Is rating deflation a thing?

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Brian Valentine
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Re: Is rating deflation a thing?

Post by Brian Valentine » Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:46 am

The latest work I can find is found here: https://reading.academia.edu/GuyHaworth scroll down to download the paper "Intrinsic Chess Ratings".

It is all very complex but in the Results section they state "....we conclude that there has been little or no ‘inflation’ in ratings over time—if anything there has been deflation. This runs counter to conventional wisdom...."

Of course we might find Keith is the exception.

Tim Spanton
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Re: Is rating deflation a thing?

Post by Tim Spanton » Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:49 am

JustinHorton wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:24 am
Keith Arkell wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:08 am

JustinHorton wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:02 pm

That's interesting, though what I was mostly thinking of was comparing the chess played by players rated n in year whatever with the chess played by players rated n in, say, 2019.
I agree that this would be far more interesting, but I'm not sure where to look to find such work.
I don't think there is any on any scale, although I seem to remember John Nunn doing some work some years ago to try and see how strong he thought the competitors in some old tournament were. (Can't recall the detail, maybe somebdy else can.) But it ought in principle to be possible.
I do not have the source to hand - I believe he reported his findings in John Nunn's Chess Puzzle Book - but his basic conclusion was that top-level chess from the early 20th century could be very markedly weaker than from the end of the century

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Leonard Barden
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Re: Is rating deflation a thing?

Post by Leonard Barden » Tue Dec 24, 2019 12:23 pm

The tournament was Carlsbad 1911, with a general conclusion that the players were very blunder-prone by modern standards. Nunn singled out the amateur (a farmer) Hugo Suchting for particularly harsh criticism and if I recall right rated his playing level as around 2000.

What puzzles me is that later, in John Nunn's Chess Course, he praises Emanuel Lasker to the skies, yet Lasker in his youth when he earned his corn was playing against that same 'weak' Carlsbad generation

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Joey Stewart
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Re: Is rating deflation a thing?

Post by Joey Stewart » Tue Dec 24, 2019 2:42 pm

It is definitely a thing in the UK
https://ratings.fide.com/topfed.phtml?ina=1&country=ENG

You can knock off at least a third of those players as inactive, or playing infrequently enough as not to effect the main pool of regular players so the top 100 of active players is going to stretch down to low 2200s or even high 2100s.

And below that... well the less said down there the better.
Lose one queen and it is a disaster, Lose 1000 queens and it is just a statistic.

NickFaulks
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Re: Is rating deflation a thing?

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:00 pm

Brian Valentine wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:46 am
The latest work I can find is found here: https://reading.academia.edu/GuyHaworth scroll down to download the paper "Intrinsic Chess Ratings".
Thanks, I am not familiar with his work and it looks as though there are several papers which I should read if I can find a way to sign in.

Nick Ivell
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Re: Is rating deflation a thing?

Post by Nick Ivell » Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:02 pm

What an interesting thread. I'll throw in my opinion for what it's worth.

I believe experience counts for very little in chess. Of course there are exceptions, like Korchnoi - it must be nice for Keith to be mentioned in the same breath.

Nunn wasn't in the same league as Karpov. One of the best tacticians in the world, this didn't count for much when set against Karpov's positional mastery. Not that Karpov was bad at tactics...

With all the hard work in the world, I don't think I would be capable of beating my 21-year-old self. I've all the experience I could wish for, but many things have gone downhill: stamina, speed of thought, motivation to name a few.

Korchnoi was a freak. In general we get worse as we get older.

Nick Burrows
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Re: Is rating deflation a thing?

Post by Nick Burrows » Tue Dec 24, 2019 4:09 pm

I would wager that prime Karpov was better at tactics than prime Nunn.

Both Short & Adams had the same rating in 1999 & 2018. I would bet on both the 1999 versions to beat the 2018 versions.

Daniel Gormally
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Re: Is rating deflation a thing?

Post by Daniel Gormally » Tue Dec 24, 2019 4:21 pm

"I believe experience counts for very little in chess."

I've often said that experience can be overrated but

it's how you use it that counts. to say that it counts for very little is clearly wrong, otherwise someone who has just taken up the game could be world champion.

if you apply your experiences well, and learn from them, it can help you. so for example last year I was annoyed after messing up a tournament at telford, so i spent some time thinking about where I was going wrong. clearly patience was an issue, so i applied that experience.

conversely if you don't learn from anything you do wrong and just keep repeating, then yes experience won't help you.

