Computer Scientist Ken Regan studies individual positions through computer analysis and compiles databases of hundreds of thousands of such positions. Through examining a player's moves over a batch of positions, he creates an Intrinsic Performance Rating (IPR). He develops methodology to catch cheaters. His analysis is also useful for estimating the Elo rating of players in the past.
What he found was that rating inflation does not exist. Between 1976 and 2009, there has been no significant change in IPR for players at all FIDE ratings ... the IPR for players rated between 2585 and 2615 has remained relatively constant over time. Today's thousands of grandmasters and dozens of players rated over 2700 indicate a legitimate proliferation of skill.Such is one of the many gems in the cover story of this months Chess Life, the magazine of the United States Chess Federation (USCF). I heartily recommend the article.
Howard Goldowsky, "How to Catch a Chess Cheater: Ken Regan Finds Moves Out of Mind," Chess Life (June 2014), 30.