Kaspars Migla is the creator and founder of chessratings.top. In his column, he analyzes monthly FIDE standard rating changes, career-high ratings, rating distribution by country, continent, region, and other rating-related statistics. In this edition, he reveals major changes in the lists of top junior players.
Every new year traditionally brings about major changes in the top-rated juniors lists and the year 2020 is no exception. Some players lose their junior status and can play only in regular tournaments, others move up to the next age category in which their rating often is not good enough to qualify for the top 10.
One of the most important changes in the January rating list is Wei Yi’s (born in 1999 and rated 2732) leaving juniors. According to chessratings.top, he stayed in the top 100 active juniors for 88 (!) straight months.
The Chinese GM made his debut in the juniors top 100 back in September 2012 in 97th position (rated 2453). The second-longest stint in this list (72 months) belongs to an Indian Murali Karthikeyan (2611) but he also can play only in regular tournaments.
Currently, the best Chinese player in this list is Yan Liu (2513). Born in 2000 he occupies 47th position in this list. After Wei Yi’s outgrowing juniors, the record holder is Samuel Sevian (2660) with 72 months in the TOP 100 or six full years. Since it is his last year in juniors Samuel has no chance to surpass the record of the Chinese wunderkind.
When it comes to women, the situation is slightly different. The current leader Zhansaya Abdumalik (KAZ, 2471) has a whole year in juniors ahead of her. Since Zhansaya debuted in the TOP 100 in August of 2012 aged 12, by the end of the year her stay in this elite group will stretch over 100 months. It won’t happen only if Zhansaya loses 300 rating points but for such a strong player this is a highly improbable scenario.
The leaders changed in all six junior categories: U-8, U-10, U-12, U-14, U-16 and U-18 (both open and girls). Back in December of 2019 Alireza Firouzja (2723) who is now playing under the FIDE flag had taken the top spot in U-16 and a month later became the #1 in U-18.
Meanwhile, Nodirbek Abdusattorov (UZB, 2635) mounted from the second to top position in U-16. The ex-leader in U-14 Praggnanandhaa R (IND, 2602) not just moved to the U-16 category but found himself on the third place. Actually, Praggnanandhaa's transfer to an older category allowed his compatriot Gukesh D (2542) to take the top spot in U-14.
A young American talent Abhimanyu Mishra (2397) managed to make a “top-top” leap from U-10 to U-12. As ratings are growing very fast in these categories, it is quite an achievement. It suffices to say, that since ratings have been calculated monthly he became the first person to make such a transition.
Vaclav Finek (CZE, 2234) tops the U-10 category, whereas in U-8 John Lance Valenxia (PHI, 1810) took over Ilan Schnaider (1893) who has moved to the next group. As a sidenote, the #4 in U10 category Alexander Usov received a wild card for the Rapid and Blitz Championships and got some scalps in this prestigious competition.
More detailed information on the leaders in various categories is available here.
Although we have covered seniors’ ratings in the previous column, one important event should not go unmentioned. In 2020 three top 100 players fell into seniors category: Viswanathan Anand (IND, 2758), Vassily Ivanchuk (UKR, 2698), and Aleksey Dreev (RUS, 2677). You can check a full list of active players born in 1969 at chessratings.top.
1. Firouzja, Alireza (FID, 2723) U-18
2. Xiong, Jeffery (USA, 2712) U-20
3. Maghsoodloo, Parham (IRI, 2674) U-20
4. Sevian, Samuel (USA, 2660) U-20
5. Sarana, Alexey (RUS, 2656) U-20
6. Esipenko, Andrey (RUS, 2654) U-18
7 Tabatabaei, M.amin (IRI, 2638) U-20
8. Abdusattorov, Nodirbek (UZB, 2635) U-16
9. Deac, Bogdan-Daniel (ROU, 2626) U-20
10. Nihal Sarin (IND, 2618) U-16
1. Firouzja, Alireza (FID, 2723)
2. Esipenko, Andrey (RUS, 2654)
3. Sargsyan, Shant (ARM, 2601)
4. Yakubboev, Nodirbek (UZB, 2597)
5. Liang, Awonder (USA, 2592)
6. Erigaisi Arjun (IND, 2575)
7. Ivic, Velimir (SRB, 2558)
8. Shevchenko, Kirill (UKR, 2553)
9. Lomasov, Semyon (RUS, 2546)
10. Engel, Luis (GER, 2541)
1. Abdusattorov, Nodirbek (UZB, 2635)
2. Nihal Sarin (IND, 2618)
3. Praggnanandhaa R (IND, 2602)
4. Sindarov, Javokhir (UZB, 2537)
5. Bjerre, Jonas Buhl (DEN, 2535)
6. Keymer, Vincent (GER, 2527)
7. Sadhwani, Raunak (IND, 2522)
8. Gines Esteo, Pedro Antonio (ESP, 2482)
9. Pogosyan, Stefan (RUS, 2477)
10. Suleymanli, Aydin (AZE, 2473)
1. Gukesh D (IND, 2542)
2. Yoo, Christopher Woojin (USA, 2449)
3. Murzin, Volodar (RUS, 2442)
4. Sreeshwan Maralakshikari (IND, 2440)
5. Bai, Adelard (TPE, 2430)
6. Aditya Mittal (IND, 2427)
7. Maurizzi, Marc Andria (FRA, 2423)
8. Mendonca, Leon Luke (IND, 2417)
9. Bharath Subramaniyam H (IND, 2413)
10. Lazavik, Denis (BLR, 2411)
1. CM Mishra, Abhimanyu (USA, 2397)
2. Materia, Marco (FRA, 2320)
3. Zhou, Liran (USA, 2307)
4. Ansat, Aldiyar (KAZ, 2263)
5. Mardov, Dimitar (USA, 2255)
6. CM Kuhn, Clement (FRA, 2174)
7. Li, Shanglin (CHN, 2166)
8. Sreyas Payyappat (IND, 2166)
9. Krylov, Ivan (RUS, 2165)
10. Putnam, Liam (USA, 2147)
1. Finek, Vaclav (CZE, 2234)
2. CM Manon, Reja Neer (BAN, 22060
3. Cherniaiev, Tykhon (UKR, 2151)
4. Usov, Aleksandr E. (RUS, 2012)
5. Chen, Ryo (USA, 1998)
6. Mamedov, Edgar (KAZ, 1971)
7. Uskov, Artem (RUS, 1951)
8. Besou, Hussain (GER, 1924)
9. CM Zverev, Lev (RUS, 1914)
10. Ang, Ern Jie Anderson (MAS, 1910)
10. CM Begmuratov, Khumoyun (UZB, 1910)
1. Valenxia, John Lance (PHI, 1810)
2. Sauti Joshua (ZAM, 1623)
3. Oikonomopoulos, Filippos (GRE, 1580)
4. Coles, Ruben (FRA, 1557)
5. Nilova, Elena (RUS, 1546)
6. Mao, Daqi (NZL, 1527)
7. Rami,Talab (SYR, 1525)
8. Jara Pino, Mateo Stefano (PER, 1518)
9. Muhd Ridzuan, Ariessa Rihana (MAS, 1515)
10. Faryma, Maksym (POR, 1511)