FIDE's 400pt rule

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Stewart Reuben
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Re: FIDE's 400pt rule

Post by Stewart Reuben » Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:10 am

KARL BURGER in 1964 wanted to increase his USCF Rating from 2396 to 2400. So he entered weekend Swisses, played only in the first round and then withdrew. He gained 1 point for each win. I aked him why he wanted to get to 2400 Senior Master. 'Because all Senior Masters are invited to the US Closed Champion' - the one Fischer won with 11/11. He was somewhat crestfallen when I pointed out to him it was lmited to 12 players.

My first tournament in the US in 1963 was for players rated under 2200. I shouldn't really have been allowed to play, but had no idea. I scored 5.5/6 and achieved a rating over 2350. Had I won the drawn game (which I should have), I would have been over 2400. Elo knew about my anomaly, caused by an established player, but unrated, entering a tournament. But did nothing about it when the FIDE System was started in 1970. Bill Goichberg got a rating over 2500 with a score of 7/9 in his first FIDE Rated tournament which he also ran. Elo refused to publish it, saying 'it was 100/1 against his getting such a result legitimately.' Did he not realise 100/1 chances come up one in every hundred! Olafsson, President of FIDE, insisted on his publishing Goichberg's rating.
That anomaly was later corrected.

The late Mikko Markulla, Chairman of the Qualification Commission, wanted to increase the FIDE Rule to 500. But the Commision voted against this. In my case, because I wanted high rated players to enter open Swisses. 400 means an expected score of 0.92. Thus a gain of 0.8 for each such game.
500 means about 0.96. Thus a gain of 0.4 for each such game.600 means 0.98. 735 and above there is no gain -which is preposterous.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: FIDE's 400pt rule

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:15 am

Stewart Reuben wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:10 am
735 and above there is no gain -which is preposterous.
If Alpha Zero or its siblings can be distracted from more important matters, set them loose on devising a chess rating system. There are branches of mathematics which deal with "long tail" issues. These are outcomes that are extremely unlikely but never the less happen once in a blue moon. But how often are blue moons? A central assumption of Elo derived rating systems is that chess strength is stable. Whilst correct as a general assumption, it can break at the extremes.

Richard Bates
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Re: FIDE's 400pt rule

Post by Richard Bates » Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:29 am

Under the original FIDE system of course, it was almost impossible to ever play anyone outside of the 400pt gap. Slight exception for male-female matchups.

NickFaulks
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Re: FIDE's 400pt rule

Post by NickFaulks » Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:03 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:15 am
If Alpha Zero or its siblings can be distracted from more important matters, set them loose on devising a chess rating system.
I doubt that much would be learned that we have not already seen from the excellent Kaggle contest. The problem is essentially solved and all that remains is the tradeoff between predictive accuracy and simplicity / practicality. I was in fact surprised by the extent to which predictive power can be improved by incorporating obscure elements of past performance, but that does not necessarily mean that you wish to do it. The question of whether a 2550 GM should gain 0.8, 0.6 or 0.2 rating points by winning against a 1950 opponent in the first round of an Open Swiss may be less important than whether you are content to see them decide not to enter.

Ian Thompson
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Re: FIDE's 400pt rule

Post by Ian Thompson » Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:11 am

Stewart Reuben wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:10 am
735 and above there is no gain -which is preposterous.
The French system used to have, and maybe still does have, a variation on this - if the difference is more than 400 points the game doesn't get rated ... unless the higher rated player fails to win.

Reg Clucas
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Re: FIDE's 400pt rule

Post by Reg Clucas » Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:38 pm

Ian Thompson wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:11 am
Stewart Reuben wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:10 am
735 and above there is no gain -which is preposterous.
The French system used to have, and maybe still does have, a variation on this - if the difference is more than 400 points the game doesn't get rated ... unless the higher rated player fails to win.
..which seems even more preposterous!

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Michael Farthing
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Re: FIDE's 400pt rule

Post by Michael Farthing » Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:38 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:15 am
But how often are blue moons?
Every 2 to three years - not as rare as people think. The next one is due on Halloween next year.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: FIDE's 400pt rule

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sun Jul 07, 2019 5:59 pm

Ian Thompson wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:11 am
Stewart Reuben wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:10 am
735 and above there is no gain -which is preposterous.
The French system used to have, and maybe still does have, a variation on this - if the difference is more than 400 points the game doesn't get rated ... unless the higher rated player fails to win.
It does not, because the French system doesn't exist anymore. I'm told the French decided to abandon it in favour of just FIDE-rating everything.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: FIDE's 400pt rule

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:30 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 5:59 pm

It does not, because the French system doesn't exist anymore. I'm told the French decided to abandon it in favour of just FIDE-rating everything.
That's not entirely the case, as they still appear to calculate domestic ratings for those have yet to acquire an International one. Their rating list for adult males is shown at http://www.echecs.asso.fr/ListeJoueurs. ... JrCat=SenM and if you scroll to the bottom, you will see a mix of players with ratings of 1030 N (national) and 1030 F (Fide)

NickFaulks
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Re: FIDE's 400pt rule

Post by NickFaulks » Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:36 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:30 pm
if you scroll to the bottom, you will see a mix of players with ratings of 1030 N (national) and 1030 F (Fide)
I'm not sure that the "N" ratings are being updated.

