How weak can a player get?

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Arshad Ali
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How weak can a player get?

Post by Arshad Ali » Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:02 am

How much deterioration in rating strength is possible for a rated player? Can an IM drop to 2200 strength? Can a GM drop to 2300 strength?

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Rob Thompson
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Re: How weak can a player get?

Post by Rob Thompson » Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:15 am

Are you talking about inactivity or age here?
True glory lies in doing what deserves to be written; in writing what deserves to be read.


Arshad Ali
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Re: How weak can a player get?

Post by Arshad Ali » Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:49 am

Rob Thompson wrote:Are you talking about inactivity or age here?
Either or any other reason. Looks like Jack has already answered it. Though looking at the lists it appears age is the primary culprit.

Niall Doran
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Re: How weak can a player get?

Post by Niall Doran » Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:01 am

Don't know if age has much to do with this guy:


http://ratings.fide.com/card.phtml?event=4148010

Jon D'Souza-Eva

Re: How weak can a player get?

Post by Jon D'Souza-Eva » Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:23 am

IM Jack Rudd wrote:GMs rated below 2300
Vasily Malinin is on that list, his rating has dropped dramatically in the last few years. In his day he played some astonishing games. Here's one example:

David Robertson
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Re: How weak can a player get?

Post by David Robertson » Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:27 am

Arshad Ali wrote:Either or any other reason. Looks like Jack has already answered it. Though looking at the lists it appears age is the primary culprit
I addressed, possibly answered, the question of age-related performance decline some years back on the Atticus forum. I'd direct everyone to the relevant thread if that were possible. Alas, while tidying up and clearing out obsolete threads from 'General Chat', I inadvertently and fatally wiped the lot :shock:

But the gist of that thread, and my key post, concerned some interesting research from (iirc) Harvard that looked at age-related decline across various sports/activities, chess included. The charts demonstrated steep declines with age for 'explosive' sports after middle-age (50+) - no surprises there, I guess - but very slow decline for chess performance until deep into the 8th decade (78+)

Using that data as the base, I'd doubt that the performance declines revealed in the FIDE data can all be attributed to aging alone. In some cases, the declines are so steep (from 2400+ to 1900+), and occuring at a relatively young age (60+), that other (additional) factors seem indicated.

(PS - blimey! Some game! Just what the Benko deserves)

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: How weak can a player get?

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:31 pm

At least one of those GMs got his "title" in distinctly dodgy circumstances. Wouldn't be surprised if that was true of a few of the IM's, too.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

Roger de Coverly
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Re: How weak can a player get?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:43 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote:At least one of those GMs got his "title" in distinctly dodgy circumstances. Wouldn't be surprised if that was true of a few of the IM's, too.
Fading GMs and IMs can be in demand for Norm tournaments. The expectation that they should support the younger norm-seekers cannot help their rating.

Here and there, Gibraltar for instance, there are tournaments with attractive prize funds for rating limited events. With a managed rating, it would be possible for the ageing GM/IM to take part. In practice, such events are often won by younger players on the way up.

Arshad Ali
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Re: How weak can a player get?

Post by Arshad Ali » Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:39 pm

Niall Doran wrote:Don't know if age has much to do with this guy:


http://ratings.fide.com/card.phtml?event=4148010
Yes, this one take the cake. I met an IM in Oslo who was down to 2300 and it got me to thinking that perhaps there were IMs out there who had fallen to 2250. Little did I imagine that an IM could fall to below 2100.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: How weak can a player get?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:51 pm

Ten years ago, this guy was a "proper" IM, in other words above 2400
http://ratings.fide.com/id.phtml?event=4104544

Then his rating collapsed and he was even eligible to play in the Gibraltar Challengers. Perhaps Western players are not as good as those in the former Soviet Union, as he has now recovered to FM level at least.

Andrew Stone
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Re: How weak can a player get?

Post by Andrew Stone » Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:05 pm

Some IMs that only just make the magic 2400 barrier will have put in a tremendous effort to achieve this rating. The effort would be in no way sustainable long term, and indeed having achieved the goal, the motivation may not be present anyway. Add in some randon "noise"- they may have really been worth 2350 but were at the peak of a random fluctuation and it is no wonder that some fall away. This is before adding in the effects of age (which is another debate of course as to whether this is significant). Only 13 active English IMs out of a total of 37 actually currently meet the qualifying 2400. Of course some go on to achieve GM, but without a further goal to spur them on it looks quite a tough thing to maintain. I suspect IM would be beyond my capabilities even with a fair wind and massive amounts of hard work, but I have wondered what life would be like after that anyway- would the title be a constant reminder of a time when you were better than you are ever going to be again? Be careful what you wish for and all that.

David Robertson
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Re: How weak can a player get?

Post by David Robertson » Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:55 pm

Andrew Stone wrote:I suspect IM would be beyond my capabilities even with a fair wind and massive amounts of hard work
I (need to) know nothing about you, Andrew, except four numbers: your current Elo rating; your ECF grades for 1994 & 2011; and your age. Recalling the graphs I refer to above, and the trajectories illustrated therein, I would predict from your 'numbers' that you will never reach IM now under any conditions. I'd guess you could make a norm with a good run of form. And I'd predict that you'll remain a strong amateur player for another 25 years, maybe 30, if your health and enthusiasm hold up - as I hope they will. Any rating rise from where you are is likely to be slight - unless you were significantly higher graded before 1994. But any decline will be slow too, everything else being equal until 35 years time - when your rating will fall off a cliff :-)

Apologies for 'picking' on you. But your numbers provide a good basis for illustrating performance trajectories over time, and for commenting on factors that can, or more likely cannot, influence long-term performance.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: How weak can a player get?

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:46 pm

David Robertson wrote:Apologies for 'picking' on you. But your numbers provide a good basis for illustrating performance trajectories over time, and for commenting on factors that can, or more likely cannot, influence long-term performance.
Ooh, me next please. :D

(My projections predict that I will reach my 'goal' in about 20 years...)

EDIT: But I may hit a plateau somewhere before then...
Last edited by Christopher Kreuzer on Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Richard Bates
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Re: How weak can a player get?

Post by Richard Bates » Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:53 pm

It is a lot easier to lose rating points than it is to gain them.

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