Do FIDE ratings carry more credibility to you than ECF ones?

General discussions about grading.
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Tryfon Gavriel
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Do FIDE ratings carry more credibility to you than ECF ones?

Post by Tryfon Gavriel » Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:12 am

Hi all

I appreciate that FIDE ratings are international and under stricter conditions, but I think ECF grades for most players are often based on more games, and also are based on real-world constraints such as being tired after work etc.

I appreciate of course also FIDE games are on longer time controls. And also you can prepare more for specific opponents generally in FIDE tournaments where the pairings are known for the next round.

Do you put much more weight into your FIDE Rating or your ECF rating?!

Tryfon
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Barry Sandercock
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Re: Do FIDE ratings carry more credibility to you than ECF o

Post by Barry Sandercock » Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:23 am

ECF grades must be more reliable as now FIDE ratings go much lower than they used to, they may only take in a very small proportion of the players games.

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Do FIDE ratings carry more credibility to you than ECF o

Post by MartinCarpenter » Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:24 am

Low/mid level FIDE grades are self evidently a considerable mess in the UK for a few reasons, so a somewhat mistaken thing to worry about :)

The more interesting question is perhaps quite where it starts to cross over? 2300? Higher?

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Paolo Casaschi
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Re: Do FIDE ratings carry more credibility to you than ECF o

Post by Paolo Casaschi » Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:15 pm

Tryfon Gavriel wrote:Do you put much more weight into your FIDE Rating or your ECF rating?!
It depends.

The main (only) value I see in the ECF grading is that local league competitions unfortunately are not FIDE rated and base their players ranking order on the ECF grade. As a result, an higher ECF grade increases my chances of getting a good place in a good team.

If I have to assess my performance after a game, if I lookup my opponent, I usually look at their FIDE rating and I completely ignore their ECF grade; in absolute terms, answering your question, I probably find the FIDE rating more credible/valuable.

Personally, I'd be very happy to trade 20 ECF grading points for 150 FIDE rating points :-)

Comparing the FIDE rating system and the ECF grading system has shown very different opinions on this board:
- someone would rather see a single rating system, hence scrapping the ECF grading and make so that more games could be FIDE rated (as opposed to some games included in one system, some in the other but not all in one system)
- someone thinks the ECF grading is more accurate because it consider more games
- someone objects to the above, suggesting that many ECF graded games are played in non-perfect conditions (for example in the evening of a work day); thus the FIDE rating is more valuable because based on better quality games
- of those suggesting the above, someone even prefers having non FIDE rated events in order to experiment without affecting negatively their precious FIDE rating; hence they do not seem much bothered by affecting their ECF grade

Graham Borrowdale

Re: Do FIDE ratings carry more credibility to you than ECF o

Post by Graham Borrowdale » Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:07 pm

For me the ECF grade is more reliable. It is based on all the games I play rather than a small selection, and as a result is a much more reliable indicator of recent playing strength. I don't really buy the point about FIDE rated games tending to be played in better conditions, since it is the same for both players, and I am as likely to lose a won game in long time controls as at shorter ones. As for FIDE rated games allowing for preparation for specific opponents - in my experience, and at my level, this is much more likely to be possible in local leagues, and even county matches, where after a few years you find yourself playing the same group of opponents each year. 4NCL, by contrast, tends to give opponents I have never come across and who don't tend to have published games.

I used to have an ambition to get a FIDE rating - now I have got one and it has changed by 2 points in 3 years I am less enthralled.

Barry Sandercock
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Re: Do FIDE ratings carry more credibility to you than ECF o

Post by Barry Sandercock » Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:29 pm

Another problem with FIDE ratings is that as they can change every month, it can happen that when entering a Congress in advance, by the time it starts you may not be eligible for the section you entered.

David Sedgwick
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Re: Do FIDE ratings carry more credibility to you than ECF o

Post by David Sedgwick » Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:45 pm

Barry Sandercock wrote:Another problem with FIDE ratings is that as they can change every month, it can happen that when entering a Congress in advance, by the time it starts you may not be eligible for the section you entered.
I've never been sure whether those who advocate the production of monthly ECF gradings have overlooked this point, or whether they don't care.

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Do FIDE ratings carry more credibility to you than ECF o

Post by MartinCarpenter » Wed Jun 04, 2014 3:08 pm

That's easy :) You publish a (bi?)yearly grade which you use for congress entries, board orders etc and a monthly one for 'fun'.

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Do FIDE ratings carry more credibility to you than ECF o

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Wed Jun 04, 2014 3:38 pm

MartinCarpenter wrote:That's easy :) You publish a (bi?)yearly grade which you use for congress entries, board orders etc and a monthly one for 'fun'.
The monthly one can be slightly more useful than that: you can have a rule that says "grade at start of season determines eligibility, grade at time of game determines board-order/seeding/whatever".

