We've been complaining
about too-low grades on S&B recently
, by contrast, is a player with a grade that's far too high.
When I were a lad, players of 200* and above were supposed to be good. It was as late as 1984 before I ever beat one. Alan Trangmar was graded 202 and I was nearly four weeks past my nineteenth birthday.
I don't think Alan played very well - well of course he didn't, he lost to me - but even so, it felt like a real accomplishment and I'd waited a long time to achieve it.
Now I am invited to believe that it's the same accomplishment if somebody beats me
. I doubt it. I doubt it's really something worth waiting years for.
Now I know that:
- a lot of ECF ratings got boosted a few years ago for perfectly good reasons ; and
- my rating is not actually based on very many games, seeing as I live abroad now. (Matter of fact it'd be higher still if I hadn't lost the last game I played.)
Nevertheless it's still bizarre to see 200+ next to my name. I don't believe I'm playing my best chess at the age of forty-eight. Still less, my best chess by a distance.
Point is, though, 200+ used to be - or seemed to be - some kind of gold standard, something that told you "the bearer of this grade is a really strong player". Which I am not and never will be. And just as my problem with the FIDE Master title is that I've beaten seven or eight of them, and a "Master" ought to be somebody I can't beat seven or eight times -so it seems to me that the qualification for reaching 200+ ought to be that the likes of me don't do it
[* Of course all this will be incomprehensible to readers who don't know the English rating system. Just take it that 200+ used to be really good.]