Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Cuba Topping Latin American Chess


Legendary Russian chess player Gari Kasparov continues to reign over world chess according to the World Chess Federations’s latest ranking released Sunday, reported the DPA news agency.

Kasparov, 42, has been placing first for close to 20 years now – despite having retired from competitive chess about a year ago. He tops the ranking with an ELO rating of 2,812 points, closely followed by Bulgaria’s Grandmaster Vesselin Topalov (2,801), who is the current world champion. India’s GM Viswanathan Anand (2,801) holds the third spot.

Among the 100 best players are four Latin Americans and two Spanish.

Spain’s Alexei Shirov, who had a weak performance during the latest World Chess Cup held in the Russian city of Khanty-Mansiysk, slipped to 16th spot down from 14. Likewise, his compatriot Francisco Vallejo played ineffectively during the last quarter of the year, falling to the 54th position from 29th.

Cuba continues to be the outstanding Latin American chess powerhouse with its two young grandmasters, Lazaro Bruzon and Lenier Dominguez. Bruzon, slipped to 55th spot down from 26. Dominguez, who did not qualify for the World Cup, moved up the ladder to the 71st position, up from 76th.

Brazil’s Giovanni Vescovi, who was 60th in the previous listing, placed 76th this time. Peru’s GM Julio Granda Zuniga, who has had many personal problems lately, was eliminated in the first round of the World Cup, slipping to 82nd position down from the 67th.

Ruben Felgaer, who was 73rd in the previous ranking, vanished from the top 100 players list, but he continues as Argentina’s number one chess player with an ELO of 2,607 points.

Russia’s reigning champion Sergei Rublevski moved up 19 steps to 35th place, while Norway’s Magnus Carlsen, known as the “Mozart of chess,” leaped to the 89th position from 150th – thus placing himself among the world’s top 100 players for the first time.

At only 15, Carlsen is the youngest grandmaster to have qualified for the Candidates´ Tournament schedule to be held on September 2006, prior to the World Championship taking place.

The FIDE’s ranking list released on January 1, 2006 is valid for the next three months:

Top 20: 1. Kasparov RUS (2,812 ELO points) 2. Topalov BUL (2,801) 3. Anand IND (2,792) 4. Svidler RUS (2,765) 5. Aronian ARM (2,752) 6. Kramnik RUS (2,741) 7. Leko HUN (2,740) 8. Ivanchuk UKR (2,729) 9. Gelfand ISR (2,723) 10. Ponomariov UKR (2,723) 11. Morozevich RUS (2,721) 12. Grischuk RUS (2,717) 13. Bacrot FRA (2,717) 14. J Polgar HUN (2,711) 15. Mamedyarov AZE (2,709) 16. Shirov ESP (2,709) 17. Adams ENG (2,707) 18. Akopian ARM (2,704) 19. Radjabov AZE (2,700) 20. Bareev RUS (2698)

Ibero-American rankings: 16. Alexei Shirov ESP (2,709). 54. Francisco Vallejo ESP (2.650) 55. Lazaro Bruzon, CUB (2,650) 71. Lenier Domínguez CUB (2,638) 76. Giovanni Vescovi BRA (2,633) 82. Julio Granda Zuniga, PER (2,631)

Translated from Granma Daily

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