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beatgiant
Member since Jun-05-04 · Last seen Oct-19-19
An American amateur.

Following are positions on many hot-button issues of the site.

Greatest player of all the 18th century? Philidor.

Who would have won a hypothetical Staunton-Steinitz matchup? Steinitz.

Was there an unwritten "win by two" clause in the Lasker-Janowski (1910) match? No.

Did Alekhine deliberately throw the 1935 title match, so as to get a rematch and thus be paid twice for playing Euwe? Hmmm....

Did Stalin order Flohr not to try hard to beat Botvinnik? No.

Who would have won a never-played Fischer-Gligoric match? Fischer.

Did Kenneth Rogoff write an update to "Eight Centuries of Financial Folly" called "Nine Centuries of Financial Folly"? No.

>> Click here to see beatgiant's game collections.

Chessgames.com Full Member

   beatgiant has kibitzed 3938 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Oct-19-19 Yifan Hou
 
beatgiant: Should I teach my daughter to play chess? Or will she just hear a lot of attempted humor about transgenderism or lab partners? (rolls eyes)
 
   Oct-19-19 Nimzowitsch vs Weenink, 1930
 
beatgiant: <An Englishman> I agree, but maybe White feared allowing some shadow of an attack after something like 20. g5 <Rhe8?!> 21. gxh6 Qh4 22. hxg7 Qg3 23. f6, but now 23...Rxe5 is not as strong as it looks because White has <24. Qg4+>.
 
   Oct-19-19 Karl Behting (replies)
 
beatgiant: <jessicafischerqueen> Nichts zu danken - with all the work you do here, it's the least I could do. But that just about exhausts my knowledge of German that I picked up from old WWII movies. Kamerad!
 
   Oct-19-19 D Anton Guijarro vs Grischuk, 2019
 
beatgiant: <Fanques Fair> The plan with 11...Nh6 followed by 12...Ng8 is so slow, White should think about how to sacrifice a piece. I think the answer is 11...Nh6 <12. Qb3> Ng8 <13. Qxd5!> gxh4 14. Qe5 with huge complications, but White has two pawns and a big lead in ...
 
   Oct-18-19 Grand Swiss IoM (2019) (replies)
 
beatgiant: <WorstPlayerEver> True, your article quotes Mollaei that he did not apply for asylum as I wrongly implied, so I stand corrected. He has a temporary visa abroad, although he expects never to return to Iran and plans to play under a different flag in the 2020 Olympics. Let's ...
 
   Oct-18-19 V Erdos vs H Steingrimsson, 2017 (replies)
 
beatgiant: <al wazir> <after 21. Qg4+, 21...Kh8 holds out longer.> How to hold out after 21...Kh8 <22. Qf4>? On 21...Kh8 22. Qf4 Bxe3, White can even simply ignore it with <23. Qf6+> and the outcome looks similar to the actual game.
 
   Oct-15-19 Carlsen vs Shirov, 2019 (replies)
 
beatgiant: C'mon <Messiah>, come up with new material!
 
   Oct-09-19 Zukertort vs Meitner, 1882
 
beatgiant: <SymphonicKnight> On 23...d5, can't White reply <24. Rxa7> based on a knight fork on b6 or d6 to come?
 
   Oct-09-19 World Cup (2019) (replies)
 
beatgiant: <fabelhaft> I suppose there could be only two eligible wildcards in case Grischuk is the runner-up in the Grand Prix and wins the Grand Swiss, and so Vachier-Lagrave and the runner-up in the Grand Swiss can be wildcards?
 
   Oct-08-19 Korchnoi vs Fischer, 1962 (replies)
 
beatgiant: <seneca16> Here is an updated wikipedia link with his head-to-head scores against various top rivals. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby... Geller and Tal are the only ones listed with plus scores against him. Of course there are also people like Cesar Munoz who beat ...
 
