1970s grading lists?

General discussions about grading.
AustinElliott
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1970s grading lists?

Post by AustinElliott » Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:59 am

Anyone know if ECF grading lists from fairly ancient times (specifically the 70s) can be found anywhere online? I think I saw someone say on a forum / thread somewhere that there were "moves" to put old lists online.

BTW, Hi All. New poster here, occasional lurker, esp recently. Not sure if this is best spot for this enquiry - if anyone thinks it would be better in a different forum, let me know.

A bit of explanation/background. Many years ago I was a junior player in the 70s British chess boom, being one of the "cannon fodder" for weekend junior events with Plaskett, Hodgson, Daniel King et al, and playing for Cowley Chess Club in the Oxford League. Having spent my early teens as a diehard chess fanatic, the bug gradually wore off once I discovered punk rock, girls and booze in my late teens. I stopped playing altogether when I went to University, and have not played a competitive game since 1979.

Half a lifetime on (I'm looking at it optimistically!) I find myself with a daughter showing signs of getting the chess bug, and a couple of online cronies (via my work) who turn out to be club players. Amid various online and email exchanges one of them was asking me what my rating had been as a teenage player. Although I had kept all my game scores (!), which I dug out of the attic to show to the daughter, I had never written down my ECF gradings - though I definitely had one over the years 1974-1979. So I was wondering if the lists were around on the internet somewhere...

Roger de Coverly
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Re: 1970s grading lists?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:55 am

AustinElliott wrote: I had never written down my ECF gradings - though I definitely had one over the years 1974-1979. So I was wondering if the lists were around on the internet somewhere...
Not to anyone's knowledge. I'd expect there are a few printed lists around at the back of cupboards and in attics.

If you were a member of the elite (175+), then lists were sometimes published in the magazines Chess and BCM and also the annual yearbook of the BCF. These are usually more available.

If you have your old scorebooks, you could tell us where and who you used to play and how you got on. If for example you played in open events, then your grade would have needed to be high enough ( say 160+) to be credible playing in them.

Alan Walton
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Re: 1970s grading lists?

Post by Alan Walton » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:16 am

I do have at home all the old issues of Chess magazine going from the late 50s to about 1986 (freebies from the late Keith Brown years ago), which from what I remember has annual grading list in them, but it is an effort to search through all these again, private message me if you want a specific year and I may be able to copy them and post them to you

Roger de Coverly
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Re: 1970s grading lists?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:21 am

Alan Walton wrote: which from what I remember has annual grading list in them
Only 175 and above though, some years only 200 and above. It's usually easier to use the BCM for these sort of historical questions, because it was rather more systematic about publishing an annual index.

Richard James
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Re: 1970s grading lists?

Post by Richard James » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:25 am

Hi Austin

I have the SCCU grading lists from about 1975 onwards at home. If no one beats me to it I'll look them up for you this evening.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: 1970s grading lists?

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:08 pm

Out of interest, when did the BCF switch from "classes" to individual gradings? Was it sometime in the 1960s??
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

Roger de Coverly
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Re: 1970s grading lists?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:14 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote:Out of interest, when did the BCF switch from "classes" to individual gradings? Was it sometime in the 1960s??


The change-over was during the second half of the sixties. I believe they had always calculated grading numbers (175 etc.) as they were then called, but they only published grading classes (3a, 3b etc.). By 1968, it was the number that was highlighted.

AustinElliott
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Re: 1970s grading lists?

Post by AustinElliott » Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:33 pm

Thanks all for the info. Fairly sure I never made the dizzying (for me) heights of 175+ - the vague memories percolating about my brain are that I had a grading of 120-ish aged 13-14 and that it reached its zenith around 150-160 a few years later. Like I said, basic cannon fodder. Anyway, would be truly amazed if I'd got high enough to sully the hallowed pages of Chess.

Richard James' SCCU Grading lists sound the best bet - many thanks for the offer, Richard. Look forward to hearing if you can find anything.

I used to play in the age-group appropriate SCCU and LCCU (?) tournaments for U-14s / U-16s, and occasional weekend juniors or reserves like Amersham, Marlow and Enfield. Pretty sure I never played in an Open. The last year I was playing competitively (1978-9) I played top board or board two for Cowley in the Oxford League and got regularly ground to dust by the University team upper boards of the time - JC Pigott, PJ Sowray and HD Macpherson are some of the names I remember there. Used to manage draws now and then in such company, but that last season I recall wins being pretty few and far between. Might be another reason I retired...!

[EDITED to remove FJ Kwiatkowski from the above list of Oxford Univ players and add HD Macpherson. Should resist temptation to post info when I don't have the documentation to hand to check! I'd remembered Kwiatkowski's name as I'd lost to him in a county match around the same time.]
Last edited by AustinElliott on Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Neill Cooper
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Re: 1970s grading lists?

Post by Neill Cooper » Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:12 pm

removed
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Richard James
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Re: 1970s grading lists?

Post by Richard James » Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:14 pm

I've just PMed Austin with his grades from 1975 to 1979. I'll leave it to him whether or not he wants to share them on here.

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: 1970s grading lists?

Post by Carl Hibbard » Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:16 pm

I will be publishing a lot more on the "new" grading site but how far back things go I am not sure yet?
Cheers
Carl Hibbard

Sean Hewitt

Re: 1970s grading lists?

Post by Sean Hewitt » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:15 pm

Carl Hibbard wrote:I will be publishing a lot more on the "new" grading site but how far back things go I am not sure yet?
Any clues as to what and when Carl?

AustinElliott
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Re: 1970s grading lists?

Post by AustinElliott » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:35 pm

Many thanks to Neill Cooper and Richard James - thanks to Richard's lists I now know my long-ago grading history in full. Was actually slightly (pleasantly) surprised to see I'd made it as high as 179 in 1978, which was probably my best playing year (aged 16-17).

The other Elliott in Neill's post was my younger brother - we both played the SCCU tournaments for a couple of years, but he gave up after that, thus retiring from chess even younger than me. He was always a natural sportsman and used to represent the school at everything from table tennis to cricket and hockey, so I guess he didn't need chess to keep him busy. No prizes for guessing which one of the two of us goes running in our middle age.

Anyway, now all I need is an approximate conversion from 1970s ECF to the FIDE scale so I can tell my American friends. Though I seem to remember, from reading here, that even the approximate basis of equivalence is rather a vexatious topic.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: 1970s grading lists?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:49 pm

AustinElliott wrote:Anyway, now all I need is an approximate conversion from 1970s ECF to the FIDE scale so I can tell my American friends. Though I seem to remember, from reading here, that even the approximate basis of equivalence is rather a vexatious topic.
The traditional conversion (as established by Elo himself) is (BCF*8 + 600).

This equates 179 to just over 2000. In practice the International Elo and the USCF Elo in particular have become a bit inflated in that range. You could safely say that you were playing at a 2000 - 2100 standard. The people you mention losing to, were (and in some cases still are) in the 2150-2300 range.
Last edited by Roger de Coverly on Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: 1970s grading lists?

Post by Carl Hibbard » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:16 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote:
Carl Hibbard wrote:I will be publishing a lot more on the "new" grading site but how far back things go I am not sure yet?
Any clues as to what and when Carl?
A full breakdown of as much information as I am given - in time for the new list, although I am doing the work the week of the 21st as I have a week off...

Requests as to what the current site does not do are welcome!
Cheers
Carl Hibbard

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