Howard CoHangin 

Telling it like it is

5-Tool Player 

11/23/2018  Baseball and Chess have their similarities in terms of planning and strategies. In both you look at the current position and you plan for the future. The players in both sports have similarities as well. It's called the 5-tool concept. In baseball its hitting with power, hitting for average, running the bases, fielding, and throwing. When a player is excellent in all 5 disciplines, he is a 5-tool player. According to Statcast there are currently 8 5-tool players: Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Carlos Gomez, Yoenis Cespedes, Lorenzo Cain, Hunter Pense, Ian Desmond,  and Marcel Ozuna.

    Chess players have similar disciplines. They are the  openings, middlegame, endgame, rapid play, and blitz play. A player who excels in all 5 is a 5-tool player. In order to be considered a 5 tool chess player, you must be in the top-10 in classical, rapid, blitz rating charts or you must be in the top ten in two categories and less than 1 win away from being in the top 10 which equates to less than 5 rating points. As of Novemenber 2018, chess only has four 5-tool players: Magnus Carlsen, MVL - Maxine Vachier-Lagrave, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov,  and Levon Aronian.

5-Tool Players

Name Classical rating/rank Rapid
Magnus Carlsen 2835-1 2880-1 2939-1 One of the best of all time.          
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov     2817-3     2794-8 2804-9            
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave  2778-6 2786-11 2937-2 His rapid rating is within 4 pints of the number 10 rating slot.          
Levon Aronian 2765-10 2802-7 2884-4 Classical rank is tied for 10th.          

Just missing the cut

Name Classical
Fabiano Caruana 2832-2 2789-10 2762-18 World Champion Challenger Blitz rating is too low.  
Alexander Grischuk 2771-9 2722-28 2935-8 Rapid rating is too low.  
Wesely So 2765-10 2808-6 2771-16 Blitz rating too low.  

For Carlsen as the game speeds up, his rating increases significantly.. For Caruana his rating decreases as the game speeds up,  Both these playes are playing for the world championship in London. This is an ominous sign for Carunana should the match have to go into tie breaker.

   With todays world championship match rules where the champion no longer has draw odds, it pays to be a 5- tool player so you can excel and defend yourself at rapid, blitz and Armageddon matches. Its not surprising that Hikaru Nakamura is rooting for Magnus. His reasoning is "To me it would seem a bit odd to have a world champion who is not strong in all the formats. (...) Historically it would a bit off if Magnus doesn't win." Nakamura was a 5-tool player, but his classical play has fallen off considerably. His ranking is 17,2,3 with ratings of 2746,2844,2893. In October of 2018 Nakamura was a 5-tool chess player. Nakamura broke the 2800 classical chess rating barrier in June of 2015. Chess. like in any sport, you must stay in shape and keep your skill levels up.

    Fide just started caluclationg rapid and blitz ratings in 2012. A good place to look for 5-tool chess players is at the list of world champions. Tal, Petrosian, Fischer, Karpov, Kasparov, Kramnik, Anand, and Carlsen.


I've got to call it the way I see it, Gif