Dramatic changes in congress performances

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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Dramatic changes in congress performances

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:10 pm

Jonathan Bryant wrote: If you mean the specific case that has been raised, then I’ve no comment since I don’t know enough about it to make an informed comment.
Anyone who has been collecting games from the e2e4 tournaments and British Championship Congress will have a few samples. There were at least a couple of plausible candidates for the Streatham blog "worst move on the board" series.

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Dramatic changes in congress performances

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:16 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Jonathan Bryant wrote: If you mean the specific case that has been raised, then I’ve no comment since I don’t know enough about it to make an informed comment.
Anyone who has been collecting games from the e2e4 tournaments and British Championship Congress will have a few samples.
Well that’s not me then. But even if it was, 'a few samples' isn’t anywhere near enough. God alone knows I’ve lost enough games in my time that must look like they were deliberately chucked. Not least my own disastrous performance at Coulsdon.

Going back to theoretical cases, I’d be much more interested in the overall maths - of the theoretical individual and the population as a whole - than the particular outcomes of particular theoretical games.

E.g. how many people in the population have scored > 90% and <10% in equivalent level tournaments in the same same grading period? Once? Twice? Three times? Four or more? How many people have done it in consecutive grading periods? Stuff like that.

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Dramatic changes in congress performances

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:33 pm

Part of the problem the ECF has with grade manipulation situations is that it has an arms-length relationship with most events, and so can't intervene in the events directly.

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Dramatic changes in congress performances

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:48 pm

IM Jack Rudd wrote:Part of the problem the ECF has with grade manipulation situations is that it has an arms-length relationship with most events, and so can't intervene in the events directly.
Sure, but you’d have thought that one thing about having a compulsory membership scheme is that you could (temporarily or otherwise) withdraw membership from people who had broken the rules.

Needless to say you’d have to have a rock-solid system in place and no doubt it wouldn’t be easy to do - which is I’m sure the reason why it’s not going to happen - but it must be theoretically possible at the very least.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Dramatic changes in congress performances

Post by JustinHorton » Thu Oct 29, 2015 9:51 pm

I can see all sorts of problems in any system to try and deal with suspected grade-tankers. Even if organisers refuse their entries, which they're entitled to do, what are they going to do when Mr A Shark emails to ask why? Easy to say "ignore them" or "write back saying 'because we felt like it'", but less easy to do yourself in practice, perhaps. And you can't publicly say why, or publicly tell other organisers, unless you're prepared for potential legal hassle.
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Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Dramatic changes in congress performances

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Thu Oct 29, 2015 9:58 pm

JustinHorton wrote: ... And you can't publicly say why, or publicly tell other organisers, unless you're prepared for potential legal hassle.
Indeed. And there’s another problem.

By definition, the theoretical game chucker who chucks loads of games in lots of tournaments in order to boost chances of a theoretical win of a theoretical prize in other tournaments is by definition a good customer. S/he enters lots of tournaments.

Putting the responsibility onto individual tournament organisers may not be effective for this reason. Which business wants to risk antagonising - if not outright banning - good customers?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Dramatic changes in congress performances

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Oct 29, 2015 10:07 pm

JustinHorton wrote: Even if organisers refuse their entries, which they're entitled to do
Most Congress entry forms reserve the right to put players in a different section to one they've previously won. Add to that a rule which moves previous prize winners up to the next section, unless the organiser is convinced otherwise.

It would be an interesting volatility test for players with at least 60 games to compare their performance from their best 30 games with their worst 30. You might alternatively group by event. I don't know whether performances as discussed would stand out as being outliers from the norm.

Thinking only of Opens, you would likely face a field of 190 to score 4/5, so that's a performance of 220.
For 1/5, you would likely face a field of 175, so that's a performance of 145.

According to the Kidlington website, I had a 222 performance at Kidlington 2012, dropping to 153 a year later.

https://kidlingtonchess.org.uk/kct2013/u225-crosstable/
https://kidlingtonchess.org.uk/kct2012/u225-crosstable/

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Re: Dramatic changes in congress performances

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Oct 29, 2015 10:16 pm

Jonathan Bryant wrote: Putting the responsibility onto individual tournament organisers may not be effective for this reason. Which business wants to risk antagonising - if not outright banning - good customers?
Tournament organisers are not always strictly businesses. The UK model is often that you have a group who run an event once a year. From that viewpoint their main customers are the local players who support the event by entering and who may not be entirely happy with visiting sharks of a strength 30 points higher than published, even if they sometimes change into plankton.

