The FIDE Rating List (based on Professor Arpad Elo’s rating system), from its inception in the early seventies, included a few dozen grandmasters rated above 2500 with only a handful of the elite rated over 2600. It more or less remained the case until about the early part of the eighties when the federation’s player database began its accelerated expansion.

A 2500-rated player during the 70’s and 80’s were ranked well inside the top 100 list. But by 1991, it had unceremoniously dropped out of the top 200 list. As of this writing, a 2500 ELO rating would give you a ranking somewhere around 750.

Similarly, for almost two decades, the number of elite players rated above 2600 was never more than eighteen. But this trend began to change. From 1989 onwards, the 2600-ELO membership would gradually swell close to about two hundred active players to date.

But here is more: In the past few years, there has been an influx of players joining the “2700 Club” whose members were never more than TWO until the collapse of the Berlin Wall.

You can view the not-to-scale composite chart of this trend on the page footer at the bottom.