#### Only Chess Forum

1. 08 Nov '06 19:50
I was taking a look at the October English ratings and I recognised one or two players from this site. However I could not decide whether the ECF ratings are deflated or inflated. In http://www.answers.com/topic/elo-rating-system they say :-

Originally Elo Article
The primary goal of ELO ratings is to accurately predict game results between contemporary competitors, and FIDE ratings perform this task relatively well. A secondary, more ambitious goal is to use ratings to compare players between different eras. (See also Greatest chess player of all time.) It would be convenient if a FIDE rating of 2500 meant the same thing in 2005 that it meant in 1975. If the ratings suffer from inflation, then a modern rating of 2500 means less than a historical rating of 2500, while if the ratings suffer from deflation, the reverse will be true. Unfortunately, even among people who would like ratings from different eras to "mean the same thing", intuitions differ sharply as to whether a given rating should represent a fixed absolute skill or a fixed relative performance.

Originally Elo Article
Within the provisional period for calculating Elo, for some reason a crude averaging system of the rating of opponents is used over 20 games by some sites. Apart from the obvious flawed logic that beating someone much weaker than you should not lose points and losing to someone much higher than you should not gain points, it should also be obvious to players in the UK that an alternative performance measurement system is already available — namely the English Chess Federation (ECF) grading system. The English Chess Federation grading system already accounts for cases where you beat someone much lower, by simply adding some points to your grade. And when you lose to someone much higher, you also some lose some points relative to your rating. Perhaps in a new model of Elo calculations, the English Chess Federation grading system could be used for the 1st 20-50 games in order to establish a stable Elo rating which is then subject to Elo's main formula relating to probability distribution. The problem though is how to convert from one system to the other. The ECF are aware that their rating system is suffering from hyper-deflation and are actively looking at fixes to correct this - one possibility being to switch to Elo.

I dunno about deflation in the ECF but ask anyone in the know what happened when the British Championship used to be open to players from the commonwealth. A rating whether USCF/ECF or FIDE is certainly an ornament of sorts there are about 10,000 players on the ECF list and about 70,000 on the FIDE list, leaving about 500,000 players unrated worldwide. (z00t's estimate)!
2. 08 Nov '06 20:06
Originally posted by z00t
I was taking a look at the October English ratings and I recognised one or two players from this site. However I could not decide whether the ECF ratings are deflated or inflated. In http://www.answers.com/topic/elo-rating-system they say :-

Originally Elo Article
[b]The primary goal of ELO ratings is to accurately predict game results between contem ...[text shortened]... 70,000 on the FIDE list, leaving about 500,000 players unrated worldwide. (z00t's estimate)!
I'm unrated.
3.  DeepThought
09 Nov '06 16:18
The ECF system has a "bug" if you only play players who are much weaker than you, you always get a rating improvement from it (your rating + 10). Your new rating is the average of your "ratings per game" at the end of the year, it's like the system here for provisional players but with a cut off so your rating doesn't go down when you win. So by doing this for 30 years you could get a rating of 300 + whatever you started with (the highest ECF rated player is Nigel Short on 265 or so).

The ELO system is more robust against this, as you get diminishing returns from trying to pull the same stunt. Basically the ECF, and for that matter FIDE, the USCF and other federations, more or less have to make the assumption that the player pool is large enough that this won't happen.
4. 09 Nov '06 18:52
Actually the ECF's problems are well documented, see http://www.sccu.ndo.co.uk/let.htm as an example. However I would disagree with the inflation of FIDE/deflation of ECF approach but look at all ratings as inflated.

The ratings that people have in these days are very high meaning comparisons with past players like Steinitz/Capablanca/Fischer is meaningless.
5.  Wulebgr
Angler
10 Nov '06 15:15
There's a lot of talk that ratings are inflated at the top, but the bulk of players are in the trenches and 1600 today is much stronger than it was in 1975.
6. 10 Nov '06 15:27
Originally posted by Wulebgr
There's a lot of talk that ratings are inflated at the top, but the bulk of players are in the trenches and 1600 today is much stronger than it was in 1975.
Yes, just like with any other overall ability. Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute barrier for running a mile in 1954 (9 years after the previous world record). Today the top athletes beat it routinely.
7.  Wulebgr
Angler
10 Nov '06 15:31
Originally posted by lausey
Yes, just like with any other overall ability. Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute barrier for running a mile in 1954 (9 years after the previous world record). Today the top athletes beat it routinely.
...and since Jim Ryan ran under 4 in high school, many other HS athletes have done so

Certainly training methods have improved in all sports, including chess.
8. 10 Nov '06 15:32
Since ratings are relative to the other people in the rating pool, it really doesn't matter.
9. 10 Nov '06 19:20
Originally posted by Wulebgr
There's a lot of talk that ratings are inflated at the top, but the bulk of players are in the trenches and 1600 today is much stronger than it was in 1975.
I was just thinking today exactly what you just mentioned, Wulebgr. I was studying a game by Lasker, and the book said his play in that particular caused pandemonium because of the beautiful combination he pulled off. However, the book also said that such stripping away of the King's pawn cover is not rare in modern times as it was then. I also have seen myself do such combinations and I have had a redhotpawn.com rating of 1600+ before I had a lot of timeouts. Now, my question is - and anyone can give me their opinion if they wish - is what would a 1600 player today be rated in say the 1800s? Granted we have had more tactical brilliancies to study and much more common is certain theoretical principles in our time. And so, what do you guys think?
10. 10 Nov '06 20:38
I don't disagree that 1600 players can play a good game. What I disagree with is players having 2700-2800 ratings and have never won a strong tournament/world championship. When these top players go to Olympiads/Opens and meet 2300 players they don't make the clean sweeps that with their high ratings they are supposed to.

Tthis is simply making a mockery of the rating system as someone can claim to be two or three hundred points higher than Fisher/Steinitz/Capablanca simply because of an inflationary rating sytem.
11.  DeepThought