20 July 2008

Slawomir Rawski of Poland?

In Who Was Numero Uno?, I noted that when FIDE IDs were initially assigned, the lowest IDs were almost always given to the top players in each national federation. I found only one exception: Slawomir Rawski of Poland (FIDE ID 1100017, rating 2237).

I'm assuming that national federations had a part in assigning the initial IDs. The job must have been too big to have all the work done by a central office.

Did the Polish federation assign FIDE IDs randomly? It appears not. After Rawski, the next 27 FIDE IDs were assigned to titled Polish players. Second on the list, ordered by FIDE ID, was GM Aleksander Wojtkiewicz (1100025, 2570). Even he was not the highest rated Polish player at the time. That distinction went to GM Michal Krasenkow (1113100, 2643). Incidentally, third on the list, ordered by rating, was an untitled player named Mikhail Krasenkov (1117637, 2570). I expect that error would have been eliminated on the next official FIDE rating list, along with many duplicate names.

The rating list for January 2002 gives Rawski's birthday as 14 April 1972. Chessgames.com, on its Chess games of Slawomir Rawski, lists only two games. Other pages returned by Google aren't helpful. My first guess is that Rawski was an official of the Polish federation. My second guess is that he had a personal relationship with someone preparing the list of Polish players. Who can solve this mystery?

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