Rough Guide to new grades

General discussions about grading.
Roger de Coverly
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Re: Rough Guide to new grades

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:39 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:The system is simply too slow.

I am carrying games from three years ago in my grade of 90.
It's simple enough - just play at least 30 games in each season - then your past results are forgotten (apart from the 40 point rule)

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Rough Guide to new grades

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:17 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Alex Holowczak wrote:The system is simply too slow.

I am carrying games from three years ago in my grade of 90.
It's simple enough - just play at least 30 games in each season - then your past results are forgotten (apart from the 40 point rule)
It's naive of the ECF, or the grading system, to think that every junior can easily play at least 30 games per season. Most of my friends, and presumably most children, don't play for senior clubs until they get to 15/16 sort of age. Therefore, the only way they can play 30 games per season is to play 6 tournaments per season. In the Midlands area, there aren't 6 tournaments per season to play in. The only tournaments most could play in are the one in Dudley, the one in Walsall (Staffordshire Congress), and the one in Arden (Warwickshire Championship). Again, most would take byes in Round 3 due to travelling. So that's 12 games. The majority of parents won't have the time to take their children much further afield, or not be able to afford to stay overnight at venues further away.

If I understand the system correctly, I'm going to lose my rapidplay grade because I haven't played in a rapidplay tournament since January. Not through choice, but there simply haven't been any tournaments to play in.

Richard Bates
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Re: Rough Guide to new grades

Post by Richard Bates » Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:10 am

If you, or other juniors, play so few games as to either deny you a grade, or to make it essentially meaningless, then that's not a fault of the grading system. It may be a problem for the grading system (and would be for any grading system) because of the knock on effect it has when junior grades filter through to the population at large, but that is a different debate. I don't see why not having a rapidplay grade as a result of not playing should be a cause of complaint - the system can't produce a grade without any data!

Ian Thompson
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Re: Rough Guide to new grades

Post by Ian Thompson » Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:39 am

Alex Holowczak wrote:Most of my friends, and presumably most children, don't play for senior clubs until they get to 15/16 sort of age. Therefore, the only way they can play 30 games per season is to play 6 tournaments per season.
What's stopping you, or someone else, organising your own club or school tournament and submitting it for grading? There is some information on doing this here http://www.englishchess.org.uk/archive1 ... system.htm. In particular:

"Can Club Championship results be graded?
Yes. Any club event can be registered (for a much reduced fee). Currently only a minority of clubs register their internal events, but the number is growing. Any club unsure of the procedure should contact the Grading Database Manager (details at end)."

The "much reduced fee" is 34p per game adult standard play; 18p per game adult rapidplay; 16p per game junior standard play; 8p per game junior rapidplay (from September; 2p per game less for adult games before then).

Michele Clack
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Re: Rough Guide to new grades

Post by Michele Clack » Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:55 am

The only tournaments most could play in are the one in Dudley, the one in Walsall (Staffordshire Congress), and the one in Arden (Warwickshire Championship).
Don't forget that this year Andrew Moore and Andrew Farthing are organising a Worcestershire Open in Bromsgrove on 25th and 26th July. The details can be downloaded from the ECF website calender. There were still a few places left the other day so anyone interested should get their entry in pretty quickly.

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Re: Rough Guide to new grades

Post by Michele Clack » Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:06 pm

What's stopping you, or someone else, organising your own club or school tournament and submitting it for grading?
There is no network of support for school chess clubs. Perhaps this is an area that the ECF could usefully look at. School clubs are a rare species in the midlands. Those that exist will mostly be run by a teacher or parent, who is probably not a club chess player, or a pupil. So often they will be unaware of the possibility of running graded tournaments. There would also be the hassle of collecting game fees which don't sound much but could be difficult to find for many family budgets.

