SIMPLECHESS

Leading Ladies: May 2011

Judit Polgar: Happy with her form
At the top of the May 2011 rating list for women, as we have been accustomed to, is Judit Polgar who is on the brink of getting her 2700 status back. The competition for second place is hotting up with Humpy Koneru only two points ahead of Hou Yifan. The most notable advance is that of US Champion Anna Zatonskih who has shot up to seventh.

The top three all gained rating points, as did three other players in the top ten. The most remarkable of these being Anna Zatonskih who has gained 38 rating points, that is up from 2499 (which was her previous career best) to 2537.

Hou Yifan is the only other player above 2500 to have her career highest rating at the present time.

Ranking Previous Ranking Name Country Age Current rating 1/5/11 Rating 1/3/11 Rating 1/1/11 One year ago Career Highest
1 1 Judit Polgar HUN 34 2699 2686 2686 2682 2735
2 2 Humpy Koneru IND 24 2614 2607 2607 2622 2623
3 3 Hou Yifan CHN 17 2612 2602 2602 2589 2612
5 5 Nadezhda Kosintseva (IM) RUS 26 2567 2567 2552 2553 2576
6 4 Tatiana Kosintseva RUS 25 2559 2559 2570 2534 2581
6 4 Nana Dzagnidze  GEO 24 2557 2567 2550 2478 2567
7 16 Anna Zatonskih (IM)  USA 32 2537 2499 2493 2470 2537
8 8 Anna Muzychuk (IM) SLO 21 2537 2528 2529 2529 2542
9 7 Kateryna Lahno  UKR 21 2530 2531 2518 2527 2539
10 14 Alexandra Kosteniuk RUS 27 2522 2503 2498 2519 2540
11 10 Dronavalli Harika (IM) IND 20 2520 2524 2520 2491 2525
12 12 Wenjun Ju (WGM) CHN 20 2511 2519 2514 2500 2524
13 11 Antoaneta Stefanova  BUL 32 2506 2523 2546 2560 2560
14 25 Elina Danielian  ARM 32 2506 2475 2454 2473 2513
15 9 Viktorija Cmilyte  LTU 27 2504 2526 2526 2514 2527 
16 20 Marie Sebag FRA 24 2504 2489 2489 2524 2533
17 15 Maia Chiburdanidze GEO 50 2500 2502 2502 2514 2560

Two other players have managed to obtain a 2500+ rating, Elina Danielian and Marie Sebag, both of whom have been there before.

Of the remaining players in the top 25, only one gained rating points.

One name missing from the top 25 is Pia Cramling, whose indifferent form continues. The new entrant is 22-year-old Valentina Gunina from Russia who has her highest ever rating.

Finally, there are still the same number of women rated 2400 or more, 68, as on the previous list. However ten years ago there were only 39. Some people like to interpret this increase as 'Elo-rating inflation'. I personally am not convinced and believe instead that the over-riding reason is a general improvement in playing strength.

A good source of further information is the International Chess Federation site FIDE


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