ECF to scrap its grading system

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

Post by David Clayton » Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:26 pm

Andy McCulloch wrote:
Tue Dec 25, 2018 12:44 am
....The Scottish elo system has been updated on a weekly basis for some years, and congress results are posted within a day or two, often before entrants get home, and graded within a fortnight at most..
My local Glasgow League results are processed very rapidly as well, often on the league website within hours of matches being completed.....
I recall the arbiter at one Scottish congress I was at saying "Right, that's the grading done and the live grades are on-line and available on the internet". That was before we had finished packing all the chess sets away!!

Very impressive.

Paul McKeown
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Paul McKeown » Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:25 pm

Julie Denning wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:20 pm
The old ECF League program works fine for me, but it means I'm having to maintain a Windows XP computer running just for grading, and this has caused me some problems
Julie, you can ask Windows 10 to run a program as if it were running in a Windows XP environment.

See the following page for some advice on this: https://www.windowscentral.com/how-make ... windows-10

I hope this helps.

Paul McKeown
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Paul McKeown » Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:56 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 6:55 pm
I always thought it a pity that UKCC has traditionally refused to send games for ECF grading. I hope the new management will come on board.
Richmond Juniors grades all games in its UKCC qualifiers, Last Chance Saloons and Megafinals from U9 up. At considerable cost to Richmond Juniors, it must be said. Indeed, we grade just about every game we organise, and FIDE rate a considerable portion of them, besides. We see it as a service to our juniors, their parents (and adults that take part in our age unrestricted events). A number of other junior organisers do the same.

The UKCC under Sarah and Alex grades its Gigafinals and its Terafinals, Challengers and Plates, too.

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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Paul McKeown » Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:00 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 6:38 pm
But obviously whatever is planned will be explained in exquisite detail by ECF in advance and discussed at the appropriate meeting.
Satisfyingly mordant.

Paul McKeown
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Paul McKeown » Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:07 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:58 pm
Have you considered teaching the grading system how to read pgn files? It would only have to read the header and those submitting results would only have to create dummy games. The point is that software that can create pgn files is in wide use, so no need to reinvent wheels of file formats.
This might seem a good idea, but
  • how do you get the ECF Grading Id into a pgn?
  • how do you get gender into a pgn?
  • how do you get dob into a pgn?
  • how do you get the game result into a pgn, when the grading system recognises not only 1 - 0, 0 - 1, ½ - ½, but also +/-, -/+, -/- and also ½ - 0, 0 - ½ and 0 -0?

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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:25 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:07 pm
This might seem a good idea, but
  • how do you get the ECF Grading Id into a pgn?
  • how do you get gender into a pgn?
  • how do you get dob into a pgn?
  • how do you get the game result into a pgn, when the grading system recognises not only 1 - 0, 0 - 1, ½ - ½, but also +/-, -/+, -/- and also ½ - 0, 0 - ½ and 0 -0?
I would have thought only the first point is of relevance.

Points (2) and (3) are only relevant for the creation of records for new players and point (4) would just be that such results are excluded anyway. You work with the presumption that the static data is already recorded.

Two solutions to point (1)

You put the grading code in as part of the name.
or
You create new tags called "[grading code white]" and "[grading code black]".

It was suggested earlier in the thread by those familiar with the ECF LMS that it already caters for ad hoc game input.

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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Paul McKeown » Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:30 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 6:34 pm
London is one pocket where it still happens, but most of the rest of the country moved on. In fact, increments are increasingly used. But you shouldn't confuse London's position on this issue with that of the rest of England.
And one shouldn't confuse slowly ever shrinking dinosaurs such as the London League, with the totality of league chess in London. Fast growing, popular new(ish) leagues, such as the Central London League, or the Summer Chess League exclusively use increments. Of course going to a London League AGM is liable to change things is liable to induce extreme boredom and intense frustration, but I would be surprised if adjournments survive another decade in the LL.

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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Paul McKeown » Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:38 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:25 pm

Point (4) would just be that such results are excluded anyway.
You would be wrong in that.

If I may quote the User Guide for the File Checker:
(b) Not fatal. You will get a Warning if you supply an eccentric game result like “15” (win for Pin 1, draw for Pin 2) [... snip ...] These are not errors, and your file will not fail. The eccentric results will actually be graded at face value (draw = oppgrade, win = oppgrade + 50).
Regarding static data, I do agree that the ECF could well (and perhaps should) provide a secure interface to identify players. In that case, one would enter the Grading Id as name for each players in Chessbase or other pgn editing software. A similar system could be created for generating unique tournament codes, too.

