WITH a meteoric gain of 29 points Norway’s Magnus Carlsen has increased his lead by 78 points over Ukraine’s Sergey Karjakin who has a rating of 2723. A close third is French champion Maxime Vachier-Lagrave with 2718. The first 5 places remain unchanged although Italy’s Fabiano Caruana went down by 10 points. Bulgaria’s Sergei Zhigalko took 6th place without any change in rating due to Russia’s Dmitry Andreikin’s loss of 23 points who dropped to 8th place. The Philippines’ Wesley So, despite losing 4 rating points, came 7th also on account of Andreikin’s rating dive.
Nine out of twenty, or roughly half in the list, are born in 1990. These include the top 3 – Carlsen, Karjakin, and Vachier-Lagrave. The others are Russia’s Dmitry Andreikin, Ukraine’s Yuriy Kuzubov, Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi, France’s Romain Edoard, Vietnam’s Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son, and Russia’s Ildar Khairullin.
Girls list is Chinese’ domain
China’s Ju Wenjun’s gigantic gain of 66 rating points caused a major shakeup in the top girls ranking. Previously untitled and ranked 8th, Ju, now with the women’s grandmaster title, leaped to third place with 2509. Fellow Chinese GM Hou Yifan and Slovenian IM Anna Muzychuk retained their 1-2 places. Ukraine GM Katerina Lahno and Indian IM Harika Dronavali each dropped a rank due to Ju’s rise. The 5 Chinese girls in the list are among the top 11 players.