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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.

But I don’t have a grade

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 the ECF website: www.englishchess.org.uk

A summary of giving a grade to ungraded players.

To start with, your results against graded opponents will be used to create a rough estimate of your grade. Every ungraded player will also have a rough estimate of their grade created in the same way.

Once that is done, your grade can be made more accurate by including the results of your games against ungraded opponents. The grades used for each ungraded opponent will be the rough estimate just created for them. Every ungraded player will have their grade made more accurate in the same way.

To make your grade even more accurate, it will now be worked out again. This time, using the improved estimates of the grades of your ungraded opponents. Doing the same for all ungraded players, will make their grades even more accurate as well. Your grade will then be worked out again — using the improved grades just created, to make it even more accurate. Repeating this process several times, ensures that the grade given to you (and all the other ungraded players) are as accurate as possible.

In more detail

I have played at least 9 competitive chess games, and will now get a grade.
How will the ECF work it out?

To give you a grade for the first time, the ECF begin by working out your starting grade. They then use that starting grade to work out the grade given to you.

The ECF work out starting grades for ungraded players in three stages:

Stage 1 — graded opponents.
From the results of all the competitive games played during the season, the ECF will start by collecting just the games where ungraded players played against graded opponents.

From that collection, it will select all the games you played in (i.e. all of your games against graded opponents).

The results of those games are then used to work out an estimated grade for you. That is done in the way described in How grades work. Please note, the 40–point rule is not used yet, because you do not have a grade.

In the same way, every ungraded player will have their own estimated grade worked out.

Once all the games where ungraded players played against graded opponents have been dealt with, the ECF moves on to stage 2 (explained in the next column).

  • If all of your games were against graded players, (i.e. you didn’t play any ungraded opponents), the estimated grade just worked out for you is your starting grade. That starting grade will be used in the way described below "Using starting grades to give you a grade", to give you your chess grade.

Stage 3 — improving the accuracy.
The ECF have now dealt with the results of all games played by ungraded players (against graded and ungraded opponents).

The problem is that all of the estimated grades used to revise your estimated grade have just been revised, to make them more accurate.

The ECF now need to find out if any of those changes would have effected your grade (or anyone elses). To find that out, the ECF now repeats stage 2, using the revised estimated grades for the opponent of all the players.

If any of the estimated grades do change, stage 2 is repeated again — using the new figures as a starting point. By repeating stage 2 like this several times, the changes gradually become smaller and smaller, as the estimated grades become more and more accurate. (Using repetition like this to improve a result is called iteration).

When the estimated grades have settled down as far as they can, they become the starting grades for each player. Those starting grades can now be used to give each ungraded player their grade. How that is done, is explained in the next column "Using starting grades to give you a grade".

Stage 2 — ungraded opponents.
The ECF have now dealt with the results of all games where an ungraded player played against a graded opponent. They can now start to deal with games where ungraded players played against ungraded opponents (i.e. where both players were ungraded.)

From the results of all the games played during the season, the ECF now collects just the games where ungraded players played against ungraded opponents.

From that collection, the ECF will select all the games you played in (i.e. all of your games against ungraded opponents).

The results of those games are then be used to revise your estimated grade. (The grades used for each of your ungraded opponents will be the estimated grade given to them in the previous stage).

Your estimated grade will be revised in the way described in How grades work. Again, please note that,the 40–point rule is not used here either, because you do not yet have a grade.

In the same way, every ungraded player will have their estimated grade revised.

Once the results of all the games where ungraded players played against ungraded opponents have been dealt with, the ECF moves on to stage 3 (explained below).

Using starting grades to give you a grade

Now that every ungraded player has been given their own starting grade, all players (including those who already had grades) can be given new grades.

From the results of all the games played during the season, the ECF will select all the games played by you.

The results of those games are then used to work out your grade. It will be worked out in the way described in How grades work. For your graded opponents, their existing grade will be used. For your ungraded opponents, their starting grade will be used. Your own starting grade will be used to decide when to use the 40–point rule.

Every player (including those who already have grades) will have their new grade worked out in exactly the same way. (For graded players, their existing grade will be used to decide when to use the 40–point rule).

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.
  • This page, explains how ungraded players are given a grade for the first time.
  • How grades work, explains how grades are worked out.

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.

This page, explains how ungraded players are given a grade for the first time.

How grades work, 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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