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Chess grades
Using chess grades to measure how well you play
 
How they give you your first chess grade
 
How they use your match results to update your chess grades

Thank you
In creating this webpage, the assistance of the following people is acknowledged.

Thank you to Richard Haddrell (ECF grading administrator). He was consulted, and the information he kindly provided has been used.

Also, thanks to Stephane Pedder, Traci Whitfield and Andrew Leadbetter, for their help with draft copies and suggested improvements.

How are grades calculated?

Introduction
This section is here to help chess players understand what is available. These pages look at chess grades.

Grading of competitive chess in England
Grading of most competitive chess in England is controlled by the ECF (English Chess Federation). This is a summary of how their system works, but full details can be found on their website: www.englishchess.org.uk

A summary of grading

Where you play a match that does count for grading:
  • Points will be awarded to you for each game.
  • How many points you are awarded will depend on the grade of your opponent, and the result of the game.
  • At the end of the season all of the points will be added together, and the total then divided by the number of games you played. The result will be your new grade.
  • If you are aged under 18, a bonus will be added to your new grade each year — because they expect you to improve.

In more detail
Your ECF grade will be worked out using the results of games you played in the twelve months from June of one year to May of the following year.

To be given an official grade, you must have played at least 1 game in the last twelve months, and a total of at least 9 games in the last three years. If you haven’t played enough games to be given an official grade, your results will be kept, and will count towards your grade next season.

Once you have played enough games for an official grade, it will be worked out using the results of all of this seasons games. If you have played less than 30 games this year, details from last year will be included. If the total is still less than 30, some of the details from 2 years ago can also be included. Results older than that are never used.

Bonus for players aged under 18
As long as they know your date of birth, and you are under 18, a bonus will be added to your new grade each year.

  • If you are under 11, ten points will be added to your new grade.
  • If you are aged 11 to 14, eight points will be added to your new grade.
  • If you are aged 15 to 17, six points will be added to your new grade.
The bonus is based on your age last September first. If they don’t know your date of birth, they cannot give you the bonus.

The grade published by the ECF already includes any bonus given to you.

Chess grades

These pages look at chess grades:

  • Why have grades, looks ways of comparing and measuring levels of chess skill, and the uses of grades.
  • I don’t have a grade, explains how ungraded players are given a grade for the first time.
  • This page, explains how grades are worked out.

How many points do I get for each game?
Where a result is sent for grading:

  • For each game, the value of your opponent’s grade will be added to your points total. (Your opponent’s grade is taken from the most recent grading list published.)
  • For each game you win, 50 extra points will be added to your points total,
  • For each game you lose, 50 points will be subtracted from your points total.
At the end of the season, your points total is divided by the number of games you played, to give you your new grade.

If points are awarded like that, could my grade go down if I beat a much lower graded player - or up, if I lost to a much higher grade?
To make sure that cannot happen, there is an extra rule, called the 40-point rule:

  • If the difference between your grade and you opponent’s is over 40 points, it is assumed to be exactly 40 points.
So in any game where you play a much lower graded opponent, instead of adding the value of your opponent’s grade to your points total, they add your own grade minus 40. They then add 50 if you win, or subtract 50 if you lose as explained above.

Similarly, where you play a much higher graded opponent, instead of adding the value of your opponent’s grade to your points total, they add your own grade plus 40. They then add 50 if you win, or subtract 50 if you lose.

Where can I find my points total?
The ECF publish the “Official” grading list in August each year, but they do not publish players’ points totals during the season. If you want to know your total, you should keep a record yourself as the season progresses.

Chess grades
These pages look at chess grades.

Why have grades, looks ways of comparing and measuring levels of chess skill, and the uses of grades.

I don’t have a grade, explains how ungraded players are given a grade for the first time.

This page, explains how grades are worked out.

In Control

The person who looks after young chessplayers in Staffordshire is

Traci Whitfield

Email: Traci Whitfield
or
Tel: 01782 623361
(Before 9 pm please.)

Junior players welcome

Mrs Traci Whitfield,
Staffs Junior Chess,
21 Bankfield Grove,
Scot Hay,
Newcastle,
Staffs.
ST5 6AR

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ANY COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT LOCAL CHESS?

Please contact:

Webmasters:
Andrew Davies  and  Traci Whitfield

 

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