ECF to scrap its grading system

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
NickFaulks
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by NickFaulks » Sat Dec 22, 2018 11:28 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Sat Dec 22, 2018 10:50 pm
So, for example, the World Rapidplay Championship will be FIDE-rated on 1st January, but the World Blitz Championship will be FIDE-rated on 1st February.
As a matter of fact, you may see the World Blitz rated in the January list, since FIDE allows its own events an exemption from the three day rule. On one occasion this did have some controversial implications at the top of the list.

Angus French
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Angus French » Sun Dec 23, 2018 12:22 am

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Sat Dec 22, 2018 10:50 pm
The deadline for July (e.g.) is normally about 15th July. Leagues are normally finished in the middle of May, so a league grader has maybe 6 weeks to get the results in. I suspect there's a heavy element of graders working to a deadline, and if the deadline was tighter (as it is in January), they'd get the results in sooner. But if the deadline is 15th July, why do the grading on 29th May?...
Two of the three leagues in which my main club plays have matches in June.

But it's the January grading list for which the deadlines are obviously tightest and, as recent consultation with results officers carried by Brian Valentine discovered, it wasn't really feasible to attempt to speed things up. You don't know about this, Alex?

In any case, the issue remains: what sort of turnaround would be expected for monthly grading? And if it's something faster than is currently the case, I think it would be a good idea to consult with the people who do the work.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Dec 23, 2018 12:26 am

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Sat Dec 22, 2018 10:50 pm
As a matter of fact, you may see the World Blitz rated in the January list
Hastings straddles the year end, so it's an issue for the ECF.

I think they've amended the process in recent years so that the "Christmas" event taking place over the Friday, Saturday, Sunday of 28th, 29th and 30th is included in the second half of 2018, whilst the New Year event and the Weekender taking place on Monday-Friday 31st to 4th and Friday to Sunday 4th to 6th are the first events of 2019. The Masters is also 2019.
Last edited by Roger de Coverly on Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Dec 23, 2018 12:32 am

Angus French wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 12:22 am
In any case, the issue remains: what sort of turnaround would be expected for monthly grading?
I would have thought a prerequisite was that results are reported in as near real time as can be managed and that downloads from the results collection system to the grading system are next to instantaneous.

Perhaps they had a venue wi-fi, but I can recall at least one league match where the home team were using the local League management system as an electronic match card. Running it like that, which is similar to what the 4NCL do, means you can report results as they happen.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sun Dec 23, 2018 12:54 am

" It's hard to get monthly updates when the tournament organizer doesn't know what month a game was played in."

It seems that it might soon be a requirement to give the date the game was played. That is actually quite difficult for internal club championships etc. At the end of the two grading periods, I look at the crosstable then ask players why A has beaten B, but B hasn't played A, although C has lost to A. That's almost tolerable twice a year, but not 9 times a year (we close June, July, August). If they can't get that right, you begin to lose hope.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:02 am

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 12:54 am
It seems that it might soon be a requirement to give the date the game was played.
The modernisation would be that instead or as well as marking up the result on a sheet of paper, they also have to login to the club website to report the results. Failing that, they are required to report the result by email, text message, phone call or postcard to someone competent to process it. The latter two at least would have been how a system might have to have been structured 25 years ago. County level tournaments could never work on the sheet of paper method.

Nick Grey
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Nick Grey » Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:12 am

The LMS is principally for a team result in a league & not necessarily the individuals results though that is what we are focussing on for this change.
The issue is for part completion & need an end date. So slipping a month or two is not an issue. Adjournments or adjudications. Corrections of errors or appeals.
Except that some who do the grading inputs may not be able to do the grading inputs at certain months.
Personally when I was doing the task it was 10 days a year. That was annual leave from work. Five for one list, five for the other. I also had other chess admin too.
Of course if the grading director had lots of volunteers each month it may work.
The task is not gripping it is boring input unless you have a magic button that you can press.

As for Hastings the system has coped for every year. Unfortunately it also coincides with my work each year.

I cannot see a particular reason why for the average player you want monthly grades. When I do not play month in month out on fide I can accept that. I find it annoying if a particular fide game is not graded so as long as the new ECF system grades every game that is fine by me.

I'm happy with 3 digits not four. But if four so bit it. I'm happy with 2 digits like 6A, 7B & a range.

It is really up to the individual leagues & competitions how they want to structure their competitions.

I think that the ECF will need to convince Council if this is going cost more or less.

Nick Grey
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Nick Grey » Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:16 am

I always put the match date into the grading system. It was a useful control for rjh & on these matters I miss his comments. Merry Christmas all.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:28 am

Nick Grey wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:12 am
Personally when I was doing the task it was 10 days a year. That was annual leave from work. Five for one list, five for the other. I also had other chess admin too.
The effective way of reporting of league results is that club match captains or at a pinch club secretaries should do the work. So it's ten minutes or less inputting results. You shouldn't have to key in names as they should be available as a "library" of eligible players.

