by Carlos Alberto Colodro
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The world champion achieved his stratospheric highest-ever live rating, a little over ten points short of the 2900 mark, on 21 April 2014, after defeating Hikaru Nakamura from the white side of a Slav Defence at the Vugar Gashimov Memorial in Shamkir. Carlsen would go on to win that event ahead of Fabiano Caruana.[Analysis by GM Alejandro Ramirez].
The frequent discussion regarding who is the greatest player of all time almost always includes Carlsen, Fischer and, of course, Garry Kasparov. After winning the World Championship in 1985, he all but dominated the chess world until his retirement in 2005. He achieved his peak live rating on 3 March 2000, on his way to getting his sixth title in Linares. Fittingly, he achieved his highest-ever rating from the black side of a Najdorf Defence. His opponent was none other than Vishy Anand.
In a memorable 2014for the latest World Championship challenger, he won in Dortmund, kicked off the Sinquefield Cup with seven straight wins and got tournament victory with an astounding 3080 TPR, and obtained his highest-ever live rating at the Baku stage of the Grand Prix. He got it by beating Peter Svidlers Gruenfeld Defence in round 6. [Analysis by GM Alejandro Ramirez].
Much like Carlsen and Caruana, the top Armenian star reached his peak rating in 2014, on 2 February. He did it at the Zurich Chess Challenge, where he beat Hikaru Nakamuras Kings Indian Defence in round 4. During the six-player single round robin, Aronian had also defeated Vishy Anand in the first round. [Analysis by GM Cristian Chirila].
One of the most exciting players of our time, Topalov won the FIDE World Championship in 2005 and played in a World Championship match for the last time in 2010, when he lost to Vishy Anand in Sofia. However, he achieved his peak live rating on 24 August 2015, after getting back-to-back victories over Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura at the Sinquefield Cup.[Analysis by GM Alejandro Ramirez].
The last player to beat Carlsen in a classical game had a great couple of years in 2017 and 2018, reaching the world number 2 spot in the rankings with a streak of strong performances in elite tournaments. After winning the 2018 Biel Tournament (where he beat the world champion), he obtained his peak live rating on 30 September, with a win over David Navara while representing Azerbaijan at the Olympiad in Batumi. [Analysis by GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly].
Prior to Mamedyarov, the Filipino-American grandmaster also reached the world number 2 spot by getting impressive tournament victories from August 2016 until April 207 (Sinquefield Cup, London Chess Classic, Tata Steel Masters and US Championship). His peak live rating was fittingly achieved at the Saint Louis Chess Club, after beating Alexander Onischuk with white on 1 April 2017. [Analysis by GM Elshan Moradiabadi].
The five-time world chess champion, still going strong at 50, is a living (and still active) legend of the royal game. After beating Topalov in the 2010 World Championship match, he achieved his peak live rating on 26 January 2011 in Wijk aan Zee. The five-time winner of the Tata Steel Chess Masters (previously known as Hoogovens and Corus) defeated Alexei Shirov from the white side of a Queens Gambit Declined in round 2.
Currently sharing first place in the Candidates Tournament that will resume a month from now, the French star has yet to fight for a World Championship title. On 28 July 2016, MVL achieved his highest-ever live rating during a match with Peter Svidler in Biel. Much like Kasparov, he did it by winning with his beloved Sicilian Najdorf! [Analysis by Johannes Fischer].
The five-time US champion featured three times in this list, as he lost to Carlsen, Aronian and Topalov while they were at the very top of their game. That speaks volumes about Nakamuras fighting spirit, which took him to make this list. In fact, he reached his peak almost simultaneously with Topalov, on 23 August 2015, a day before the Bulgarian would beat him to achieve his own highest-ever live rating. Nakamura beat Anand from the white side of a Catalan.[Analysis by GM Alejandro Ramirez].
How I became World Champion Vol.1 1973-1985
Garry Kasparov's rise to the top was meteoric and at his very first attempt he managed to become World Champion, the youngest of all time. In over six hours of video, he gives a first hand account of crucial events from recent chess history, you can improve your chess understanding and enjoy explanations and comments from a unique and outstanding personality on and off the chess board.
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