Is this fair?

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James Friar

Is this fair?

Post by James Friar » Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:49 pm

Is this fair?

We recently played in the British Blitz tournament at Quinton. My son James scored 6.5. Being graded 149 I felt sure he was on course for the U160 grading prize as no-one with a similar grade was anywhere near him. Alas someone who scored 6 points had a better performance rating and was awarded the prize. This player would have won the U160 prize after amassing 3.5 points earlier on in the tournament. So 3.5 points beating 6.5?!

Going by the same standard, surely you have to apply the rule to all circumstances? You cannot have one rule for one thing and then one for another. On the entry form, it does not explicitly state that the winner of the tournament has to have scored the most points, as it does not state the U160 fiddle. Surely applying the self same rule then best performer should win the tournament. Someone scored 5 with a performance rating of 3.85, whereas the winner only managed a whopping 9.5 with a performance rating of only 0.89! I am sure Mark (the winner) will disagree(as do I and every other sane person).

In all the years I have been playing the grading prize was won by the player with the most points.

So, I ask is this fair?

UPDATE - It transpires the winner of the U160 prize was graded 168!!!!!!!!!!!! So as well as not scoring as many points he was 168!
Last edited by James Friar on Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:20 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Is this fair?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:57 pm

James Friar wrote: In all the years I have been playing the grading prize was won by the player with the most points.
It's a relatively new idea by arbiters. Ever since they have had computer based cross tables, they've had access to the table of actual performance v expected performance. Rather than the simple idea that the eligible player with the most points scored the grading prize, they then started awarding it to the player with the best out-performance to their published grade or rating. At least they still award the top prizes based on score.

Alan Walton
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Re: Is this fair?

Post by Alan Walton » Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:02 pm

I would say going off rating performance is a fairer system for grading prizes

The example is somebody starting with 3/3 and finishing with 3/6, should have a significantly better grading performance as somebody starting with 0.5/3 and finishing with 3.5/6, just by the strength of field he would have played

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Is this fair?

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:12 pm

There are at least three reasonable methods for awarding prizes: you can award them based on raw score, or you can award them based on TPR, or you can award them based on relative rating improvement. Which one you use depends on what you want the aim of the prize to be.

The British Championship has been awarding its grading prizes on relative rating improvement since at least as far back as 2002.

James Friar

Re: Is this fair?

Post by James Friar » Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:12 pm

Exactly. It doesn't state that the winner must have the most points.

I think if James had have got the same as the winner he still wouldn't have got it. Ok he would be = first and get that prize.

In the last 2 rounbds he beat a 173 and a 184. Obviously not good enough performancewise for a 149.

Brendan O'Gorman
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Re: Is this fair?

Post by Brendan O'Gorman » Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:12 pm

Certainly a break with tradition but the website did have a set of 'Technical Regulations' (!) which included the following:
4. The grading prizes will be awarded to the player with the highest W-We, using the assigned ratings.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Is this fair?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:19 pm

Alan Walton wrote:I would say going off rating performance is a fairer system for grading prizes
That isn't what they do, rather they use rating out-performance. So if you have two players facing the same field, scoring the same number of points, the prize is automatically awarded to the lower rated player. Another problem is that no performance is calculated for games against unrated players.

Alan Walton
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Re: Is this fair?

Post by Alan Walton » Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:26 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Alan Walton wrote:I would say going off rating performance is a fairer system for grading prizes
That isn't what they do, rather they use rating out-performance. So if you have two players facing the same field, scoring the same number of points, the prize is automatically awarded to the lower rated player. Another problem is that no performance is calculated for games against unrated players.
That is what I was meaning, thanks for correcting me Roger

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Re: Is this fair?

Post by Sean Hewitt » Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:34 pm

The British Blitz did advertise in advance on their website that this was how they would allocate grading prizes.

It is a fairer way to allocate such prizes in my opinion as it means that all players, whether at the top or at the bottom of their respective grading band have a (theoretical) equal chance of winning the grading prize.

Why not do this for the first prize? Well, Swisses are actually pretty good at sorting out the top places. They are really bad at sorting players in the middle of the field, as Alan Walton describes. This idea is not new though. Most of the major events in England do this now, such as The British Championships, Gibraltar, the London Chess Classic and dare I say it, all the e2e4 events. I'm sure others do too.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Is this fair?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:45 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote: It is a fairer way to allocate such prizes in my opinion as it means that all players, whether at the top or at the bottom of their respective grading band have a (theoretical) equal chance of winning the grading prize.
Surely the players at the bottom of a grading band have a much better chance, as they will always outperform those above them in rating for the same results?

It hasn't arisen in tournaments like Hastings, the London Classic or the British, but I would agree with the original poster that there's something not quite right about a player scoring 5 winning a grading prize ahead of one scoring 6.5.
Last edited by Roger de Coverly on Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Is this fair?

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:48 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sean Hewitt wrote: It is a fairer way to allocate such prizes in my opinion as it means that all players, whether at the top or at the bottom of their respective grading band have a (theoretical) equal chance of winning the grading prize.
Surely the players at the bottom of a grading band have a much better chance, as they will always outperform those above them in rating for the same results?
Yes. Also, in my experience, grading prizes (especially in FIDE-rated tournaments) are often won by under-rated juniors, or under-rated players in general, for what should be obvious reasons. If you have a stable rating, you can struggle to get a grading prize unless you do a lot better than normal.

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Is this fair?

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:53 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sean Hewitt wrote: It is a fairer way to allocate such prizes in my opinion as it means that all players, whether at the top or at the bottom of their respective grading band have a (theoretical) equal chance of winning the grading prize.
Surely the players at the bottom of a grading band have a much better chance, as they will always outperform those above them in rating for the same results?
Except that they have a lower chance of getting those same results, which tends to cancel the previous effect out.

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Re: Is this fair?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:53 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:It hasn't arisen in tournaments like Hastings, the London Classic or the British, but I would agree with the original poster that there's something ridiculous about a player scoring 3.5 winning a grading prize ahead of one scoring 6.
That isn't what happened, though.

The two grading prizes were won with players on 6/11 and 5/11 respectively.

James Friar

Re: Is this fair?

Post by James Friar » Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:08 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Roger de Coverly wrote:It hasn't arisen in tournaments like Hastings, the London Classic or the British, but I would agree with the original poster that there's something ridiculous about a player scoring 3.5 winning a grading prize ahead of one scoring 6.
That isn't what happened, though.

The two grading prizes were won with players on 6/11 and 5/11 respectively.

What I said was that after the U160 winner had amassed 3.5 points then james couldn't have beaten him with his 6.5. He did finish with 6 points but the prize had been won long be that.

I won a grading prize at last years British based on points?

I will carefully consider entering any tournament that uses this system in future...and will spread the word.

It was in the small print and not the entry that said they were using this method.....based on performance

.........sorry got dyslexic fingers on the number-pad

Ray Sayers

Re: Is this fair?

Post by Ray Sayers » Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:28 pm

It seems the biggest problem was it wasn't clearly enough stated what the rule was. Maybe it will be next time.
If I was playing for a grading prize and I had more points than anyone else in that band, I would naturally assume I would win it.
Stating 'grading prizes to be determined by performance, not points scored' (or whatever) on that section of the form shouldn't be hard.
I doubt any malice was involved - although I can understand the disappointment.

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