Gradings to be published, on the sidebar?

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Colin S Crouch
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Gradings to be published, on the sidebar?

Post by Colin S Crouch » Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:59 pm

Should we consider publishing gradings on the sidebar?

At the moment, we have name, date of joining, number of posts, and locational (optional). It would seem extremely useful, when assessing some posts, whether a writer is a good player, or just bluffing. Most commercial major forums on chess include the ratings of players, usually based on online games, and this can be useful when trying to find the few gems out of many pages of random dross. Do I really need to try to read a string of 1300 players, in the hope that something sensible will turn up? No, just flick through it, wait until there is someone rated over 2000, or preferably even stronger, and look closely at 2200+ players. It is useful to cut out the junk.

The ECForum is usually better than this, despite Steve Giddins' knocking of the mounds of termites. I can't be bothered about which parts of Streatham people happen to live in, before getting on to the critical stuff on the ECF management, but never mind, we can flick to the next page.

A more subtle point is to assess the credentials of writers who try to set out controversial issues, without deep enough understanding of chess. In a recent example, in the two losses against Anand early on in the Camdidates, I noted with horror that Aronian and Mamedjarov played, by their standard, two really dreadful games. Perhaps just one really careless move by Aronian in the opening, and a whole string of bad moves by Mamedjarov. In Mamedjarov's two early losses, he was playing at perhaps about 180 strength. Surprise, surprise, a 180 player boldly claimed that Anand was playing absolutely brilliant chess, and has been sticking to his line right through to the end. A quick glance at the sidebar would suggest that his enthusiasm was misplaced.

There are many such exanples, including players much worse than him. In my book on Carlsen, the day after the book got published, some player from Detroit rubbished my book, claiming that I made vast numbers of mistakes. By a bit of Googling, I found that the player involved had a grading list (ECF equivalent) of about 40, on blitz chess! Any writer will of course be sensitive about such things!

My suggestion is nothing to do with snobbery. The point here is to assess whether the writer knows what he is talking about. It is a case of bullsxxx detection.

Earlier today, a match captain from Ealing, trying to manufacture a protest, to try to squeeze out an extra half-point, claimed that he knew very little about the rules of chess, the FIDE rules were wrong, and wanted to engage in long discussion. I looked up his grading, 150, lower than both teams involved, and equal to, or lower than, all other players involved. He had no arbiting understanding either. He wanted a long "chat" with various Harrow players. Can't be bothered. Better perhaps to send the emails to Alex.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Gradings to be published, on the sidebar?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:17 pm

Colin S Crouch wrote:In Mamedjarov's two early losses, he was playing at perhaps about 180 strength.
Speaking as a 180 player, I would hesitate to be too critical, given that at least some of the players in the Candidates were using openings more typical of 130 players. But up to a point, chess has changed, with computer evaluations not conforming to conventional stereotypes about positional "rules" and not just because of tactical search depth.

The Tromp in round 13 is a case in point. Aronian played the opening as though determined to lose in the style of Hodgson v Victim from the 1990s. But his active queen enabled him to more or less get away with it. Andreikin's later declined offer of an exchange sacrifice being something of a drawing bailout.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Gradings to be published, on the sidebar?

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:26 pm

I'm not quite sure where Colin is going with the grading argument, but there are people who post to this forum who have ECF grades and FIDE ratings higher than his, but who probably 'understand' chess less well than he does. Grades and ratings can give a useful idea, but only ever a first approximation to chess 'understanding' (what ever that means, anyway). The best chess writers are able to write for and engage with a broad audience, not just their peers.

Colin S Crouch
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Re: Gradings to be published, on the sidebar?

Post by Colin S Crouch » Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:59 pm

I have just been flicking through the forum on Chess.com, a deadly exercise, totally borimg, but at least it gives indications of ther online ratings as to why none rated over about 130 would be intereted. Maybe the ECForum is OK!

Most of the time I am genuinely uninterested as to one player is graded ten points more than another. What I am more concerned is when a player with significantly less understanding, in chess and perhaps in life, poses himself as having the better understanding in chess. I don't know, possibly the best way, when discussing argumants about particular moves im a postion is to get out the diagram, show where one player makes a mistake and why, and ask the question, is an the two Anand wins, whether Anand played unusually brilliant chess, or whether Anand's opponent made some really bad mistakes. This was the core of the argument which I inadvertantly found myself in.

There are however some other aspcts of chess, outside the actual thinking of the moves, in which the stronger player should on the whole have a better understanding of the culture of chess, like for example a player of modest strength trying to claim that the FIDE rules are wrong, when just about anyone else thinks otherwise.

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Gradings to be published, on the sidebar?

Post by Carl Hibbard » Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:46 pm

I have no grade.
Cheers
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PeterTurland
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Re: Gradings to be published, on the sidebar?

Post by PeterTurland » Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:16 pm

I have a sort of grade, obtained on FICS, of between 1400 and 1500, only obtained after a beer or three, and no I'm not going to tell you my handle, unless I know you have had a beer also.

Colin S Crouch
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Re: Gradings to be published, on the sidebar?

Post by Colin S Crouch » Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:10 pm

Hey, it doesn't really matter!

I suppose that after several irritating incidents, I was getting annoyed about various things. But look at things the other way round.