He's been mentioned earlier in this thread, but there was a player who would always enter and often win the second section. He did however talk the talk of someone confident that he was really of IM standard. Players of Majors are by no means mugs, and it was always entertaining to see someone demonstrating that he really was only worth his published grade particularly if he had previously been doing well.

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Dramatic changes in congress performances

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Thu Oct 29, 2015 10:26 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote: It would be an interesting volatility test for players with at least 60 games to compare their performance from their best 30 games with their worst 30.
This was the kind of thing I was thinking about earlier. My guess is that if you just compared best 30 with worst 30 over a grading period most of us would have a pretty large swing (although I suspect some, like myself, would be larger than most).

It comes back to the same old point: performance swings are normal. Some particular patterns of performance swings are not.


With regard to your later point about organisers perhaps taking views / dissatisfaction of other entrants into account. Perhaps you’re right - although it would require dissatisfaction to equal 'credible threat to withdraw in numbers' for this to be a factor for tournaments that are run on a business model. Perhaps 'business' model would be a better term in the sense that I’m guessing that while not all tournaments are necessarily run to make a profit there probably aren’t many that are happy to make a loss.

Anyway, if what you say is correct that put’s responsibility on the rest of us to demand change. We can only do that if we know there’s something that we would like to change, though.

Adam Ashton
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Re: Dramatic changes in congress performances

Post by Adam Ashton » Thu Oct 29, 2015 10:37 pm

Cut prize money for the lower sections and move it to the open. Problem solved!

Nick Thomas
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Re: Dramatic changes in congress performances

Post by Nick Thomas » Thu Oct 29, 2015 10:48 pm

It's the clumping of these performance swings which are hard to explain.

Alistair Campbell
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Re: Dramatic changes in congress performances

Post by Alistair Campbell » Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:01 pm

I think what is odd is the lack of middling performances - surely you would expect a lot of 2/5 or 2.5/5 or 3/5s in there?

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Jon Mahony
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Re: Dramatic changes in congress performances

Post by Jon Mahony » Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:45 pm

Jonathan Bryant wrote:
Jon Mahony wrote:
I myself went from winning the 4NCL Bolton minor to loosing to two sub 120 grades at Bradford the next weekend ....
Which is not the sort of thing that’s under-discussion here.
Just trying to make the point that people can have off days.

I agree with Carl, I don't really think it's fair to witch hunt a none forum member. the rumors about Steve have been going a while now, but I've always thought of it like this, could anyone be bothered going to weekend tournaments specifically to blunder in all 5 games? Even if you pick up a few big Prizes over the year it wouldn't justify the costs, I don't know about everyone else but on a staying over congress, I always do the best part of 200 quid. You'd also be having very little fun.

I was a little more suspicious of him maybe going with the intention of trying to win a congress, having a bad result in the first game, then in for a penny in for a pound, may aswell stop in the minors, oh look there goes a rook in R2, left a checkmate undefended in R3 etc...

Having had a bit of a chat with him more recently, I have to say I'm a lot less convinced than I was about it, the pint of Guinness he got me may be influencing me there ;) but he didn't really seem the sort.
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Jon Mahony
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Re: Dramatic changes in congress performances

Post by Jon Mahony » Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:49 pm

Adam Ashton wrote:Cut prize money for the lower sections and move it to the open. Problem solved!
Then the people that finance the congress wouldn't enter, and there wouldn't be an open :wink:
"When you see a good move, look for a better one!" - Lasker

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Dramatic changes in congress performances

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Fri Oct 30, 2015 12:15 am

Jon Mahony wrote:
Jonathan Bryant wrote:
Jon Mahony wrote:
I myself went from winning the 4NCL Bolton minor to loosing to two sub 120 grades at Bradford the next weekend ....
Which is not the sort of thing that’s under-discussion here.
Just trying to make the point that people can have off days.
Yes I know. The fact that people can have off days is exactly the thing that's not under discussion.

Off days - normal

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