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Old March 26th 06, 04:31 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,alt.chess,rec.games.chess
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Default Should the USCF rate the Olympiads?

In October, 2005 the Executive Board passed a motion to USCF rate
certain foreign FIDE events. Among the tournaments are the Olympiad,
World Team, World Junior, World Youth, World Senior, Pan-Am Junior,
and Pan-Am Youth.

Since then, Mike Nolan has steadfastly refused to do the job. This has
resulted in a heated debate on the USCF Forum. I see the bright side
of this. I believe that what we really need to do is set up a
Crossfire type TV show about this. We can have tomatoes and other
objects to throw at each other and a Jerry Springer type moderator
with a buzzer that will sound to tell us when to start throwing
things. Since Mike Nolan is bigger than I am, we had better avoid any
fisticuffs. Too bad we can not invite really nasty guys, like Tim
Hanke and Bill Brock.

Here is the essence of the debate:

I feel that we should rate these events because many of these players
come to the US to compete. If they have USCF ratings that will
encourage more of them to come. A few of the low rated players will
even be eligible for class prizes. In short, we will all get rich.
This should have been done years ago. In fact, I have been advocating
this for 30 years since 1976.

Mike Nolan argues against: He argues: "So, how many of the 323 women
and 718 men who played in the 2004 Olympiad do you think are likely to
play in the US? 138 of those players are currently in USCF records,
and that includes our 10 players. According to USCF records, only
around 386 foreign FIDE-rated players have played in USCF rated events
in the last two years, and that includes about 50 players from Canada
and Mexico, plus several dozen players who live in the US but have not
yet changed their FIDE country of registry."

I (Sam Sloan) contend that most chess players play to gain rating
points. Very few, if any, play for the money. Even top grandmasters
generally cannot make a living from chess. As soon as they find out
that they have a USCF rating, they will start coming here in large
numbers to improve their rating. It is important that the USCF rating
system be run completely independently from the FIDE system. Actually,
they are entirely different systems. We should not just add 100 points
to their FIDE rating when they come here. They should start at zero,
just like everybody else does.

Mike Nolan replies "We don't just add 100 points, I'm not aware of a
time when the USCF ever did that. The current FIDE-to-USCF conversion
formula, which the Ratings Committee spent quite a bit of time working
on, is as follows: For someone whose FIDE rating is 2600 or higher,
their starting USCF rating is their FIDE rating + 50 points. For
someone whose FIDE rating is between 2200 and 2599, their starting
FIDE rating is their FIDE rating + 1/8 of the difference between 2200
and their FIDE rating. (Someone who is FIDE 2200 gets a 2200 USCF
rating, someone who is FIDE 2400 gets a 2425 USCF rating, etc.) For
someone whose FIDE rating is below 2200, their starting rating is
their FIDE rating. In all cases these are set up as provisional
ratings. If the player's FIDE rating is 2150 or higher, it is P/10,
otherwise it is P/5."

I (Sam Sloan) say that this is wrong. The USCF has a website at
http://msa.uschess.org/ There are more than 400,000 players with USCF
ratings there. Adding 1300 players from the coming Olympiad would be
an insignificant job. Indeed, I think that right now we should rate
the Olympiads for 2004 and possibly even 2002 so that we have a
database with these players. Since their results and birthdates are
already posted on the Internet, to download the data and add these
players to our database would not be a big job. Perhaps two rating
clerks could complete it in a few days. Once on our website, these
players would look up and find their ratings. If they think their
rating is too low, they can just come here and raise it.

Mike Nolan replies: "Several years ago the Ratings Committee came up
with a relatively simple way to update the ratings of our players
based on their FIDE events, using the data from the FIDE site once the
event is rated by FIDE. The current version of this procedure can be
found at http://math.bu.edu/people/mg/ratings/fideuscf.pdf . This
procedure would take no more than a few hours for even a large event
like the Olympads or the World Youth, because the only players that
would have to be looked up are our players, not all of the 1000+
participants."

