08 January 2021

FIDE Rating List - January 2021

It's become a tradition on this blog. In January I download the latest FIDE Rating List (FRL) from FIDE Ratings Download., and note the version I'm using:-

TXT format (09 Jan 2021, Sz: 7.98 MB)

Then I compare the total number of players with last year's post, FIDE Rating List - January 2020:-

  • 2021: >362K players; >174K marked inactive
  • 2020: >354K players; >181K marked inactive
  • [...]

Then I document changes of federation codes, along with federations that have shown the strongest growth in absolute number of players and in percentage of players over the previous year (for federations starting the year with 100 players or more).

Federation CAY (Cayman Islands) makes a total of 191 different federation codes in FIDE. It's the only federation with a single player (a transfer from ENG), although there are four other federations with five players or less.

Spain's increase of 730 players (ESP) would have placed it only eighth on last year's list. Similarly, Sudan's increase of 34.8% (SUD) would have placed it fifth in January 2020 (showing growth in 2019). The lower growth is undoubtedly due to the slowdown in traditional tournament play (as opposed to online play) in reaction to the coronavirus pandemic that started in 2020.

That last observation presents a small mystery. The number of inactive players declined, but growth in active play also declined. How to explain this contradiction? I'll look at that in another post.

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