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 Post subject: 6 monthly grades
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:57 pm 
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Those who have read reports on the recent AGM will be aware of the intention to introduce 6 monthly grades.

Is there yet a precise proposal?

In http://englishchess.org.uk/farthing/ , we read

Andrew Farthing wrote:
The plan is to issue updated grades every six months. The grades will be calculated in the same way, so the length of the rolling period being used for grading will be the same.


whilst in http://www.sccu.ndo.co.uk/bcf.htm it is said

Richard Hadrell wrote:
The change is to take effect from January 2012. We've a feeling the grading team was asked to work on it, but there's no work to do. You just do it the same way you do Rapidplay.


If it's to be done the same way as Rapidplay, then the January 2012 list would contain games from 1st June 2011 to some cut-off date in 2011 - let's say it was 30th November. That's the easy bit. But what would the July 2012 list contain? Would it just be games from 1st December 2011 to 30th May 2012 topped up with games from before that for the majority of players who won't play 30 games in six months. I'm not sure how that squares with the length of the rolling period being the same. What will happen where players play 30 games in each half season?

We've seen from the rapid play lists, some side effects. The obvious one is that you have many fewer players where all previous (half ) season results are discarded. A more subtle one is that your grade can change without playing a single game. In the annual version of the grading list, you go unpublished if you don't play a single game. This is for the good reason is that it prevents published grade changes taking place from beyond the grave.

The Rapidplay prototype isn't necessarily a good model. A major difference being that most rapid-play takes place in one-day congresses which are discrete events. It doesn't have to resolve the problems of how and when leagues should report.


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 Post subject: Re: 6 monthly grades
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:22 pm 
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Roger de Coverly wrote:
If it's to be done the same way as Rapidplay, then the January 2012 list would contain games from 1st June 2011 to some cut-off date in 2011 - let's say it was 30th November. That's the easy bit. But what would the July 2012 list contain? Would it just be games from 1st December 2011 to 30th May 2012 topped up with games from before that for the majority of players who won't play 30 games in six months. I'm not sure how that squares with the length of the rolling period being the same. What will happen where players play 30 games in each half season?


I thought that it would be rare for this to happen, but I've just worked out (presuming scheduled games still take place between now and 30th November) that I will have played 35 games between 1st June 2010 and 30th November 2010. Admittedly six abroad so it is really only 29 in England, but I'm still surprised it is so many.

Looking ahead, if I stick to the schedule I have planned, I may end up playing 72 games between 1st December 2010 and 31st May 2011. Hmm. I may need to rethink that schedule! (possibly playing 18 games at Hastings is a tad too ambitious). :shock:

Roger de Coverly wrote:
We've seen from the rapid play lists, some side effects. The obvious one is that you have many fewer players where all previous (half ) season results are discarded. A more subtle one is that your grade can change without playing a single game. In the annual version of the grading list, you go unpublished if you don't play a single game. This is for the good reason is that it prevents published grade changes taking place from beyond the grave.


Well, I know someone who despite playing games of chess every year, pops in and out of the grading lists as he often plays less than 9 games in three years (usually one or two games a year, sometimes 5 or 6, bringing him up to 9 for one grading period). Has there been any thought about revising downwards the 9 games in 3 years bit?

Roger de Coverly wrote:
The Rapidplay prototype isn't necessarily a good model. A major difference being that most rapid-play takes place in one-day congresses which are discrete events. It doesn't have to resolve the problems of how and when leagues should report.


Would it be too confusing to have an annual system running alongside the half-yearly one? You would get three grades a year. Two "six-month" ones and one annual one.


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 Post subject: Re: 6 monthly grades
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:19 am 
Roger de Coverly wrote:
The Rapidplay prototype isn't necessarily a good model. A major difference being that most rapid-play takes place in one-day congresses which are discrete events. It doesn't have to resolve the problems of how and when leagues should report.

I agree. It isn't a good model at all, and should be binned asap.


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 Post subject: Re: 6 monthly grades
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:18 am 
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The question raised at the AGM (Simon, Derbyshire) was whether the longplay grading period would be 6 months only, or 12 months, - the answer given was 12

I assumed that meant that if you played more than 30 games in the previous 12 months, they all counted, even if you had actually played 30 in the last 6 months

The question about players, like me, playing less than 30 games a year was not raised (although for Matthew's benefit, I did play a graded game yesterday, first for 5 months, lost to a 179)

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 Post subject: Re: 6 monthly grades
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:40 am 
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Mick Norris wrote:
The question raised at the AGM (Simon, Derbyshire) was whether the longplay grading period would be 6 months only, or 12 months, - the answer given was 12


That does lead on to some additional questions.

What grades will be used as the start point for the July 2012 calculations?
Will they be
(a) the July 2011 ones
(b) the July 2011 ones for existing players but the Jan 2012 ones for new players
(c) the July 2011 ones for games prior to the Jan 2012 list and the Jan 2012 ones for games after that.

