International Chess Federation
Friday, 01 Oct 2021 20:19
October rating list: Firouzja and Rapport debut in top-10

September of 2021 was marked by several important chess competitions: the Norway Chess, European Individual Championship, European Club Cup and Sharjah Masters. Subsequently, those players who fared well in these events got a substantial rating boost.

Although the top echelon remained basically intact as most players preserved their positions in the list, one thing just jumps out at you – Alireza Firouzja and Richard Rapport have debuted in the top-10. The Norway Chess 2021 was an uplift for both - the runner-up Firouzja picked up 16 points and third-finisher Rapport 10.

Photo: Lennart Ootes

18-year-old Alireza Firouzja is one of the youngest ever players to reach the top-10, comparable to Garry Kasparov and Magnus Carlsen. In January 1981, 17-year-old Kasparov was #6 in the world, and Carlsen became #5 in March 2008, when he was 17 too.

Biggest gains (within top-100 open)

Mamedov, Rauf


2673 (+19)

Alekseenko, Kirill


2710 (+17)

Firouzja, Alireza


2770 (+16)

Navara, David


2691 (+15)

Eljanov, Pavel


2691 (+11)

Salem, A.R. Saleh


2690 (+11)

Rapport, Richard


2770 (+10)

Shirov, Alexei


2659 (+7)

Jumabayev, Rinat


2658 (+7)

Anton Guijarro, David


2658 (+7)

Rauf Mamedov (pictured below) did a great job in the European Individual Championship and European Club Cup, picking up 9 and 10 points respectively and climbing 31 positions in the rating list. Kirill Alekseenko triumphantly returned into a 2700+ club following his strong performance at the European Club Cup. The same applies to David Navara, who netted 15 rating points and got closer to the 2700 mark.

Photo: Thorsteinn Magnusson

The 4th Sharjah Masters International Chess Championship 2021 ended in a four-way tie for first place, with Saleh Salem (+11), Pavel Eljanov (+11) and Amin Tababtabaei (+15) considerably increasing their rating.

Amin Tababtabaei is on his way to Top-100 Open Photo: Anastasiya Karlovich

Speaking of the absolute numbers, we can’t fail to mention some fantastic rating-jumps by the players outside of the Top-100 Open. It is no coincidence that most of them are under 20 – progress is particularly fast at the young age: Yana Zhapova (+103), Miruna-Daria Luhaci (+96), Zala Urh (+76), Nadya Toncheva (+69), Gukesh D (+41), Hans Moke Niemann (to name a few) shoot up in the junior rating lists.