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beatgiant's broken brainstorms

Kibitzer's Corner
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Apr-18-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  WinKing: Hey <beatgiant> new leg starting with Grenke @ the ChessBookie game. Prizes for this past Championship Leg will be announced tomorrow.
Jul-05-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<beatgiant> If you continue to believe I am wrong, go to my forum and we can add that to the stack of math definitions about which we need to have an argument.>

OK, I still believe that you are wrong. But I will make the definition of accuracy somewhat more general; accuracy is the <relationship> between the <actual> value of a quantity and it's calculated, expected, etc. value. The relationship could be a difference, a ratio, or whatever calculation is appropriate to the context.

But central to the definition of accuracy is that you <know> the actual value of a quantity, to a specific precision. If all you have are estimates or calculations, as in your example, then any discussion about their "accuracy" is meaningless. One simply doesn't know.

Now, on to the next math definition in dispute. :-)

Sep-23-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<beatgiant> According to simple algebra I can see, the average of the 12 yearly ratings is identically equal to the average of the four quarterly average ratings. Am I wrong? If so, post a counter-example on my forum.>

No, I don't think you're wrong. I'll express algebraically as follows:

a. Yearly average calculations:

= [ SUM(Ai), i = 1 to 12 ] / 12

b. Quarterly average calculations, then averaging the quarterly average calculations:

= [ [ SUM(Ai), i = 1 to 3 ] / 3 + [ SUM(Aj), j = 4 to 6 ] / 3 + [ SUM(Ak), k = 7 to 9 ] / 3 + [ SUM(Al), l = 10 to 12 ] / 3 ] / 4. The 3rd quarterly calculations are obviously my favorite :-)

This is clearly equivalent to:

= [ SUM(Ai), i = 1 to 3 ] / (3 * 4) + [ SUM(Aj), j = 4 to 6 ] / (3 * 4) ] + [ SUM(Ak), k= 7 to 9 ] / (3 * 4) ] + [ SUM(Al), l = 10 to 12 ] / (3 * 4) ]

= [ SUM(Ai), i = 1 to 3 ] / 12 ] +[ SUM(Aj), j = 4 to 6 ] / 12 ]+ [ SUM(Ak), k = 7 to 9 ] / 12 + [ SUM(Al), l = 10 to 12 ] / 12 ]

= [ [ SUM(Ai), i = 1 to 3 ] + [ SUM(Aj), j = 4 to 6 ] ]+ [ SUM(Ak), k = 7 to 9 ] + [ SUM(Al), l = 10 to 12 ] ]] / 12

= [ SUM(Ai), i = 1 to 12 ] / 12

And yet, since I already had spreadsheets calculating the average rating for each player yearly for both my artificial scenarios and the 2018 Candidates Tournament, my first instinct was to modify those to calculate the average rating for each player quarterly and then average the quarterly averages. The yearly and quarterly averaged didn't always agree.

I simplified the two spreadsheets somewhat, eliminated some extraneous things like total games calculations and charts, and combined it into one. You can download it from here: http://www.mediafire.com/file/9exxs.... The first tab ('Notes') describes the artificial scenarios.

Maybe you can find the errors in my spreadsheet, I can't. And the calculations are so simple that it is puzzling me.

Sep-23-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <AylerKupp>
Yes, they don't always agree as they should mathematically, but the differences look like a small amount compared to the numbers you are working with.

I'm no spreadsheet expert, but my first guess is that it is simply the greater compounding of round-off errors when you do the average of the four quarterly averages.

Even if Excel internally keeps many significant figures, when you output it to a cell it's rounding to the nearest hundredth. So you are comparing (average to nearest hundredth of the year's data) with (average to nearest hundredth of (average to nearest hundredth of the quarter's data)), where the latter has compounded round-off errors.

If excel allows you to configure the number of significant figures in a cell, my suggestion is try setting the quarterly data to the nearest ten-thousandth and see if that reduces the discrepancy.

Sep-24-19  aktajha: <AylerKupp><beatgiant>

the simple algebra is correct, the averages should be exactly the same.

