ECF to scrap its grading system

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

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:22 pm

Brian Valentine wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:23 pm
I am a rule taker in this situation. My only goal is to deliver that which the Board instructs, so many queries are above my pay grade to respond.
If the Manager of Grading isn't sponsoring and managing the change, then who is? Someone wrote the questionable stuff that went into the newsletter.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Alex Holowczak » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:35 pm

Julie Denning wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:20 pm
However, I have been persuaded on the basis that it should be a good move for juniors and be more in line with many other national grading systems.
It would indeed bring it into line with many national grading systems. Many countries are scrapping their national systems in favour of just FIDE-rating everything, but of course that's not possible with our chess culture. But there are some chess spheres where the ratings update live. But they're either places which are vastly different from England culturally, like Wales or Yorkshire; or areas renowned for their high speed and efficiency, like correspondence chess.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:44 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:35 pm
But they're either places which are vastly different from England culturally, like Wales or Yorkshire
As far as I am aware, both Yorkshire and Wales retained the concept of an annual list and thus an annual "official" grade or rating. The continuous rating or grade was a "story so far", published only for information.

What exactly are the ECF Directors proposing? Is it a continuous two grade system like Wales, Yorkshire or Scotland or a twelve times a year system such as FIDE. They also have to know their solution to the rapidly improving players problem. FIDE's k=40 method works up to fashion for very active players, but introduces instability and is not going to work that well for less frequent participants in rated chess. Other national Elo systems have found it necessary to introduce various ad hoc hacks, usually on the lines of being able to treat rapidly improving players as new players by discarding previous results.

NickFaulks
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by NickFaulks » Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:20 pm

Julie Denning wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:20 pm
However, I have been persuaded on the basis that it should be a good move for juniors
This really is the tail wagging the dog. First you decide which system works best for the main and largely homogeneous population, then you consider which tweaks are required for groups which need separate treatment.

Julie Denning
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Julie Denning » Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:33 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:20 pm
Julie Denning wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:20 pm
However, I have been persuaded on the basis that it should be a good move for juniors
This really is the tail wagging the dog. First you decide which system works best for the main and largely homogeneous population, then you consider which tweaks are required for groups which need separate treatment.
Nick, I disagree. I'm persuaded it would be advantageous for at least some players. I haven't been persuaded it would be disadvantageous for anyone (other than local graders!). I also anticipate that, as at present, many leagues or other events will specify a particular list that will be used throughout the playing season, so won't really be affected.

(Edit: but if anyone thinks it would be disadvantageous, please let me know, as suggested in my original post.)

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:40 pm

Julie Denning wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:33 pm
I also anticipate that, as at present, many leagues or other events will specify a particular list that will be used throughout the playing season, so won't really be affected.
If you look at the 4NCL experience, the rating lists used for board orders are changed with every monthly publication of the FIDE list. It's only five weekends a year, so not so disruptive. Also what rating change you get for your result is different every rating list.

A monthly system would also be conditional on a satisfactory solution being found for rapidly improving but less active players.

Personally I think that a formal proposition to adopt whatever system is being proposed should go for approval to Council. If the Board don't actually know what they want to do other than in vague terms, they should sit on their hands until they, or a group of experts, have figured it out.

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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by John Upham » Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:02 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:23 am
what is the use of Council
An excellent question
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Alan Walton
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Alan Walton » Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:55 pm

This thread always reminds me that the Luddites are in good form; anything resembling change or modernisation gets shot down

Nick Grey
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Nick Grey » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:13 pm

I believe it is pointless to move to monthly lists. Why? What purpose? Perhaps volunteers will un-volunteer.
Imagine league football with say 3 lists in a season. Promotion & relegation. Trophy presentation. What is the point.

Will it give us more for our annual fee?
A move back to annual will be fine by me. Even bi-annual.

I'm very clear where I rank within my club, & most captains are too.
If you are playing well you will be asked to play for a higher team in your club, county, school.

If juniors want more frequent lists they ought to be given additional maths or computer input tasks. Why not involve them? There is a lot of excellent things they do. Preparation, warming-up, or just chilling with their friends.

Many players are too wrapped up in grading position relevant to others. Some of them old enough to know better.

For the stronger players their ECF is meaningless but their monthly FIDE may mean a more stressful time in competition.

Nick Grey
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Nick Grey » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:17 pm

I'm for change if it's good. I think the public transport system is far worse than 50 years ago.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Dec 08, 2018 12:41 am

Alan Walton wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:55 pm
anything resembling change or modernisation gets shot down
As it should if it wrecks a functioning system.

Actually you could test run an Elo theory system without changing any reporting.

Go back to 30th June 2015 or 30th June 2016, Perform a "dirty" conversion on all existing ECF grades. By that I mean just use a conversion formula regardless or even import the international ratings for those who have them. Run everything forward using the proposed methodology. Particularly the approach to be used for juniors and new players has to be defined and possibly experimented with. Congresses already report monthly, leagues six monthly, so there's material to compute hypothetical monthly ratings. The FIDE system could cope with the 4NCL reporting in bulk at the end of the year, so it's not a show stopper for leagues to report less frequently. You then have rankings as of 30th June 2018. Are they better or worse than the rankings implicit in the current system and how do the ratings compare to the parallel international ones? Don't know is the answer to that, but if you don't do it, you don't find out.

Brian Valentine
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Brian Valentine » Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:36 am

I'm a bit shocked, Roger, that you think you are ahead of the curve on this one.

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JustinHorton
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by JustinHorton » Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:37 am

I don't have much direct interest in this, but on general principle I am very much in favour of ECF systems and policies being designed to favour newer rather than older players.
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Kevin Thurlow
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sat Dec 08, 2018 6:36 pm

I don't really care one way or the other. I do wonder who would use monthly grades.

Leagues frequently have board order restrictions (e.g. 10 point difference treating the higher-graded player as "better"), or grading restrictions, e.g. Surrey has an under 145 division. Most captains and organizers are probably happy with two lists a year, but would they be happy with grades changing every month? If you are lucky enough to have 3 players graded 144 one month, you have a great team in the U-145, if they then go to 146, you might not be able to field a team. Leagues would probably just use the grade at the start of the season.

I usually act as arbiter at Thanet Tournament in August and there's always a few players who have entered well in advance, who suddenly get promoted to a higher section as their new grade is too high for the original section. Doubtless tournaments early in the calendar year have the same problem. I can foresee tournaments deciding just to use the start of season grades, unless the organizers are happy to trawl through the grades of everyone a couple of days before the event. Will players near the borderline delay entry until they see a new list?

I can see the point of juniors having frequent recalculations of grade, but is it wise to change the system just to suit players who are generally only active for 5 - 10 years? Of course, new arrivals to the country would benefit from having frequent recalculations of grade.

As I say, I don't care, but I think the potential problems should be made clear. Maybe nobody thinks these are problems.

Nick Grey
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Re: ECF to scrap its grading system

Post by Nick Grey » Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:02 pm

I'll be more confident if ECF surveyed it's members on this matter & published the results. before making any decision.
What has the new incumbent got to say about this?

To put this into context with something else - Brexit - a vote close but clear majority - Ok the PM says. Not what I thought was right for the country I resign. Let the rest of you sort it out. The divorce bill will go up & up.

I'm still happy going back to annual - because everything else is just statistics. You have good runs, bad runs, or in between.

If juniors want more frequent lists - why not - just charge them more.

The education system uses measurements to show how they are doing. But the key results are not annual for individuals.

You can't always get what you want...(with apologies to Keith & Mick).

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