Grade please?

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Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Grade please?

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:09 pm

"Some years ago I found myself on top board in a Middlesex League match against a Russian GM who is well known on the London chess scene. I managed to keep going for about 35 moves before I decided I'd had enough and resigned. It wasn't one of my better games. I may have felt intimidated by the difference of about 60 points in our ECF grades.

After the game he asked what my grade was. "About 180", I replied. He shook his head sorrowfully and replied, "Tonight you did not play to your grade!" Could this be the ultimate put-down?"

I was due to play a Russian GM who is well-known on the London chess scene, and when he arrived at the tournament he produced a long list of demands (all of which were refused very politely), then he asked who he was playing. He snorted and said I wasn't good enough. "He is a good player", said the organiser - "He is nothing!" was the reply. I had to laugh. But I think it is more offensive than what James got... He did play, and won, but was polite when we analysed.
"Kevin was the arbiter and was very patient. " Nick Grey

Ian Thompson
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Re: Grade please?

Post by Ian Thompson » Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:48 pm

James Toon wrote:"Tonight you did not play to your grade!" Could this be the ultimate put-down?
How about:
1. "How did you manage to get a grade that high?" (after losing a Berkshire League game)
2. "Are you ill?" (after losing horribly in a Basingstoke congress game)

LozCooper

Re: Grade please?

Post by LozCooper » Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:51 pm

James Toon wrote:

After the game he asked what my grade was. "About 180", I replied. He shook his head sorrowfully and replied, "Tonight you did not play to your grade!" Could this be the ultimate put-down?
If I had a pound for every time I've been asked "Are you really an IM?" I could sponsor the London Chess Classic :oops:

James Toon
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Re: Grade please?

Post by James Toon » Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:54 pm

Or how about this as a put-down. Another top board game where I played miserably and lost, this time in the Civil Service League. My opponent looked at me pityingly and said: "Tonight was not one of your better nights!" How could he know that? I could well have played worse on other nights.

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Gavin Strachan
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Re: Grade please?

Post by Gavin Strachan » Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:31 pm

Ultimate rabbit psych killer phrases:
You have a title Mr Russian?
Were you expelled from Moscow for being rubbish?
Not good enough to write a book?
I would have a title but it's so last year.
If you are so good how did you end up playing me?
I remember Kasparov's remark about that one game you managed to get against him.
You can have white and I'll give you a whole piece advantage.
Get on with it I find your style boring and I want to watch the other games.
You can pay me afterwards for the honour of playing me.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Grade please?

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:38 am

Getting back to the topic of whether and when to ask your opponent what their grade is, there was a variant on this at the 4NCL weekend, when I couldn't be bothered to look up the ECF grades of my opponents beforehand (i.e. using the list of players registered for their team and then comparing that to the team list when issued), so all I had to go on was the FIDE rating on the team list (if there was a rating). For both my opponents this weekend, it turned out that their ECF grades are higher than their FIDE ratings, so it kind of helped that I didn't ask beforehand as that might have affected my play (though I did ask after the games had finished).

On the subject of classic put-downs, one of my opponents paid me the compliment of saying "you played much better than your grade" (I'm sure he genuinely meant this, though seeing as I missed an obvious win in the scramble leading up to the first time control, it doesn't mean much as your playing strength in a game counts for nothing if you miss the critical points where you can win). It did occur to me, though, that this could be used as a backhanded compliment, akin to damning with faint praise. My response to this would be that yes, I can play better than my grade would indicate, but I can also play much worse than my grade. Even within the same game! :)

Simon Spivack
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Re: Grade please?

Post by Simon Spivack » Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:08 am

Gavin Strachan wrote:Not good enough to write a book?
A joke in London chess circles is that the publisher has transposed the roles of analyst and translator for some books that I cannot possibly name. How could anyone imagine such a thing?

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John Clarke
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Re: Grade please?

Post by John Clarke » Sun May 22, 2011 11:56 am

Jonathan Bryant wrote:We used to have a guy at our club who used to ask "what's your grade?" on being offered a draw. If the other chap was higher rated than him he would almost always agree. If lower, he would mostly refuse.

Evidently he refined his technique over time. During one away match I heard somebody offer him a draw and I saw him get out a grading book and look his opponent up.
Couldn't the opponent have claimed the game, on the grounds that this fellow was consulting an outside source of information?
"The chess-board is the world ..... the player on the other side is hidden from us ..... he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance."
(He doesn't let you resign and start again, either.)