The excel sheet is incorrect. The quarterly average calculations point to the wrong cells at some points. If you change this, all is the same again.

Sep-24-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<beatgiant> Yes, the differences are relatively small, but Excel's calculations internally are to 15 significant digits and while there will always be round-off/truncation errors, I don't think that they will show up if I'm only displaying 2 digits to the right of the decimal point.

And Excel does not round numbers to the nearest hundredths unless (a) you select the option Calculation > Precision as displayed. And I never do that. If I want the contents of a cell to be rounded to the nearest hundredth such as in financial calculations in tax forms, I use the ROUND(<cell>,2) function. And in order to reduce round-off/truncation errors, you're best off to do all the calculations using the largest available precision and only round off at the very end.

But see my response to <aktajha>'s post below.

Sep-24-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <aktajha> Thanks for looking at it. You're absolutely right. I don't know how that happened since I checked all the averaging formulas in the first row of the 'Scenarios' tab and verified that they were each pointing to the proper columns. Then I copied, or thought I copied, the formulas in that first row to the other rows. But obviously I didn't or, if I did, I did it incorrectly. Once I corrected the averaging formulas, the differences between the yearly average ratings and the quarterly average ratings which were then averaged, was zero, as it should be.

But I still had an unresolved issue in the 'Candidates' tab. The issue seems to be that some of the players were not ranked in the top 30 (my cutoff) every month, so I set that player's rating for that month as <blank>. Excel ignores blank cells when calculating the average of a group of cells or, more accurately, sums the values of the cells that are not blank and then divides by the number of blank cells.

But it's more complicated and subtle than that. The yearly and quarterly averages come out the same if <all> the cells in a quarter are blank and therefore the average for that quarter is also effectively <blank>. But if at least one of the ratings in one of the cell is not blank, the average rating for that quarter is the average of the cells that are not blank. And then the algebraic equivalence apparently fails because we are then not dividing the sum of the ratings in one year by 12 but by the number of actual ratings in one year.

When I created the original spreadsheet when the averaging was done yearly this wasn't a problem. When I added the quarterly averaging it either didn't occur to me that this would present a problem or it crossed my mind that it might be but I decided that it wouldn't be a problem. I was wrong on both counts.

So, to test to see if this would solve the problem I went back and filled in the ratings of all the players in my list that were "candidates" for qualifying for the Candidates Tournament via average ratings, what might be called "backpropagation". When I was done, the difference between the yearly averaging calculations and the quarterly averaging calculations was zero for all players.

I think we've put this issue to bed or to put it another way, the cat is as flat as it's going to get. Averaging the players' ratings quarterly and then averaging the results of the quarterly calculations yields the same results a just averaging the players' rating for one year. So, if the latter gives an advantage to the player(s) who started the year with the higher rating, those players have the same advantage if the averaging is done quarterly. If we want to base a player's qualification for the Candidates Tournament on the basis of single events, we need to look to measures other than ratings, perhaps my suggestion to use modified TPRs. Provided, of course, that you don't have errors in your spreadsheet. :-(

Sep-25-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <AylerKupp>
Well, a few things are not really clear.

(1) Is the procedure you described actually what <keypusher> intended to suggest?

(2) If it is not, then what was it?

(3) Which issue was his suggestion intended to address?

(4) I made a different suggestion, which was average the four highest ratings in the previous year from months in which the player was active. Any response on that? This suggestion aims to meet the main methodological flaw about average ratings, namely the inclusion of ratings from months when the player was inactive.

There's far from universal agreement around your philosophy that the rating criterion should be as memoryless as possible. It comes down to the question, do we want to award the world championship to the player who is the most hot at a given moment, or the one who makes the best sustained effort over a long period of time?

In short, there are still a lot of 3-dimensional cats out there.

