Monday, July 21, 2008

Happy Monday

Good morning. The English Chess Federation 2008 Grading List has this morning just been published.

I realise that English readers are now more likely to type in their own name and find out their own grade than, with rapt anticipation, to type in C-h-i-v-e-r-s. But were they to do so, they'd see that the present writer has jumped 23 points - from 163 to 186. (This, for our foreign readers, is approximately the same as a 115 point FIDE Elo increase, from roughly 2065 to around 2180.) They might also see that this is the first time he's been anywhere above the 160s, where previously he was rather stuck. Readers who especially wanted to make the present writer's day might then check the Most Improved list and note that his name just sneaks in at the bottom of it - in fact with the highest grade on the list, and one of only a few adult players there who've played thirty or more games this season (that is, has an 'A' in the Category column.)

In other words: I've had a lot of luck this season!

. . . but - I like to think - luck is not the whole story. Last season and a little before I started taking active steps in an attempt to improve my game. Some of them worked, some of them didn't, some of them lasted, some of them barely started. Over the next few days I plan to blog what I did, how it turned out, why I think what worked or what didn't. I hope that these posts might prove helpful for other adults looking to improve their game who've not been finding it easy to do so. I also hope they will be of interest to chess improvement bloggers, whose extensive writings about these things I have for the most part unfortunately been unable to keep up with. Perhaps they could let me know in the comments. Indeed, any ideas further to my own will of course be gratefully received, and not just by myself I am sure.

But for now, that's it. I hope that for those readers typing in their own name now, their new chess grade also makes for a happy Monday.

24 comments:

Jonathan B said...

I went up by one whole point. Whoopee-fucking-do.

Anonymous said...

Well done Tom. Same again this year?

For a list of Streatham players and their new grades, see here.

Angus

Morgan Daniels said...

I remain the second-highest Daniels in the country, but I've been slowly catching up with this mysterious David W from Staffordshire for a few years now.

This is my second comforable double-figure jump in a row, but I don't this is anything remotely connected to improvement: rather, it's down to the fact that in the ECF the universe takes a long time to right itself and assign somebody an accurate grade. I'm more or less there now.

Morgan Daniels said...

Oh, and well done Tom. I tend not to get too neurotic about grades as you know but I suppose they remain an invaluable marker if you're trying doggedly to improve one's game. A 23 point jump - nay, a 23 point jump from the 160s to the 180s - is certainly indicative of a very great improvement indeed. Over the same period I'm done approximately nothing to improve my game -- which is perhaps why when we first met I was able to take a point and a half off you in four games, but now I'm lucky to win one bullet game in thirty.

transformation said...

so sweet the joy!
not luck BUT a lot of hard work, with this blog as ample evidence.
dk

Magicmunky said...

Thats a stirling effort to make such a large jump, the fact that most of the people on the list were juniors shows you did something right.

I'm looking forward to hearing about these methods,

Jonathan B said...

Does not putting pieces on prise for no reason help by any chance?

Jonathan B said...

btw:
in terms of the most improved list I see that Peter Lalic and Emma Bentley are on there too so well done to the both of them.

Anonymous said...

Be a traditionalist! 23pts is 180 FIDE pts.

Richard

ejh said...

Actually Tom have you got an Elo grade yet?

If not, might you be the highest-rated ECF player not to have one?

Tom Chivers said...

Thanks everyone, and that would be nice Richard! But I'm pretty sure the adjusted formula says otherwise, at least down at my level...

Justin - I don't have an Elo. But I'm definitely not the highest rated player not to, eg. I can't think of an easy way to find out who is . . .

ejh said...

Maybe we can claim it's Jeremy until somebody shows us different?

Anonymous said...

If not, might you be the highest-rated ECF player not to have one?

I reckon there are 3 with ECF grades of 208

http://grading.bcfservices.org.uk/getref.php?ref=188291A
(Ian Sharpe)

http://grading.bcfservices.org.uk/getref.php?ref=251008L (Mark Stockwell)

http://grading.bcfservices.org.uk/getref.php?ref=270581D (Andrei Timoshenko)

Ian has a club designation of 4NCL Guildford - so would have a partial rating.

RdC

ejh said...

Oddly though there is an A Timoshenko on the FIDE rating page, but without a rating yet.

Is it likely to be the same one?

Anonymous said...

Double Nelson. That can't be good...

Richard

Anonymous said...

Ian Watson was once as high as 224 without a FIDE rating and that may not be the record.

PG

Anonymous said...

Anyone know more about Mark Stockwell, mentioned earlier as having an ECF grade of 208 and has no ELO.

I ask because I played him in the LL against Mushrooms a few years ago. He thrashed me - he was ungraded but was estimated to be 180-ish at the time. I remember it well and stuck in my mind mainly cos he was a nice and friendly bloke going over the game modestly afterwards unlike a lot of chess players who are so miserable they mutter a couple of words and they've disappeared.

Since then I've discovered he hardly ever plays more than a single digit number of games every year, not sure why. But still gone from 180 to 208.

ejh said...

He has a blog but it's not been recently updated.

Anonymous said...

Richard, (or anyone else who understands it) what do you mean 'Double Nelson'?

PG

Tom Chivers said...

I have no idea PG but google suggests it might be something to do with wrestling, or with a rock band.

transformation said...

double nelson absolutely and clearly referes to a wrestling move, where one wrester so puts anothers arms and legs and head into such a lock that they cannot possible get out.

ejh said...

absolutely and clearly......not.

It's from cricket, though I admit I can't see the number 222 anywhere above....

Anonymous said...

OK thanks I've got it now. Richard was referring to his grade of 222. I'll take 222 if he doesn't want it - so I suspect would most people here!

PG

Jonathan B said...

Like Graham Gooch, I always felt unluckyh when I was out for 333.

btw: the wikipedia is exceptionally coy talking about the mythical missing leg.

111 for Nelson refers to him having

1 eye
1 arm
1 penis