match.

This whole situation seems a bit worrying to me in a way though...

Now that I've taken a step back from the hype, the thing that really concerns me most is that Gib STILL isn't rated even in this revised list. Nobody seems to be complaining that Rendle's IM norm performance or Housvka's big rating gain isn't registered...

And that's despite the fact that the tournament finished on Feb 1st! I'll be playing in English FIDE tournaments one day soon... this doesn't give me much confidence in FIDE...

One final look at the whole situation. The Linares event didn't appear on the submitted events sheet. For the past two years, Linares has finished later than normal- well after the submission date. So the list was compiled. But when some people saw that the list wasn't too their liking... they complained and it was changed. Well, to be more specific, one event that could positively influence a federation's player was changed... the complaint didn't seem to care about any of the earlier tournaments...

Just who really does have the influence to change Kirsan's mind? Mig...Chessbase...fans? But only to change his mind for populist reasons, not giving equal treatment to everyone.

FIDE really needs to get its act together.

Rank Name Games B-Year
100 Korchnoi, Viktor 18 1931

And the gaggle went silent.

Brian: That Topalov's prep was better than Kramnik's at Elista doesn't say that Kramnik's prep was lacking - just that Topalov is setting phenomenal standards with his homework. In fact, going along with your stance on Kramnik's health would only suggest that a rejuvenated Kramnik would be a better prepared Kramnik come Mexico and beyond.
I've already seen a Topalov-Kramnik match and don't really fancy another. God knows, matches are few enough and far enough between that I'd rather see different combos each time than repeated rematches. IMHO, Kramnik-Anand would be a veritable draw-fest. At least, going by what they say about each other in interviews, either is wary enough of the other that they'd be shadowboxing most of the time. So a guy like Moro would certainly liven things up and would also put to test theories about Kramnik's superior positional understanding nullifying his (Moro's) aggression. Honestly, the guy I'd really like to see emerge as winner is Ivanchuk - I think Kramnik's positional understanding (or Anand's or Kasparov's or ...) is tiddly-squat compared to Ivanchuk's potential. But sadly, *potential* is all it is and he has no nerves or hope against an iceman like Kramnik. Sigh.

Mark Hewitt, the fact that Gibraltar was not rated was the fault of the ECF putting in its reort late, nothing to do with FIDE, so please put the blame in the right place. Kirsan had nothing to do with the original decision or the change. As you can see if you look at my latest posting under the No. 1 for Vishy! dirt, FIDE is getting its act together.

There is a general tendency to blame FIDE and personalise matters without looking at the facts or what FIDE is trying to do. If people want to comment about FIDE, they should at least try and see how it is run, where certain decisions are made and by whom.

FIDE is in no way perfect, but it is very hard to improve matters if whatever we do is immediately greeted with uninformed nonsense. I would guess that the majority of contributors to this blog are from the USA, Canada or England. I would suggest that they look at their own federations and see how they work. FIDE is made up of 160 different Federations, some very competent, many the opposite, all with their own agendas. Since the last election, we now have David Jarrett as Executive Director in Athens and he is slowly bringing things to order, but it takes time.

I am more than happy to answer any questions about FIDE and its decisions. My main focus as Treasurer is the finances and I am glad to say that after a few years when we had to rely on the generosity of the President, my predecessor, David Jarrett has put the finances in order and, at present FIDE has extra money in the bank. We have used part of this to finance 1/3 of the prize fund for the forthcoming candidates matches.

The first line should have read that it was the fault of the ECF putting in its report late.


BS: Yeah I expect a rejuvenated Kramnik to be near unstoppable. I completely agree that different combo's can be better / more interesting but like all sports I find the clash of extreme styles to be the most enjoyable / riveting. I think Kramnik v Moro potentially could be great but I just can't see the score being close enough to turn it into a classic.

Moro scores especially well in weaker fields and I just see Kramnik being too solid for him. In fairness I feel much the same about all the other would be contenders.

I think Topalov would still have the best chance against Kramnik especially if Kramnik has to battle hard to win Mexico.

btw, The 5 Kasparov v KArpov matches were all v. interesting :-)

Nigel Freeman: While your reactions are fair enough, FIDE could start by using the website to clarify matters. It has seemed more of a PR vehicle for the president than an official website in the past. There has been no mention of a modification or errata following the initial rating list. Surely Chessbase or this blog are not the right fora for people to keep abreast of FIDE ratings?
BTW, off-topic but somewhat pertinent: while looking at the list of rated tournaments late last week (before the April rating list was announced), I came across Morelia as an item (note - only Morelia, not Linares). Am I mistaken in my recollection or was this really the case?


Thanks for taking the time to post here. Do you see the time when, provided organisers submit reports to a FIDE server in a timely manner, that ratings can be produced on a weekly basis like in tennis or golf, or is the three monthly system here to stay? Even if it is, as Mark C says elsewhere, can we hope that, with the new system, in future years 1 April ratings will soon include all properly submitted reports up to 31 March?


now fide has pissed 9 million armenians by bumping Aronian from the respectable 4 place (without linares) to the measly 5. Horrible, horrible!!! is this some sick joke or what? skrew you kirsatan!

Topalov site http://www.veselintopalov.net/ still have page titles as N1 player :-)

Nigel- thanks for your reply.

