East Devon Open, 23-25 February

Results of competitions with tables, or as much detail as is possible.
E Michael White
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Re: East Devon Open, 23-25 February

Post by E Michael White » Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:50 am

David Sedgwick wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:30 am
When these Championships were introduced in the 1990s, they were the British U175 Championship, the British U150 Championship, the British U125 Championship and the British U100 Championship.

They continued along similar lines for about 25 years - until you came along.

How did we manage to do the impossible for a quarter of a century?
I don't see it as a problem using FIDE ratings for eligibility as long as that event is FIDE rated. Several appearances in say the U175 will build up a players rating to reliable if it isn't already.

David Sedgwick
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Re: East Devon Open, 23-25 February

Post by David Sedgwick » Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:56 am

E Michael White wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:50 am
David Sedgwick wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:30 am
When these Championships were introduced in the 1990s, they were the British U175 Championship, the British U150 Championship, the British U125 Championship and the British U100 Championship.

They continued along similar lines for about 15 years - until you came along.

How did we manage to do the impossible for a decade and a half?
I don't see it as a problem using FIDE ratings for eligibility as long as that event is FIDE rated. Several appearances in say the U175 will build up a players rating to reliable if it isn't already.
Yes, but that will take three to four years.

I have amended my original post and the quotation thereof in this post. The sharpness of my metaphorical pen was not matched by the quality of my mental arithmetic.

E Michael White
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Re: East Devon Open, 23-25 February

Post by E Michael White » Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:28 am

David Sedgwick wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:56 am
Yes, but that will take three to four years.
For Scots, Welsh and other players who may not have an ECF grade or play any other ECF graded chess, using FIDE will be more accurate than converted grades from year 2 onwards. Likewise for ENG players who acquire a FIDE rating through that competition. Sorry David its more mental arithmetic. On this point I think Alex agrees with me for the wrong reasons and I disagree with you for the right reasons !

Mike Gunn
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Re: East Devon Open, 23-25 February

Post by Mike Gunn » Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:03 am

By all means FIDE rate these events, but for 90% of players their ECF grades will continue to be a more accurate estimate of their strengths because they will continue to play more ECF graded games every year. So FIDE rate and ECF grade them but determine eligibility by the more accurate ECF grades. As far as the Scots, Welsh etc, their participation in the event is less than 10% so convert their FIDE or national ratings to ECF grades for the purpose of determining eligibility.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: East Devon Open, 23-25 February

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:31 am

David Sedgwick wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:30 am
Alex Holowczak wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:16 pm
Mike Gunn wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:12 pm
3. At my (very average) level there can be very large discrepancies between FIDE rating and ECF grade. There is no great mystery about this as nearly 100% of English events are ECF graded and only a minority are FIDE rated. ECF grades are much more accurate for most English players because they are based on much more data. Thus it would be much fairer (for example) if eligibility for graded sections at the British were based on ECF grades rather than FIDE ratings. Perhaps it is not too late to make this simple change for this year's tournaments?
I'm afraid it is. If it were an English Championship, you might have a point. But it's a British Championship, so there needs to be a common rating that people in Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and beyond use.
When these Championships were introduced in the 1990s, they were the British U175 Championship, the British U150 Championship, the British U125 Championship and the British U100 Championship.

They continued along similar lines for about 15 years - until you came along.

How did we manage to do the impossible for a decade and a half?
Until I came along, they weren't FIDE-rated. The sections that aren't FIDE-rated in 2018 (i.e. the Under 100 and Under 120) are still advertised thus, albeit with a 4-figure conversion factor for the National Elos of the other BICC Federations.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: East Devon Open, 23-25 February

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:55 am

Mike Gunn wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:03 am
By all means FIDE rate these events, but for 90% of players their ECF grades will continue to be a more accurate estimate of their strengths because they will continue to play more ECF graded games every year. So FIDE rate and ECF grade them but determine eligibility by the more accurate ECF grades. As far as the Scots, Welsh etc, their participation in the event is less than 10% so convert their FIDE or national ratings to ECF grades for the purpose of determining eligibility.
What about if a US player enters? Should we use their national rating list too in preference to their FIDE-rating for the same reason? What about if someone from Yorkshire enters?

In the sections that are being FIDE-rated, based on previous data collection, the vast majority of players have FIDE ratings. In some sections, all of them will have FIDE ratings; possibly even more will have FIDE-ratings than ECF-grades. The exception will probably be the Under 10s, and maybe the Under 1750 and the Under 12s.

David Sedgwick
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Re: East Devon Open, 23-25 February

Post by David Sedgwick » Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:16 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:55 am
Mike Gunn wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:03 am
By all means FIDE rate these events, but for 90% of players their ECF grades will continue to be a more accurate estimate of their strengths because they will continue to play more ECF graded games every year. So FIDE rate and ECF grade them but determine eligibility by the more accurate ECF grades. As far as the Scots, Welsh etc, their participation in the event is less than 10% so convert their FIDE or national ratings to ECF grades for the purpose of determining eligibility.
What about if a US player enters? Should we use their national rating list too in preference to their FIDE-rating for the same reason?
Leaving aside the question of whether you should allow a US player to play in a British Championship, the answer to your question is an emphatic yes. Mike's 90% estimate for English players would be more like 99% for US players.

