FSR: <alexmagnus: During 2000, Carlsen improved a lot, from about 1200ish at the beginning of the year to about 2000ish at its end.>
Compare the phenomenal rise of Fischer in 1956-58:
May 20, 1956: Fischer is rated 1726, over 900 points below top-rated Samuel Reshevsky (2663).
July 1956: scores 8˝/10 to become youngest-ever U.S. Junior Champion at age 13.
August 1956: scores 8˝/12 to tie for 4th–8th places at U.S. Open.
1956 Canadian Open: scores 7/10 to tie for 8–12th.
November 1956: ties for second with Lombardy, Rossolimo and Feuerstein at Eastern States Open Championship, behind Berliner.
Rosenwald Tournament, New York 1956 (de facto U.S. Championship): scores 4˝/11, tying for 8th–9th; wins "Game of the Century" against Donald Byrne.
May 5, 1957: now rated 2231, over 500 points higher than his rating a year before, making him at that time the country's youngest master ever.
August 1957: scores 10/12 in U.S. Open, winning on tie-break points over Bisguier, making him the youngest U.S. Open Champion ever.
Dec. 1957–Jan. 58: wins U.S. Championship with 10˝/13, a point ahead of Reshevsky, earning International Master title.
Sept. 1958: finishes 5th-6th in Portorož Interzonal, becoming the youngest-ever qualifier for the Candidates and the youngest grandmaster ever, a record that stood until Judit Polgar broke it in 1991. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_...
If only one could bottle whatever it is that enables such players to go from "promising junior" to superstar in so short a period of time.