Is there a place to look up rankings of USCF players for a previous year? Specifically, I would like to know who was #3 in the USCF in 1998 (for reasons not relevant to the question) - but figured a broader question would be more useful to others.

I tried USCF's Top 100 Lists, but it doesn't seem to go back nearly that far. My other Google searching turned up even less.

2 Answers 2


At one time, there was an annual rating list published each year in the January issue of Chess Life. They don't do that anymore, and I'm not sure if they still did it in 1998 (or, I assume what you'd really want would be such a list that would have been published in January 1999, which would have the year end ratings for 1998). If they still did, if you can find a library that has back issues of Chess Life, you could look there. Or, House of Staunton / USCF Sales has the January 1999 back issue available for $1.00.

If you can find someone who has been a USCF TD for that long, and if they're a bit of a packrat, they might still have the 1998 annual rating list, though you'd have to sort it yourself. And it might be on floppy disk... I looked on the USCF web site in the TD/Affiliate area, and they don't have rating supplements online that go back nearly that far.

  • 1
    I haven't had a chance to go get that issue (and thus solve my underlying question) - but this definitely answers the larger question I asked, so I'm accepting it. (Actually, I was a USCF member at the time... I wonder which box my old Chess Life magazines are in, since I'm a bit of a pack rat myself...)
    – Ghotir
    Sep 22, 2016 at 14:02

The 1998 Annual Rating List is in the December 1998 issue of Chess Life, starting on page 79. It includes tournaments which finished before October 28, 1998 and were received by November 1, 1998, and players who had played since October 28, 1997. While they do not sort by ratings, they do list the senior masters (2400 and above) first, so you only have a couple of columns to search through instead of a few dozen pages. Old Chess Life issues are currently available online at https://new.uschess.org/chess-life-digital-archives and you can find this issue there.

After skimming the list (using my physical copy of the magazine, which I still have for some reason) it appears that Ilya Smirin had the highest rating at 2728, followed by Vladmir Akopian and Loek Van Wely, both at 2724. Van Wely, however, has his state listed as "FR" indicating that he's French and not US. If you don't count him, then the next player would be Alexander Goldin with a rating of 2715, assuming I didn't miss anyone.

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