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Treat a grading as something positive. A 100 player is better than most Chess.com players, a 120 olayer is still a comfortable average player, and so on. And if someone does not have an official grading, then no great problem, enjoy chess anyway. And despite my grumbling, a 180 player is still a good player - it is just that I do not regard such a player as of master strength, and for matters within the chess orbit, I would not want to defer to that.

We all get used to the chess grading system, and it helps sort out team orders, so why not on the forum? Discussions?
I cannot hide the sense of relief that my club was in danger of being dragged into a potentially long battle against a neighbouring club, but mercifully that seems to have disappeared.

PeterTurland
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Re: Gradings to be published, on the sidebar?

Post by PeterTurland » Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:18 pm

Colin S Crouch wrote:Hey, it doesn't really matter!

I suppose that after several irritating incidents, I was getting annoyed about various things. But look at things the other way round.

Fred Blogs
Joined xyz
Grading 140
Posts 11111 (not even Roger has achieved that, yet)
Location Over the rainbow

Treat a grading as something positive. A 100 player is better than most Chess.com players, a 120 olayer is still a comfortable average player, and so on. And if someone does not have an official grading, then no great problem, enjoy chess anyway. And despite my grumbling, a 180 player is still a good player - it is just that I do not regard such a player as of master strength, and for matters within the chess orbit, I would not want to defer to that.

We all get used to the chess grading system, and it helps sort out team orders, so why not on the forum? Discussions?
I cannot hide the sense of relief that my club was in danger of being dragged into a potentially long battle against a neighbouring club, but mercifully that seems to have disappeared.
Isn't it somewhere over a rainbow, that we go to weigh a pie Colin?

David Blower
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Re: Gradings to be published, on the sidebar?

Post by David Blower » Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:29 pm

The gradings are public knowledge on the ECF grading database anyway, so if someone strongly disagreed with what I said, and wanted to look up my grade, I suppose they could.

My grade is 101 by the way. Probably one of the lowest on this forum, but nevertheless a decent grade, by most peoples standards (of course most people in the country do not play for a club!)

And I do not see anything wrong with posting a game, or a position, and suggesting the move I would make, even if the game was from 2 players rated higher than myself.

I would not like the grades published, because it can easily be used as point scoring, and when a post is polite, there is no reason for the grade to be mentioned.

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Paolo Casaschi
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Re: Gradings to be published, on the sidebar?

Post by Paolo Casaschi » Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:36 pm

Colin S Crouch wrote:In Mamedjarov's two early losses, he was playing at perhaps about 180 strength. Surprise, surprise, a 180 player boldly claimed that Anand was playing absolutely brilliant chess, and has been sticking to his line right through to the end. A quick glance at the sidebar would suggest that his enthusiasm was misplaced.
Since you seem to repeatedly refer to my posts, could you please remind me where I qualified Anand's play as "absolutely brilliant"?
I only disagreed about your statement "Anand's two wins are useful points in the bag, but it is best not to overplay its significance". Significance that turned out to be enough to win the event.

You should not make up your quotations.

With respect to your suggestion about this forum, other similar environment allow users to rate each other posts, ultimately leading to a reputation score. I wonder if this would be a better solution to the problem.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Gradings to be published, on the sidebar?

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:17 pm

This is a brilliant idea and it should be implemented straightaway. Instead of having to post reasoned arguments (not that we do, of course) we can just cite our number and whoever's got the highest wins the argument until somebody bigger than them comes along.

Fantastic. Do it now.

(By the way, what happens if somebody's grade is revised upwards or downwards? Do they become more right, or less right, respecitively, as a result?)
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Mick Norris
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Re: Gradings to be published, on the sidebar?

Post by Mick Norris » Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:19 pm

Difficult really

Given my grade/rating, Colin doesn't care what I think

Colin is clearly a much better judge of a chess game than me, given he has better chess understanding and is better at chess

Colin's judgement of chess players, however, doesn't appear great - anyone can see Aronian was the best player coming into the Candidates, but Colin couldn't see that Aronian's track record under pressure indicated he wouldn't win - I gave him a 40% chance in case he confounded this expectation, but it was Anand who confounded my expectations
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

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Re: Gradings to be published, on the sidebar?

Post by David Blower » Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:27 pm

JustinHorton wrote:This is a brilliant idea and it should be implemented straightaway. Instead of having to post reasoned arguments (not that we do, of course) we can just cite our number and whoever's got the highest wins the argument until somebody bigger than them comes along.

Fantastic. Do it now.

(By the way, what happens if somebody's grade is revised upwards or downwards? Do they become more right, or less right, respecitively, as a result?)
Seeing as your ungraded, can I just point out that your post was a load of rubbish! :lol: :roll: :wink:

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JustinHorton
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Re: Gradings to be published, on the sidebar?

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:51 pm

Or maybe we could colour code the postings according to the grade of the posters. GMs could be all shimmery and gold with a trumpet sound when they post.
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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PeterFarr
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Re: Gradings to be published, on the sidebar?

Post by PeterFarr » Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:55 pm

JustinHorton wrote:we can just cite our number and whoever's got the highest wins the argument until somebody bigger than them comes along.

Fantastic. Do it now.
You do realize that means Nigel Short will win every argument? :shock:

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