Friday, July 11, 2008

Numbers Play

Every three months, the World Chess Federation publishes new rankings. On the current list, which was released on Tuesday, there were 102 grandmasters and one master - Vladimir Afromeev of Russia, who was No. 78.

Afromeev first popped up on the list two years ago. Given his background, that was something of a surprise. Afromeev is 54 years old. Eight years ago, he was not close to being among the top 100 players in the world. He was not active at the time, and there were no records in databases of his games.

But in 2001 he began playing regularly in invitation-only tournaments. And he began winning at an unbelievable pace, often by beating strong players with ease.
Dylan Loeb McClain's article on IHT website

Afromeev is extreme but not a lonely case. For example, this "FIDE Trainer" has earned almost 60 points at the repeated closed tournaments with same players. Dig deeper and you'll find more names...

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