Originally posted by joesheppe
Right, well the fact that they touched 1900 for thirty seconds doesn't impress me. These guys typically play in excess of 50 games, mostly with players rated well below them, and their rating can yo yo up and down with little real significance. Are they really 1800+ strength? I doubt it. Play them head to head with someone long rated at least 1850, and the ...[text shortened]... accident. Do you see any players there rated higher than 1900? How many above even 1800??
I know you like to go back to that theme of playing lower-rated players, but the ratings formula accounts for that. If you play much higher players and lose, you lose few points, and if you win against a much lower opponent, you gain almost nothing.
My friend Niculae and I (we met on the sight when I was new and had the ol' p1200) have played some 70 or so games, and I have won something like 63 or so. With his 7 wins, we're about even in rating points. Ihave better technique, but sometimes his wild attacks bust me pretty good. And sometimes I just suck, too.
We're playing for fun, and we don't really care about ratings, but for anyone to suggest that either one of us gains or loses points because of our disparity in rating means that they don't appreciate the sliding scale of the system.
As a rule, the more games played (I mean total, not at one time), the more accurate the rating, as things regress to the mean.
In the grand scheme, ratings are only an approximate guide. I think the only really accurate way to assess how good or bad someone can play is to play them and see.
There's also a little of the "chicken and egg" paradox- are these guys higher rated because they beat their opponents, or did they beat their opponents because they are higher rated? If they don't deserve to be higher rated, they will lose against lower rated players, and after a while they won't be "higher".