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 Post subject: Historical Grades
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:13 pm 
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Carl,
Can't find the old thread, but I remember suggesting ages ago that you include historical grades for currently inactive players, something which you quickly implemented, and for which, thanks.
Something that I have been playing over in my mind, is wondering whether or not you might be interested in including published historical grades, right the way back to 1953-1954, when RWB first ranked the top English players. I guess I could type the grades into whatever format you should need. It would take several months, but I think it would be of benefit to all sorts of people, from those exploring whether or not the grading system has drifted over the years, to those busy with historical work, to those who are merely idly interested in whether or not their grade has ever been above that of their club's all too arrogant top board!
Any thoughts?
Regards,
Paul.


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 Post subject: Re: Historical Grades
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:16 pm 
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Paul McKeown wrote:
Carl,
Can't find the old thread, but I remember suggesting ages ago that you include historical grades for currently inactive players, something which you quickly implemented, and for which, thanks.
Something that I have been playing over in my mind, is wondering whether or not you might be interested in including published historical grades, right the way back to 1953-1954, when RWB first ranked the top English players. I guess I could type the grades into whatever format you should need. It would take several months, but I think it would be of benefit to all sorts of people, from those exploring whether or not the grading system has drifted over the years, to those busy with historical work, to those who are merely idly interested in whether or not their grade has ever been above that of their club's all too arrogant top board!
Any thoughts?
Regards,
Paul.

You need to "speak" to Howard and Richard regarding this one, although in theory the idea may have some merit?

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 Post subject: Re: Historical Grades
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:17 pm 
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Do they read this forum from time to time?
P.


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 Post subject: Re: Historical Grades
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:24 pm 
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Paul McKeown wrote:
Do they read this forum from time to time?
P.

Yes

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Carl Hibbard


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 Post subject: Re: Historical Grades
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:33 pm 
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Then they can respond here, when they read it. I'll be interested in what they have to say.


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 Post subject: Re: Historical Grades
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 2:48 pm 
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Paul,

Are you seriously planning to enter forty years' worth of BCF grading lists? Wow.

If this is what you are intending then I don't see how I could decline to amalgamate it with the information currently in the database.

Rather than discuss nitty-gritty details here, I suggest that if you want to proceed with this you contact me directly. You can find my contact details on http://www.sccu.ndo.co.uk/offic.htm under Grading Secretary.

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 Post subject: Re: Historical Grades
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:28 pm 
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Howard,

Just the top of the lists, as published in BCM, Chess or the BCF Year Books.

It would help if other's volunteered to help, but if this is a yes, then I will get started.

How do you propose to deal with the old style grades, 1a, 2b, etc.?

I have the following conversion table:
Code:
1a    248 - 241
1b    240 - 233
2a    232 - 225
2b    224 - 217
3a    216 - 209
3b    208 - 201
4a    200 - 193
4b    192 - 185
5a    184 - 177
5b    176 - 169


etc.

I don't propose to go further than that, unless others volunteer to pitch in...

Regards,
P.


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 Post subject: Re: Historical Grades
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:03 am 
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Paul,

I kicked this idea round the grading team, and two points were raised:-

1) The ECF needs to clarify what entitlement, if any, inclusion on such lists would enable players to be entitled to titles under the Master Points system.

2) The BCF stopped publishing 'top players only lists in 1986. What is going to happen about grades published in the period 1987-93?

I can't do anything until 1) is resolved.

With regard to 2), it did cross my mind that I could scan in the lists for 1987-93 - there's not much data in them that isn't already on the database. However my initial efforts on this weren't that encouraging. I will need to look at this in greater depth to see if this is feasible.

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 Post subject: Re: Historical Grades
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:50 am 
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Quote:
1) The ECF needs to clarify what entitlement, if any, inclusion on such lists would enable players to be entitled to titles under the Master Points system.


Quote:
I can't do anything until 1) is resolved.


Is anybody in the least bit interested in the Master Points system?


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 Post subject: Re: Historical Grades
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:52 pm 
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Howard,

I'm pleased this idea is receiving some serious attention.


Point 1 - Master Points System

Fair point. My tuppenworth would be that if a player has qualifying performances and wished these to contribute to a Master Points Title, then fair enough. Referring to the ECF website's Master Points page, http://www.englishchess.org.uk/events/bcfawards/masterpoints.htm, I would guess that the following two titles would be affected:

Quote:
(d) County Master: A player must achieve a standard-play A grade of at least 160 on an ECF official grading list.
(e) Regional Master: A player must achieve a standard play A grade of at least 180 in two successive seasons on ECF official grading lists.


The A grade would translate into one which was not marked by a * or a +, indicating fewer than 30 games. Still earlier lists, which did not include these indications, generally required a minimum of 30 games, only including a few players with fewer than 30 games whose exceptional performances otherwise merited inclusion.

