NickFaulks wrote: ↑
Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:24 am
Keith Arkell wrote: ↑
Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:51 pm
We knew before the match that our Greek opponents were vastly under-rated just by looking at their games. Someone gave the typical explanation that there are lots of ludicrously under-rated kids in Athens stealing all their points!
We see these stories all the time, and it takes a bit of work to investigate them, but occasionally I decide to make the effort.
Keith's opponent has dropped 190 rating points since July 2016, over the course of 227 rated games. These include a total of two games in which he lost to a Greek junior rated below himself.
As is generally the case, the claims of the Greek players collapse when subjected to actual analysis.
Reverting to topic, I'd like to thank Nick for taking the trouble to rule out the Greek's own explanation of why their players played far better chess than would have been expected given their relatively low Elo ratings. To clarify, this included our own pre-match inspection of their level of play coming into the event, the level they were playing at during the event, and the level they played at during the match v us.
England 1 vs Athens Veterans
GM Jon Speelman 1 – 0 Mitradzas 2055
GM Keith Arkell 1 – 0 Ilandzis 2021 ( 81 moves of tough grinding)
GM Plaskett 0.5 – 0.5 Hrisanthoploulos 1995
GM Chris Ward 0.5 – 0.5 Popadimitrios 1943
Here is what Stewart Reuben had to say about our opponent's level of play even before they did so well against England 1 , in a match which we could have done with winning 4-0 for tie-break purposes. ''It is totally inexplicable that such low rated players can have done so well in this event. In board order their 4 players have gained 21.2, 54.6, 28.2 and 59.2 rating points...'' [Report on ECF site].
I guess this is a tired old story now, but not completely uninteresting in the context of how it is possible for senior players to revert back to the levels of play of their best years, given enough motivation to do so - and being the home team perhaps provided them with that extra inspiration.