Mike Nolan continues: "It has been suggested that we should put all of
the active IMs and GMs into our database so that when any of them play
in USCF-rated events we would already have a USCF ID for them. I think
this would involve adding 2500-3000 records to the USCF database, and
it could probably be done automatically from the FIDE Ratings List,
thus requiring very little manual effort by the USCF office. The
ratings program now looks up any non-rated player with a FIDE ID in
the FIDE ratings list to come up with an initial ratings estimate, but
that doesn't deal with players who have previously played in a USCF
rated event and have a USCF rating, but one that is out of date
compared to their current strength. With players for whom the majority
of their chess play is not in USCF-rated events, 'once rated always
rated' may not be a very sound policy. In one recent case, a 16 year
old GM who played in a few games in the USA when he was around 10
still had a USCF rating of around 1800 from those events that was used
when he played in a recent USCF rated event. (His rating was changed
manually using the FIDE-to-USCF formula given in an earlier post and
the event was re-rated.) As I understand the policy, events to which
the USCF sends official representatives, like the Olympiad, the World
Team and the World Youth would be automatically covered, meaning all
USCF representatives would have their USCF ratings affected. (For the
2005 World Youth this would have included all 31 USA players, not just
the ones who received some financial assistance to attend.) Other USCF
members in those events who are not there representing the USCF but
happen to be playing in that event may or may not have their USCF
ratings affected, depending on exactly how we handle processing the
event. Say, for example, that one or more of the members of the
Canadian Olympiad team are USCF members. Those members are not
automatically covered by this policy. However, if the USCF were to
rate the event as if it had been a USCF-rated event, then all players
in the event would need USCF IDs and all players would get a USCF
rating or have their existing USCF rating affected. This could be 1000
or more players, the Torino Olympiad website says they're expecting
over 1300 participants. Other FIDE events may be rated if a USCF
member so requests in advance and pays a processing fee. Again,
whether any other USCF members who are at that event or all players in
that event would have their USCF ratings affected would depend on how
we handle processing these events. If we were to use the procedure
developed by the Ratings Committee for updating USCF ratings from
FIDE-rated events, then only the USA team members at events like the
Olympiad would have their USCF rating affected, and for other events
only the players who request in advance of the event and pay a
processing fee would have their rating affected. Using the USCF
ratings formula would require us to rate ALL players in the event, not
just our representatives, because the USCF ratings formula does not
have any shortcuts that would enable us to rate just a handful of
players in an event. We would need to rate all games by all players,
or at least all players who played our players, or played players who
played our players, or played players who played players who played
our players, etc.. (I think by the time you go two-ply deep in most
events you've essentially spanned all players in the event.) Getting
complete and accurate crosstables of events is one of the challenges
with treating these events as if they had been USCF rated events. It
would also be necessary to identify all the players correctly and make
sure we have up-to-date USCF ratings for them. Most of the players in
a large event like the Olympiad are either not going to have a USCF
rating or may have one that is from one or two events in the past,
possibly many years ago, and that rating may not be consistent with
their current FIDE rating, if they have one. (As far as I can tell
about 10% of the players in the last Olympiad did not have FIDE
ratings in advance of the event.) Using the procedure developed by the
Ratings Committee would not require getting a complete cross-table of
the event or processing all the players in it, just the handful of
players who are there representing the USCF or the players who have
requested in advance that their results be USCF rated. By stipulating
which events will be automatically covered and for other events having
the player request his or her results be USCF rated in advance of the
event, we eliminate the potential for someone asking for only their
good results to be rated, not their bad results."

In response, Sam Sloan argues that the USCF rating system is
completely different from the FIDE rating system. They started out the
same but have drifted far apart. The USCF no longer uses the Elo
system. It uses the Glickman System. The method of calculation is
completely different. Nobody really knows how they compare.

FIDE has had its problems, just as the USCF has had. Six years ago,
Myanmar had ten players rated over 2600 for example. They had
manipulated the rating system. Having the two systems completely
independent from each other would act as a check on that.

Right now, the question is: The Executive Board has ordered Mike Nolan
to rate the forthcoming Olympiad. Since he already knows the names of
1300 players who will be playing there, why is not he hard at work
putting their names and birthdates into the USCF database? Why has the
Woman World Championship which has been over for a few days not been
rated yet?

As I (Sam Sloan) see it, one problem here is to determine what it
means to "rate" the event. Mike Nolan, Grant Perks and some others
want simply to assign a provisional rating to the FIDE rated players
who are not USCF rated according to a formula. under which, for
example, a player FIDE rated 2400 would be considered to have a USCF
rating of 2425. Then all ten USCF players (6 men and 4 women) would
have their games rated based on this formula. Then data of all the
non-US players would be deleted or trashed.

The result would be a quick and dirty adjustment for ten US players
which would be totally meaningless. I would be completely opposed to
that entirely. Better not to do it at all, then to do it that way.

