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|FIDE Top-10 Players (1975-2004)|
|Using FIDE historical ratings we identify world Top-10 players over the last 30 years.|
(February 2004) Every form of individual competition has some kind of ranking to determine the best in the world, the second best, and so on. Some sports -- tennis comes to mind -- use recent match performances to rank the top players. Other sports -- golf is a good example -- use prize money as a guide. Since 1970, chess has used the Elo rating system to rank world class players.
Thanks in large part to our position as About Chess Guide, we received permission from Chess Informant and from the World Chess Federation (FIDE) to release copies of FIDE rating lists for the years 1975 to 2000. If you're also interested in FIDE historical ratings, these files are available offsite (see the link box at the bottom of this article) for download.
Since the FIDE site (link box again) has rating archives for the years 2001 through 2004, we were able to construct a database of all FIDE ratings covering the 30-year period 1975 to 2004. We'll be doing a series of articles using our database to present some new statistics about the players covered by the files.
In this article we start with the world's best players : the Top-10 players on each annual list. How many players have been ranked in the Top-10 and how often were they ranked there? We counted a total of 50 different names, presented in the following table. An explanation of the columns follows the table.
Since our calculations are based on the January rating list for each year, it's entirely possible that we missed a few players who only appeared on Top-10 lists for the intermediate periods. Our investigations also uncovered a whole slew of issues which we'll cover in a future article!