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Along with that, I'd like to know what the highest rating of any human has ever been - including historical estimates.

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  • Magnus Carlsen has the highest human rating ever with 2889.2, although it was a live rating and his current official rating is less than that.In the January 2013 FIDE rating list, Carlsen reached 2861, thus surpassing Garry Kasparov's 2851 record from July 1999.On the May 2014 FIDE rating list, Carlsen reached his top Elo rating of 2882.Checkout this site for more information
    – Sasanka
    Nov 13, 2015 at 9:29

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This page has a lot of good info. Kasparov is the highest at 2851. However, such comparisons are fraught with peril as ratings inflate, and they really can't be compared from era to era. I don't think it will be long before Magnus Carlsen takes the 'highest rating' crown. This won't mean he's stronger than Kasparov at his peak.

Computer ratings are trickier. Rybka 3 claims over 3200 Elo. If this is the true, then only about 6 GMs in the world have a statistical chance of defeating it.

EDIT - that 3200 rating is on specialized hardware. I think on a common (but beefy) PC, the rating is about 100 pts lower. This means that currently there are about 30 players in the world who have a statistical chance of not losing. None of them have an appreciable chance of winning. Don't be depressed - no human has an appreciable chance of beating a car at a race. Somehow this didn't make track and field less interesting.

EDIT in 2022: Stockfish is now at 3546

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According to this source, Computer Chess Champion Komodo has a rating of 3344 in 40/40.

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