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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:39 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:30 pm
but I would be surprised if adjournments survive another decade in the LL.
The problem perhaps is that if FIDE and arbiters attempt to outlaw quick play finishes or make them unpalatable by reducing them to complete clock bashing, that the die hard advocates of adjudication and adjournments will be able to say "told you so" and refuse to adopt any format for completing a game on the night.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Michael Farthing » Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:19 am

Paul McKeown wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:25 pm
Julie Denning wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:20 pm
The old ECF League program works fine for me, but it means I'm having to maintain a Windows XP computer running just for grading, and this has caused me some problems
Julie, you can ask Windows 10 to run a program as if it were running in a Windows XP environment.

See the following page for some advice on this: https://www.windowscentral.com/how-make ... windows-10

I hope this helps.
It might be 16-bit based, Paul, in which case you can't.

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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Alex Holowczak » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:06 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:39 pm
Paul McKeown wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:30 pm
but I would be surprised if adjournments survive another decade in the LL.
The problem perhaps is that if FIDE and arbiters attempt to outlaw quick play finishes or make them unpalatable by reducing them to complete clock bashing, that the die hard advocates of adjudication and adjournments will be able to say "told you so" and refuse to adopt any format for completing a game on the night.
In which case, given that Paul has now enlightened me on the various other league chess offerings in London, sensible people will migrate to the leagues that use increments leaving the London League to wither, won't they?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:40 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:06 pm
In which case, given that Paul has now enlightened me on the various other league chess offerings in London, sensible people will migrate to the leagues that use increments leaving the London League to wither, won't they?
Outside of London, there isn't the choice. But many of these leagues abolished adjudication and adjournment at least a decade ago. It's not too big a leap to move from all moves in 90 minutes or similar to 80 minutes with 10 second increments, but to do so requires digital clocks always to be available.

A fall back position that you potentially determine the game by "fastest hand" isn't acceptable. We had that debate over forty years ago when "play to a finish" rules first started to be adopted. Hence 10.2 and its various predecessors and successors.

Julie Denning
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Julie Denning » Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:00 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:25 pm
Julie Denning wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:20 pm
The old ECF League program works fine for me, but it means I'm having to maintain a Windows XP computer running just for grading, and this has caused me some problems
Julie, you can ask Windows 10 to run a program as if it were running in a Windows XP environment.

See the following page for some advice on this: https://www.windowscentral.com/how-make ... windows-10

I hope this helps.
Paul,
Thanks for the suggestion, but it doesn't work. When I was using Windows 7 I had the enhanced version for which there was a Microsoft freebie add on that created a virtual drive in which I could run an XP environment. I think the pro version of Windows 10 has something similar, but a bit more complex, but I only have the basic version of 10. I tried an application called Virtual Box. It seemed to work at first, but then every time the computer installed an update, it seemed to fail. I'm resigned to there not being a solution other than running an old XP computer. Mine had just about given up the ghost, but I was given another one for free that someone else was throwing out, so I'm OK at the moment.

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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Alex Holowczak » Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:50 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:40 pm
Alex Holowczak wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:06 pm
In which case, given that Paul has now enlightened me on the various other league chess offerings in London, sensible people will migrate to the leagues that use increments leaving the London League to wither, won't they?
Outside of London, there isn't the choice. But many of these leagues abolished adjudication and adjournment at least a decade ago. It's not too big a leap to move from all moves in 90 minutes or similar to 80 minutes with 10 second increments, but to do so requires digital clocks always to be available.

A fall back position that you potentially determine the game by "fastest hand" isn't acceptable. We had that debate over forty years ago when "play to a finish" rules first started to be adopted. Hence 10.2 and its various predecessors and successors.
If it is so unpalatable that the result is clubs are forced to modernise and buy digital clocks, then great.

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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by J T Melsom » Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:07 pm

Alex , I'm aged somewhere between you and Roger so less resistant to change, but also more prepared to respect some of the older ways of doing things. As you will be aware from some of your other interests sometimes the race to modernise to capture new demographic does threaten the old stalwarts. My club was the first in the county to purchase DGTs and when introducing them into league play I had trialled them before hand in the club, to increase familiarity and try and anticipate problems that might arise, the club being large enough to be a reasonable sample of players. This was only swapping the form of clock, and persisting with quickplay finishes, but even now people get confused about the time left (though it is a small number). I was defeated in a proposal to test increments in the internal club event, so didn't pursue at county level. It does represent quite a change for people.

And I know that if you were starting a club from scratch you would need clocks, but I wouldn't underplay the capital outlay for small clubs of new equipment. Would opposing captains really want to travel with clocks?

Personally I would be relaxed about the changes, but I can understand the resistance that others might have.

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