FIDE has now finalised and published its ratings lists for January 2013. Magnus Carlsen has been confirmed to be the top player out of the men, and Judit Polgar is once more the top female player in the world.
Magnus Carlsen’s rating of 2861 is particularly jaw-dropping in that he has beaten the previous world record holder for the highest ever rating, Gary Kasparov’s 2851, by a full 10 points. Carlsen’s top position in the FIDE January 2013 ratings and his smashing of Kasparov’s record, were both confirmed by the end of the London Chess Classic event on December 10th when his ratings hit the roof estimated to have reached up to 2994 during the event. The London Chess Classic was both decisive and prophetic in other ways, too. For instance, this was the event when Vladimir Kramnik rose up to try and defeat Carlsen, but was knocked back, after some close games, to second place. This confirmed his position in the January 2013 FIDE ratings as the second best player in the world as well.
As for Hungarian Grandmaster Judit Polgar, with 2696 she is very definitely the best female player in the
world. Her position in the January 2013 FIDE ratings will come as a surprise to virtually no-one as she has long been regarded as the best woman player around, as well as the best female player in history. Polgar has beaten Carlsen several times in individual games and has also beaten a number of other top players, including Kasparov. Indeed one of her earliest wins was against the then World Champion Boris Spassky in 1993, only two years after she gained her Grandmaster norm.