Andy McCulloch
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Re: East Devon Open, 23-25 February

Post by Andy McCulloch » Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:20 pm

Well, I have an interest in this, having played in the British last summer.

I am a member of both Chess Scotland (grade 1086) and The English Chess Federation (grade 95A) this year. Last year I gained a rather inflated Fide rating of 1454, since reduced to 1440. I play nearly as much outside Scotland as in it, simply because there are many more congresses in England.

My grade last year fell from 110E to 102C. I wanted to play as much as possible at the British, so entered the under 120 and the under 140/1750.
Along with a good number of other competitors, I know as it was discussed, I was surprised that the entry was based on the lower of ECF and FIDE.

A fair number of the entrants with grades well above 140, were allowed in because their Fide rating was below 1750. One player, with whom I am reasonably friendly, was able to enter despite never being below 140 in over 20 years! Surely entrants should be below both cutoffs, and not allowed to use the lower of the two.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: East Devon Open, 23-25 February

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:19 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:16 pm
Leaving aside the question of whether you should allow a US player to play in a British Championship, the answer to your question is an emphatic yes. Mike's 90% estimate for English players would be more like 99% for US players.
OK, so how do we know which rated section to allocate them to? What's the conversion factor? You could use the ECF to FIDE conversion, but we haven't got any data as to whether or not that's accurate for ECF to USCF. That's no different from how we treat WCU or CS ratings to be fair, although I suspect most people would argue that USCF ratings are higher than FIDE Elo, so that conversion shouldn't be used.

You didn't answer the second half of my question, which were very much intended to be taken as a pair - what about Yorkshire?

If the argument is that you should use the grade or rating where the player would normally play their graded or rated chess, then we should use the Yorkshire grade for anyone in Yorkshire in preference to the ECF grade. Would you support that?

Or, you could just use the FIDE-rating, which everyone either has or has the opportunity to have - the one rating in common between all of the people who might enter.
Andy McCulloch wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:20 pm
A fair number of the entrants with grades well above 140, were allowed in because their Fide rating was below 1750. One player, with whom I am reasonably friendly, was able to enter despite never being below 140 in over 20 years! Surely entrants should be below both cutoffs, and not allowed to use the lower of the two.
They weren't allowed to enter using the lower of the two - the FIDE rating took precedence over their ECF grade; on the grounds that it was a FIDE-rated section. If you leave the chess bubble, and think about an outsider looking in, if they see an internationally rated section, it would seem intuitive to use the international ratings for the section rather than a national grade. So I don't think that's an unreasonable approach.

The 4NCL experimented with the double limit approach, but it failed for a number of reasons:
- Players kept entering the wrong section; moreso than before it was used. It seemed to cause more confusion.
- There was one case where an on-the-day entry entered and was put in the wrong section by accident.
- As it turned out, for whatever reason, the players who said they would enter the Congresses if the 4NCL changed it to the double limit approach didn't enter them anyway.

For these reasons, the 4NCL Congresses went back to their old system, and I am reluctant to do this for the British Championship, particularly when people are normally booking accommodation independently. At least in the 4NCL, if players get bumped into a section and choose to withdraw, there can normally be a pragmatic accommodation solution. This might not be the case at the British Championship with independent booking, plus the added complexity of different sections being played at different times of the day.

I'm sure it's right that if you have a FIDE rating of x as the limit, then some people with a grade of greater than (x - 700) / 7.5 will find they are suddenly able to enter. Equally, if you have a ECF grade of y that is the limit, then some people with a rating of greater than y * 7.5 + 700 will find they are suddenly able to enter. For some reason, the first of these generates the ire of many, even though in my experience, the second approach has this problem too but you never hear anything about it. You will see it (for example) at Adam Raoof's Golders Green Rapidplays, where one player gets in to the section by grade but has a rating in excess of the limit the conversion works it out to be. I'm sure I've observed this at my own Birmingham Rapidplays, run on the basis of an ECF grade cutoff even though they are FIDE-rated. I think there's an element of familiarity and trust in the ECF grade that people have that they don't have in the FIDE rating, which may also be an answer Nick's question about the things that are unique to England aren't FIDE rated in the first place when they could be. Even though the same problem exists no matter which single limit you choose.

There is a saying that a person with one clock knows the time, but a person with two clocks is never quite sure. I am sure there is a parallel phenomenon with having multiple rating systems. Welsh players who play in England must experience this quite regularly even if you put the issue of FIDE rating to one side.

