ECF to scrap its grading system

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
J T Melsom
Posts: 553
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by J T Melsom » Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:37 pm

What a bizarre post. I've no idea how many of the key personel [sic] work at both the congresses cited, but I doubt it is more than a handful if more than one or two. This is the eighth season of January grades and my recollection is that there have been very few delays and that grades have come out in January. Such delays that might occur are more likely caused by allowing local graders a reasonable dead-line in which to provide results - I and most players are happy to afford local volunteers a degree of reasonableness.

John Upham
Posts: 4297
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:29 am
Location: Cove, Hampshire, England.
Contact:

Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by John Upham » Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:05 pm

J T Melsom wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:01 pm
from the London Dead. I wonder which membership category they are in?
I have a few of their albums with Jerry Garcia on lead guitar and vocals.
British Chess News : britishchessnews.com
Twitter: @BritishChess
Facebook: facebook.com/groups/britishchess :D

Ian Thompson
Posts: 2075
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:31 pm
Location: Awbridge, Hampshire

Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Ian Thompson » Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:59 pm

J T Melsom wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:37 pm
I've no idea how many of the key personel [sic] work at both the congresses cited, but I doubt it is more than a handful if more than one or two.
I'd be surprised if there are more than 2 key personnel - one to run the program and another to check nothing's obviously wrong with the results before the first person releases them.

Alex Holowczak
Posts: 8790
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 5:18 pm
Location: Oldbury, Worcestershire
Contact:

Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Alex Holowczak » Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:25 pm

J T Melsom wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:37 pm
I've no idea how many of the key personel [sic] work at both the congresses cited, but I doubt it is more than a handful if more than one or two.
It's one, but it's probably the one who is the most important cog in the wheel.
Ian Thompson wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:59 pm
I'd be surprised if there are more than 2 key personnel - one to run the program and another to check nothing's obviously wrong with the results before the first person releases them.
Three. One to run the program, one to check nothing's obviously wrong with the results, and one to put them on the grading website.

Andy McCulloch
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2008 8:57 pm

Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Andy McCulloch » Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:09 am

In December (25th) I noted that three of seven congresses I had taken part in had not appeared in the list of events submitted to the ECF Grading team. Only one of these has appeared in the following three and a half weeks.
One of those missing was fairly early in the season, end of September, while the other, which regularly competes for the title of' 'biggest weekend congress', took place in October.
Since congresses have to be reported within one month to be included in the Grand Prix, some people may be disappointed that these events will not count.
The lack of a sponsor means there is no cash prize, but a few people may be deprived of a trophy at the seasons end.

Brian Valentine
Posts: 420
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:30 pm

Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Brian Valentine » Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:59 am

Andy McCulloch wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:09 am
In December (25th) I noted that three of seven congresses I had taken part in had not appeared in the list of events submitted to the ECF Grading team. Only one of these has appeared in the following three and a half weeks.
One of those missing was fairly early in the season, end of September, while the other, which regularly competes for the title of' 'biggest weekend congress', took place in October.
Since congresses have to be reported within one month to be included in the Grand Prix, some people may be disappointed that these events will not count.
The lack of a sponsor means there is no cash prize, but a few people may be deprived of a trophy at the seasons end.
Andy,
Your results from Preston, Crewe, Scarborough and Northumberland are in the grading list in front of me. The events list is often a bit behind this time of year, just because of volume (for instance Scarborough was processed on 29th December). The Grand Prix is not put to bed till after we have settled on the grading list.

Brian Valentine
Manager of ECF grading

Alex Holowczak
Posts: 8790
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 5:18 pm
Location: Oldbury, Worcestershire
Contact:

Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:23 pm

Brian Valentine wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:59 am
The Grand Prix is not put to bed till after we have settled on the grading list.
I think his point is that the congress must be submitted within a month to count, and that deadline has been missed.

J T Melsom
Posts: 553
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by J T Melsom » Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:42 pm

Grades now published. Well done to all concerned. My grade is unchanged but a couple of club players have made a significant improvement and will probably be delighted to see this outcome in January rather than wait until July.

Stewart Reuben
Posts: 3942
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:04 pm
Location: writer

Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Stewart Reuben » Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:02 pm

Much earlier T Melsm '
However, I do wonder quite how many chess players are thought to be potential beneficiaries of this change.'

I believe everybody. That is partly because I believe more regular rating lists will result in more competitive chess being played. e.g. monthly lists perhaps 10% increase after two years. To increase the amount of chess must surely be an objective of the ECF to popularise the game.
of course I cannot be certain. But we have the example of the FIDE and USCF Ratings.

Imagine you are a child and are told you will get a grade in 6 month's time. That is a very long wait. Also the information is more pubicity-worthy to the media.

