Originally posted by power mover
I've recently started playing OTB. I'm finding that my rating OTB is nowhere near as good as my RHP rating. I certainly expected a difference for obvious reasons but the gap seems to be vast. I'm really strugling against players of 60 and 70 BCF.
Whats your feelings on how OTB and RHP ratings compare?
I don't think you can make sensible comparisons between the two systems. First of all the English Chess Federation grading system does not have a probability factor (win expectancy) in the calculation.
Secondly the games on which the ratings are based are played under much wider variant conditions on RHP than OTB. Thirdly the pool of players is quite different and RHP seems to have very few players of "very strong" bracket. I base this last comment on the fact that of 11850 players in the ECF (National) list I am around 2910th with my modest 136 grade, whereas in the RHP (International) List of 14000 or so I am in the top 200.
So I think as far as the serious chess playing world goes RHP is generally weaker (or has a larger pool of weaker players) and therefore you should not be unduly surprised if your RHP rating seems higher than your OTB standard.
THe current conversion formula for ECF into FIDE(elo) is (ECF x 5) + 1250. This means a rating of 1550 elo is equivalent to 60 ECF.
The next question is how RHP may help or hinder improvement at OTB. To my mind the key to OTB is vision. Many things aid vision, knowledge of strategic principles, pattern recognition, good recollection of opening lines, traps etc. ability to recognise weaknesses, targets. Whilst those things are important RHP too - RHP vision is aided by the ability to move pieces around whether 3D or via the Analysis Board.
I believe that the only way for RHP games to improve vision for practical OTB play is to consider the correspondence positions on a 3D board and analyse without moving the pieces as you would OTB. Book learning, tactical puzzles can only make you aware of ideas that maybe relevant to you in your games, you still have to see them for yourself!
I doubt that the improving RHP 1500+ player really has a worse understanding of chess than the average ECF 60, but the conditions of play, and means of visualising during play can be different. In any case you have only just started OTB, there is a switch to be made and it will take a few months...