Monday, November 16, 2009

Magnus is Number One

No one but the Japanese can transform the grand old tradition of the English breakfast into a performance art with all the precision and delicacy of a tea ceremony. For that reason alone, it's worth spending at least a night in Tokyo's Hyatt Regency hotel. Sure you'll drop a few thousand yen, but those carrying Aussie dollars will find it pretty affordable, thanks to the Aussie's rising strength.

Anyway, as I sat down this morning to that impressive brekky experience, I flipped my copy of the IHT to page two and what did I find but chess news. Yes, right on page 2 was news of super GM Magnus Carlsen becoming the world's youngest ever number one chess player. The news came courtesy of Dylan McClain in the NYT (The NYT Co. also owns the IHT).


Anonymous said...

He was actually already number 1 after game 4 of the Bilbao on Sept. 5 of 2008, but couldn't hold it until the end of the tournament. As both of these ratings are "unofficial" I think they both carry equal weight. He was number one for a blink a year ago, but now will likely be number one for a long time to come.

Kevin Bonham said...

Yes, both his present #1 and his #1 in Sep 2008 were unofficial "Live Top List" ratings. The Live Top List rating is the FIDE rating a player would have in the next FIDE list if they played no further games in the current FIDE rating period. So a Live Top List #1 is effectively a "provisional" #1 for the next period, one that can change if the player drops points before the ratings period ends or his rivals gain points before the ratings period ends.

As it happens Carlsen is only the Live Top List #1 by a margin of 0.6 points, so if Topalov plays again before Carlsen does then a win against pretty much anyone first-up would put Topalov back in front. However I am unsure if Topalov will play any games before Carlsen competes in the London Chess Classic in mid-December.