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 17984
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:49 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:02 pm
Imagine you are a child and are told you will get a grade in 6 month's time. That is a very long wait. Also the information is more pubicity-worthy to the media.
Aren't there two issues being conflated? The first being how long it takes to get an initial grade. The second being how frequently a grade, once established, randomly fluctuates.

The ECF's fix for rapidly improving junior players, namely to treat them as new players every list, has the side effect of making it more difficult to publish an initial grade.

Subject to arm twisting of Congress and League organisers to report results promptly, the ECF could in principle report a grade for new players as soon as they had played, say, five games. That isn't going to work if you have to throw the grades for established juniors up in the air every time you do some calculations.

NickFaulks
Posts: 4965
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by NickFaulks » Wed Jan 30, 2019 5:42 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:49 pm
Subject to arm twisting of Congress and League organisers to report results promptly, the ECF could in principle report a grade for new players as soon as they had played, say, five games. That isn't going to work if you have to throw the grades for established juniors up in the air every time you do some calculations.
Every word of that is to the point. The cover story for the introduction of monthly grades does not stand up.

Richard Bates
Posts: 2878
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:27 pm

Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Richard Bates » Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:12 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 5:42 pm
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:49 pm
Subject to arm twisting of Congress and League organisers to report results promptly, the ECF could in principle report a grade for new players as soon as they had played, say, five games. That isn't going to work if you have to throw the grades for established juniors up in the air every time you do some calculations.
Every word of that is to the point. The cover story for the introduction of monthly grades does not stand up.
I do think you’ve possibly overlooked the comments of Brian Valentine earlier that he thought the corollary of monthly grades was to move to an ELO system. So far almost all the discussion on this thread has been about the technicality of result reporting, and almost nothing about this fundamental change.

Personally I think it’s playing with fire. I think the vast majority of amateur players (largely ignore the views of professionals stronger players who generally claim to have zero interest in their ECF grade) fundamentally trust ECF grades and distrust ELO/FIDE ratings. Partly because of the oft talked about issues with the latter for English players, but also on a basic level - they understand ECF grades, what they mean, and obviously have a lengthy history tracking performances of most players over periods of several years to several decades. And, because much of English amateur chess is structured and reliant on them (from weekend section based tournaments, to grading restricted leagues) getting it wrong could result in very negative consequences for those implementing it.

I think finding a way to implement monthly grades within the existing system would be more likely to gain acceptance but not clear how easy that would be to do.

I accept some may counter that increasingly FIDE ratings are playing more of a role as the rating of choice (in tournaments, less so in leagues) so maybe i’m substantially overplaying the risks.

Alex Holowczak
Posts: 8790
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 5:18 pm
Location: Oldbury, Worcestershire
Contact:

Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Alex Holowczak » Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:13 pm

Richard Bates wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:12 pm
I think the vast majority of amateur players (largely ignore the views of professionals stronger players who generally claim to have zero interest in their ECF grade) fundamentally trust ECF grades and distrust ELO/FIDE ratings.
The reason usually quoted is that they "fundamentally distrust" the FIDE ratings because not all of their games count, because some of their tournaments were not FIDE rated. A National Elo rating list wouldn't have that problem, because the same games that go into calculating their current grade would go into their Elo rating. So that argument doesn't fly.

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 17984
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:57 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:13 pm
A National Elo rating list wouldn't have that problem, because the same games that go into calculating their current grade would go into their Elo rating.
I think you would have to prove that point by parallel running. If a national Elo did as little as the International Elo does about revaluing less active improving player, usually juniors, it would run into the same distortion of rankings as the International version.

Richard Bates
Posts: 2878
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:27 pm

Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Richard Bates » Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:06 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:13 pm
Richard Bates wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:12 pm
I think the vast majority of amateur players (largely ignore the views of professionals stronger players who generally claim to have zero interest in their ECF grade) fundamentally trust ECF grades and distrust ELO/FIDE ratings.
The reason usually quoted is that they "fundamentally distrust" the FIDE ratings because not all of their games count, because some of their tournaments were not FIDE rated. A National Elo rating list wouldn't have that problem, because the same games that go into calculating their current grade would go into their Elo rating. So that argument doesn't fly.
I would say it is simplistic to state that problems with FIDE/ELO rating are simply explained by not all games counting towards them. It is the excuse usually given by its defenders but that doesn’t mean it’s true, or at least isn’t the only issue. Also, regardless of that, people are naturally suspicious of things they don’t understand and aren’t what they are used to. And I would just say that the ECF should be prepared for a big negative response as a result, particularly if enough work hasn’t been done in preparing players for the change. And I think they will have to come up with a better solution to the “junior problem” than FIDE have managed.

Post Reply