05 February 2015

Titled Players and Their Continents

After looking at Titled Players and Their Ratings, based on the January 2015 FIDE rating list, I decided to look at where the players are from. The following chart shows a count of titled players by continent (where untitled players are counted in the first 'blank' row), using the FIDE system of numbering continents: 1: Europe (representing 54 federations), 2: Americas (34), 3: Asia (48), 4: Africa (39). The numbers in the 'Total' column match the numbers in the 'Players / Rating' post, so my numbers are consistent.

A few weeks ago I featured a news video, Africa’s First Grandmaster, which mentioned,

[Kenny Solomon has] become South Africa and the continent's first ever grandmaster and it all started with a game of marbles.

At the time I was sceptical about the claim to 'the continent's first ever grandmaster'. Since my chart shows nine other GMs from Africa, my instinct was right. Digging further in the data, I found four GMs from Egypt, two each from Algeria & Tunisia, and one from Zambia. Solomon was still listed on the January list as an IM, so Africa will soon have ten GMs.

Another anomaly is the column under continent '0'; what's that all about? It turns out those 64 players are all listed against federation 'FID'. The highest rated player on the list has a FIDE card, Gonzalez Perez, Arian - FIDE Chess Profile, confirming 'Federation: FIDE'. Going back to the January 2013 list, Gonzalez Perez was listed under federation 'CUB', a fact confirmed by his FIDE ID, which starts with '35' (see my post Structure of the FIDE ID from July 2008 for more info).

Of the 64 players with 'Federation: FIDE', 60 have FIDE IDs tied to three countries: 'CUB', 'ECU', and 'SRB'. There is undoubtedly a story or two in these statistics, but I have no idea what.

I have one more observation to make on the chart: the preponderance of players from Europe. Five federations currently have more than 10.000 players listed, with four of them from Europe (the second column indicates the continent):-

RUS, 1, 19396
GER, 1, 18871
IND, 3, 16726
ESP, 1, 15788
FRA, 1, 14072

There are other stories in the numbers -- why so few WCMs from Europe? -- but that's all the time I have today.

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