I suppose there are computer phobic organisers out there who cannot see beyond inscribing the match result onto a sheet of paper or postcard, applying a stamp and expecting the postman to deliver.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:21 am

Angus French wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 12:22 am
Alex Holowczak wrote:
Sat Dec 22, 2018 10:50 pm
The deadline for July (e.g.) is normally about 15th July. Leagues are normally finished in the middle of May, so a league grader has maybe 6 weeks to get the results in. I suspect there's a heavy element of graders working to a deadline, and if the deadline was tighter (as it is in January), they'd get the results in sooner. But if the deadline is 15th July, why do the grading on 29th May?...
Two of the three leagues in which my main club plays have matches in June.

But it's the January grading list for which the deadlines are obviously tightest and, as recent consultation with results officers carried by Brian Valentine discovered, it wasn't really feasible to attempt to speed things up. You don't know about this, Alex?

In any case, the issue remains: what sort of turnaround would be expected for monthly grading? And if it's something faster than is currently the case, I think it would be a good idea to consult with the people who do the work.
I don't know why you keep mentioning that you think consulting with people would be a good idea. You say this repeatedly on just about everything, so I think the world understands that's what you want at this point. :wink: But perhaps more importantly, the relevant Board member gave you that undertaking. What more do you want at this stage?

I did know about the issue of it not being thought feasible to speed things up in January. I actually disagree with the respondents to that in principle, and think that if there was a will for people to get their January submissions in earlier, there'd be a way. I think the issue was that there was no will, and I can understand that; does it matter if the January list comes out on 21st January or 31st January? A monthly list would require a change of approach for everyone, so it'd be a new world completely. For example, it's very rare these days that an English tournament registered for FIDE-rating doesn't get FIDE-rated in the monthly list, even if it ends on the 28th of a 31-day month. There's a will to get the results in, so organisers manage it.

The idea of the LMS creation was that it'd be seamless to submit a grading file whenever you wanted, including in December, but I admit that isn't there yet. I suppose it's one of these things where the rest of the world seems to manage just fine, but English chess seems to think is a huge burden and impossible to achieve.

Nick Grey
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Nick Grey » Sun Dec 23, 2018 12:43 pm

I think the issue is about those that report the results & consult with them.
Some match captains on the night take 2 weeks to input. It may well be because the opposition captain has not got the correct player details.
So when disputes happen they may not have been passed to the controller to deal with.
Most leagues have set up a structure of who does what. But that is also around current ways of dealing with this topic.
It will be an interesting meeting as the idea is fine but some 3 years later not there yet.

When Football Association finally had one LMS it was brilliant - you got the automatic fines for playing unregistered players, not dealing with discipline on time & a whole lot of banned players & clubs for 3,6 months, 1 year & more. It was included as part of the annual club registration with the governing body.

So on implementation the main issue to me seems to be compulsory individual membership when about half of chess is played under a club or team chess system.

When whatever system we have is finalised it will be good for members to be able to challenge results each month as they currently can under 6 month listings. As far as many are concerned the bulk of their annual fee is for grading.

I love the blue sky thinking but ECF are only slightly above such a Government system as implementing Universal Credit.

English quirks not limited to chess. My Council tax precept is going to go up because the Mayor is putting a few more police on the front line. Ignoring the 1000s taken out of the front line over the years.

Michael Flatt
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Michael Flatt » Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:11 pm

The proposal for monthly ECF grading is raised in the Membership Director's report (item 9a):
1. Budget is unknown,
2. Timescale for implementation is tight (to be ready for 2019-2020 season),
3. Technical approach (Clarke or Elo) is unspecified,
4. A potential partner is UK Chess Challenge (who apparently are independently exploring a system of their own),
5. In-house or contracted out solution are options to be explored,

Are there plans to involve ECF Council in the decision making process?

References
1. ECF Board Minutes (Nov 2018): https://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-cont ... inutes.pdf

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:21 pm

Nick Grey wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 12:43 pm

Some match captains on the night take 2 weeks to input. It may well be because the opposition captain has not got the correct player details.
Most League management systems require that players are selected from a drop down club list, so an unreadable scribble on the match card should not be an issue. Neither is "membership" an issue, it's compulsory registration that's needed as in associating a name with a club. If the venue cam be connected to the internet, the match card can be exchanged and filled in online.

Pragmatically what the ECF should do if it's desperate to introduce an Elo based monthly system is to tell leagues to carry on as now and that their half year results will go in the 1st August and 1st February lists if they are unable to get their act together either to submit in time for the 1st July or 1st January lists or submit monthly results regardless. Congresses are already capable of meeting FIDE deadlines, so there would only be issues for those Congresses not using FIDE compatible methods of running their tournaments.
Last edited by Roger de Coverly on Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:26 pm

Nick Grey wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 12:43 pm
As far as many are concerned the bulk of their annual fee is for grading.
The ECF doesn't spend its budget on grading, rather it uses grading as a means of demanding money from otherwise autonomous local organisations or to be more accurate, those who participate in their events.

Ian Thompson
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Ian Thompson » Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:45 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:21 pm
Nick Grey wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 12:43 pm

Some match captains on the night take 2 weeks to input. It may well be because the opposition captain has not got the correct player details.
Most League management systems require that players are selected from a drop down club list, so an unreadable scribble on the match card should not be an issue.
It's an issue if the player isn't on the drop-down list. Whilst that may result in a forfeit for the match result, the actual game played is still likely to count for grading.

It's also an issue if the unreadable scribble might be more than one person on the drop-down list.

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