Sep-25-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <beatgiant> An attempt to make things clearer, in an order that will hopefully help: (part 1 of 2)

(3) The suggestion was intended to address <devere>'s comment that in a yearly ratings average calculation the player who has the highest rating at the beginning of the average ratings calculation period has an advantage because that rating is propagated for every month that the player doesn't play any games. So it is very, very difficult for players who start the period with a lower rating to catch up, no matter how many rating points they gain in the remainder of the year.

This is potentially significant in the case of a younger player which starts the average calculation period with a relatively low rating but is steadily improving and ends the average calculation period with a much higher rating, while the rating of the player that started out with the highest rating remains relatively unchanged.

I added a Scenario 7, a more extreme case of Scenario 2, to my Average Calculation Spreadsheet, 'Scenario' tab to illustrate this. Player A starts the average rating calculation period with a rating of 2750, gains 10 rating points in the first month of the period, and his rating remains the same for the rest of the year, ending with an average rating of 2760.00. Player B starts the average rating calculation period with a rating of 2700, gains 10 rating points in the second month of the period, and 10 rating points each month thereafter. He finishes the average rating calculation period with a rating of 2810, yet his average rating for the period is 2755.00. So Player A wins the average rating calculation spot with a higher average rating even though his final rating during the period is 50 points less.

(1) and (2). <keypusher> asked in World Cup (2019) (kibitz #437) whether if 4 averaged ratings, one per quarter, were calculated independently, whether that would solve the problem that <devere> pointed out. Since at the end we would have to have only one value, I asked if he meant that each of the 4 independently calculated quarterly ratings averages should then be averaged. I asked for a clarification but I didn't receive a response. So I just ran with that.

(4) That was a good suggestion but why restrict the average to only the four highest ratings in the previous year from months when the player was active? Why not just calculate the average from all the ratings when the player was active? I also modified my Average Ratings Calculation Spreadsheet, 'Candidates' tab to do the latter. Two things should be noted:

a. The average rating from all the players dropped from 2754.53 to 2745.94. This was to be expected since the averages were not artificially inflated by carrying over the player's rating from the month when the player was not active.

b. So and not Caruana would have had the highest average rating for the year, 2806.71 to 2806.64, although since they were still the two players with the highest average ratings they would still both have qualified for the 2018 Candidates Tournament. But it does illustrate the rare FIDE wisdom that it is necessary to define a tiebreaker by having the average ratings calculated to 2 decimal places.

You can download my latest Average Ratings Calculation spreadsheet from http://www.mediafire.com/file/e7lkg.... If you don't have Excel you can download an Excel viewer that will let you look at the file but not change them or modify them from here: https://microsoft-excel-viewer.en.s...

Sep-25-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <beatgiant> An attempt to make things clearer, in an order that will hopefully help: (part 2 of 2)

As far as your last comment I think that you'll agree that it's impossible to reach universal agreement on anything that is chess-related! But I don't have a philosophy that the rating criterion should be as memoryless as possible. But I do believe that if the rating criteria covers a finite period, then it should be completely memoryless concerning games played <outside> that finite period. Otherwise players that had a higher criterion value earned outside that rating criteria period would have an advantage. And that doesn't seem fair to me.

As far as awarding the world championship to the players who is most hot at a given moment I think that's what we are stuck with considering that the WCC championship will be awarded to the player who wins the WCC match. And that's not necessarily bad. As long as people realize that the only thing that proves is who the best player was during the WCC match and not necessarily the best player, period.

That's why upsets are possible, the "best" player or team doesn't always win. For example, in Sep-1927 Capablanca's Chessmetrics rating was 2798 and Alekhine's 2766; in Oct-1935 Alekhine's Chessmetrics rating was 2767, Euwe's 2724, and in Oct 2000 Kasparov's Chessmetrics rating was 2871 and Kramnik's 2802. Their FIDE ratings were 2849 and 2772 respectively. We all know what happened. How many people would argue that the result of those matches Alekhine was a better player overall than Capablanca, Euwe was a better player overall than Alekhine (their WCC match 2 years later probably proved that was not the case), and Kramnik was a better player overall than Kasparov?

