Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Slight of Hand: Blowing Up a Balloon

We all know what happens when you blow up a balloon--the otherwise same mass expands, occupied by more volume, and the skin is stretched.

I have been watching the Live Chess Ratings Site since its inception, when it had that name. It was sold, performs as well or better (it always was great), and now memorably called 2700chess.com. Very simply it tracks the ratings change, progress, and performance of the top chess players.

As is well known, FIDE, the governing body of chess, is responsible for calculating and keeping track of ratings in the larger world of international chess, of course centered in Europe but no longer competitive there only (notably China as a chess super power, India as a chess power, and American always having been strong, now greater in size and strength of players), used to publish its ratings quarterly, then bi-monthly, and now monthly. Soon they will also show blitz, possibly rapid AND blitz.

Observing what I still like to call LiveRatings, you could watch the numbers of players fluctuate between 40 and 45. I cannot be certain, but seem to recall in the last two years--and might be that long, whatever--that there were a few less than 40 and noted the jump over the handle.

In the last few days, the group swelled over the high forties, numbered now at 51. Of course, chess players have gotten really good, but rating inflation exists, and is here to stay.

There has been talk of a title called Super Grandmaster, for players over 2700, as calling a 2720 the same as a 2520 does not reflect the reality of the situation.

Whether Nakamura is as good or better, armed with theory and inexplicably powerful silicon beats unpinning massive and deep chess theory, would give him a better chance to beat Fischer, were he alive today and set to play, this does not concern us. Similarly, Magnus is NOT better than Fischer, who had a lesser rating, nor as dominant as Kasparov was, when he would rampage through chess tournaments, plus 3 or 4 as they say. I love Carlsen, his greatness is beyond question.

But my point, chess ratings are not a zero sum system, but a collectivity of energy, the total energy of which keeps expanding, and reflected in what is described here, and fully reflected also, whereby seems about six years ago, but probably maybe more like eight or nine, Korchnoi was in the top hundred, into his seventy years, slightly above 2600, which he held onto one last time, or was it fell out of, and willfully kannived himself back into by beating many a younger and seemed more energetic younger opponent. Now the top hundred, of the men, bottoms out, at around 2654.


Anonymous Zwisch said...

There's actually good evidence to suggest that there hasn't been any rating inflation at all:


Wed Oct 03, 08:31:00 PM PDT  
Blogger transformation said...

Thank you. I may have seen this paper before, but maybe just as a passing glance linked through chessBase or a link from an article linked there, Sonas, Nunn et al. not sure, but thx.

i just got off of work, and a bit fatigued, but have placed this link on this browser i use just for blogging (things get so layer they get lost), and chrome is my workhorse, but firefox is also very good on passwords. so here.

promise to read and comment. of course, i cannot argue it, nor wish to, maybe more provoke.

in any event, for or against, the fact of nature is liveRatings is indeed getting crowded around fifty persons at that level.

also a fact, lots of good chess.

great to see you, and hope to see you here in the future.

i am a corporate whistleblower, against a $22B corporation, and while the storm seems to have passed, have a mark on my head, all no big surprise, so emotionally tired.

ran three hours of hills sat, of which, while the 9/10ths of a mile go up 860', the first 500 of it is in about 4/10ths of a mile, i did it four times, and am still tired. then i ran an hour+ the long way round, and down after just to unwind. my mind needs it. training for a 4000' run in two weeks to celebrate age 54. himmmm.

blessings, dk

Thu Oct 04, 10:42:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps I don't understand elo but it would seem logical that ratings would inflate as one generation stands on the shoulders of the next. I would think this effect would only be magnified by the accelerated learning enabled by computers and online play (i.e. playing thousands of tactics probably more than your average master in the precomputer age played in a lifetime). Chess porn run amok.

Mon Oct 08, 03:49:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW, if you're into fitness you should check out Fitocracy, it's a social fitness network utilizing gamefication, where you level up in real life. Kind of interesting.

Mon Oct 08, 06:50:00 PM PDT  

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