Rating Inflation?

In recent years there has been talk about rating inflation due to top players achieving ever higher Elo ratings. Were so many players really so much better than Bobby Fischer, Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov?

I’m not sure that the effect can really be described as inflation as at the other end of the scale there appears to have been the opposite effect. With more players becoming Elo rated and the ratings going down much further, many titled players who have to play against them (for example in Elo rated weekend events) have struggled to maintain their ratings. So what I think we have is an increased spread in the ratings, and much depends on who you get to play against.

The following ‘upset’ features an ‘ordinary’ GM beating a super-GM in fine style. It’s hard to believe that the winner is really almost 300 points lower rated:

Nigel Davies

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About NigelD

Nigel Davies is an International Chess Grandmaster living in St. Helens in the UK. The winner of 15 international tournaments he is also a former British U21 and British Open Quickplay Champion and has represented both England and Wales on several occasions. These days Nigel teaches chess through his chess training web site, Tiger Chess, which has articles, recommendations, a monthly clinic, videos and courses. His students include his 15 year old son Sam who is making rapid progress with his game. Nigel has written a number of chess books that are available at Amazon: