Calibre and consistency stand out as the common factors in the careers of World champion Viswanathan Anand (43) and World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen (22).
If the Indian’s presence in the top-10 rankings since July 1991 is a testimony to his longevity, the Norwegian youngster has underscored his presence among the chess elite by remaining the undisputed numero uno since July 2011.
A look at their careers reflects how they have overcome all challenges to reach the top.
When Anand first made the rating list with 2285 points in January 1984, he was ranked joint 1,752 among 4,151 players.
In contrast, Magnus’s maiden rating of 2064 in April 2001 made him joint 26,381 among 29,655 active players.
In numbers, the career-graphs of these inspirational and path-breaking champions make for a fascinating study.
In December 1987, Anand became a Grandmaster. Magnus was not even born at that time.
When Magnus was born on November 30, 1990, Anand was ranked joint 14th in the world.
On 1 July, 1991, Anand first broke into the top-10. Magnus was then seven months old.
In December 2000, Anand was crowned the World champion. Magnus was unrated.
In April 2007, Anand became the World No. 1. Magnus was ranked 22nd.
In April 2007, Anand’s rating as World No. 1 was 2786. In January 2010, Magnus held the top spot with a rating of 2801.
In September 2007, Anand regained the World title while Magnus moved up five spots in the rankings.
In October 2008, Anand retained the World crown. Magnus was ranked fourth.
In May 2010 and again in May 2012, Anand kept the World title. Magnus stayed at World No. 1!
In terms of published rating points, from 2201 to 2300, Anand took six months. Magnus nine.
From 2301 to 2400, Anand took 18 months. Magnus six.
From 2401 to 2500, Anand took 12 months. Magnus six.
From 2501 to 2600, Anand took 42 months. Magnus 21.
From 2601 to 2700, Anand took 30 months. Magnus 18.
From 2701 to 2800, Anand took 90 months. Magnus 28.
Anand’s highest rating is 2817. Magnus’s best of 2872 is the highest rating in chess history.
Anand first became World No. 1 at 37 years, 111 days. Magnus, at 19 years, 32 days.
Anand has held the World No. 1 spot for 21 months. Magnus, 41 and still counting.
Anand’s current world ranking of eight is his second lowest in the top-10 list since July 1991. Magnus has never been ranked below six ever since he made the list in April 2008.
The highest-rated opponent defeated by Magnus is Levon Aronian (2815) in the 2012 London Chess Classic. In the 2010 Grand Slam Final at Bilbao, Anand found his highest-rated victim in Magnus (2826)!