In this modern day and age, accuracy is important. So I have to inform you that my surname is Howitt, not Hewitt.

I understand that the ECF might at least be partly to blame for the lack of submission. But how was Linares graded? It was not on the list of submitted events... but suddenly it becomes graded- apparently without needing to be submitted, at least in time! If Linares can be graded when it finished after the submission deadline, surely Gibraltar could too. Gibraltar not being rated effects many more FIDE rated players than Linares, so I suggest that it is more of a priority.

>[...¨]especially if Kramnik has to battle hard to win Mexico.

Which is of course exactly what he doesn't have to. Kramnik-algorithm: make an energy-saving +2 for a honourable shared 2.-4. place and concentrate on garanteed rematch. Shouldn't be too difficult with some of his pals in the same tournament (= more rest days + garanteed 1/2 points). Mexico 07 = exercise in futility.

pp - Kramnik will try to win Mexico- he is member of a 14-man club. He doesn't want there to be a 15th member.

On the other hand if he lost Mexico and then won the match, he could become a member of an even more elite 3 man club: Those who have become World Champion more than once.

I fail to see why the FIDE is responsable for not rating Gibraltar, if the results were not sent in. Apparently it was too hard for the English Chess Federation to send in the results within 1 month after the tournament.

It also seems that nobody, not even the people complaining now, took the small effort to see if the tournament was on the list of received tournaments. If they had checked, noted that the tournament was still missing, sent an e-mail to the ECF, everything would have been ok.

In the past, once I noticed some prepublished results were wrong, and once I noticed a tournament I played was not sent in yet. I sent e-mails to my federation, they mailed FIDE and everything was settled quickly. Maybe our English readers can do the same a next time?

FIDE makes many mistakes, but not all mistakes are made by FIDE.

Nigel Freeman,

First, I very much appreciate that you take time for answering posts here (whether such communication should take place here or somewhere else, is a different debate).

Still, I wonder about this advice of yours to FIDE critics:

"they should at least try and see how it is run, where certain decisions are made and by whom"

This is actually one of my main objectives against how FIDE currently is run - it's really hard to get information about who decided what and when. Of course we realize that your personal responsibility isn't ratings, and that Markkula doesn't look after the finances. But when decisions are taken and made effective without any prior notice (and hardly at the time of publication, either), how are we supposed to a) know who made the decision b) who to contact if we suspect a mistake c) be sure that someone answers (or even considers) our request?

Previously, I've written emails to FIDE about 3 distinct subjects, using contact information on FIDE's pages each time. Of these 3, two were requests for clarifications about web items, and one was a suggestion for a modification to how the rating bars were presented (now changed to graphs). My rating bar suggestion was accepted and implemented right away, and I got a polite and friendly answer from the/a webmaster.


These are all previous experiences - my 3 mails were written in the period 2004-2006. So, either FIDE needs to provide more updated and more detailed information on their web pages, or they must answer the questions resulting from lack of information.

In any case, changes in FIDE's routines that have impact on their members, should be announced clearly and ahead of time. And some changes and decisions should always be documented, including proper justification and alternative solutions, to make it clear that changes and decisions aren't made/taken "at random" or for the wrong reasons.

By publishing this documentation on FIDE's pages, we WOULD be able to see how FIDE is run, and we WOULD know where certain decisions are made and by whom. This is the kind of transparency that FIDE needs, but currently I find such a scenario somewhat utopian - not because it couldn't or shouldn't be done, but because it's not at all similar to my impression of how FIDE presently "wants" to do things.

"objectives" being a misspelling of "objections" in the 4th paragraph above... ;)

Ultimately, the fault perhaps lies with FIDE not for omitting Linares, but for including it in all the previous years, in spite of submissions being obviously made past the deadline, which FIDE restated on its website repeatedly.

If FIDE had followed a rating policy over the years that was consistent with its own rules, all the reaction the first rating list would have gotten is a sigh of "Oh well, Anand is gonna miss #1 again". Because Linares always counted while ending in March this created a logical expectation that it would count this year too and also created the still unanswered question of when and why the decision was made not to count it this time.

Shouldn't FIDE introduce penalty for late or no submissions? Otherwise, there is a potential for misuse!

bs, where have you been hiding? This was true of Ivanchuk in 1991.

Gladiator, I am sorry your queries were not answered, it does depend a bit as to where you sent it. They should be sent to the Athens Office at office@fide.com (Elista is not great at answering, we are trying to improve that), if you get no response, then send to the Executive Director at Jarrett@fide.com

PircAlert, there is a penalty for late submissions. At present it is a nice little earner, as many Federations are not very efficient.

Yuriy Kleyner, I agree with you that the fault lies with FIDE for wrongly including Linares in the past.

Gladiator, I am sorry that you got no response, but it does depend a bit where you sent it. Elista is not great at replying (we are trying to improve that) so you should send it to the Athens Office at office@fide.com. If that does not raise a reply, then go to the Executive Director at jarrett@fide.com

Yuriy Kleyner, I agree that the fault lies with FIDE wrongly rating Linares in the past.

PircAlert, there is a penalty for late submissions. Owing to the inefficiencies of many Federations, it is a nice little earner!

Sorry for repeating myself, but I was not sure that the first one went through

Nigel Freeman, thanks for taking time to respond. I appreciate it. Hope your presence would help bring some order into FIDE!

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