Dramatic changes in congress performances

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Stewart Reuben
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Re: Dramatic changes in congress performances

Post by Stewart Reuben » Fri Nov 13, 2015 7:22 pm

The US has a most complex system re sandbaggers.
A player is given a minimum rating below which it cannot go. That distorts the rating system in an effort to prevent sandbagging. e.g. my FIDE Rating has dropped genuinly from a high of 2270 to 2050.
The rule should be, if you have won a rating retricted tournament or a 'high' prize in one, you are not allowed to play at that rating restriction or lower for two years. A different time period could be chosen. The ECF could encourage such a rule. Of course the USCF has a bigger problem because the prizes are more substantial.

Harry you aren't giving enough information
Minor 37 What if the numbers the previous year were Minor 50, Major 40, Open 30.
Major 48
Open 34
That would show no decrease in the number of entrants this year and could be virtually the same people.

Mick Norris
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Re: Dramatic changes in congress performances

Post by Mick Norris » Fri Nov 13, 2015 10:16 pm

Barry Sandercock wrote:He didn't win a prize.( As per Bolton Rapid play results.)
Where are the results?
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Barry Sandercock
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Re: Dramatic changes in congress performances

Post by Barry Sandercock » Sat Nov 14, 2015 8:24 am

Bolton Chess Club Rapid play. The only trouble is, they are 2012 results !!

Barry Sandercock
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Re: Dramatic changes in congress performances

Post by Barry Sandercock » Sat Nov 14, 2015 6:45 pm

\The only result I can find for last Sunday's Bolton Rapid play is that Ameet Ghasi won the Open with 6/6, and that's on Twitter.

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Lee Bullock
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Re: Dramatic changes in congress performances

Post by Lee Bullock » Mon Nov 16, 2015 1:24 am

To get back to the subject on grading performance. I feel I can add something.

For everyones information many sandbaggers dont do it for the money. Its being a big fish in a small sea complex. Its winning a tournament. Getting the congratulations from people. Getting a trophy. Getting the a "well done" on social media etc from lots of friends.

I have been complaining and talking to people about Stephen Crockett for over 4 years. This mixed results of good tournaments and bad tournaments has been going on for 4 years. I would say easily over 90% of the time he gets a score above 3.5 or below 2 from a weekend congress. Not just getting scores below 2 but 0s in many events. I will claim now although I have not checked everyones ecf page that he has the most 0s in the country over the past 4 years. And he also has won the most tournaments in the country by a mile! Over 50 now in nearly 5 years.

He was playing in opens 5 years ago, getting draws and wins v players over 170 ecf! including a win v Combie 171. Draw v Surtees 190+.
He had a grade of 139 back then. Since then he has improved loads but yet his grade has gone down below 120 on 4 occasions. As low as 107 one season. A rapid of 96 one season. 97 another.

To get to this low rapid he lossed in my opinion games on purpose. He lossed 26 games in 27! With 1 draw. Me and a friend worked out the odds of this happening at 1 Billion to one. I dont understand the following formula but my friend Matt Wilson made this.

let’s assume the probability of a win is 0.4, loss 0.4 and draw 0.2.
I think the calculation is:- 1/ ((27!/26! *1!) (.4)^26 *.6 + .4^27)
Answer = greater than 1 in a billion.

This is nearly 100 times more unlikely than winning the lottery which is around 14 million to 1.
This is just 1 run! Not even counting this kind of thing going on over a 4 year period.
I know of people who have written to the ECF about this person. With no reply. Steve is one of the nicest guys you will meet on the circuit. But this has just prolonged something being done about it. People meet Steve and think what a lovely guy. he could never do such a thing. But im afraid this is a cover. I have always told Steve to stop it. Start trying in every event. You could be a really good player. Easily 160 level. But he continues to get 0s in minors/inters then goes and wins a minor/Inter shortly after.

Anyway I dont want t o go on to long. All I want is for this to be stopped by the ECF. So people can enjoy their Chess and not have it ruined by someone who is deliberately lowering there grade to win many tournaments.

My ideas are this to have it stopped.

1. If you win more than 2 events at one level you can no longer play in this section again that season. Problem with this though is not all events run the same sections. Maybe if you win 3 events at u120 level you can no longer play in anything below 130/135. for example.

2. We bring in a rating floor like they have in the US. I think Stewart Reuben mentioned this. This would immediately stop people from entering low sections shortly after they have been a much higher rating. Giving at least 2 years before they can play in that section again.

