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  1. 15 Jul '10 15:30
    I can't imagine this discussion hasn't happened before but I am new to internet chess and this site. So, I am starting a frequently asked question. How does an OTB rating compare to an internet rating like what you get on this site? A second question (should it be a new thread?) is can playing on this site make me a better OTB player? If so, how and if not, why?
  2. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    15 Jul '10 15:47 / 3 edits
    I started playing on the site almost a year ago. I have played in three OTB tournaments since, and gained 125 points total from them.

    (Disclosure: My OTB rating has fluctuated over the years, so I have merely moved back to my former peak rating- but I think RHP is responsible).

    I have used RHP for two things to help my OTB:

    1. I use it as a testbed for new ideas, especially in the opening. I've played all sorts of interesting stuff that I wouldn't necessarily play in OTB-but now I might, as I have logged lots of experience and plenty of practice.

    2. I use it to refine my technique, especially in the ending. It's one thing to study endgame books generally, but it's a whole new ball game when you have a specific position in front of you, and you can pull out your endgame books to study and figure out the best plan.

    3. It was unanticipated for me, but the forum has been valuable. I am exposed to a great many different opinions, and I think it is valuable to have your opinions and assumptions challenged by other players. You will gain new insights into the game, and learn valuable lessons by association, rather than in a game you lost.

    The biggest mistake I have made is to let my game volume get too high. The quality suffers, as you lack the time to crunch them all.

    Edit: to answer the first question- when I have fewer games, my RHP rating exceeds my OTB rating, but when I add games and start playing here like it's OTB, my rating falls to the level of my OTB rating.

  3. 15 Jul '10 16:16
    Agree with Paul.

    Some players (like me) play very patiently, taking a long time to consider most moves beyond the opening. I am sure my OTB rating would be much lower, but I do feel that I am learning things relevant to OTB play.

    Other people play much more rapidly and instinctively. I suspect these people would have quite similar ratings OTB as they do on the site.
  4. Standard member nimzo5
    15 Jul '10 17:04
    To hazard a generalization. Your rating online in any format (CC, Blitz etc.) will be higher than your aproximate strength OTB in a serious rated tournament if you are giving your full effort when you play online.

    Reasons include-
    1) OTB you encounter actual professionals (Gm's,IM's etc)
    2) OTB tournaments are expensive when factoring travel etc. so players are highly motivated - inversely internet is easy so there is a very large number of casual players.
    3) timeouts in CC- Von Bardeleben is the only otb player I have ever heard of walking out of a game and not coming back.
    4) Ability to have more games - online chess you can have access to a game at anytime and you can pick your oppoenents (a subtle but advantageous detail). OTB you often have no clue who your are going to play and certainly can't require that you only play people 100 pts stronger than you.
    5) Many online games are played by people who are distracted, drunk, half asleep, watching tv etc..

    things that work in favor for otb-
    1) rating floors (uscf only I think)
    2) cheaters - this creates deflation up to the level of achievement of the cheater.
    3) bonus pts attributed for greater performance. (again uscf not sure about other federations)

    Ratings really only reflect how you are doing within the pool that you are in. At any time that can be stronger or weaker than another rating system.
  5. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    15 Jul '10 18:17
    I've seen +-500 differences.

    and before any newcomer gets the usual "hey, lets start a thread asking people to post their OTB vs RHP ratings" -idea, there's a billion of those threads just waiting for you to use the search function.
  6. 15 Jul '10 18:44
    Thanks. I figured this had been discussed before but didn't think about using the search function. Sorry about making a repetitive thread.
  7. 15 Jul '10 18:49
    Everyone has made that mistake before! It's all good.
  8. 15 Jul '10 19:45
    My RHP rating hovers around 100 points over my OTB play, but like it has been said, I make moves drunk, half asleep or watching tv and lose points that way. I think if you give it your all and play few games, the RHP rating is around 200-300 points higher.