Wednesday, June 03, 2009

World ranking 1890


In 1890 William Sonneborn published a statistical survey over the relative strength of tournament players. It included 19 tournaments from Paris 1867 to New York and Breslau 1889. Combining results and an evaluation of the strength of the opponents he ended up with this top 10:

1. Steinitz
2. Burn
3. Blackburne
4. Tarrasch
5. Winawer
6. Gunsberg
7. von Bardeleben
8. Zukertort
9. Mackenzie
10. Weiss

Only counting winning percentage it looks like this:

1. Steinitz 76.07 (7 tournaments)
2. Blackburne 68.60 (16 tournaments)
3. Burn 67.77 (7 tournaments)
4. Tarrasch 67.59 (3 tournaments)
5. Winawer 66.01 (7 tournaments)
6. Zukertort 65.91 (9 tournaments)
7. Mackenzie 64.10 (8 tournaments)
8. Lipsch├╝tz 64.00 (2 tournaments)
9. von Bardeleben 63.38 (4 tournaments)
10. Gunsberg 63.25 (10 tournaments)

Zukertort would have been higher placed if not for some bad results in his last years. Tarrasch and Chigorin (just outside the top ten) would have had much better positions if the survey had been made a few years later.