3. If you win an event 1 year the next year you have to play up in the next section but get a 50% discount on the entry fee. This way rewarding those who did well the previous year and hopefully encouraging them to play again. Maybe even giving them free entry.

I think the first 2 would solve the problem. The problem is how easy would it be implemented? I know of people who now say they refuse to even shake Steves hand and this has happened on a few occasions to Steve.

Also in case people did not know Steve has won the u120 GP 3 times! and u140 once GP the past 4 seasons! He is way to good for these sections and something has to be done for the most extreme case of sandbagging and high/low results average in the UK.

I should also add Steve buys himself a trophy for every tournament he wins and gets it engraved for himself! Just for everyone to ponder that!
2013/2014 and 16/17 U140 Grand Prix Winner! ;)

2015 and 2016 Chess character of the year :)

Its not a failure to lose. Its a failure when you dont try and win.

Clive Blackburn

Re: Dramatic changes in congress performances

Post by Clive Blackburn » Mon Nov 16, 2015 8:44 am

Lee Bullock wrote: I have been complaining and talking to people about Stephen Crockett for over 4 years.
Why? :?

We all have good tournaments and bad ones; last year, Stephen Crockett played 109 standard games and 87 rapid games, which is a great many more than most of us. It is hardly surprising that he has some very bad results in there.

I have played him several times and he is a good player but I have no reason to suspect that he deliberately loses games as you suggest.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Dramatic changes in congress performances

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Nov 16, 2015 9:02 am

Clive Blackburn wrote: I have played him several times and he is a good player
At least some of his results suggest that on occasions, he's an appallingly bad player.

Try to find his next move as Black from this position. It's from an e2e4 tournament so would have had increments.

Solution below (his opponent's grade is usually in the 130s)


Clive Blackburn

Re: Dramatic changes in congress performances

Post by Clive Blackburn » Mon Nov 16, 2015 9:46 am

Roger de Coverly wrote: At least some of his results suggest that on occasions, he's an appallingly bad player.
Yes Roger, that is a striking example. I would not normally have expected to see that move from a 130'ish player, but as I said above we all have good and bad tournaments.

Barry Sandercock
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Re: Dramatic changes in congress performances

Post by Barry Sandercock » Mon Nov 16, 2015 10:45 am

Clive Blackburn wrote: We all have good and bad tournaments.

Yes, but do we have them that good and that bad continually ?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Dramatic changes in congress performances

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Nov 16, 2015 11:39 am

Barry Sandercock wrote: Yes, but do we have them that good and that bad continually ?
It's amazing how much bad luck can be packed into a single tournament. The game above was round 2, this is what had happened in round 1.



A computer engine suggests that provided you spot the tactical problem on f2 and threaten to take a pawn with check by 13. Qe2, then White has a small advantage.

J T Melsom
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Re: Dramatic changes in congress performances

Post by J T Melsom » Mon Nov 16, 2015 2:06 pm

I wasn't too concerned about the details of this alleged case, until I noticed that the individual identified above had also taken part in grading limited team events. This suggests to me that in the absence of firm action being taken on high, some other chess administrators/club officials are prepared if not to collude then turn a blind eye to what is going on. That is perhaps more troubling than the conduct of the individual.

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Dramatic changes in congress performances

Post by MartinCarpenter » Mon Nov 16, 2015 2:18 pm

Not so very much they can do though. Of course , if he's limiting his grade in order to play in grade limited events in congresses he might well notably under perform in the teams stuff.

Then its down to his team mates to sort it out ;)

J T Melsom
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Re: Dramatic changes in congress performances

Post by J T Melsom » Mon Nov 16, 2015 2:29 pm

I agree with much of that, and some club members can just be erratic, but I'd like to feel most club captains might at least pause for thought before selecting a player with this sort of record.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Dramatic changes in congress performances

Post by Stewart Reuben » Mon Nov 16, 2015 5:39 pm

Many years ago CH O'D Alexander was discussing this matter in one of the magazines. Somebody wrote in and commented that he deliberately kept his results poor in team events and thus grade low. They didn't matter as there was no prize money. The letter made no effort to conceal his identity.
This seems to be a different case. If he is sandbagging, then he does it from round 1 for a whole event, instead of starting out intending to win and, only when doing badly, throwing games.

Personally, I find my grade can vary by 50 points higher or lower in the space of a couple of moves.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: Dramatic changes in congress performances

Post by Michael Farthing » Mon Nov 16, 2015 5:48 pm

If this is all a deliberate plan one must admire his commitment to the endeavour. A whole weekend, the sole object of which is to throw away five games! What dedication! [Or maybe he's in need of being sectioned..?]

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