Women's rating list
Here is the latest IGM rating or grading list which I prepared for presentation at the FIDE meeting in October at Lugano. The ratings given are to be construed as averages over the indicated 28 month period. Unfortunately I cannot supply what would be 'current' ratings as so far I have been unable to obtain tournament and match reports in chronological order and within a reasonable time after the respective events. FIDE had directed its membership to send me reports; however, the response to the directive was negligible; absolutely zero from behind the iron curtain.
A single important factor which casts a doubt over the validity of a ranking list such as this, regardless of what type of grading system is used, is the prevalance of the 'grand master draw'. Among the top ranked players only Fischer, Botvinnik and Larsen had more games played to a decition than draws. Even such fighting players as Korchnoy, Tal and Portisch played more than 50% of their games to draws. And how can any system truly evaluate Spassky's performance when he played 91 draws in 129 grand master games? One could paraphrase an oft quoted saying here: "the fault is not our system but in our masters" - and the way they play. At that, a grading system, even at the grand master level, could serve a useful purpose. Grand masters may pretend to be above such things as ratings systems but the truth is that they are as vain about their ratings as the duffers. If they understood that draws could adversely affect their ratings we might see fewer perfunctory draws in grand master play.
The performances of the International Grand Masters over the period January 1966 through April 1968. Included on the list are all the F.I.D.E. grand masters as of October 22, 1967 and a few international masters who, by statistical ciriteria, have performed at the grand master level. The ratings of the players represent their average performances over the indicated period. The figures are rounded to the nearest ten since greater precition cannot be claimed.
/ Prof. Arpad E. Elo, CHESS, November 1968 /