A Look Ahead: By the Numbers

A tougher task Wesley as far as breaking records is concerned. With the new FIDE regulations soon to take effect, he has until the third week of August to gain 43 ELO to surpass Carlsen’s record among fifteen-year olds.

It seems an impossible task to achieve even if he continues to improve at a brisk pace.

But surprisingly, there is one easier goal for him to accomplish: He is given one full year to add 44 elo to his current live rating to become the youngest person to reach the 2700 plateau.

How motivated can you get?

“…it is very difficult to compete at 40. He is up against people half his age. I will be surprised if he can go on any longer. He can fight against anyone but time.”

– Kasparov on WC Anand

GM Antonio just recently turned 47. (He isn’t 29 anymore)

He has been ranked among the top 100 players during the peak of his career around the turn of the century.

He is nationally ranked no lower than fifth for almost two decades. One of the steadiest Olympians the country has ever produced.

A quick eloquery will reveal to us that Antonio, based on his live rating as of this writing (15 April), ranks at about number 55 among active chess players born on or before 1962.

Of the 55 players, only 9 have a rating of 2600 or more.

For Antonio to be ranked 55th among his contemporaries at this stage of his career is pretty much respectable in my book.

I can’t speak for the man but I guess this is what he would say if, for whatever circumstance, he finally steps over 2600:

“Yay, I made it to 2600 ELO… and still there are about 200 players better than me. (Sigh) oh well, so much for that.”

For what he has accomplished, I think he has earned the right, at this point in time, to have full control on how leisurely or seriously he wants to pursue the remainder of his chess career.

Statistically, it just seems quite rare for players with a rating curve similar with Antonio’s to gain ELO through a sudden spike or surge later in their careers.

But should there be enough motivation left on him to pursue this, I see maybe one last window of opportunity for him not to miss out on and gauge himself from there: Participation in the 2010 Aeroflot Open, “A” Group (the requisite is, of course, to gain 20 ELO between now and Christmas Day).

Which brings me to the question: Why didn’t Torre take his chance to break his own rating record by participating at the same tournament last February?

On the horizon: Eugene is also nearing eligibility to vie for the World Seniors Championship in a couple of years.