"I would wager that prime karpov was better at tactics than prime nunn.

goes without saying. that's why he was world champion....
Last edited by Carl Hibbard on Wed Dec 25, 2019 7:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: A name was removed even on Christmas morning.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Is rating deflation a thing?

Post by JustinHorton » Tue Dec 24, 2019 5:59 pm

Nick Burrows wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 4:09 pm
Both Short & Adams had the same rating in 1999 & 2018.
Oh that's interesting.
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Alex Holowczak
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Re: Is rating deflation a thing?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:49 pm

Dragoljub Sudar wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:28 am
Alex Holowczak wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:23 am
Actually, if we submitted more of our chess for FIDE rating in England, then I think this problem would slowly disappear; so to some extent the same adults who don't want to FIDE-rate more sections are the ones who are helping to cause the problem.
The ECF can help solve this 'problem' by not forcing us to pay extra money to become Gold members in order to play FIDE rated chess.
Ah yes, "the ECF". Who do you think that is? Given that membership fees are set by Council, if "the ECF" wanted to do it, it could make it happen whether the Board wanted it or not. Nottinghamshire is several votes of "the ECF". Why doesn't it bring a proposal forward?

I suspect the reason is that Gold membership isn't an issue at all. I wrote to the Nottingham Rapidplay Organiser, asking him why he didn't FIDE-rate his Rapidplay. The Gold membership argument doesn't apply to that, it's free, and the ECF charges you as if it were just an ECF-graded event as it is now. There was no reply, and the event isn't FIDE-rated. So I suppose in Nottinghamshire, actually Gold membership isn't the argument. You just don't want to do it.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Is rating deflation a thing?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:58 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:49 pm
Given that membership fees are set by Council, if "the ECF" wanted to do it, it could make it happen whether the Board wanted it or not.
In practice, it's not usually been productive for chess development for the ECF Directors to be at loggerheads with the ECF Council.

For that matter, more often than not, ECF Directors have had a voting majority in Council and a well developed sense of what not to put to Council. It took several years to persuade Gerry Walsh that he wasn't President for Life.

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Re: Is rating deflation a thing?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:02 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:58 pm
Alex Holowczak wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:49 pm
Given that membership fees are set by Council, if "the ECF" wanted to do it, it could make it happen whether the Board wanted it or not.
In practice, it's not usually been productive for chess development for the ECF Directors to be at loggerheads with the ECF Council.

For that matter, more often than not, ECF Directors have had a voting majority in Council and a well developed sense of what not to put to Council. It took several years to persuade Gerry Walsh that he wasn't President for Life.
That's my point; the Board hasn't proposed equalising the membership fees for all the tiers because it doesn't think that's what Council wants. At the risk of speaking on behalf of others, I don't think the Board has a strong view one way or the other so long as the total income from any change to the fee structure is neutral. If "the ECF" thinks the Board has misjudged that, then if it wants to, it can put a motion to Council as Bill O'Rourke did previously.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Is rating deflation a thing?

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:21 pm

I am now about 170 - 180 as I was 40+ years ago. I have noticed that then, in internal club games, people graded 130 and below usually lost quickly without a fight. Nowadays, they are much more likely to cause problems, although probably losing eventually anyway. This may be because players in general know openings better than they did. It may also be that I'm playing much worse of course.

We had one guy graded about 35 and he lost a lot of games quite badly, but he kept playing and bought a computer and practised. He still lost, and probably won about 30 games out of 1000 over his 30 years at the club, and he got his grade up to 65, (before the recent number fiddle), but he played a lot better than that. Of course, everyone knew they should beat him, and they carried on until he blundered. If he had changed his name and club, he would have got much better results...

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Is rating deflation a thing?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:54 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:21 pm
This may be because players in general know openings better than they did.
Perhaps not always. In a Congress around five years ago, I won a pawn and the game in the sequence 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. 0-0 a6 5. Bxc6 dxc6 6. Nxe5 when Black cannot recover the pawn. The accurate version, if Black prefers an open Spanish to the Berlin endgame is 1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. 0-0 Nxe4 5. d4 a6.

Players 160 plus know this of course.

It's not something I've wanted to risk, but in a 120 v 120 game, arguably the defender of a Kings Gambit is in danger of collapsing rapidly.

John McKenna
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Re: Is rating deflation a thing?

Post by John McKenna » Wed Dec 25, 2019 12:19 am

Accepted!
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

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