Ian Nepomniachtchi set a new peak rating of 2784 as the official April 1st FIDE rating list was published. It’s no normal list, as this is how we can expect things to stay for many months now, with all over-the-board chess cancelled or postponed to an uncertain future. Ding Liren has dropped out of the 2800 club for the first time since August 2018, while Candidates Tournament leader MVL is back in the Top 5. Elsewhere Ju Wenjun dropped 22.7 points but just one place, while 18-year-old Andrey Esipenko reached the Top 50.
World Champion and World no. 1 Magnus Carlsen played just one Norwegian League game that counted for the April 2020 FIDE rating list (gaining 0.8 points), but the Candidates Tournament has shaken up the standings at the top. Ding Liren’s disastrous 2667 performance has seen the Chinese no. 1 drop out of the 2800 club for the first time since August 2018, while there were two clear winners.
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave’s win over Ian Nepomniachtchi in Round 7 meant he was the top performer and climbed three places into the Top 5 with a 2876 performance, but Nepo’s 2875 wasn’t too shabby and took the 29-year-old to a new career best 2784 and world no. 4. Here’s the new Top 100, showing the changes from March:
21-year-old Aleksandra Goryachkina is the player to set a new career best of 2582 on the women's list after finishing joint top of the Lausanne FIDE Women's Grand Prix and picking up 3 rating points, while Nana Dzagnidze, who took first on tiebreaks, gained 15 points to re-enter the Top 10.
The big loser was Women’s World Champion Ju Wenjun, who finally “hit the wall” after the World Championship match and the Cairns Cup in St. Louis, losing 3 games in Lausanne. That cost 23 rating points, but just one place on the rating list:
The rise of Andrey Esipenko continued, with wins over Boris Gelfand and Evgeniy Najer in the Nutcracker Battle of the Generations in Moscow seeing him gain another 10 points to climb to exactly world no. 50 on the overall rating list. The Russian, who turned 18 last month, also gained experience by working as a second for Kirill Alekseenko (alongside Peter Svidler and Daniil Yuffa), and moved up one place ahead of Parham Maghsoodloo.
16-year-old Alireza Firouzja and 19-year-old Jeffery Xiong are the two juniors currently in the 2700 club:
As you can see, the juniors haven't been very active this month (and it's going to be harder for young prodigies to break any records soon) but they're much more active online. Alireza Firouzja plays Duda's conqueror Georg Meier in the Banter Blitz Cup quarterfinals on Sunday, while 15-year-old Nodirbek Abdusattorov takes on Venezuela's Eduardo Iturrizaga today in the last Round 4 match. That takes place at 20:00 CEST:
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