Gradings scotland

Keywords: gradings scotland
Description: The Scottish Grading System attempts to give an accurate measure of a player’s chess strength, based on games in tournaments, leagues and clubs throughout Scotland, and on games in competitions

The Scottish Grading System attempts to give an accurate measure of a player’s chess strength, based on games in tournaments, leagues and clubs throughout Scotland, and on games in competitions outside Scotland. The Grading System has been tested and refined over many years and the gradings it gives Scottish chessplayers are generally respected as according with their own opinions of player ‘strength’.

The Chess Scotland Grading System is based on the ELO International grading system devised by Professor Arpad Elo, which is also used by FIDE, the World Chess federation, and most national chess associations around the world. Because a chess game can have only three clearly defined results - win, lose or draw - any player’s performance can be evaluated with great accuracy.

The Elo grading system is based on probability theory - a stronger (higher-graded) chessplayer should consistently beat a weaker (lower-graded) opponent. The greater the difference in strength, the higher the probability of this happening. The more games that are played, the better the information about a player’s strength.

When Laszlo Polgar decided to prove that prodigies are made rather than born, by giving his children intensive coaching in one chosen speciality, one reason he decided on chess (rather than music or mathematics) was that the Elo system could measure their record-breaking progress so efficiently.

Grades in the Scottish system vary from junior beginners with a minimum level of 100 up to top Grandmaster level of near 2600.

A list is published in early August each year using results from July 1 of the previous year up to July 1 of the current year. Games played in tournaments and leagues in Scotland are automatically submitted to Chess Scotland for grading by the tournament and league organisers. Games played in clubs are submitted by club secretaries directly to Chess Scotland for grading (individuals cannot submit club results ie just their own data, data must come from the organising club). Clubs have to be members of Chess Scotland before their domestic club games are graded. Games played outside Scotland are included if the player sends the results personally to the chief grader - there is now an online form available in which to input results, contact the chief grader for the username and password. Games outside Scotland are only graded for members of Chess Scotland.

Gradeable games should be played with clocks. The time limit for inclusion in the Main grading list is no faster than all moves in one hour (see junior section below). A Chess Scotland Allegro grading list is produced along with the main list devoted to allegro tournaments with a speed of play between 15-30 minutes each per player.

Junior Grading: (Revised August 2009 ). Games played in junior events will only be graded for the Main List when the game is played with clocks and each player has a minimum time of 25 minutes for the whole game.

Adjudications in junior games: Games will be void for grading purposes when a game played without clocks is adjudicated.

An Excel program is available for download here which will replicate the exact calculation steps of CS grading. This user friendly spreadsheet was devised by Alex Clark of Dundee (please note you must have Microsoft Excel).

To calculate your new grade sum the actual points scored for all your games during the season. Using Table 1 sum the points you were expected to score for all your games. Your grade goes up when you score more than expected and down when you score less than expected.

To obtain the expected score on each game calculate the gap between your grade and that of your opponent. For example a player of 1475 plays an opponent of 1660. The grading difference is 185, from table 1 the expected score for the lower graded player is 0.26 and the higher player 0.74. Add up all the expected scores. Take the total points actually scored and subtract the total you were expected to score. Put these figures into the following formula.

New Grade = Old Grade + (800 * (Total Actual Points - Total Expected Points)/Number of Games Played )

For example a player with an old grade of 1770: plays 84 games, scores 55 points, expected to score 50.338.

Junior players and newly graded adults are assumed to improve their playing strength during the season - established players are assumed to have stable grades. To compensate the opponents of juniors and newly graded adults a range of bonus points are added to the junior's grade before expected scores are calculated. For example you play a J13 with a published grade of 1200. For your grading calculation the junior is worth 1200+110=1310. The current range of additions is as follows:

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