David Sedgwick
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Re: Grade please?

Post by David Sedgwick » Sun May 22, 2011 12:11 pm

John Clarke wrote:
Jonathan Bryant wrote:We used to have a guy at our club who used to ask "what's your grade?" on being offered a draw. If the other chap was higher rated than him he would almost always agree. If lower, he would mostly refuse.

Evidently he refined his technique over time. During one away match I heard somebody offer him a draw and I saw him get out a grading book and look his opponent up.
Couldn't the opponent have claimed the game, on the grounds that this fellow was consulting an outside source of information?
Loss of the game is probably too extreme a penalty, but this is definitely an infraction in my view.

About twenty years ago I went to get my grading list out after I'd played about twelve moves of a game. More subconsciously than consciously I felt a need to know my opponent's grade before deciding my future tactics.

I suddenly realised I was about to cheat and didn't get the list out.

Ever since then I've made a point of checking my opponent's grade right at the start of the game.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Grade please?

Post by Stewart Reuben » Sun May 22, 2011 12:35 pm

I did once ask my opponent after the game whether he had been drinking before the game. It was in the London League in late December. It was meant as a friendly question.

I find myself nowadays prone to the following: 'Who did you play?' 'A 2150 Rating,' and be totally unaware of his actual name.

Stewart Reuben

Richard Thursby
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Re: Grade please?

Post by Richard Thursby » Sun May 22, 2011 12:45 pm

David Sedgwick wrote: About twenty years ago I went to get my grading list out after I'd played about twelve moves of a game. More subconsciously than consciously I felt a need to know my opponent's grade before deciding my future tactics.

I suddenly realised I was about to cheat and didn't get the list out.

Ever since then I've made a point of checking my opponent's grade right at the start of the game.
These days looking up your list will involve accessing a computer, so a definite no-no during play.

You should play the position, not the opponent. Some years ago, in a game between two juniors, one of them, very strong, dropped a rook and then offered a draw. Their opponent thought "A draw against this strong player? Yes please!" and accepted. When analysing with colleagues afterwards, they pointed out "But you're a rook up!".

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Ben Purton
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Re: Grade please?

Post by Ben Purton » Sun May 22, 2011 12:50 pm

Why do people care about ECF, fide is what matters.

Ben
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I would die happy if I beat Wood Green in the Eastman Cup final - Richmond LL captain.
Hating the Yankees since 2002. Hating the Jets since 2001.

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Ben Purton
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Re: Grade please?

Post by Ben Purton » Sun May 22, 2011 12:51 pm

Gareth Harley-Yeo wrote:There's a clear dislike to being asked ones grade on this thread and in chess in general. Why? Why do people go out of their way to dodge it?
Gareth you are quite an open guy, you often tell us how small your manhood is :lol: :wink:


...... but this was when referring to Paul Dupre :evil:
I love sleep, I need 8 hours a day and about 10 at night - Bill Hicks
I would die happy if I beat Wood Green in the Eastman Cup final - Richmond LL captain.
Hating the Yankees since 2002. Hating the Jets since 2001.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Grade please?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sun May 22, 2011 12:53 pm

Richard Thursby wrote:These days looking up your list will involve accessing a computer, so a definite no-no during play.
You can check it with as little as a mobile phone these days!

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Ben Purton
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Re: Grade please?

Post by Ben Purton » Sun May 22, 2011 12:55 pm

Richard Thursby wrote:
David Sedgwick wrote: About twenty years ago I went to get my grading list out after I'd played about twelve moves of a game. More subconsciously than consciously I felt a need to know my opponent's grade before deciding my future tactics.

I suddenly realised I was about to cheat and didn't get the list out.

Ever since then I've made a point of checking my opponent's grade right at the start of the game.
These days looking up your list will involve accessing a computer, so a definite no-no during play.

You should play the position, not the opponent. Some years ago, in a game between two juniors, one of them, very strong, dropped a rook and then offered a draw. Their opponent thought "A draw against this strong player? Yes please!" and accepted. When analysing with colleagues afterwards, they pointed out "But you're a rook up!".

In the U11 Gigafinal in Sheffield I drew with Lawerence Trent and when I offered the draw I was a Rook and pawn up, such was my fear of him(125 odd grade) to my E59 grade :-)
I love sleep, I need 8 hours a day and about 10 at night - Bill Hicks
I would die happy if I beat Wood Green in the Eastman Cup final - Richmond LL captain.
Hating the Yankees since 2002. Hating the Jets since 2001.

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