And "hotness" (or for that matter "coldness") can change quickly. In 2017 Caruana was ranked #2 in Jan-2017 with a rating of 2827 but dropped steadily to 2794 before rebounding slightly to 2799 by Dec-2017. He was ranked #5 when the 2018 Candidates started with a rating of 2784 behind Mamedyarov (2809), Kramnik (2800), So (2799), and Aronian 2794). And, again, we know what happened. And by the time the WCC match started in Nov-2018 his rating had risen to 2832, only 3 points lower than Carlsen at 2835. His play and the match results (at least in the Classic time control portion of the match) showed that the two players were pretty much equal. Quite a recovery by Caruana in less than one year!

So I don't object to dropping this qualification for the Candidates Tournament or, heaven forbid!, awarding the WCC based on performance over time. The easiest way to do that under the current rules is to drop the Candidates Tournament qualification by rating criteria and increase the number of qualifies from the FIDE Grand Swiss Tournament (assuming that becomes a regular event) from one to two.

But those 3-dimensional cats are sure hard to stamp out!

Sep-26-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <AylerKupp>
<As far as awarding the world championship to the players who is most hot at a given moment I think that's what we are stuck with considering that the WCC championship will be awarded to the player who wins the WCC match.>

Yes, but it takes a sustained effort over a long period to become one of the two players in the WCC match. I'm hard pressed to name even a single qualification path that doesn't ultimately depend in part on achievements before the current WCC cycle.

If you're not convinced of that fact, I can go into the gory details if need be, for example rating -> invitation to zonal event -> invitation to World Cup -> invitation to Candidates -> invitation to WCC final.

So no, that's not what "we are stuck with" because it's not even close to what we currently have.

Our current system does not make it feasible for any random chess player, or even any random GM, to "start from scratch" at the beginning of a 2-year WCC cycle and have a hope of winning the world championship. Do you disagree? If so, can you provide an illustrative example qualification path for such a person?

Sep-28-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <beatgiant> Of course I agree that getting to the Candidates Tournament and the WCC match requires a sustained effort over a long period of time. While the rules of quantum mechanics indicate that the probability of any event occurring is never exactly zero, I think that the probability of a player that learned the rules of chess 2 years prior to the WCC match to be invited to the qualifying events or satisfy the qualifying criteria for participating the Candidates Tournament is as close to zero as one can get.

But that's like saying that in order to be invited to participate in any of the qualifying events for the Candidates Tournament or meet any of the other criteria, you must be a good player. That's what requires a sustained effort over a long period of time plus the required amount of talent.. I kind of thought that was a given.

In any given year there are usually from 35 to 45 players rated 2700+ and 15 to 20 players rated 2750+ and the players that are likely to be good enough to participate in any WCC cycle's Candidates Tournament are probably restricted to these. But there are only 7 spot to fill, given that the previous WCC challenger is automatically seeded. Into the Candidates Tournament. So even the field of the minimum 15 available reasonably good players must be cut at least in half.

And, with the possible exception of the previous WCC participant who technically earned his entry into the Candidates Tournament by virtue of participating in that event (which concludes the previous WCC cycle), this cutting is done by events or criteria occurring within the previous 2 years leading to the next WCC match. Even the selection of the wildcard entry must satisfy certain criteria which is limited to events in the previous 2 years.

BTW, the reason I said we were "stuck" with awarding the WCC title to the winner of the WCC match was in reference to <nok>'s suggestion that he was willing to award the WCC title to the winner of the Candidates Tournament if that player wins the tournament by 2 or more points. Just his normal anti-Carlsen ramblings. If he has a favorite player, and I don't know if he does, and that player was the WCC, I'm sure that he would vehemently oppose awarding the WCC title to a player who won the Candidates Tournament by 2 or more points without defeating him in a WCC title match. But, who knows? He might surprise all of us, particularly me.

Sep-28-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <AylerKupp>
You posted the following as an argument against average ratings.

