Gata Kamsky reclaims position as US no. 1

The hectic chess schedule of the last couple of weeks has wreaked havoc on the live rating lists. As you can see from, Gata Kamsky has now overtaken Hikaru Nakamura as the top US player, but also returned to the world top 10. That all might change tomorrow, of course, but the nearly 30-point swing (Kamsky picked up 14.8 points in his medal-winning individual performance at the World Team Championship, while Nakamura has dropped 14.3 points in Dortmund) just proves how quickly things can change.

Almost exactly the same picture can be seen with Russia. After the Bazna Kings tournament the talk was of Sergey Karjakin moving into the world top-4 and overtaking Vladimir Kramnik as the top Russian player. But suddenly Kramnik is a win tomorrow against Georg Meier short of 2800 (having picked up 15.7 points), while Karjakin lost 13.4 points in an unsuccessful outing as the leader of the Russian Team in China. Kramnik has opened up a 22 point gap, which might prove significant in a period when ratings qualifiers for the next Candidates Matches are being decided.

Of course, it’s hard to mention Russian players and not note the return of Alexander Morozevich  (+31.9!), who’s already passed Ian Nepomniachtchi and is on the verge of overtaking both Peter Svidler and Nikita Vitiugov.

Is there a moral here? Ratings are temporary, class is permanent? Or that we shouldn’t pay so much attention to statistics… 


Photo: Kamsky, Levon Aronian and Wang Hao with their World Team Championship individual medals, RCF website