What Sam Sloan, Bill Goichberg, and apparently the board wants is that
all 1300 players in the Olympiad and the 64 players in the Woman's
World Championship be assigned permanent USCF ID numbers and brought
in to the USCF database permanently and then all their games be rated
in accordance with the same method that is used to rate new unrated
players who join the USCF for the first time. This is how the USCF
rated the Continental Woman Championship played in South America in
2003:

http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain....50560-12807449

The problem is: Mike Nolan does not want to do this. What is the
reason? I assume that Mike Nolan gets paid adequately for his
services. I realize that this is a lot of work and is a hard job.
Still, if Mike is getting paid, I cannot understand why he refuses.
This is not a new problem. Mike Nolan has been arguing against this
for several years.

In that case, why not hire Steve Immitt to do this? I am sure he would
be more than willing.

Sam Sloan
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Old March 26th 06, 06:29 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,alt.chess,rec.games.chess
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Default Should the USCF rate the Olympiads?

(Sam Sloan) writes:

Right now, the question is: The Executive Board has ordered Mike Nolan
to rate the forthcoming Olympiad. Since he already knows the names of
1300 players who will be playing there, why is not he hard at work
putting their names and birthdates into the USCF database? Why has the
Woman World Championship which has been over for a few days not been
rated yet?


Actually, they haven't ordered me to rate it, nor would they, as that's a
task that would be done by the staff in Tennessee. There may be some
areas in which I would be able to assist them, once we have the data.

Further, the last I knew the USCF had not yet decided on the composition
of its own teams, I doubt if even FIDE has the names of all the players
likely to be in Torino in May-June yet.

Since the EB policy was enacted, I think there have been only two events
that would qualify for rating under this policy, the World Team event last
October-November and now the Woman's World Championship. I do not know
if the USCF office has a full crosstable for either event yet.

My concern on this issue is two-fold:

1. At least one of the events (the World Youth) is not likely to be
ratable as if it was a USCF rated event because of insufficient
data. USCF Scholastic Director Jerry Nash has not been able to
get a full crosstable for last year's World Youth event, which ended
around 8 months ago. Without a crosstable, including full names and
other data on all the participants, we cannot rate it. If we don't
have birthdates on those players, and if most of them aren't FIDE rated
yet, what initial estimate should we use for the over 1000 players
who would be unrated as far as the USCF rating system is concerned?

2. As a Delegate and a member of the Finance Committee, I am concerned that
the USCF will spend a great deal of staff time rating these few events.
If we had a complete crosstable for the 2005 World Youth event, it
would probably take two staff members at least three weeks of work
to get it ready to rate. Combined with the other events, this means
that this policy could take something like a half year's worth (or more)
of USCF employee time to perform. Is this task worth devoting $10-15,000
worth of payroll and other expenses to?
--
Mike Nolan
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Old March 26th 06, 10:47 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,alt.chess,rec.games.chess
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Default Should the USCF rate the Olympiads?

Mike Nolan wrote:

If we had a complete crosstable for the 2005 World Youth event, it
would probably take two staff members at least three weeks of work
to get it ready to rate. Combined with the other events, this means
that this policy could take something like a half year's worth (or more)
of USCF employee time to perform. Is this task worth devoting $10-15,000
worth of payroll and other expenses to?



A general question, just out of curiosity: You have payed staff to do
the ratings? How many are involved in rating all tournaments in the US?

Greetings,
Ralf
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Old March 26th 06, 11:45 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,alt.chess,rec.games.chess
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Default Should the USCF rate the Olympiads?

Ralf Callenberg writes:

A general question, just out of curiosity: You have payed staff to do
the ratings? How many are involved in rating all tournaments in the US?


There are 4 people in the USCF office who work on both memberships and
rating reports. (We combined the two functions when we moved the
offices from NY to TN.) These employees have some other duties as well.

Rating reports and memberships received in the mail also have to go
through the accounting department for processing of checks.

There are also two people who work mostly on ratings issues, including
getting FIDE reports prepared, plus things like the Grand Prix standings
and the Top 100 lists. They also handle correcting rating reports for
events that have already been rated (they have done corrections to over
75 events so far in March), review floor requests and process class prizes
floors, plus other tasks related to maintaining the ratings.

About 60% of the rating reports the USCF receives are being submitted
electronically. Most of these are rated with little staff intervention.
--
Mike Nolan
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Old March 27th 06, 12:10 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,alt.chess,rec.games.chess
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Default Should the USCF rate the Olympiads?

Hello,

Thanks a lot for your detailed answer!

Mike Nolan wrote:
About 60% of the rating reports the USCF receives are being submitted
electronically.


60% - you mean, 40% are submitted on paper?

Most of these are rated with little staff intervention.


So, you have got a specific format for the reports? How many tournaments
are rated all in all per year?

