ECF Director wants to scrap Clarke grading system

General discussions about grading.
MartinCarpenter
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Re: ECF Director wants to scrap Clarke grading system

Post by MartinCarpenter » Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:50 am

John Upham wrote:I suspect that most leagues would operate the principle that the grading / rating list published at the start of season would be in force for the duration of that season in terms of eligibilty.*

More frequent grading / ratings lists could be used for the purposes of deciding board orders.
Think we can already tell what'll happen in most places from Yorkshire - the grading system there has continuous updates. They're for 'fun' though.

Every league just uses the yearly grades for basically everything formal. The Yorkshire league rules were actually recently made explicit in terms of using the year book grades rather than live ones for board order.

Or with FIDE updating more often now, there's the 4NCL of course. The rules don't look explicit but they've always seemed to use the grades you register with at the start of the season.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF Director wants to scrap Clarke grading system

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:56 pm

NickFaulks wrote: That problem is caused by very different sets of games being reported to the two systems, which is a separate issue. No system will ever reflect the results of games which are not reported to it.
That's not entirely correct. If a junior only played in events that were rated both by the ECF and FIDE, the ECF grade would be likely to come out much higher by virtue of the ECF policy of treating all juniors as new players every season. The K=40 fix may solve the problem for the most active, but not for those less active. But it's one of the issues of the implementation of a national rating system to find a solution to the problem of rapidly improving players potentially deflating or spreading your entire system.

Ian Jamieson
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Re: ECF Director wants to scrap Clarke grading system

Post by Ian Jamieson » Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:16 am

I haven't read all of this thread - I haven't got the time - but if it was up to me I would go back to the old system of 1A,1B,2A etc. People attach far too much significance to grades and think they are far more accurate than they actually are. I agree with Stewart Reuben for once that the extra digit in Elo grades is totally spurious and I also think that even the third digit in the Clarke system grades is spurious.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: ECF Director wants to scrap Clarke grading system

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri Aug 21, 2015 10:23 am

"I would go back to the old system of 1A,1B,2A etc. People attach far too much significance to grades and think they are far more accurate than they actually are. I agree with Stewart Reuben for once that the extra digit in Elo grades is totally spurious and I also think that even the third digit in the Clarke system grades is spurious."

Clarke would agree.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: ECF Director wants to scrap Clarke grading system

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Fri Aug 21, 2015 10:38 am

What was the full listing under the old system, and what bands (and conversions) would people suggest in any modern system that tried to return to that? i.e. How many bands and roughly what strengths in the old system and any proposed modern banding system?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF Director wants to scrap Clarke grading system

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Aug 21, 2015 10:50 am

Kevin Thurlow wrote: I agree with Stewart Reuben for once that the extra digit in Elo grades is totally spurious and I also think that even the third digit in the Clarke system grades is spurious.
The problem is that the grade spanned a range of 8 ECF points. So a player in 4a might be "better" than a player in 4b by anything between 1 and 15 points. That makes a difference if you are determining board orders and running seeded Swiss pairings. In rating and grading systems, it's not always the absolute value that matters, but the relative values.

E Michael White
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Re: ECF Director wants to scrap Clarke grading system

Post by E Michael White » Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:16 am

Kevin Thurlow wrote:"I would go back to the old system of 1A,1B,2A etc. People attach far too much significance to grades and think they are far more accurate than they actually are. I agree with Stewart Reuben for once that the extra digit in Elo grades is totally spurious and I also think that even the third digit in the Clarke system grades is spurious."

Clarke would agree.
Agreement with Clarke and Stewart Reuben on grading matters has drawbacks. The old Clarke system would require 8 digits at the present time. For grades higher than 1a the groups were 1aa 249-256, 1aaa 257-264 etc. Sadler at 279 would be 1aaaaa and Kramnik 1aaaaaaa. Clarke appeared to consider that the top UK player would always be in 1a with consequent effects on the lower grades.

I hope the new proposals are going to be considered by appropriately qualified people. Many think grading is a matter of basic GCSE stats. Far from it, activity rates, league structures, pairing practice and player mobility all play their part. Tweaking k-factors is not the only or best course of action.
Last edited by E Michael White on Mon Aug 24, 2015 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: ECF Director wants to scrap Clarke grading system

Post by Carl Hibbard » Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:46 am

LawrenceCooper wrote:
Carl Hibbard wrote:Can Alex respond on here?
He has been advised not to post on here by the current regime. This is consistent with the "advice" I was given when a director, I was actually told not to post but when I questioned it this was amended to "asked"
The 'awkward' question which nobody really seems to want to answer has been asked again over there:

http://www.englishchess.org.uk/Forum/vi ... ?f=6&t=380
Cheers
Carl Hibbard

Michael Flatt
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Re: ECF Director wants to scrap Clarke grading system

Post by Michael Flatt » Mon Aug 24, 2015 12:11 pm

Carl Hibbard wrote:
LawrenceCooper wrote:
Carl Hibbard wrote:Can Alex respond on here?
He has been advised not to post on here by the current regime. This is consistent with the "advice" I was given when a director, I was actually told not to post but when I questioned it this was amended to "asked"
The 'awkward' question which nobody really seems to want to answer has been asked again over there:

http://www.englishchess.org.uk/Forum/vi ... ?f=6&t=380
I thought that particular storm had passed. Isn't it down to each individual Director or ECF Official to use their own common sense?

