International Chess Federation
Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 10:34
Rating Analytics: USA dominates America’s top 10

Kaspars Migla is the creator and founder of In his column, he analyzes monthly FIDE standard rating changes, career-high ratings, rating distribution by country, continent, region, and other rating-related statistics. 

For the first time in the history of FIDE rating calculation and probably for the first time ever America’s top-10 consists exclusively of the US players. By contrast, in the European top-10, six countries are represented, in Asia – 4; in Africa – 3.

The last non-US man standing in America’s top-10 had been a GM from Peru Jorge Cori (2651) but after losing 20 rating points last month he slid down from 8th to 11th place in the list. The leading positions in America (which includes 38 federations) are held by Fabiano Caruana (2822), Leinier Dominguez Perez (2762), Wesley So (2760), Hikaru Nakamura (2741) and Jeffery Xiong (2712). You can see a full list here.

The chess players from the U.S. came to the fore in America in 2010, when Hikaru Nakamura overtook Leinier Dominguez Perez who represented Cuba back then. Two factors brought about the U.S. domination: firstly, several elite grandmasters (first of all Fabiano Caruana and Wesley So) changed federation and now are playing under the U.S. banner; secondly, meteoric rise of its own young talents. For example, Jeffery Xiong has been steadily improving his rating for eight months in a row, an achievement comparable with a breakthrough by Alireza Firouzja (Iran, 2720). The young Iranian picked 102 rating points since the beginning of the year, which is the best result among top-100.

This November Alireza once again surpassed his best rating, mounting to 29th position (among active players). Five players rated over 2700 reached their personal best this November. Alongside with Xiong and Firouzja, this quintet includes Nikita Vitiugov (Russia, 2751), Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Poland, 2748), and Kirill Alekseenko (Russia, 2715).

Sixteen players rated 2600 and above (with seven juniors among them) peaked in November 2019. Evgeny Shtembuliak (Ukraine, 2600) cleared this rating bar thanks to his outstanding performance in the World Junior Championship U20 in which he took the title. When talking about women, the result by IM Dinara Saduakassova (Kazakhstan, 2505) in the FIDE Grand Swiss on the Isle of Man is definitely worth mentioning, as she broke her own record and reached grandmaster rating.

A chess player from Denmark Gert Sogaard Kristensen (1705) showed the biggest rating gain in November – it took him three tournaments in his home country to earn 301 points. An FM Eugene Yanayt (USA, 2216) distinguished himself by playing the greatest number of games (41) in six tournaments the same month.

( - Yanayt has not played chess for a while focusing on poker, where he became one of the best in the world in 2-7 triple draw lowball (one of poker variants). It remains to be seen, whether this great number of games means Eugene’s return to chess.)

Among GMs, Yu Yangyi (China, 2753) has the most games, under his belt, namely 27, which is very unusual for a player from top-50. Nevertheless, all 27 games were played in very prestigious competitions – 16 in FIDE World Cup 2019 and 11 in FIDE Grand Swiss. Yuriy Kuzubov (Ukraine, 2652) is second with 25 games; Russian GMs Igor Naumkin (2400) and Ernesto Inarkiev (2665) are tied for the third with 24 games each.

Chess remains a very popular game around the world. As many as 2219 new players with classical rating have been registered in November. The countries with the greatest increase are India (375 people), Germany (131), Russia (119), Iran (116) and France (96). The list of leaders over the last twelve months includes India (2893 people), Russia (2359), Spain (1789), Iran (1694), France (1642) and Germany (1424).

Europe top-10 (active players)

1. GM Carlsen, Magnus (NOR) 2870
2. GM Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime (FRA) 2777
3. GM Giri, Anish (NED) 2776
4. GM Nepomniachtchi, Ian (RUS) 2773
5. GM Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar (AZE) 2772
6. GM Aronian, Levon (ARM) 2772
7. GM Radjabov, Teimour (AZE) 2767
8. GM Grischuk, Alexander (RUS) 2764
9. GM Karjakin, Sergey (RUS) 2754
10. GM Kramnik, Vladimir (RUS) 2753

Asia top-10 (active players)

1. GM Ding, Liren (CHN) 2801
2. GM Anand, Viswanathan (IND) 2757
3. GM Yu, Yangyi (CHN) 2753
4. GM Wang, Hao (CHN) 2752
5. GM Harikrishna, Pentala (IND) 2731
6. GM Wei, Yi (CHN) 2724
7. GM Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi (IND) 2722
8. GM Firouzja, Alireza (IRI) 2720
9. GM Le, Quang Liem (VIE) 2713
10. GM Bu, Xiangzhi (CHN) 2705

America top-10 (active players)

1. GM Caruana, Fabiano (USA) 2822
2. GM Dominguez Perez, Leinier (USA) 2762
3. GM So, Wesley (USA) 2760
4. GM Nakamura, Hikaru (USA) 2741
5. GM Xiong, Jeffery (USA) 2712
6. GM Kamsky, Gata (USA) 2684
7. GM Shankland, Sam (USA) 2679
8. GM Robson, Ray (USA) 2673
9. GM Swiercz, Dariusz (USA) 2659
10. GM Sevian, Samuel (USA) 2657

Africa Top 10 (active players)

1. GM Amin, Bassem (EGY) 2685
2. GM Adly, Ahmed (EGY) 2607
3. GM Hamdouchi, Hicham (MAR) 2562
4. GM Bellahcene,Bilel (ALG) 2539
5. GM Shoker, Samy (EGY) 2504
6. IM Arab, Adlane (ALG) 2485
7. GM Haddouche, Mohamed (ALG) 2483
8. GM Fawzy, Adham (EGY) 2478
9. IM Ezat, Mohamed (EGY) 2452
10-11. GM Rizouk, Aimen (ALG) 2439
10-11. IM Rakotomaharo, Fy Antenaina (MAD, 2439)