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FIDE deprives Anand of top ranking

Last updated on: April 01, 2007 20:14 IST

The "double standard" adopted by the International Chess Federation (FIDE) became evident on Sunday after Indian Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand was deprived of the top ranking in its latest chart.

The Indian was sure to become the world number one on FIDE charts after he won the Morelia-Linares tournament in Spain last month.

But the FIDE list showed Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria still on the top, 13 points ahead of Anand, without including the points earned or lost in the Morelia-Linares tournament.

However, according to a report in Chessbase, after protests from the All India Chess Federation, who accused the parent body of "double standards", FIDE has agreed to correct the list.

Meanwhile, Anand, who is playing in the German league, declined to comment. His wife Aruna told that he would wait for FIDE's reaction and then issue a statement in a day or two.

AICF secretary D V Sundar objected to the FIDE's deviation from the practice of including the tournament in calculations for preparing the April ranking list.

"The AICF asked FIDE to rate this event as done in the past 15 or more years. The Linares Tournament has been traditionally been included in all rating lists published by FIDE in April and excluding it this time will be injustice to Indian chess and Viswanathan Anand," the Indian Federation said on its official website.

AICF Treasurer Bharat Singh Chauhan said the Asian Cities Chess Championship in Tehran, which was held from March 1 to 9, was also included in the tournaments used to calculate the April 2007 list. There were also some other events which spilled into March but were used in the calculations.

"This shows their [FIDE's] double standard," Chauhan said, adding he expects the correction by FIDE to come as early as Monday.

However, FIDE Presidential Board member Nigel Freeman defended the rankings, saying the list is "completely fair".

"Before the conspiracy theories get out of hand, perhaps I can explain what happened to the best of my knowledge," he said in a statement.

"With regards to Morelia-Linares, in order to be completely fair, the Ratings Committee has decided that only tournaments that finished a month before the rating list comes into effect should be rated," Freeman said.

"Once one starts to make exceptions, where does one stop? Why Morelia-Linares and not a whole host of others?" he added.

Anand overtook Topalov in ELO rating points after his superb win in Morelia-Linares tournament, where the Bulgarian lost a number of rating points before it ended on March 10.

The tournament was considered ineligible for calculations of the April list, since the deadline for submissions of tournaments for ratings was Feburary 28.

But, the tournament has always been included for the April rating.

"In the past, FIDE has always included this key tournament in its April list. This is certainly true of the April lists for 2006 (Linares finished on March 11 that year); 2005 (finished on March 11); and for the previous years 2004, 2003 and 2002," a leading website Chessbase said.

There are a few other incongruities in the current FIDE list, the "Top 50 Women" list only has 20 players.

In the past, FIDE has issued corrections to its rating lists, a few days after the publication.

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