Sunday, August 15, 2010

Back to square one!

A few week ago my friend Paul (rated 2156 at the time) decided to play in the Dallas Insanity. 24 hours of chess, 20 games of G/30.

I advised him not to, since it is pretty hard to play a quality game in 30 min. He played anyway and lost 26 points.

I should have listened to my own advice and not played in the 5 round G/30 event yesterday. I won the first 2 games, but only managed a half point in the next 3! and lost 29 points.

So I am back at my 1800 floor! The good news is that I can only go up now!

The main reason I played was to get some games in before the SWO, and I really didn't have much of a choice. Now I can play without any worry of losing rating points!

Click here for the ugly cross table.


  1. Ivan,
    You need to move to Michigan so we can study together. Texas is killing your chess game lol.

    - Tony

  2. It looks like you've been corrupted by me getting into "cracktion" chess. Thank God for rating floors.

  3. Bah, they must take away those floors. It makes the americain rating bogus, to zero worth. One can play a 1800 or 1700 who is worth only 1500 strength. What's the logic behind that?

  4. My understanding of the rating system is that if points weren't added to it in some clever way that it would bring ratings down. For example, a lot of kids and provisional players are much stronger than their ratings.

    Or you could remove floors and make 1900 the new Expert, something like that.

    I would rather they remove the floor and give everyone 100 or more extra rating points. But then, yeah, higher-rated players would probably play Action Chess and blow it all, and who wants to discourage that? hehe.

  5. I think that this system creates another kind of problem, though, that a lot of people end up with ratings that are more valid at faster time-controls. Then they play slow-chess, what should be a real rating, and sometimes aren't able to make that transition too well.

    I think that G/60 and below should be a separate rating to discourage it, but if anything society probably encourages the notion - "Look at my little Tommy, he's the G/60 champion!" as opposed to "wasting" time at slower-controls.

  6. Another reason for floors is to prevent sandbagging.

    In US Chess, there are indeed seperate ratings for quick and regular time controls. G/60, bizarrely, can count for both.

    I don't know about most people, but my quick and regular ratings are actually pretty close.

  7. I think that the quicker time-controls are at the expense of the endgame, that is why I don't play them.

    I could play the perfect game, be up a pawn, and lose the game in time-pressure, and the opponent doesn't even have to agree to a draw in a losing position. That is a lot of things against it.

    The ratings probably correlate closely because the stronger class-player should be better in the middlegame, where the easiest/quickest wins can occur.

  8. Hey Ivan,

    it's really sad to see where you're heading to.
    Some years ago I gave you the advice to blunder-check all your moves so you may eliminate these big blunders that kill your rating any time.
    I still think you should avoid too many tournaments, especially quick games.
    Concentrate on avoiding blunders instead and try to come up with a decent plan in any game and follow it through until the last move of the endgame.
    Take a single game more serious than you do now; try to do your very best in each game and stop this silly gambler-attitude like 'it can only get better next time'.
    Your rating floor may be 1800 but your chess skills may easily drop below that as it stands like now...


  9. There is a point where short time controls changes the game. The set of skills required is simply different and there isn't time for the players to play to their maximum ability.

    G/30's are still nice for fun and practice, but I wouldn't play G/30's that affect regular rating. (Well, except maybe if the participants are middle-age or older...)

  10. There are flaws with the floors, but there are some considerations taken in the calculations which help some of the inflation that seems to be apparent with floors. There are several rounds of calculations done on each tournament. The first pass calculates according to the actual pre-event ratings of each player. Using Tiger's example of the 1800 sitting on his floor. Let's suppose that 1800 has a crappy tournament because he's really only 1650 strength. With no floor his rating drops to 1730.

    On the second pass everyone's rating is recalculated using the new rating based on actual results in the tournament. So everyone who played the 1800 with a floor would credited as if they played a 1730. The reverse would be true if the 1800 played well and would have had his rating go up to 1840. Those who played him would get credit for playing an 1840.

    It's not an ideal system, but for the most part it's fairly accurate. In large country like the US you are going to see other variations in ratings based on the pool of players. If you have a small pool of players and they're constantly playing each other you'll see some inflated ratings, particularly if one or two players keep mopping up against the same group. The reverse can be true where a large metropolitan with a lot of rising players, there tends to be deflated ratings as people lose to uder rated players on the rise.

  11. Ivan,
    i definitely think you should take your games more serious in order to improve your chess and your rating.
    I give an example: i always experience that with my internet blitz games my chess (and rating) declines after a few games; that's simply because i no longer take the games serious and just make moves...
    Maybe small things can help you support getting/keeping a serious attitude towards your game; for example playing with wooden chesspieces (instead of plastic ones) on a wooden board may have this effect (i think it helps me...)
    Maybe take some time and watch Magnus Carlsen making his moves during a chessgame (there's a lot of footage on youtube for that); he always touches the pieces in a very distinct way and he places the pieces very accurately on the squares; after that he presses the clock also in a very distinct and accurate way; just watch it and maybe you also (like me) get this huge impression of 'seriousness' with which he approaches chess by simply making his moves like that.
    By the way, this reminds me very much of Dan Millman's book 'No ordinary moments'; thinking of your chess one would have to put it like that: 'No ordinary chessgames'; that means that there are no 'ordinary' tournaments/games but only important ones; therefore treat all your games with respect and do your best when you sit down for a chessgame; at least try to avoid blunders; just 'screw your concentration to the sticking point' and I'm sure you will improve, Ivan.


  12. It is better to play the game and forget the ratings. If you are worrying about your rating while you are playing, you are going to end up losing more points than winning more points. Enjoy the game and let the rating take care of itself!