Originally posted by Tyrannosauruschex
I think that now they have got an online system, they can trace old ratings up to 10 or 15 years back.
Traditionally, though, if you are inactive for a year you lose your rating. Hence the reason the ratings slip down - I recently played a player who used to be about 2200 (190ECF - about what David Tebb is rated) and had been inactive for years ...[text shortened]... te a good 150 player as it is so damn hard to get my rating up even though my game is improving.
I suspect that these issues iron themselves out over a season.
I think it is better to be underrated than overrated as your opponent may not anticipate the standard of your play.
I think your grade will improve when it is ready to improve, and the fact that you feel your game is improving is probably an accurate reflection that you are becoming a better chess player. Often, ratings will plateau for a year or so before rising. I supose it is a period of consolidation.
Personally, regardless of my opponent's grade, I am happy if I play well (winning helps though!).
Recently, I played in a tournament where I drew my games against the eventual winner and also against the lowest rated player in the section. The games were very different yet both very interesting and both will require a lot of work from myself.