Greetings,
Ralf


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Old March 27th 06, 12:49 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,alt.chess,rec.games.chess
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Default Should the USCF rate the Olympiads?

Ralf Callenberg writes:

60% - you mean, 40% are submitted on paper?


The percentages of events submitted online online are still going up.
60% was about what we averaged for 2005, though it was more like 65% in
the last half of 2005.

So far in 2006 we have received 1803 rating reports. 1340 (74.3%) were
submitted online, 191 (10.5%) were on diskette and 272 (20.2%) were on
paper.

Most of these are rated with little staff intervention.


So, you have got a specific format for the reports? How many tournaments
are rated all in all per year?


In 2005 the USCF rated 6941 events. A total of 234,857 players competed in
those events, playing 501,983 ratable games.

There is a file format that has been in use for well over a decade.
Submission on diskette has been possible since around 1992. Submission
of events via the Internet became possible in late 2004.

Both WinTD and SwisSys, the pairing programs most TDs use for USCF rated
events, can prepare those files.

There will need to be a new file format sometime this year, because
it appears we will need TDs to report color information for FIDE-rated
games and the current format doesn't include that information. I don't
know how long it will take the authors of WinTD and SwisSys to update
their programs to use the new format once it is published, I expect it
will take several years before most TDs are using the new format.

There is a copy of the current file format available at:
http://www.georgejohn.bcentralhost.c...1_TA_files.htm
--
Mike Nolan
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Old March 27th 06, 11:03 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,alt.chess,rec.games.chess
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Default Should the USCF rate the Olympiads?

Mike Nolan wrote:
[...]

Thanks for your detailed answer.

Greetings,
Ralf
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Old March 29th 06, 02:09 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,alt.chess
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Default Should the USCF rate the Olympiads?

Acvcording to my past understanding, USCF rating of events required
100% USCF membership. Why should USCF rate the Olympiads, if USCF
membership is not required, and if no TD certifies the results to USCF
for rating purposes?

David Ames

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Old March 29th 06, 04:28 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,alt.chess
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Default Should the USCF rate the Olympiads?

"David Ames" writes:

Acvcording to my past understanding, USCF rating of events required
100% USCF membership. Why should USCF rate the Olympiads, if USCF
membership is not required, and if no TD certifies the results to USCF
for rating purposes?


The USCF already allows several exceptions to the membership requirement.
For example, foreign titled players (GM, IM, WGM, WIM) may play in USCF
rated events without being USCF members.

Full rating of the Olympiads, though possible if full crosstables can
be obtained, is not what the new USCF policy (EB 06-009) requires.

It only applies to 'US players, US residents and USCF members' in eight
named events and any USCF members in other foreign FIDE rated events
if rating of that event is requested in advance and a $25 fee paid.

EB 06-009 further states: "A formula provided by the USCF Ratings Committee
will be used to adjust the ratings, and another to convert FIDE ratings
into USCF ratings. It is expected that ratings adjustment will be based
on a K factor of about 80% its usual value, causing ratings to change
about 80% as fast as usual"

The Ratings Committee has a formula for adjusting USCF ratings based
on FIDE events using the data from that event once it is rated by FIDE.
However, that formula uses a 50% K factor, and the Ratings Committee
chair does not feel modifying that formula to 80% is appropriate, due
to two concerns:

(1) the FIDE-USCF difference for individual players varies greatly, and
(2) the summary information that FIDE provides per 3-month period collapses
over individual game results, adding extra uncertainty given the variable
FIDE-USCF conversion.

The FIDE-to-USCF conversion formula was updated by the Ratings Committee
last year based on a study of the ratings of players who are active in
both USCF and FIDE rated events.

Here is a link to a chart that the Ratings Chair, Prof. Mark Glickman,
prepared showing players with both USCF and FIDE ratings:

http://math.bu.edu/people/mg/ratings...onvert2005.pdf

The current FIDE-to-USCF conversion formula is as follows:

For FIDE ratings below 2200, the initial USCF rating is the same as the
FIDE rating.

For FIDE ratings between 2200 and 2600, the initial USCF rating is
FIDE + (FIDE-2200)/8.

For FIDE ratings of 2600 or higher, the initial USCF rating is FIDE + 50.
(This is what the old conversion formula used for all FIDE rated players.)

For FIDE ratings higher than 2150, the initial USCF rating is treated
as if it is a provisional rating based on 10 games. For FIDE ratings
of 2150 or lower, it is treated as if it is a provisional rating based on 10
games.
--
Mike Nolan
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