If the dubious practice of treating juniors as new players is continued, where will they fit in?

For all approaches other than (a), this will result in a different outcome for the July 2012 grades.

(edit) Another question

What about the January 2012 list? Will it be the tail end of the 2010 - 2011 season (ie this one) plus the first half of the next one?

It was probably right to get Council to agree in principle to six monthly grading lists, but it sounds as if the grading team have been given a blank cheque to work out the detail.


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 Post subject: Re: 6 monthly grades
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:16 am 
Roger de Coverly wrote:
It was probably right to get Council to agree in principle to six monthly grading lists, but it sounds as if the grading team have been given a blank cheque to work out the detail.

And, if I've understood correctly, without a Manager of Grading in place.


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 Post subject: Re: 6 monthly grades
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:42 am 
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The advantage of using the grade from 6 months ago is that it will better represent your actual playing strength than the grade from 12 months ago. This should lead to more accurate grades (?) In particular this should help with the junior/ rapidly improving player problem to the extent that it may be possible to drop the current procedure for juniors.

I agree there will be some side effects, but they will be fairly minor as far as I can see.


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 Post subject: Re: 6 monthly grades
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:38 pm 
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Mike Gunn wrote:
The advantage of using the grade from 6 months ago is that it will better represent your actual playing strength than the grade from 12 months ago


It will best represent your most recent form and results. That doesn't have to be the same as actual strength.

In any event, I'm raising the issue because of a lack of clarity in what's being proposed. The Chief Exec and others present at the Council meeting seem to expect grades to be based on at least 12 months' play, whereas a senior member of the grading team appears to be suggesting 6 months for the most active players.


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 Post subject: Re: 6 monthly grades
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:58 pm 
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As far as I'm aware, if you read the current rapidplay grading rules, you'll get the answers to most of your questions with regard to how it's calculated.

The proposal was along the lines of: Do you want > 1 grading list (i.e. 2), if yes, vote for it, and the graders will work out the right way to do it.

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 Post subject: Re: 6 monthly grades
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:51 pm 
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Alex Holowczak wrote:
if yes, vote for it, and the graders will work out the right way to do it.


That was my understanding of the vote as well.

Given the widespread lack of information and consultation in the regrading exercise, that doesn't particularly inspire confidence. If they "the graders" have already worked out the "right" way to do, perhaps they could share it with the rest of us. Particularly if only a six month period is to be featured they should correct chief executives who suggest otherwise.


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 Post subject: Re: 6 monthly grades
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:34 pm 
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Roger de Coverly wrote:
Alex Holowczak wrote:
if yes, vote for it, and the graders will work out the right way to do it.


That was my understanding of the vote as well.

Given the widespread lack of information and consultation in the regrading exercise, that doesn't particularly inspire confidence. If they "the graders" have already worked out the "right" way to do, perhaps they could share it with the rest of us. Particularly if only a six month period is to be featured they should correct chief executives who suggest otherwise.


Give them the chance; the AGM was only 8 days ago... :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: 6 monthly grades
PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:05 pm 
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Alex Holowczak wrote:
Give them the chance; the AGM was only 8 days ago...
49 days now, so I suppose it’s time someone answered. You won’t be expecting official answers from me, in the continued absence of a Manager of Grading. For that matter I wasn’t wearing an ECF hat when I said on the SCCU website that halfyear Standard grades would work the same way as Rapid. I just thought I was saying something obvious. But at least I can try to clear up some questions about the way Rapidplay does work. Let’s hope I get all of it right.

I thought most of it was fairly clear from the online list’s Help page, but maybe it’s not.
The Help page wrote:
X - Rapidplay only. Grade based on 30 or more games in the latest 6 months
A - Grade based on 30 or more games in the latest 12 months
B - Grade based on 30 games in the latest 24 months, of which at least 20 were played in the latest 12 months
C - Grade based on 30 games in the latest 36 months, of which at least 10 were played in the latest 12 months...
But I’ve cheated. That’s what it ought to say. If you look it up you will find it talks about “seasons” rather than periods of months, and for Rapidplay that’s not very clear. A 12-month period, for Rapidplay, may start on 1st June or 1st December.

So is Rapidplay based on a 6-month period, a 12-month period, or what? For X and A grades it’s clear. They use 6 and 12 months respectively. For other categories, it’s not calendar-based at all except for the 36-month limit beyond which we do not go. It just uses the 30 most recent games, assuming 30 are available. The category simply gives a rough idea of how numerous and recent the games are.

Roger de Coverly wrote:
What grades will be used as the start point for the July 2012 calculations?
Will they be
(a) the July 2011 ones
(b) the July 2011 ones for existing players but the Jan 2012 ones for new players
(c) the July 2011 ones for games prior to the Jan 2012 list and the Jan 2012 ones for games after that.
(c). Each 6-month period is calculated separately, starting from the previous (6-month-old) grade. The points you scored ten months ago won’t change. They belong to a previous 6-month period and have been calculated already.
____________________

How will all this translate to Standardplay? My feeling was, and is, that it would be pretty daft to have one method for Rapid and another for Standard. But, in fairness, there are one or two issues that don’t arise with Rapidplay.

