Reluctance to Align with FIDE ELO?

General discussions about grading.
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Greg Breed
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Post by Greg Breed » Tue May 08, 2007 10:59 am

Sean Hewitt wrote:And whilst I agree it might be easier for the grader if he sends all the results in at the end of the season, it certainly isnt better!!

Whether it is better or not I don't think any one person can decide. I think it is better for my league to send the results in at the end of the season and maybe also at a halfway mark around January.

The problem comes when you get adjournments. I had one player in the league who adjourned EVERY single game he played!! I only just got the last two today!

To sum up, each league is different. Whilst I am trying to bring ours into the 21st century and make it more efficient, I must always remember that ours is just a friendly local league whose members play for the love of the game and some competition. Obviously there are a few more ambitious individuals but they play in other leagues to get their competitive "fix". I've yet to hear from a single player that I know with the suggestion that grades be done more often than they are now. Although I doubt anyone would grumble if they were updated twice a year instead of once...
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Re: Reluctance to Align with FIDE ELO?

Post by John Upham » Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:29 pm

Does anyone feel like updating their opinion on this matter today?
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Re: Reluctance to Align with FIDE ELO?

Post by Paul McKeown » Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:59 pm

John Upham wrote:Does anyone feel like updating their opinion on this matter today?
I would be in favour of migration to an Elo based system. Due to the problems associated with adapting an Elo algorithm to the current bulk (annual) means of submitting league results, I expect that this would entail the online submission of league results by league secretaries as they occur. This would furthermore enable monthly or quarterly updates to the ratings. I suspect a properly automated system would reduce the central manpower involved in the process as the results submission would be by tournament organisers and league secretaries. I would hope that the rating level would not be set too high. As it is I usually find French and US national ratings "easy" (e.g. a French 2000 is perhaps 150ish) and German and Dutch national ratings "hard" (e.g. a German 1800 is perhaps 150ish+). I would clearly prefer a "hard" ECF system.

Laurie Roberts
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Re: Reluctance to Align with FIDE ELO?

Post by Laurie Roberts » Thu Aug 13, 2009 7:32 am

It will come down to whether players demand it. I suspect the majority of chess players aren't that bothered.

One way to trial this would be for (keen) league organisers to obtain the basic ELO calculation and create a spreadsheet and then calculate ELO grades for the players in that league for a season (starting grades would be formula determined using ECF grades). There is start up work in designing the spreadsheet of course.

The resulting grades would be innaccurate in a number of areas (small numbers problem therefore k coefficient issues) but it'd be interesting to know whether the players were interested in their ELO grade or not.

I would be interested but I suspect many others woudln't be

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Re: Reluctance to Align with FIDE ELO?

Post by JustinHorton » Thu Aug 13, 2009 7:41 pm

Given the difficulty in assigning an accurate Elo equivalent to an ECF grade (I know of no calculation that will do it satisfactorily) I suspect what you'd be looking at is this week's controversy all over again - but bigger.
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Reluctance to Align with FIDE ELO?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Aug 13, 2009 8:08 pm

JustinHorton wrote:Given the difficulty in assigning an accurate Elo equivalent to an ECF grade (I know of no calculation that will do it satisfactorily) I suspect what you'd be looking at is this week's controversy all over again - but bigger.
I actually think the attempted regrading shows us a possible template for a future Elo conversion. What you do in outline is
(a) determine the particular subset of possible Elo parameters that you are going to follow. These include but are not limited to the frequency of recalculation/publication, the rules for K factors, the rules for introducing new players, minimum ratings, 350/400 point rules, the underlying probability distribution etc.
(b) You then go back several years and do a quick and dirty conversion on the ECFs at that past date. You might alternatively use the past international Elo for players that had them.
(c) You then roll forwards using your proposed formulae in (a) applied to the actual past results. New players automatically pick up new ratings using your preferred new player routine. You keep a note of the shadow Elos at each recalculation point.
(d) Then you publish the shadow Elos complete with their history and invite review. They may or may not have the same shape as the ECF grades they would replace. You might wish to calibrate them with a fudge factor to bring them in line (on average) with the internationals.

The point of a wind back/ roll forward method is that you're relying on the inherent self-correcting nature of the Elo formulae to iron out any anomalies you might inherit from the conversion. It also demonstrates how the ratings evolve from one year to the next. Rapidly improving players would remain a problem of course. Presumably you have to tune the K-factor to try and keep up or just accept in the interests of stability that there will always be an element of ratings lag.

Everyone has a shadow rating and history thereof long before you go live on the new method.

Elo ratings aren't great result predictors either. I ran some tests on the last 3 British Championships basically summing the absolute value of the (W-We) calculation. This is the measure of the (actual minus expected). What I got was about 0.1 per player per game. Thus over 10 games it's 1 per player. Expressed in ECF terms this is the expected 6/10 scored by a +10 on the ECF scale being just as likely to have been 5/10 or 7/10 in practice.

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