An updated, Top Ten of all time

Bobby Fischer
A few months back I had a look at what Elo ratings were necessary to get into the Top Ten hall of fame. There are a couple of changes, as Karjakin recently achieved 2788, a rating that Alexander Morozevich achieved three years ago, but who I had unfortunately overlooked last time.

The table below show the highest Elo ratings achieved by players who have been active in the last decade.

I have also added in former World Champions Anatoly Karpov and Bobby Fischer, as well as any other players who have already achieved 2770+.

All-time ELO rank Name Country Age

Career highest


When first achieved Present ELO
1 Garry Kasparov RUS 48 2851 October 1999 (2812 inactive)
2 Magnus Carlsen NOR 20 2826 July 2010 2823
3 Viswanathan Anand IND 41 2817 March 2011 2817
4 Veselin Topalov BUL 36 2813 July 2006 2768
5 Vladimir Kramnik RUS 36 2811 January 2002 2791
6 Levon Aronian ARM 28 2808 March 2011 2807
7 Alexander Morozevich RUS 34 2788 July 2008 2737
8 Sergey Karjakin UKR/RUS 21 2788 July 2011 2772
9 Vassily Ivanchuk UKR 42 2787 October 2007 2765
10 Hikaru Nakamura USA 23 2774 March 2011 2753
11 Alexander Grischuk RUS 27 2773 January 2011 2757
12 Shakhiryar Mamedyarov AZE 26 2772 March 2011 2746
  Anatoly Karpov RUS 60 2780 July 1994 (2617 largely inactive)
  Robert Fischer USA - 2780 FIDE approximation Deceased

Many would argue that 2780 achieved by Fischer or Karpov in earlier decades was worth more than an equivalent elo-rating now.

It's certainly true that Bobby Fischer, Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov all dominated when at their respective peaks, and yes I agree that comparing different eras is asking for trouble, so I won't do it!

So treat the table above as a bit of fun rather than a scientific examination of Elo ratings.

These days it could be argued that there are more 'relatively competitive opponents' for anyone aspiring to be No.1. There is little difference between the members of the leading group, although we could possibly be on the eve of a Carlsen-dominated period. Time will tell!

Compare this with the present top ten:

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