ECF Grading Proposals

General discussions about grading.
Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF Grading Proposals

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:43 pm

Ian Thompson wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:37 pm
You could recalculate all ratings going as far back as you like, but only publish the current month's ratings, so there is never any change to historical published ratings.
That gives another anomaly. A rating could change even though no extra games had been played. That might still be a better solution than rewriting the published historic record. The other problem is validation, if the ratings recorded on the individual history differ from those published. That's what currently happens with juniors though.

NickFaulks
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Re: ECF Grading Proposals

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:10 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:13 pm
The FIDE system seemed to cope with having 4NCL results all processed for the end May list
No it didn't, that's why the reporting system had to be changed.

Maurice Lawson
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Re: ECF Grading Proposals

Post by Maurice Lawson » Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:53 am

Those who think that the monthly grading idea is only supported by younger players are mistaken. I (a 67 year old) have advocated this for a long time. The concept of a rating which deals rapidly with results and is much more of a reflection of the competitive nature of chess is very long overdue in English chess. The loss of the X grade some years back was, in my opinion at that time, a backward step which took away the one important measure of more recent performance for very active players.
This prompted a rather long and somewhat volatile discussion on this site (which can be found under the provocative forum heading Chess Grading Destruction). No particular conclusion was reached at that time, although as now there were many people arguing that the ECF grading system was fine and stable and that stability of grade was a very important factor. I never particularly accepted that grading stability in itself was important. I believe that we all have good periods of performance and poorer periods - that is one of the factors which makes us want to compete and try to raise our performance. I always argued for a measure which primarily reflected reasonably recent performance, as compared with a measure which was aimed at smoothing out the grade over longer period so as to provide this illusive stability.
The new ECF proposals are a massive improvement in this direction and will improve the nature and incentive of our game. For those who aren't inspired by monthly ratings and a more responsive system it will make no great difference anyway. But for both the younger players and those who are very competitive this change is well overdue and will bring English grading into the modern world.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF Grading Proposals

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:12 pm

Maurice Lawson wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:53 am
I always argued for a measure which primarily reflected reasonably recent performance, as compared with a measure which was aimed at smoothing out the grade over longer period so as to provide this illusive stability.
I think you need both. A stable measure of relative strength which is used for board orders, eligibility and pairing orders and a measure of recent performance. If it weren't for the system of treating juniors as new players every list, the ECF system could on paper deliver this. You have the stable measure being published yearly or half-yearly and every month you publish what the stable measure would be if there were no more games played. The monthly values would jump around, but converge to the half yearly value.

The Elo based FIDE list in my view is now failing to give a stable measure of relative strength between adults and juniors. Around this time last year I lost a well published game to a promising junior. At the time I had an eighteen point ECF grade advantage, now he is ahead by seven I think. My ECF hasn't changed. On the international ratings, despite him being around 200 points above me last summer, I'm now above him again.

Maurice Lawson
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Re: ECF Grading Proposals

Post by Maurice Lawson » Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:58 pm

That's because the K factor is set too low! It needs to be much more responsive on the FIDE type systems. Again for this illusive reason of manufactured stability a low K factor has the effect of not changing this rapidly enough. If we blunder more often and lose games as a result, it means we are less good than we thought we were, and that should be reflected in our grades. All this stuff about board orders, eligibility, etc, is just outdated thinking which I'm sorry to say usually comes with age and says that if we were strong before we must still be pretty strong now. I would like to see as much as possible based on actual performance.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: ECF Grading Proposals

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:12 pm

"I believe that we all have good periods of performance and poorer periods - that is one of the factors which makes us want to compete and try to raise our performance."

True - I once beat a 226 with black and 3 days later lost to a 115 with white! If you try to do a statistical analysis of your performance, the Standard Deviation fails all standard laboratory quality procedures. I don't think I went from being 276 to 65 in 3 days, which is why an average is a better measure of performance.

The fact is that more frequent grading lists require hard-working volunteers to do more work. That could be a practical consideration.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF Grading Proposals

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:48 pm

Maurice Lawson wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:58 pm
That's because the K factor is set too low! It needs to be much more responsive on the FIDE type systems.
Juniors now have a K factor of 40 in the International Elo system, as compared to 20 for under 2400 rated adults. That works well when their results are improving, but badly if they hit a run of bad results. The ECF's current proposal for a domestic Elo is that junior K should be 40 if they get a positive result, but 20 if they don't. Although a blatant hack, it might even work. The Scots have a system of treating players who improve by 200 points as new players, which is designed to have the similar effect of trying to prevent adult ratings being deflated by facing juniors with out of date ratings.

J T Melsom
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Re: ECF Grading Proposals

Post by J T Melsom » Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:13 pm

There is of course nothing to prevent individuals tracking their own performance. Many of us do this without the need for this to be reflected in a more frequent official grade, especially if that required extra volunteer effort. I understand the case for more frequent grades to encourage and perhaps stimulate chess but have yet to see much written on the use of those grades. Rather people have tended to state all the forms of chess which won't take any notice. I've tended to play in local leagues where tweaking the board order to reflect playing strength rather than grade would probably not be regarded as under-hand, but others are less fortunate. However for most a stable average is probably the most relevant measure - you probably shouldn't tweak a board order too much because somebody has a common cold. If its that bad they should probably stay at home.

Ian Thompson
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Re: ECF Grading Proposals

Post by Ian Thompson » Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:09 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:12 pm
The fact is that more frequent grading lists require hard-working volunteers to do more work. That could be a practical consideration.
In my response to the ECF grading consultation I have asked the ECF if they have determined the answer to this question, and what they will do if the current graders say they cannot do monthly grading.

Ian Thompson
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Re: ECF Grading Proposals

Post by Ian Thompson » Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:10 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:48 pm
The ECF's current proposal for a domestic Elo is that junior K should be 40 if they get a positive result, but 20 if they don't.
That's news to me. What's the source of this information?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF Grading Proposals

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:20 pm

Ian Thompson wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:10 pm
What's the source of this information?
The ECF website.

https://www.englishchess.org.uk/monthly ... -proposal/
The k factor will be 20 except that in a month where a junior player has outperformed expectation, then the k factor will be 40.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF Grading Proposals

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:25 pm

J T Melsom wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:13 pm
Many of us do this without the need for this to be reflected in a more frequent official grade, especially if that required extra volunteer effort.
You cannot do this when you play juniors or ungraded players.

ECF over the board chess is competing to an extent with on-line servers or even the International system which offer continuous or at least monthly updates.

J T Melsom
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Re: ECF Grading Proposals

Post by J T Melsom » Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:44 pm

You can produce indicative unofficial records for personal purposes. People have always done so whilst recognising the limitations you describe.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF Grading Proposals

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:45 pm

A Chessbase article which also mentions the idea of differential K factors.

https://en.chessbase.com/post/problems- ... or-players

NickFaulks
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Re: ECF Grading Proposals

Post by NickFaulks » Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:35 pm

The k factor will be 20 except that in a month where a junior player has outperformed expectation, then the k factor will be 40.
My impression based on a few seconds of mental arithmetic is that a junior whose playing strength is constant and who plays ten games each month might be expected to gain 100-150 points per annum from this rule. If that is our desired result, why not just give them the extra points and be done with it?

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