- 27 May '18 12:41 / 1 editI'm aware that a chess rating is simply an approximation of a players real OTB strength, but I can't help wondering if todays FIDE ratings are a bit inflated. Below is a chart of the top 20 rated players of all-time. Rounding out the bottom 20 are Bobby Fischer and Anatoly Karpov.

Maybe I'm showing my age, but Fischer and Karpov were 2 of the most feared players of their time, and I just can't convince myself there are 18 other players that are better than these two. Any thoughts?

Table of top 20 rated players of all-time, with date their best ratings were first achieved

Rank Rating Player Year-month

1 2882 Magnus Carlsen May 2014

2 2851 Garry Kasparov July 1999

3 2844 Fabiano Caruana October 2014

4 2830 Levon Aronian March 2014

5 2822 Wesley So February 2017

6 2819 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave August 2016

7 (tie) 2817 Viswanathan Anand March 2011

7 (tie) 2817 Vladimir Kramnik October 2016

9 (tie) 2816 Veselin Topalov July 2015

9 (tie) 2816 Hikaru Nakamura October 2015

11 2814 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov February 2018

12 2810 Alexander Grischuk December 2014

13 2798 Anish Giri October 2015

14 2793 Teimour Radjabov November 2012

15 2791 Ding Liren May 2018

16 (tie) 2788 Alexander Morozevich July 2008

16 (tie) 2788 Sergey Karjakin July 2011

18 2787 Vassily Ivanchuk October 2007

19 2785 Bobby Fischer April 1972

20 2780 Anatoly Karpov July 1994 - 04 Jun '18 03:58

Most if not all of them are much lower rated now, those ratings are just that, peak ratings. And the Fischer rating of 2785 would no doubt be well above 2800 if he was active today. Remember, he could not win as many points against lower rated players of the day. If he happened to beat a 2850 player he would get more points than beating an average joe 2600 GM.*Originally posted by @mchill***I'm aware that a chess rating is simply an approximation of a players real OTB strength, but I can't help wondering if todays FIDE ratings are a bit inflated. Below is a chart of the top 20 rated players of all-time. Rounding out the bottom 20 are Bobby Fischer and Anatoly Karpov.**

Maybe I'm showing my age, but Fischer and Karpov were 2 of the most feared ...[text shortened]... assily Ivanchuk October 2007

19 2785 Bobby Fischer April 1972

20 2780 Anatoly Karpov July 1994 - 04 Jun '18 05:46 / 1 edit

I think that this is an effect of the size of the player pool. Player ratings are not absolute, a ratings difference of 400 corresponds to a 90% chance of the stronger player winning. When you win a game your rating can only increase very slightly if your opponent is much weaker. So, the ratings of the best players depend on the ratings of the second division players and so forth. This means that the histogram of player ratings tends to spread out as the player pool increases in size. I don't think it would be difficult to correct for the effect - you just scale the graph down until the areas under the curve match.*Originally posted by @mchill***I'm aware that a chess rating is simply an approximation of a players real OTB strength, but I can't help wondering if todays FIDE ratings are a bit inflated. Below is a chart of the top 20 rated players of all-time. Rounding out the bottom 20 are Bobby Fischer and Anatoly Karpov.**

Maybe I'm showing my age, but Fischer and Karpov were 2 of the most feared ...[text shortened]... assily Ivanchuk October 2007

19 2785 Bobby Fischer April 1972

20 2780 Anatoly Karpov July 1994 - 04 Jun '18 20:01

Any way of finding ratings standard deviation and mean for each year?*Originally posted by @deepthought***I think that this is an effect of the size of the player pool. Player ratings are not absolute, a ratings difference of 400 corresponds to a 90% chance of the stronger player winning. When you win a game your rating can only increase very slightly if your opponent is much weaker. So, the ratings of the best players depend on the ratings of the seco ...[text shortened]... to correct for the effect - you just scale the graph down until the areas under the curve match.** - 07 Jun '18 18:44

There may be inflation, points are injected when new players come into the rating pool, lose their points and depart. The number of players iin in the ratings pool is also steadily increasing. It depends on how the points lost through people with high ratings retiring outweighs the points gained by the factors above.*Originally posted by @mchill***I'm aware that a chess rating is simply an approximation of a players real OTB strength, but I can't help wondering if todays FIDE ratings are a bit inflated. Below is a chart of the top 20 rated players of all-time. Rounding out the bottom 20 are Bobby Fischer and Anatoly Karpov.**

Maybe I'm showing my age, but Fischer and Karpov were 2 of the most feared ...[text shortened]... assily Ivanchuk October 2007

19 2785 Bobby Fischer April 1972

20 2780 Anatoly Karpov July 1994 - 08 Jun '18 13:57 / 2 edits

The BCF/ECF system is different - it works by assigning a score to each game of one's opponent's adjusted rating plus 50 points for a win, less fifty for a loss and one's opponents adjusted rating for a draw - the adjusted opponent rating is never more than 40 points away from one's own rating and is equal to one's opponent's actual rating within those bounds. They then take the mean of the games played. It had a problem with inflation which was addressed about a decade ago by taking 10 points off everyone's rating.*Originally posted by @moonbus***There other ratings systems. FIDE is not the only game in town.** - 11 Jun '18 13:37 / 1 edit

Sorry wrong post.*Originally posted by @iamatiger***There may be inflation, points are injected when new players come into the rating pool, lose their points and depart. The number of players iin in the ratings pool is also steadily increasing. It depends on how the points lost through people with high ratings retiring outweighs the points gained by the factors above.** - 11 Jun '18 13:39
*Originally posted by @mchill*

Maybe I'm showing my age, but Fischer and Karpov were 2 of the most feared ...[text shortened]... assily Ivanchuk October 2007

19 2785 Bobby Fischer April 1972

20 2780 Anatoly Karpov July 1994*really*at his peak in 1994? It's possible, as his performances at Linares certainly stand out, but I wonder. - 11 Jun '18 15:05

Sorry, I agree with your post. But it makes me chuckle to think of a 2600 player as an "average joe". I'd love to maintain even half of that rating OTB.*Originally posted by @sonhouse***Most if not all of them are much lower rated now, those ratings are just that, peak ratings. And the Fischer rating of 2785 would no doubt be well above 2800 if he was active today. Remember, he could not win as many points against lower rated players of the day. If he happened to beat a 2850 player he would get more points than beating an average joe 2600 GM.**

I do believe you're correct, Fischer most certainly would've forced himself to 2900 in this era.