Monday, June 16, 2008

Are you a Master?

Are you a Master? True some of our readers can answer that question with a "Yes - International" or even "Grandmaster", but I'm guessing for the majority the answer is: "No."

But maybe not for long. The English Chess Federation have just announced the details of their new Master Points System - I believe previously that a similar but different scheme existed which was then stopped - and more or less anyone can qualify for at least one of their five titles:
Chess Maestro: A player must achieve a grade of at least 70 on any ECF official grading list.
Team Master: A player must achieve a grade of at least 100 on any ECF official grading list.
Club Master: A player must achieve a standard-play A or B grade of at least 130 on an ECF official grading list.
County Master: A player must achieve a standard-play A grade of at least 160 on an ECF official grading list.
Regional Master: A player must achieve a standard play A grade of at least 180 in two successive seasons on ECF official grading lists.
The details are here, as well as a list of current title holders, where you can spot a few members of our club and some other familiar names from the London chess scene. So are you tempted, Maestro?

14 comments:

Dave said...

It's a good motivational tool in principle, but with so many different title bands even down to a relatively low level of 70 ECF (an average club player is about 110) it doesn't seem to be much more than a scheme to earn a few more pennies for the ECF pot - it costs £5 to have your title officially recognised, but I suppose you do get a certificate.

I'm rated 83 ECF and I don't feel that I deserve any recognition for the poor quality chess that I play.

Anonymous said...

What a waste of time. Proper titles (FM, IM and GM) are highly prestigious because few of us are good enough to get them.

A grade of 160 would barely get you into a county first team, but it's good enough to allow you to call yourself a County Master? Why not go the whole hog a have a British Master title for grades of >200 and World Master for >220?!

The more likely reason behind this pointless gimmick is that you have to be an ECF member to get your title...

Tom Chivers said...

I'm not so cynical. A grade is for a season but a title is for life, and if you exceed your normal standard one season it might be nice to have a title that records that. The boundaries don't strike me as too unreasonable for most of the country -- although it is true in certain particularly-strong pockets like London or Surrey they might be a bit off.

Having said that, the title I like the sound of the most is definitely CHESS MAESTRO. So it's a bit of a shame that it's the lowest wrung on the ladder!

Mike G said...

Hmmmm, "Team Master" sounds like an American trades unionist ...

ejh said...

Anybody I can beat is by defintion not a master. In fact if I do beat a master I think they should lose their title by virtue of that result.

Anonymous said...

Completely agree with anonymous - a waste of time! Makes you wonder what happened to the old scheme? (Sure this one will go the same way!)

ECF should be encouraging players to go for FIDE titles instead.

Antony

Tom Chivers said...

Mm, but surely FIDE titles are beyond the reach of many of us. I quite like the ECF titles. I imagine they might be encouraging to juniors, especially not particularly talented ones.

Anonymous said...

Antony,

Next time we play in the Herts league, would you get an inferiority complex if I brought my Club Master certificate along? If so I will take back my (anonymous) post above.

Adam B.

Jonathan B said...

I'm not against the idea of the ECF awarding titles for people reaching certain standards of play ... but I do think the word 'master' should be reserved for the titles awarded to the very strongest.

ejh said...

Posibly they should be awarded for being below a certain grade - "patzer", "woodpusher", "fuckwit". That would be an incentive scheme...

Anonymous said...

first time i've ever agreed with a comment by justin horton, "patzer", "woodpusher", fuckwit" (or, if suitably attired "Fcukwit"?). Brilliant. "Regional Wanker", what a waste of toilet paper.

Jack Rudd said...

160 would just barely get you into a county team? In most WECU counties, you'd be comfortably in the top half.

Tom Chivers said...

I think I'm right in saying that in some countries I'd be the strongest player.

Anonymous said...

Adam,

Bring your certificate along for next season (am sure we'll be playing in HCA Div 2): I'll look it in the eye, survive your middlegame all-out-assault and mop up at the end, like usual ;-)

Antony