Anand jumps into the 2nd  spot in the FIDE ratings 

 4/9/2004 
     FIDE's new rating list is out. Anand jumps into  2nd place, behind Kasparov and ahead of Kramnik and Leko. I hope Anand is happy now. He seems to be rating obsessed. Anand wanted to change the rating system to include both  standard and rapid results in the calculations. Anand skipped Linares this year. He said he needed to rest and recharge after his earlier successes at Corus(2004), Corsica, and Cap D'adge (rapid world championship).  He missed a great opportunity to build on his impressive run.  Anand missed his chance to prove he is the best player in the world, by skipping  Kasparov, Kramnik, and Leko at Linares this year.  

     Kasparov has said the winner of Linares, the Wimbledon of chess, could be called the champion of tournament chess. Anand should not miss major tournaments. Had Anand won Linares, he could have made an impressive case for his inclusion into the current World Championship cycle as Ponomariovís replacement.  With so much uncertainty in the world, the Mideast,  the chess world ,  FIDE,  the knockout tournament in Libya, and reunification,  Anand should not pass up opportunities to take on the three players in the World Championship cycle, namely Kasparov, Kramnik and Leko. Linares was a draw fest, only 21% of the games were decisive. Linares could have used a dose of a Hot Anand. Kramnik took first honors at Linares with just two wins and no losses. Leko took 2nd on tie breakers over a rusty Kasparov. 

    Linares was there for Anandís taking.  Anand was the MVP of  the chess world last year. Anand needs to keep  that momentum rolling. Kramnik lost his number two ranking at Corus in 2004.  Kramnik finished a disappointing 5th.  However Kramnik was experimenting with new openings.  I wonder if Kramnik's first place honors at Linares and Amber were motivated by his drop to third place in the world rankings.

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