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Paolo Casaschi
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Re: Do FIDE ratings carry more credibility to you than ECF o

Post by Paolo Casaschi » Wed Jun 04, 2014 3:42 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:
Barry Sandercock wrote:Another problem with FIDE ratings is that as they can change every month, it can happen that when entering a Congress in advance, by the time it starts you may not be eligible for the section you entered.
I've never been sure whether those who advocate the production of monthly ECF gradings have overlooked this point, or whether they don't care.
Not sure I understand the logic: having a monthly grading list gives you more information than a bi-yearly one; whether to use that information or not for a given purpose is still an option; claiming it's better not to have more information (or use outdated information) only because it might make life a bit more complicated for arbiters and organizers is questionable.

The real question is whether monthly lists are more accurate than bi-yearly ones (for the given purpose, in general to compare two players and to predict the outcome of a game between them); in other words, is there enough data to generate statistically reliable information every month or would a monthly list simply track random noise? Only a statistician can answer the question.

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Do FIDE ratings carry more credibility to you than ECF o

Post by MartinCarpenter » Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:20 pm

The potential problem is more about annoying players :)

With monthly grades what you'd be aiming at would be picking up runs of form. Whether those have a real effect on your play in the next month I'm not sure about. Like you say quite testable in principle.

To be honest, for most people, once people hit a level they really do tend to stick round there quite strongly. I tend to view even non trivial yearly changes with a chunk of games behind of them as pretty much noise. With the ECF grades now it feels like there's still quite a bit of noise working through while the changes from the regarding settle down properly. Or temporary lifestyle factors for instance.

Obviously different if people back it up over a few years.

Neill Cooper
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Re: Do FIDE ratings carry more credibility to you than ECF o

Post by Neill Cooper » Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:22 pm

IM Jack Rudd wrote:
MartinCarpenter wrote:That's easy :) You publish a (bi?)yearly grade which you use for congress entries, board orders etc and a monthly one for 'fun'.
The monthly one can be slightly more useful than that: you can have a rule that says "grade at start of season determines eligibility, grade at time of game determines board-order/seeding/whatever".
A monthly upgrade would be most helpful to ungraded players who have now played enough games to get a grade. I have 3 ungraded pupils who each have over 30 (rapid play) games in the published grading database, but they still have a while to wait before they finally get a published grade.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: Do FIDE ratings carry more credibility to you than ECF o

Post by Michael Farthing » Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:10 am

Neill Cooper wrote:
IM Jack Rudd wrote:
MartinCarpenter wrote:That's easy :) You publish a (bi?)yearly grade which you use for congress entries, board orders etc and a monthly one for 'fun'.
The monthly one can be slightly more useful than that: you can have a rule that says "grade at start of season determines eligibility, grade at time of game determines board-order/seeding/whatever".
A monthly upgrade would be most helpful to ungraded players who have now played enough games to get a grade. I have 3 ungraded pupils who each have over 30 (rapid play) games in the published grading database, but they still have a while to wait before they finally get a published grade.
Yes, on my re-entry I was one game short for a January listing and had to wait a further six months. I looked forward to that for ages and ages (and I'm 61). It's a much longer time if you're 10 or 11.

Lewis Martin
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Re: Do FIDE ratings carry more credibility to you than ECF o

Post by Lewis Martin » Fri Jun 06, 2014 6:09 pm

It is hard to say really. In my opinion, more games does tend to give a more reliable rating. However the FIDE rating, at least in England, is tricky simply due to less FIDE games, particularly if you are an amateur, or at least don't play that often. I would say that I am a reasonably active player in terms of ECF games, usually about 30-40 games nowadays. FIDE is probably less than half that. Though this season has been unusual for me in terms of playing in the British as well. (Previous to that was in Scarborough 2004 (!)) One also has to factor in any significant improvement, particularly in terms of younger players (not just U18, but 20-somethings and even 30-somethings too)

Take it another way: at the time I gained my first FIDE rating of 1999, I was either 155/157 ECF. At the start of the 4NCL season, it was 2027 and 196. I have improve more points by ECF than FIDE!

Though my rating (more relevantly, my play) is slowly, but surely starting to improve, it seems nowadays my FIDE might increase more than my ECF.

One might also have to take into account the preferences some players may have to longer time controls, or vice versa. For example, Steve Dilleigh, a very good player with lots of experience, tends to fluctuate about 2150. He is also strong in the Bristol League, though perhaps not as his FIDE rating suggests, I think he only had a 170 league performance, this season (usually 180s, though he is now 193 thanks largely to a very good British - not forgetting to mention the blunder by yours truly!). He always seems to do better in FIDE rated events compared to ECF. It could be as previously mentioned to do with a long day at work, to playing with a 'fresh start to the day' mindset at weekends. Or preference to time controls.

In my opinion, the FIDE rating is more 'classical' and - indeed if you are an aspiring player - more relevant in terms of being a titled player be it FM/IM/GM. For example, if you played a tournament in Russia with a rating of 2100, despite your ECF being 220 (i.e. a top 100 player), the Russians won't care about your national rating. Even if you somehow managed to be top 10 ECF without being titled (assuming of course, you are obliged to take it)!

This may seem strange after all the above, but to me, the quality of my play is far more important. As naturally, if you play better, both ratings will increase!

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