Chris Rice
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Re: FIDE's 400pt rule

Post by Chris Rice » Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:20 pm

Emil Sutovsky has created a number of posts on the matter and commented on others. The following comment he made on FB sums up what he thinks:

"I have a very clear understanding on this one. Rating should reflect a player's strength. 400-rule was a good invention, but it can not be abused in such a cynical way. I have already sent a request to FIDE QC to look into it, and to come up with a recommendation. The most obvious one is to limit a number of games a player can benefit from 400-points rule. If you have up to 3 games per month, that is OK."

In response a number of people pointed out that this could negatively affect players such as Keith Arkell. Keith's response to this is well worth discussion:

"In the last 12 months I played 20 players rated more than 400 less than me (out of 107 games in total).
Using the rating change calculation tables (which go up to a rating difference of 735 points, above which the expected score is 100%) I worked out how much I have benefited.
By that I mean for example that if I play someone rated 434 lower than me then I should gain 0.6 for winning rather than 0.8, or if I play someone rated 486 lower than me then I should gain 0.4 for winning rather than 0.8, while if I play someone rated 630 lower than me then winning should only net me 0.1 of a rating point).
In total the benefit to me from those 20 games I played in the last year v opponents more than 400 points lower than me is 5.9 rating points.
To put this statistic in a broader context, during that year I played 27 rated games in weekend tournaments, and gained 9.5 points from them. In the remaining 80 games ( ie from team chess, and full blown international tournaments) I gained 45.5 rating points.
There were only two months when I played more than 3 opponents with a bigger than 400 point rating gap, and on those two occasions I played 4 of them.
My conclusion is that Emil's proposition of limiting the number of rated games per player to the first three per month, for the player with the higher rating, would have almost no impact at all on the ratings of normally active players, but would do a great deal to curb deliberate rating manipulation.
Therefore in my opinion it is a very good idea."

Keith Arkell
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Re: FIDE's 400pt rule

Post by Keith Arkell » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:40 am

LawrenceCooper wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:53 pm
NickFaulks wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:41 pm
Ian Thompson wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 10:06 pm
I see that the organisers of the recent Lugano Master tournament approved of him playing
Of course they did. Are we wondering why Paignton haven't asked Keith to stop playing there, since he's obviously just harvesting cheap rating and grading points? We're not, because the idea is daft.
More relevant is that he lives in Paignton and the prize money is good.
Nick was highlighting the absurdity of the idea, and he is right, of course.

Actually, there is very simple reason why we in the UK don't have a problem with abuse of the 400 point rule (or 40 ECF points), and that is because our congresses have more than one section. For example Paignton has a Minor ( under 120), an Intermediate (under 150) and a Challengers (under 180) so us guys at the top don't play the 1800s and 1400s. At Paignton last year, my lowest rated opponent was 2003, and I was rated 2432 - a gap of 429 rating points.

Furthermore, when GMs have come to Paignton from out of town they have failed to win more often than they have succeeded - From Timoschenko ( who failed even to win a place prize) to Danny Gormally a few years ago, and then going way back to the first edition when former World Champion Euwe lost out to Golombek.

I think league chess may potentially be a different matter though. A strong player playing in a very weak league could, in principle, push their grade up year after year, exploiting the 40 point rule. Has anybody ever done that? I presume such leagues don't FIDE rate their games. I saw Jack mention somewhere that he has unintentionally exploited the weak local pool concept to bump up his ECF rapid grade.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: FIDE's 400pt rule

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:04 pm

Keith Arkell wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:40 am
A strong player playing in a very weak league could, in principle, push their grade up year after year, exploiting the 40 point rule. Has anybody ever done that/
In his time, Owen Hindle had been ranked high enough to represent the BCF in a Zonal tournament. In later life, he retired to Norfolk and retained a grade in the 220s despite no one else locally being much above 180. I don't think he increased his grade, but kept it. If all the 160s you play count as 180, that's a useful protection against the occasional poor result.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: FIDE's 400pt rule

Post by Stewart Reuben » Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:43 pm

Kenny Harman increased his grade by that method when he moved to Basingstoke. Whether it was deliberate is quite another matter. He intensely disliked losing and was in an area where he was much the strongest player.

In 1972 in Reykjavik I played a whole series of blitz games with Bill Lombardy. I am not sure whether he won all of them. I was embarrassed and asked him whether he really wanted to continue. His response, 'It makes a change from chauffeuring Bobby around all the time.' I think he just liked winning.

NickFaulks
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Re: FIDE's 400pt rule

Post by NickFaulks » Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:03 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:43 pm
I think he just liked winning.
You might have found out by suggesting 3' v 5'.

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