Chess: Kasparov and Short not rated by Fide

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The Independent Culture
YOUTH and the 'Made in the USSR' label dominate the top places in the new Fide rating list, though the biggest news items are the exclusion of Kasparov and Short, and Judit Polgar's rise as the first woman in the world's top 20, writes William Hartston. Here's the list:

1 Karpov (Russia)2760

2 Anand (India)2725

3 Kramnik (Russia)2710

4 Ivanchuk (Ukraine)2705

5= Shirov (Latvia)2685

5= Salov (Russia)2685

7 Gelfand (Belarus)2670

8= Bareyev (Russia)2660

8= Georgiev (Bulgaria)2660

10 Epishin (Russia)2655

11 Topalov (Bulgaria)2650

12= Khalifman (Russia)2645

12= Kamsky (US)2645

14= Smirin (Israel)2640

14= Kaidanov (Russia)2640

16= Tiviakov (Russia)2635

16= Malanyuk (Ukraine)2635

16= Gulko (US)2635

16= Belyavsky (Ukraine)2635

20= Yusupov (Germany)2630

20= Dolmatov (Russia)2630

20= Adams (England)2630

20= Azmaiparashvili

(Geo) 2630

20= J Polgar (Hungary)2630

Of these 24 names, only Viswanathan Anand, the two Bulgarians, Michael Adams and Judit Polgar were not born in the Soviet Union. Adams, for a long time the strongest of his age, now competes with a group of highly precocious grandmasters. Polgar, only 16, is still the infant of the pack, but Kramnik, Shirov, Topalov, Kamsky and Tiviakov are still all under 21, which Adams reached last November. The top English players, apart from Adams, are Hodgson (2625, sharing 25th place), Speelman (2605, sharing 41st), Nunn (2590, sharing 59th), Miles and Chandler (both 2565, sharing 98th).

In leaving Kasparov and Short off the list, Fide seem to be attempting to exclude the rebels from international chess. If so, they are making a mistake. The Short-Kasparov venture has so little support among the world's grandmasters that revenge is unnecessary. Fide have made their point splendidly in attracting a higher prize for the Karpov- Timman match. Further action is unnecessary and will probably be counter-productive.