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Re: Rough Guide to new grades

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:23 pm

Richard Bates wrote:If you, or other juniors, play so few games as to either deny you a grade, or to make it essentially meaningless, then that's not a fault of the grading system. It may be a problem for the grading system (and would be for any grading system) because of the knock on effect it has when junior grades filter through to the population at large, but that is a different debate. I don't see why not having a rapidplay grade as a result of not playing should be a cause of complaint - the system can't produce a grade without any data!
Well, agreed. The problem is that we haven't got the opportunity to produce any data!
michele clack wrote:
The only tournaments most could play in are the one in Dudley, the one in Walsall (Staffordshire Congress), and the one in Arden (Warwickshire Championship).
Don't forget that this year Andrew Moore and Andrew Farthing are organising a Worcestershire Open in Bromsgrove on 25th and 26th July. The details can be downloaded from the ECF website calender. There were still a few places left the other day so anyone interested should get their entry in pretty quickly.
Yes, I'm planning to enter it, but I don't think it's graded is it? There's no mention of it on the ECF website as being graded, other tournaments say "ECF Graded", for instance, but this one doesn't. Do you know whether it is, or otherwise?
michele clack wrote:
What's stopping you, or someone else, organising your own club or school tournament and submitting it for grading?
There is no network of support for school chess clubs. Perhaps this is an area that the ECF could usefully look at. School clubs are a rare species in the midlands. Those that exist will mostly be run by a teacher or parent, who is probably not a club chess player, or a pupil. So often they will be unaware of the possibility of running graded tournaments. There would also be the hassle of collecting game fees which don't sound much but could be difficult to find for many family budgets.
Exactly right. At my Secondary School, most people would only enter our UKCC tournament if we didn't charge them £1 for entry. So, we dropped it, and the school paid. We ran tournaments that could have been used for grading, but again, no one would have been prepared to pay the Game Fee. Since the school budget for chess was limited anyway, we decided not to submit it for grading. I was aware of the possibility, but aside from the top 4 or 5 players, the other 30odd who took part weren't interested.

Even the Birmingham Junior League doesn't grade its games, because none of the teaching staff saw a benefit (not all had any knowledge of that area of chess). I bet none of them even knew the possibility existed.

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Greg Breed
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Re: Rough Guide to new grades

Post by Greg Breed » Sun Jul 05, 2009 3:04 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:The system is simply too slow.

I am carrying games from three years ago in my grade of 90. Last season, I was a match for people graded 120 or so. Three years ago, I was barely competitive with people graded 70. So my grade averages out at about 90, even though if you only graded the last season, I'd be graded 110ish. So, whenever people graded 120 for ages play me, they're getting a roughly equal game, but if they draw, rather than getting equal points, they're getting a substantially lower number of points than they should be getting for the quality of opposition they're meeting. So their grades are getting lower. As more and more juniors go through the system, this will continue. I am aware that juniors get quotas to reduce this effect - but I don't think they're working.

For juniors, who improve rapidly, the current measures are inadequate. There is too much of a rating lag.

Compare the following three people:
A ECF grade ~ 150, online rating ~ 1800
B ECF grade ~ 170, online rating ~ 2000
C Ungraded, online rating ~ 1400

From that information, you'd assume that the ungraded person, who will be graded before the end of July, should be about 100.

I bet that this won't be the case, however. Counting in C's grades will be a score of 0.5/6 in the UKCC Terafinal last August, where the weakest opponent C faced was 75 on the "new" system. A was teaching C for much of the year though, and in February, C scored 2/5 in the Warwickshire Championship U90s, where C beat someone graded 117, drew against a 103, and lost against a 112 and a 108. Ignoring the 40 point rule, that tournament, C would get a grade of ~ 89, which is fair enough. A knows from experience that that is a good indicator of the strength of C, having played C so many times in practice. However, due to counting games from 8 months previously, when C was much worse than currently, C will have a grade which is much lower than it ought to be, if the grade is designed to be a true indicator of strength. Furthermore, C is not a junior, so the opponents of C will not get any grading benefit.