I am not aware of anyone having been disciplined for their posts here. If any ECF official has concerns they should raise it in private with the Director to whom they report.

If you do really see that it is an important issue why not start a dedicated thread, since this one relates specifically to future developments of the grading system?

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: ECF Director wants to scrap Clarke grading system

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Mon Aug 24, 2015 12:27 pm

"The problem is that the grade spanned a range of 8 ECF points. So a player in 4a might be "better" than a player in 4b by anything between 1 and 15 points. "

And Clarke said that 4b might be "better" than 4a! Actually there was some discussion at Thanet over the weekend (where Roger was playing and I was arbiting), about a local league where one club found that it had a string of players of (say) 160 who had to play clubs where the first two opponents might be 180 and the next two 130, so the first two players tended to drop grading points and the next two gained them. So the board order changed the next year and the same thing happened, so the following year, the board order reverted to what it was. Admittedly we are now in the realm of lighthouse keepers...

Ian Jamieson
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Re: ECF Director wants to scrap Clarke grading system

Post by Ian Jamieson » Tue Aug 25, 2015 11:34 am

@ Christopher Kreuzer

I used to have a couple of old BCF yearbooks from the 1960s (?)

I understand that the BCF published grades for 1A to 3B as follows:-

1A 241 - 248
1B 233 - 240
2A 225 - 232
2B 217 - 224
3A 209 - 216
3B 201 - 208

N.B. For the avoidance of any doubt they published the 1A etc. not the underlying 3 digit number.

I further understand that the unions e.g. SCCU published grades from 4A to 6B as follows:-

4A 193 - 200
4B 185 - 192
5A 177 - 184
5B 169 - 176
6A 161 - 168
6B 153 - 160

It does beg the question what about players under 6B / 153? Or was the standard of chess in England that much higher in the 60s (?). Perhaps one of our older forum members could enlighten us.

I do have thoughts about a modern system that tried to return to that but I need time to double check them. Given you are the only person who has expressed an interest to date I may pm them to you in the first instance.

Mick Norris
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Re: ECF Director wants to scrap Clarke grading system

Post by Mick Norris » Tue Aug 25, 2015 11:41 am

I can't see that the majority would be happy returning to a grade band along the lines of the old 1a, 1b etc - we have got used to the "accuracy" of the exact grades, and some players do think that at, say, 151 they are "better" than someone at 150, and will base board orders around this

What is different now is that a growing number of players have a FIDE rating as well as an ECF grading, and perhaps this gives an opportunity to think about changing the ECF system, although there is bound to be resistance to any change
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Ian Jamieson
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Re: ECF Director wants to scrap Clarke grading system

Post by Ian Jamieson » Tue Aug 25, 2015 11:44 am

@ Roger de Coverly

I don't see the problem myself.

Depending how confident you want to be someone may have to have a three digit grade 16 points higher than someone else before you can definitely say that they are a better player. I suspect players who had grades under the system appreciated that, to use your example, a player in 4A was not definitely stronger than a player in 4B or weaker than a player in 3B. It is only when you compare the player in 4A to players in 5A or 3A that you can say for definite that they are stronger or weaker.

I don't understand your point about board orders. The 4NCL for instance seems to cope perfectly well with allowing players 80 Elo points to play out of order.

Similarly I don't understand your point about seeded Swiss pairings. (What's so wonderful about seeded Swisses anyway? They are good at working out the top few places and the bottom few places but they are not very good at working out places in-between. That's a different topic however.)
Seeded Swisses have to cope sometimes already with more than one player with the same rating or ungraded players. Personally, and I am not an expert on Swiss pairing rules, I would have thought that having fewer distinct grades and multiple players with the same grade would increase the number of possible pairings.

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Adam Raoof
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Re: ECF Director wants to scrap Clarke grading system

Post by Adam Raoof » Tue Aug 25, 2015 11:46 am

Ian Jamieson wrote: Similarly I don't understand your point about seeded Swiss pairings. (What's so wonderful about seeded Swisses anyway? They are good at working out the top few places and the bottom few places but they are not very good at working out places in-between. That's a different topic however.)
Seeded Swisses have to cope sometimes already with more than one player with the same rating or ungraded players. Personally, and I am not an expert on Swiss pairing rules, I would have thought that having fewer distinct grades and multiple players with the same grade would increase the number of possible pairings.
http://www.uschess.org/content/view/7854/349/ "The Swiss is Terrible"

Ian Jamieson
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Re: ECF Director wants to scrap Clarke grading system

Post by Ian Jamieson » Tue Aug 25, 2015 11:49 am

@ E Michael White

Agreement with Elo also has its drawbacks.

(I understand there was an online competition to see who could come up with the best system for predicting results from grades and it was won by a modified Glicko system. I don't have time however to look it up at the moment.)

The old Clarke system would only require 8 digits at the present time because of the way you, or the person you are following, has chosen to extend the system. If you change the number instead of adding extra As Kramnik would be -2A and Sadler -1A.

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