It is about 18 months since our juniors could see how they were performing in rapidplay games by consulting a rating list, after the officer producing this list decided not to carry on with the job.
A new version is now available and can be found at www.wcurapidplayratings.co.uk
For those new to competitive chess, ratings are used to compare the playing strength of the players, the higher the number, the better the player. They are used when pairing players in tournaments, and are particularly useful for selecting teams, and then putting the players chosen into board order. Hopefully a child’s rating will improve as they get older and play more chess. Because of such improvements and also even how the players are feeling on a given day, they shouldn’t be taken literally. Differences in ratings particularly with juniors should not be taken as too significant, since players within 80 points of each other are able to beat each other very regularly.
When a player has reached a rapidplay rating of around 900, that player has reached a level where he or she should be competitive with and playing longer games with adults at lower club level, either in full weekend tournaments or by joining a club. I would encourage parents to take this step to further improve the standard of their child as one of the best ways for a player to improve is by regularly meeting competition within 250 points of the player’s rating, which hopefully will itself be steadily rising and requiring increasingly strong opposition.
The ratings are now being calculated in a very similar way to those produced by zonal officers on the WCU’s live rating sites, which I believe is different to the way they were calculated earlier.
A player’s rating will change after every game depending on the result of that game, with possible much smaller effects on other players.
As a rough guide, when two players meet, the likelihood of success of each player can be worked out by comparing the ratings:
For a rating difference of :-
120 - the higher rated player should expect to score about 2 from every 3 games played
200 – the higher rated player should expect to score about 3 from every 4 games played
240 – the higher rated player should expect to score about 4 from every 5 games played
300 – the higher rated player should expect to score about 8½ from every 10 games played
450 – the higher rated player should expect to score about 9½ from every 10 games played
700 – the higher rated player should expect to score about 99 from every 100 games played
You may notice that the success rate rises particularly steeply as the rating difference increases from 200 to 300. When the lower player does better than he should, his rating will go up and the higher rated player will find his rating goes down, to reflect better what has happened in the game or series of games. Any win, even if expected, will produce an increase in a player’s rating and a corresponding loss of rating points for the opponent.
In general within the list, the lower rated players will be the younger ones, who are likely to improve the fastest. For those technically minded, the speed of movement is reflected by a K-factor which has been set at 50 for those under 800, 40 for those between 800 and 1000 and 30 for those over 1000 to account for this.
For this first new list, I have had to estimate the ratings of many players. Where a player had a WCU rating, I have used this as the initial estimate, otherwise I have based the estimate on a rough calculation using the player’s success within their first couple of tournaments, and in team events by looking at what board they were on and known strengths of anyone in their or the opposing team. It was gratifying that significant numbers of the players final calculated ratings were within 50 points of my estimate so I haven’t been too wildly wrong, and in only a few cases was the final rating a little over 200 different from my original estimate. For future lists, with now over 500 rated players, I would expect any estimates to be rather better founded.
I have included in this list all results that I have been able to obtain starting with the Welsh Junior Rapidplay Championships last December and running through to the British U8 Championship in Aberystwyth in late July. Some results have not been included because they haven’t reached me (see the following paragraph) e.g. the Northern Gigafinal game by game results do not seem to be available. My intention is to have a printable list available for download from the main WCU web-site shortly after September 1st when my new rating year will start, and there should then be new printable lists after that in January and September each year.
I would like to have all competitive rapidplay games played in Wales rated (those where clocks are initially set to under 1 hour for all moves), but am dependent on the event organisers to send me all the results. If I have had these, you can expect the players’ live ratings to be updated within a week of an event. I may have to rely on parent ‘pester power’ for this to happen. If an event hasn’t appeared in your live rating within a week of the event, please contact the event organiser before contacting me as to why the results haven’t appeared. If you play rapidplay games outside Wales, for these to be rated you would need to send me the detailed results yourself. After a year of inactivity, a player’s name will be removed from the list, and those currently listed as Y14 will be taken out of the first printable list.
If your name has been mis-spelt or your birth year or school year (as from Sept 2014) is wrong or missing, please let me know as I have had to make intelligent guesses for some of the information in the list. And for those who are wondering who would name their child ‘number 30’!! - this was a player who withdrew after 3 rounds of a tournament, and the pairing card (number 30) was destroyed before reaching me; the player’s results had appeared on the opponents’ pairing cards.
I and all the players concerned need to say a big thank-you to Paul Tew who is the brains behind the rating program and the technical aspects to get the list available on the internet. I can input data but without Paul’s expertise there would have been no way for me to turn this into the lists as you see them. I hope between us we have produced something informative and useful.
22nd August 2014
John D Thornton (WCU Rapidplay Rating Officer)