<I do believe that if the rating criteria covers a finite period, then it should be completely memoryless concerning games played <outside> that finite period.>

Which of the current qualification paths do you believe are completely memoryless concerning games played outside that finite period?

Sep-28-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <beatgiant> I believe that all the qualification paths are memoryless, with the exception of the player that qualifies according to average rating. But I think that's just our different definition of "memoryless". To me "memoryless" does not use <direct> information from the past. To you, I think, the qualifying events are not "memoryless" because the players spent a lot of effort getting to be good enough players to be invited to the qualifying event, and that effort, certainly most of it, was spent outside the finite period.

If you want to consider the time and effort spent by the players to be good enough to be eligible to participate in the Candidates Tournament qualifying events or satisfy the other qualifying criteria as "memory", so be it. I don't. It's as simple as that.

So I think that we have arrived at another dead cat situation. A good thing that it's not Schrödinger's cat, because then we wouldn't know for certain whether the cat was alive, dead, or both simultaneously. And if Schrödinger's cat was near a black hole, then spacetime would be warped we couldn't even be certain whether it was flat or not!

Sep-28-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <AylerKupp>
If I understand you right, you want to consider the preconditions of the contest in the case of average ratings, but you don't want to consider the preconditions of the contest in the case of, say, the World Cup.

Can you explain why you think the preconditions matter in one case but not in the other?

Sep-28-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: For example: the winner of the previous cycle's World Cup is invited to the current World Cup. You consider this an "indirect effect." Games played in Dec. 2018 influence a player's rating in Feb. 2019. You consider this a "direct effect."

How did you reach those conclusions? The example clearly shows that recency of the effect is not the issue for you.

Sep-29-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: For the record, here are the qualification paths to the Candidates, plus dates of information used (month and year when I knew them or could quickly find them). I haven't traced all the paths fully back (for example, criteria for invitations to the zonals) but a good guess is that they often used ratings that predated the events.

1. Loser of previous world championship (Nov. 2018).

2. World Cup. Invitees were: World Champion (Nov. 2018), 4 previous World Cup semifinalists (Sept. 2017), Women's Champion (Nov. 2018), Junior Champions (2017 and Sept. 2018), 22 from European Championship (2018), 24 from European Championship (2019), 4 from American Continental Championship (2018), 4 from American Continental Championship (2019), 5 from Asian Continental Championship (2018), 5 from Asian Continental Championship (2019), 2 from African Continental Championship (2019), 26 from zonal championships (I'm unsure of date range), 18 by average rating (Aug. 2018 to July 2019), 1 from ACP tour (I'm unsure of date range) and 9 wildcards (I'm unsure of criteria). Invitees who declined were either replaced with the next runner-up in the same event, or from the runners-up on the average rating list.

3. FIDE Grand Swiss. 100 by average rating (July 2018 to June 2019), Women's Champion (Nov. 2018), Under 20 Champion (Sept. 2018), Over 50 Champion and Over 65 Champion (both Nov. 2018), 12 top finishers from the Continental Championships (2019), 1 top finisher from the ACP tour (not sure of the included date range), 3 wildcards (I'm not sure of wildcard criteria).

4. FIDE Grand Prix. 20 by average rating (Feb. 2018-Jan. 2019), 2 wildcards (I'm not sure of wildcard criteria).

5. Average rating (Feb. 2019-Jan. 2020).

6. Wildcard. Must play in two of the three (World Cup, Grand Swiss, Grand Prix - 2019), and be a runner-up in one of them or be in top 10 by average rating (Feb. 2019-Jan. 2020).

In terms of the currently known qualifiers, Caruana qualified based on WCC (Nov. 2018), Ding and Radjabov qualified based on World Cup to which Ding qualified based previous World Cup (Sept. 2017) and Radjabov qualified based on average rating (Aug. 2018-July 2019).

