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Updated by CJ Hernandez Alcoba on Apr 10, 2018
Headline for Top 10 chess players by ELO
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Top 10 chess players by ELO

The Elo rating system is a method for calculating the relative skill levels of players in competitor-versus-competitor games such as chess. It is named after its creator Arpad Elo, a Hungarian-born American physics professor.

The Elo system was originally invented as an improved chess rating system, but is also used as a rating system for multiplayer competition in a number of video games,[1] association football, American football, basketball,[2] Major League Baseball, Scrabble, board games such as Diplomacy and other games.

The difference in the ratings between two players serves as a predictor of the outcome of a match. Two players with equal ratings who play against each other are expected to score an equal number of wins. A player whose rating is 100 points greater than their opponent's is expected to score 64%; if the difference is 200 points, then the expected score for the stronger player is 76%.

A player's Elo rating is represented by a number which increases or decreases depending on the outcome of games between rated players. After every game, the winning player takes points from the losing one. The difference between the ratings of the winner and loser determines the total number of points gained or lost after a game. In a series of games between a high-rated player and a low-rated player, the high-rated player is expected to score more wins. If the high-rated player wins, then only a few rating points will be taken from the low-rated player. However, if the lower rated player scores an upset win, many rating points will be transferred. The lower rated player will also gain a few points from the higher rated player in the event of a draw. This means that this rating system is self-correcting. A player whose rating is too low should, in the long run, do better than the rating system predicts, and thus gain rating points until the rating reflects their true playing strength.

1

Magnus, Carlsen

Magnus, Carlsen

Sven Magnus Øen Carlsen is a Norwegian chess grandmaster and the current World Chess Champion. A chess prodigy, Carlsen earned his grandmaster title at the age of 13 years and 148 days.
Born: 30 November 1990 (age 26), Tønsberg, Norway
Nationality: Norwegian
Country: Norway
Peak rating: 2882 (May 2014)
Siblings: Ingrid Carlsen, Signe Carlsen, Ellen Øen Carlsen
Parents: Sigrun Øen, Henrik Albert Carlsen

9

Viswanathan, Anand

Viswanathan, Anand

Viswanathan "Vishy" Anand is an Indian chess Grandmaster and a former World Chess Champion. Anand became India's first grandmaster in 1988. He held the FIDE World Chess Championship from 2000 to 2002.
Born: 11 December 1969 (age 47), Chennai, India
Spouse: Aruna Anand (m. 1996)
FIDE rating: 2794 (September 2017)
Awards: Padma Vibhushan, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna
Siblings: Shivakumar Anand, Anuradha Anand

2

Vladimir, Kramnik

Vladimir, Kramnik

Vladimir Borisovich Kramnik is a Russian chess Grandmaster. He was the Classical World Chess Champion from 2000 to 2006, and the undisputed World Chess Champion from 2006 to 2007.
Born: 25 June 1975 (age 42), Tuapse, Russia
Height: 1.95 m
Spouse: Marie-Laure (m. 2006)
Books: My Path to the Top: World Championship Chess, Proryv
Children: Daria Kramnik

3

Anish, Giri

Anish, Giri

Anish Kumar Giri is a Russian-born Dutch Grandmaster and former chess prodigy. He achieved the grandmaster title at the age of 14 years and 7 months. Giri is a four-time Dutch Chess Champion and won the Corus Chess B Group in 2010.
Born: 28 June 1994 (age 23), Saint Petersburg, Russia
Nationality: Dutch
Spouse: Sopiko Guramishvili (m. 2015)
Peak rating: 2798 (January 2016)
Parents: Sanjay Giri, Olga Giri
Books: Anish Giri: My Junior Years in 20 Games

4

Hikaru, Nakamura

Hikaru, Nakamura

Hikaru Nakamura is a Japanese-American chess grandmaster. He is a four-time United States Chess Champion, who won the 2011 edition of Tata Steel Group A and represented the United States at five Chess ... Wikipedia
Born: 9 December 1987 (age 29), Hirakata, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
Education: Dickinson College
Peak rating: 2816 (October 2015)
Parents: Shuichi Nakamura, Carolyn Merrow Nakamura
Books: Bullet Chess: One Minute to Mate
Siblings: Asuka Nakamura

5

Fabiano, Caruana

Fabiano, Caruana

Fabiano Luigi Caruana is an Italian-American chess grandmaster. He played for the United States until 2005, when he switched to Italy, and he subsequently switched back to the U.S. in 2015. He was the 2016 U.S. Chess Champion.
Born: 30 July 1992 (age 25), Miami, Florida, United States
FIDE rating: 2807
Peak ranking: No. 2 (October 2014)
Peak rating: 2844 (October 2014)
Title: Grandmaster
Parents: Santina Caruana, Lou Caruana

6

Levon, Aronian

Levon, Aronian

Levon Grigori Aronian is an Armenian chess Grandmaster. On the March 2014 FIDE rating list, he was ranked number two in the world and had an Elo rating of 2830, making him the fourth highest rated player in history.
Born: 6 October 1982 (age 34), Yerevan, Armenia
Peak rating: 2830 (March 2014)
Peak ranking: No. 2 (January 2012)
Title: Grandmaster
FIDE rating: 2809 (July 2017)
Ranking: No. 4 (July 2017)

7

Veselin, Topalov

Veselin, Topalov

Veselin Aleksandrov Topalov is a Bulgarian chess grandmaster and former FIDE World Chess Champion. Topalov became FIDE World Chess Champion by winning the FIDE World Chess Championship 2005.
Born: 15 March 1975 (age 42), Ruse, Bulgaria
Spouse: Christina Topalova
World Champion: 2005–06 (FIDE)
Peak rating: 2816 (July 2015)
Peak ranking: No. 1 (April 2006)
Awards: Chess Oscar

8

Maxime, Vachier-Lagrave

Maxime, Vachier-Lagrave

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, sometimes referred to as MVL, is a French chess grandmaster and the 2009 World Junior Chess Champion. As of September 2017, he is the No. 1 ranked player in France and the second highest rated player in the world.
Born: 21 October 1990 (age 26), Nogent-sur-Marne, France
Peak rating: 2819 (August 2016)
Peak ranking: No. 2 (August 2016)
Title: Grandmaster
FIDE rating: 2804 (September 2017)
Ranking: No. 2 (September 2017)

10

Wesley, So

Wesley, So

Wesley Barbasa So is a Filipino-American chess grandmaster. He is the current U.S. Chess Champion. He represented the Philippines until transferring to the United States in 2015.
Born: 9 October 1993 (age 23), Bacoor
Nationality: Philippine
FIDE rating: 2792 (September 2017)
Ranking: No. 8 (September 2017)
Parents: Eleanor So, William So
Education: Webster University, Jesus Good Shepherd School