13 April 2008

It's Official: 180 GMs by 1978

It turns out that a couple of Wikipedians -- Quale and Voorlandt -- have been building a list of all grandmasters...

List of chess grandmasters

...I took a snapshot of the Wikipedia table and loaded it into my database for comparison. The Wiki list has 1253 names including the year the title was granted (missing for 153 entries) and the birthdate of the player. Since the list includes the five 'titles' granted in 1914, a more accurate count would be 1248 names.

How does the Wiki list compare to Elo's list? In It's Official: 179 GMs by 1978, I came up with 179 names. The Wiki list has 183 names. Why the difference? After accounting for discrepancies in spelling and year of birth, I narrowed it to four names...

Year GM title awarded, name:-
1977 Ivanovic, Bozidar
1977 Nikolic, Stanimir
1972 Platonov, Igor
1976 Razuvaev, Yuri

...and used Gaige as a referee. Gaige confirmed the GM awards for the years 1976-77, but listed no GM title for Platonov. This looks like an error in Wikipedia. Razuvaev's 1976 title is an error by Elo, who listed the player as having won the IM title in 1976; Gaige says he won it in 1973. As for the two titles Wikipedia lists as awarded in 1977, I assume this is a problem of definition between the year a title was won in competition and the year it was formally granted by FIDE. Elo's list is 'as of January 1978'.

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