Roger de Coverly wrote:
A major difference being that most rapid-play takes place in one-day congresses which are discrete events. It doesn't have to resolve the problems of how and when leagues should report.
Surely it’s understood that Standardplay leagues will need to report in two instalments, as Rapidplay leagues (admittedly far less numerous) already do. The graders have been warned, and none has protested so far. We’re not going to get everything in for the halfyear, but I think there’s a good chance we’ll get most of it. Where we don’t, the whole league will have to go into the second halfyear. I see no real way round that.

The obvious place to put the halfyear divide is, well, at the halfyear. The end of November, as for Rapidplay. But this is nowhere near the halfway point of the league season. League activity will be skewed towards the July list. So have the divide at the end of December, say? And move the entire grading “season” forward a month (Rapidplay included) so it starts on 1st July? You might think the cure is worse than the disease.

There is another issue. Standardplay grading as it stands is based on 12-month periods. Where games are required from a previous period, we do not take the most recent. We can’t, because league games are not always properly dated. There is a league which plays all its games on 1st September, and another which prefers 31st May. The same thing happens with club internal games, where the dates by and large are genuinely not known. So we take the number of games we need, but they are not the most recent. They are notional games calculated at the average score for the whole 12 months. Not satisfactory, but what can you do? I think it was always meant as a stopgap solution, till the day dawned when we got all the games properly dated. The stopgap looks tricky to apply with a twice-yearly system, so we’ll probably have to abandon it and switch to “most recent” straight away. The good news is, the number of leagues that don’t date their games is down to half a dozen or so, and dwindling. The bad news is, I can’t say the same for club internal. Club internal is now the bigger problem. Reporting in two instalments will help, and maybe adjusting the game dates so they all come in the middle of a period rather than at one end of it. But I doubt if there’s a complete solution.

Roger de Coverly wrote:
...the dubious practice of treating juniors as new players...
I don’t like it much myself. Better approaches have been suggested elsewhere.

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Has there been any thought about revising downwards the 9 games in 3 years bit?
Not that I’ve heard.

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Would it be too confusing to have an annual system running alongside the half-yearly one? You would get three grades a year. Two "six-month" ones and one annual one.
I don’t know about the enemy, but by God it would confuse me.

Sean Hewitt wrote:
[The Rapidplay prototype] isn't a good model at all, and should be binned asap.
I think the ECF would be only too pleased to hear constructive suggestions for improvement. This sounds like the appropriate place for me to stop.

Except to repeat that I am not the ECF and cannot speak for its policies.


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 Post subject: Re: 6 monthly grades
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:51 am 
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Richard Haddrell wrote:
(c). Each 6-month period is calculated separately, starting from the previous (6-month-old) grade. The points you scored ten months ago won’t change. They belong to a previous 6-month period and have been calculated already.


This was why I asked the question. The July 2012 grades won't be the same under a 6 month system as they would have been under an annual system. I've noticed on the rapid play grades that your grade can change without playing a single game. It doesn't on the current annual system because the qualification number of games is at least one. That's another issue to resolve.

Richard Haddrell wrote:
They are notional games calculated at the average score for the whole 12 months. Not satisfactory, but what can you do? I think it was always meant as a stopgap solution, till the day dawned when we got all the games properly dated. The stopgap looks tricky to apply with a twice-yearly system, so we’ll probably have to abandon it and switch to “most recent” straight away.


I'm unconvinced about using the most recent games. To my mind this places undue weight on performances towards the end of the grading period because for players outside the highest group for games played, it will always be games in the same time period which get averaged in. So grades published July 2011 will include results from April and May 2011. It's quite likely that these results would be needed again to top up grades published January 2012 particularly if there's an imbalance across the league season either because of cut off dates or non-reporting. I don't think it's wrong to say that a grade in January 2012 is based on the (2/3) * performance in half year to Nov 2011 (20 games) + (1/3) * performance in full year to May 2011 (assuming at least 10 games). So if you have an appalling final 4NCL weekend, it shows up in your July 2011 but is diluted for your Jan 2012.


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 Post subject: Re: 6 monthly grades
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 7:55 am 
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Richard,
Realising you are not the ECG, but have some knowledge of previous decisions, how and when do you expect the decision to be taken on these items of detail?


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 Post subject: Re: 6 monthly grades
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:26 am 
Brian Valentine wrote:
Richard,
Realising you are not the ECG, but have some knowledge of previous decisions, how and when do you expect the decision to be taken on these items of detail?

And when do we expect a Manager of Grading to be appointed (assuming that these changes are difficult if not impossible to implement without one)?


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