For the Regional Master title, might I also be so bold as to suggest that anyone who, under previous BCF schemes, had earned the Candidate Expert (CX) title (or higher) would be entitled to renew that title as the current Regional Master title - the qualification is broadly equivalent in value.

Of course, that would all be subject to meeting the other necessary criteria, such as being a member of the ECF, paying the requisite fee, et cetera.

I don't see any particular harm in this, and do see it as a possible modest contributor to ECF revenues.



[A Related Point

Might I finally be so bold as to suggest that the old British Master title might also be considered for re-introduction; the idea of dropping it was that players of the required standard could easily obtain FIDE titles. However, I could name a few BM's who never obtained the FM or IM title; perhaps they were too old, or perhaps they just never played in FIDE rated events. Even today, there are club and county stalwarts with grades in excess of 200, who rarely if ever play in FIDE rated events. As it was the BM title - set at the old standard - would be much higher in value than FIDE's current IM title (just remove the old qualification that the IM title automatically qualifed for BM) and one could perhaps give something to aim at for some of England's IM's, who, perhaps not able to qualify for the GM title, might have a shot at an ECF BM title. Again, a possible modest contributor to the bottom line. I salute those few who did obtain the BM title. I suspect (though don't have the evidence in front of me) that fewer BM titles were ever issued than there are current British holders of the GM title. The one complication I could see is that some co-ordination might be necessary with the Scottish and Welsh Federations, as at some point in the 1970's (don't know for how long) the BM title was independently awarded, but mutually recognised.

Obviously the historical grading list can be introduced without consideration of this item.]



Point 2 - 1987 - 93

Did grading lists issued in that period have "top of lists" printed in them somewhere? If not, does anyone still have electronic media containing union and national lists for this period? Even cassette tape, 5.25 inch floppy?



Point 3 - Data Protection

I have ploughed on with project, putting the data into an Excel spreadsheet. Along the way, I have added DOB and DOD, where known (from Gaige), for those I am sure are with us no more. I assume that that including DOB and DOD for those that have expired is "history" and does not contravene data protection regulations, would that be correct?



Point 4 - What I've Done So Far

I have ploughed on with project, putting the data into an Excel spreadsheet. The lists covered so far are the two initial "historical" lists issued in 1954, the 1954, 1955 and 1956 lists. That works out at about 500 names.

I have listed players by family name and first names, or initials only when I don't know the first names. I have included nicknames and the names people were commonly known by at various times, "e.g. Miss E Tranmer", rather than Eileen Tranmer as she more likely be known as today.

Each year's grade is accompanied by a flag "B" for BCF national list, "S" for SCCU, etc. and the club is given, if indicated in the list.

Where those players have existing ECF Grading References, I have included those.

I have included titles awarded and date awarded too. Currently I have matched players from that period with later IM, WIM, BM and FM titles, but eventually players who come along at later years will include GM, WGM, WFM, CM, BX, CX, ICCF and problem titles. I guess I should also include civil awards (OBE, CBE, etc., where those were for services to chess) and BCF/ECF Presidents Awards and relevant FIDE distinctions, but that is something for a later phase.

Basically, I think it is useful (and meet recognition) to have a proper record of the ECF's most influential players. Obviously, it is not a project for a weekend, it will take some months. If anyone wanted to start at the other end (1993) and work backwards, that would certainly help. If the ECF were to decide not to want this, I would do it anyway, but for private use.

Can you think of anything else that should be included, or some points that I should bear in mind?



Another Point.
Speaking of recognition of past achievements, I can't find anywhere on the ECF website lists of BCF/ECF County Champions, National Club Champions, etc. Is that right, or am I just Googlestupid?


Best Regards,
Paul McKeown


Last edited by Paul McKeown on Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Historical Grades
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:15 pm 
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Howard Grist wrote:
With regard to 2), it did cross my mind that I could scan in the lists for 1987-93 - there's not much data in them that isn't already on the database. However my initial efforts on this weren't that encouraging. I will need to look at this in greater depth to see if this is feasible.


Howard,

An OCR solution would be ideal! Keep trying!

It would save months of work. All that would be required would be entering of Grading References for those not on the current DB. That and any data enriching that was thought worthwhile.


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 Post subject: Re: Historical Grades
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:59 am 
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Paul,

The Master Points is not my department so I'm not going to comment on it.

Grading lists do not include a list of top players until 1990 whereupon the top 50 were published - which was everybody above 220 (or thereabouts).

What you've done sounds good - I can't think of anything I would like you to add. I was planning on incorporating this information so it would be shown as the grades from the 1990s currently are, so titles and dates of birth/death would not be shown in any case. I am also inclined to show grading numbers rather than the 1a etc grades from the early lists, although Carl may be sufficiently keen to show both.

I will have a proper look at OCR of the 1986-93 grading lists at some point, but I have a couple of rather more important grading issues to attend to first.

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