Ian Thompson
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Re: East Devon Open, 23-25 February

Post by Ian Thompson » Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:32 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:19 pm
I'm sure it's right that if you have a FIDE rating of x as the limit, then some people with a grade of greater than (x - 700) / 7.5 will find they are suddenly able to enter. Equally, if you have a ECF grade of y that is the limit, then some people with a rating of greater than y * 7.5 + 700 will find they are suddenly able to enter. For some reason, the first of these generates the ire of many, even though in my experience, the second approach has this problem too but you never hear anything about it.
If most people agree with Mike Gunn
Mike Gunn wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:03 am
... for 90% of players their ECF grades will continue to be a more accurate estimate of their strengths because they will continue to play more ECF graded games every year.
it's not surprising at all that the former generates a reaction and the latter doesn't.

David Sedgwick
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Re: East Devon Open, 23-25 February

Post by David Sedgwick » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:20 am

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:19 pm
David Sedgwick wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:16 pm
Leaving aside the question of whether you should allow a US player to play in a British Championship, the answer to your question is an emphatic yes. Mike's 90% estimate for English players would be more like 99% for US players.
OK, so how do we know which rated section to allocate them to? What's the conversion factor? You could use the ECF to FIDE conversion, but we haven't got any data as to whether or not that's accurate for ECF to USCF. That's no different from how we treat WCU or CS ratings to be fair, although I suspect most people would argue that USCF ratings are higher than FIDE Elo, so that conversion shouldn't be used.

You didn't answer the second half of my question, which were very much intended to be taken as a pair - what about Yorkshire?

If the argument is that you should use the grade or rating where the player would normally play their graded or rated chess, then we should use the Yorkshire grade for anyone in Yorkshire in preference to the ECF grade. Would you support that?
Mike's original question was about the British Graded / Rating Limited Championships. References to other events such as the 4NCL Congresses do not seem to me to be relevant.

Regarding your hypothetical American, you ask the USCF for their current conversion factor from USCF Ratings to FIDE Ratings and work through that to get an estimated ECF grade.

I played an American player in the Major Open in 1980. It was within the competence of the then organisers and arbiters to come up with a suitable estimated BCF grade for him.

I accept that the Yorkshire question is more tricky. I don't know what we did during the fifteen or so years from c1995 to c2010. However, the issue doesn't seem to have caused problems during that time.

As it so many other areas, you have again failed to grasp the maxim "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:19 pm
... the 4NCL Congresses went back to their old system, and I am reluctant to do this for the British Championship ...
Well, that seems to concede that it would not be impossible for the British Championships to revert to their old system, as you originally claimed.

I leave it to the ECF Board and / or the ECF Council to decide whether you should be compelled to overcome your reluctance.

J T Melsom
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Re: East Devon Open, 23-25 February

Post by J T Melsom » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:02 pm

I cannot pretend to be in favour of many of Alex's changes, though I very much enjoyed his new format for the National Club. However the 'if it ain't broke' maxim used to criticise him seems entirely wrong. Surely 'better to have tried and failed etc' might have some sense in it as well. I'm not at all convinced that the status quo which people seem happy to defend is a healthy status quo at all - it's a position of gradual and accelerating decline which ought to be a source of dismay not pride. Innovation is clearly needed, but perhaps it just needs to be better managed. It is after all a rare chess organiser who can point to events under their direct responsibility which have grown on their watch.

David Sedgwick
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Re: East Devon Open, 23-25 February

Post by David Sedgwick » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:33 pm

J T Melsom wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:02 pm
Innovation is clearly needed, but perhaps it just needs to be better managed.
I have just made a very similar point in a lengthy post in another thread.

J T Melsom
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Re: East Devon Open, 23-25 February

Post by J T Melsom » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:40 pm

Can I therefore ask for the benefit of those less familiar with your personal contribution to chess for examples of innovation and growth in events within your overview. It does add helpful context, and perhaps some of the innovations might be useful to chess held in other places.

David Sedgwick
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Re: East Devon Open, 23-25 February

Post by David Sedgwick » Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:18 pm

J T Melsom wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:40 pm
Can I therefore ask for the benefit of those less familiar with your personal contribution to chess for examples of innovation and growth in events within your overview. It does add helpful context, and perhaps some of the innovations might be useful to chess held in other places.
Is that directed at me?

If so, I wouldn't claim any great success as an innovator. I was commending some of the innovations being made by Alex Holowczak.

Since you ask, I regard my most important personal contribution to English chess in recent years to have been facilitating the two awards made to Chess in Schools and Communuties by the Sport and Recreation Alliance during the period that I was the ECF representative to the S+RA (2007 to 2013). Malcolm Pein stated at an ECF Council Meeting that the awards had contributed significantly to the growth of CSC.

I was not successful in persuading any organisation other than CSC to show any interest in seeking an award.

Secondly, in recent years English arbiters have received more international recognition that their counterparts in many other comparable Federations, despite our Federation having long been a critic of the current FIDE President.

I like to think that I had a little to do with that too.

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