Historical grades

General discussions about grading.
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James Toon
Posts: 185
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 5:54 pm
Location: Surrey

Historical grades

Post by James Toon » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:57 pm

Some years ago, Paul McKeown raised the idea of publishing BCF grades for the period before the online list which dates from 1994. I know from the Archive that he had discussions with Howard Grist among others – did anything come of that?

Is there a complete collection of BCF grading lists from the start (?1953/54) to 1993? Or if not, is there any interest in compiling a collection for reference purposes? I don't have any myself. I asked the National Chess Library at Hastings whether they had a collection for the later part of that period (1973 to 1993), but the only years they have are 1990 and 1992.

Ken Norman
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:07 pm

Re: Historical grades

Post by Ken Norman » Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:12 pm

James Toon wrote:Some years ago, Paul McKeown raised the idea of publishing BCF grades for the period before the online list which dates from 1994. I know from the Archive that he had discussions with Howard Grist among others – did anything come of that?

Is there a complete collection of BCF grading lists from the start (?1953/54) to 1993? Or if not, is there any interest in compiling a collection for reference purposes? I don't have any myself. I asked the National Chess Library at Hastings whether they had a collection for the later part of that period (1973 to 1993), but the only years they have are 1990 and 1992.
During the 1950's and the 1960's both the BCM and CHESS published the national grading list.

James Pratt
Posts: 412
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 11:10 pm

Re: Historical grades

Post by James Pratt » Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:00 pm

BCM will very happily give consideration to any article comparing grades from different eras. Both CHESS and ourselves carried the National Lists way beyond the 60s. A problem may have arisen when Pergamon, for obvious commercial reasons, took over the National List.

Ages ago I did my own survey 1964-1988. Prior to that Categories were used (1a, 1b etc). To appear on my list it was necessary to get a grade - nothing to do with Elo - 234+. If a player got more than 3 there or above the top three only were used; less than 3 and the result was ignored:

Well, with a pinch-of-salt here were my findings:
Miles (12) 252.6
Nunn (10) 250.0
Speelman (9) 248.7
Chandler - not you, Geoff! - (9) 248.3
Short (7) 248.3
Mestel (10) 245.3
Stean (8) 245.3
Penrose (3) 245.3
Plaskett (3) 240.5
P Littlewood (3) 240.3
Hartston (5) 239.0
Watson (4) 237.6
Hodgson (3) 237.6
Hebden (4) 237.0.

The bracketed figure is the number of annual lists the player appeared at this level. PH Clarke and Cenek Kottnauer just miss out appearing as they mostly shone pre-1964.

I have to say Plaskett's high place surprises me still. I have no desire to do further research, thank you.

James Pratt
http://www.britishchessmagazine.co.uk

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