In the above scenario, I am A, and B and C are friends. So I'm going to be very interested to see what the grade of C will be.
I've never been to a Terafinal, but isn't it a junior event?
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Greg Breed
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Re: Rough Guide to new grades

Post by Greg Breed » Sun Jul 05, 2009 3:10 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:If I understand the system correctly, I'm going to lose my rapidplay grade because I haven't played in a rapidplay tournament since January. Not through choice, but there simply haven't been any tournaments to play in.
I don't think you will lose your rapid-play grade. In the January list my RP grade went up from 119 to 127 despite having played no graded RP games in the preceding 6 months! What was used was the most recent 28 games which, it seems, were better for me.
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Alex Holowczak
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Re: Rough Guide to new grades

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sun Jul 05, 2009 4:00 pm

Greg Breed wrote: I've never been to a Terafinal, but isn't it a junior event?
Yes, but it was played after the 18th birthday of C, so C would not have been a junior at the time. Still counted as an U18 though.

Re: my rapidplay grade, that's odd. But good news! :)

David Sedgwick
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Re: Rough Guide to new grades

Post by David Sedgwick » Sun Jul 05, 2009 4:19 pm

I'm sorry if my quotation is a bit selective, but:
Alex Holowczak wrote:The system is simply too slow.

I am carrying games from three years ago in my grade of 90.
Alex Holowczak wrote:We ran tournaments that could have been used for grading, but again, no one would have been prepared to pay the Game Fee.
This takes the biscuit. You complain that you're not getting the service and then it transpires you're not prepared to pay for the service.

If people in your county don't like having to pay Game Fee for each event, you can form yourselves into a Membership Organisation, as they've done in Leicestershire.

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Re: Rough Guide to new grades

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sun Jul 05, 2009 4:33 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:I'm sorry if my quotation is a bit selective, but:
Alex Holowczak wrote:The system is simply too slow.

I am carrying games from three years ago in my grade of 90.
Alex Holowczak wrote:We ran tournaments that could have been used for grading, but again, no one would have been prepared to pay the Game Fee.
This takes the biscuit. You complain that you're not getting the service and then it transpires you're not prepared to pay for the service.

If people in your county don't like having to pay Game Fee for each event, you can form yourselves into a Membership Organisation, as they've done in Leicestershire.
I was prepared to pay for it. Unfortunately, out of the 40 or so people in the tournament, only about 4 players were. So we couldn't really pay 10x the fee it would normally be for all of the other games to get graded.

"As they've done in Leicestershire" - the tournament we ran was an internal school competition.

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Re: Rough Guide to new grades

Post by John Upham » Sun Jul 05, 2009 4:49 pm

David Sedgwick wrote: If people in your county don't like having to pay Game Fee for each event, you can form yourselves into a Membership Organisation, as they've done in Leicestershire.
If only all counties would do this : good suggestion David. :D
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Mick Norris
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Re: Rough Guide to new grades

Post by Mick Norris » Sun Jul 05, 2009 4:59 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:If people in your county don't like having to pay Game Fee for each event, you can form yourselves into a Membership Organisation, as they've done in Leicestershire.
Warks haven't done this, hardly Alex's fault

There was an MCCU membership organisation, which would have saved Alex and Warks (as well as the rest of us in the MCCU) the bother of setting up and adminstering our own county membership organisation, but the ECF blocked it (after I had posted my cheque to join, I've not joined the ECF)
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

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Re: Rough Guide to new grades

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sun Jul 05, 2009 7:42 pm

Mick Norris wrote:
David Sedgwick wrote:If people in your county don't like having to pay Game Fee for each event, you can form yourselves into a Membership Organisation, as they've done in Leicestershire.
Warks haven't done this, hardly Alex's fault

There was an MCCU membership organisation, which would have saved Alex and Warks (as well as the rest of us in the MCCU) the bother of setting up and adminstering our own county membership organisation, but the ECF blocked it (after I had posted my cheque to join, I've not joined the ECF)
Well, it's Worcestershire (Bartley Green), but presumably your points still hold.

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