April fools’ day: a bad joke for Vishy

The entire chess world thought he would have become the new #1 in the Fide list from April 1. And it would have been for the first time in his brilliant career. But Vishy Anand will have to wait. April fools’ day is not so amusing for him: Veselin Topalov is still the most rated player in the world, as Fide has not included Morelia/Linares tournament, which ended on March 10. Is that a joke? No.
It looks quite suspect, but “the Ratings Committee has decided that only tournaments that finished a month before the rating list comes into effect should be rated”, says FIDE treasurer Nigel Freeman on “The Daily Dirt Chess Blog” (http://www.chessninja.com/dailydirt/). Mig Greengard stresses that “Linares has ended on March 10 several times in the last few years (March 11 last year) and it has always been rated for the April list”. There are also some events “on the tournaments graded for this list that finished in March: the open and women's Moldovan championships (finished March 1), the Ferme Elite A 2006 (March 9), and the Asian Cities Team Championship for Dubai Cup (March 10)”.
The All India Chess Federation (http://www.indianchessfed.org/) has published a statement on the matter and is taking the issue up with FIDE. "The AICF has requested FIDE to follow normal norms and rate this event as was done before. The Linares Tournament has traditionally been included in all rating lists published by FIDE in April and excluding it this time will be injustice to Indian chess and Viswanathan Anand. Anand himself is in Germany playing the Bundesliga for defending champion Baden Baden and was not available for comment. The AICF Secretary D.V.Sundar has taken up the issue with FIDE and expects the correction by FIDE as early as Monday".
The problem could also be related to the fact that this is the first list produced with the new Fide Ratings Server. Whatever happened, it is clear by now that no player is worth the #1 title after Kasparov retired from chess: Aronian, Topalov and Radjabov won the Corus tourney, Anand was first in Morelia/Linares, Kramnik is the world champion. That’s why I’ve opened a poll on my italian site: “Who is, in your opinion, the strongest chess player nowadays?” (http://www.messaggeroscacchi.it/public/sondaggio/vota.php). There are twelve options; if you don’t understand the last two, here is the translation: “Others (Adams, Gelfand, Svidler, Polgar, Navara, Ponomariov, etc.)” and “Nobody, but sooner or later a new Kasparov will come”. And now… vote!
Here is April 2007 top 20: 1. Topalov, Veselin (BUL) 2791; 2. Anand, Viswanathan (IND) 2778; 3. Kramnik, Vladimir (RUS) 2772; 4. Aronian, Levon (ARM) 2759; 5. Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar (AZE) 2757; 6. Morozevich, Alexander (RUS) 2756; 7. Leko, Peter (HUN) 2749; 8. Radjabov, Teimour (AZE) 2747; 9. Ivanchuk, Vassily (UKR) 2735; 10. Adams, Michael (ENG) 2734; 11. Gelfand, Boris (ISR) 2733; 12. Svidler, Peter (RUS) 2731; 13. Polgar, Judit (HUN) 2727; 14. Navara, David (CZE) 2720; 15. Ponomariov, Ruslan (UKR) 2717; 16. Grischuk, Alexander (RUS) 2717; 17. Bacrot, Etienne (FRA) 2709; 18. Jakovenko, Dmitry (RUS) 2708; 19. Kamsky, Gata (USA) 2705; 20. Shirov, Alexei (ESP) 2699.

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