Sep-29-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <AylerKupp>
So, most of the qualification paths do, in fact, depend on results from before Jan. 2019. But to get any further, we'd have to agree on how to measure the strength of the dependencies. Otherwise, you want to blow off all the dependencies except those for average ratings by labeling them as "indirect."
Sep-29-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: To me the bottom line is:

You think it's reasonable to expect a would-be World Championship contender to <put the time and effort spent by the players to be good enough to be eligible to participate in the Candidates Tournament> before the start of the cycle, in the case of all criteria except rating.

And I really don't understand your reason for making that distinction.

Sep-30-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <beatgiant> It's not that I don't want to consider the preconditions of the contestants in the World Cup among other events, it's just that I don't consider being a top player a <direct> precondition. It's just implied, no more than being able to breathe or think should be considered preconditions to becoming a top player. And that's what I thought we, or at least I, were talking about, <direct> preconditions. Otherwise where to you stop in considering what could be a "precondition" to becoming a top player? Being born?

As far as the previous cycle's World Cup player being invited to the next World Cup I consider that a possible precondition to qualify <for the World Cup>, not to qualify <for the Candidates Tournament>, and I thought the latter is what we were talking about. Clearly being a recognized top player is a pre-condition to being invited to play in all these tournaments that could result in having a <direct> precondition to participate in the Candidates Tournament. But not, IMO, a <direct> precondition.

So we also disagree in believing that most of the qualification paths for the 2020 Candidates Tournament depend <directly> on results from before Jan-2019. I don't think that we can agree on the strength of the dependencies since I don't think that there are any <direct> dependencies because I don't think that being a top player is a <direct> dependency. So, other than your loaded term for me to " blow off" all the dependencies except those for average rating, we basically agree; I just think that being a top player is an <indirect> dependency and not a <direct> dependency for qualifying for the Candidates Tournament.

The reason that I make a distinction between qualifying for the Candidates Tournament via ratings compared to all the other requirements for qualifying is that qualification via ratings is <explicitly> indicated as a possible method for qualifying for the Candidates Tournament, and the rating for the first month of the average rating period is determined <explicitly> by the player's rating prior to the first month of the average rating period per the formulas for calculating the player's rating for the prior month. None of the other qualification criteria, except possibly the selection of a player to participate in the Candidates Tournament by its organizer <explicitly> requires dependency (i.e. ratings) outside the average rating calculation period.

But even this method provides 3 alternatives to selection of a player for inclusion in the Candidates Tournament provided that he finishes sufficiently high in the World Cup, the Grand Prix, and the Grand Swiss. So inclusion into the Candidates Tournament by this method <could> be based on events (ratings) occurring prior to 2019 but does not <require> it. But selection of a player for inclusion into the Candidates Tournament by rating does require it.

So that's how I make my distinction; selection of inclusion into the Candidates method by rating requires events <directly> happening outside the 2019 period and none of the other methods do. And, like I said, requiring a would-be World Championship contender putting in the time and effort to become a good enough player to be considered for and qualifying for inclusion into the Candidates tournament is an <implicit> requirement; like breathing, thinking, and being born, not an <explicit> one as described in the Rules and Regulations for the Candidates Tournament.

And that's my bottom line.

Sep-30-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <AylerKupp>

OK let's spell it out for each qualification path.

Would you agree that "loser of previous World Championship" depends directly, explicitly, completely on events before Jan. 2019? If not, I'd consider further discussion useless, because I see absolutely nothing that any person can do after Jan. 2019 that would change this outcome.

Winner of the World Cup: The 128 players who got invited were clearly not anywhere close to "the 128 strongest players" by whatever means we might agree to define that. So I disagree that <being a top player> was sufficient to compete under that criterion. Most of the invitees had to accomplish specific things pre-2019 to avoid "being eliminated in round 0" (i.e. get invited).

Maybe this would hinge on how you'd define "being a top player." It might help if you'd post your definition.

FIDE Grand Swiss: For this one, your point is arguable, as long as you accept in principle the idea of average ratings, which were the main criterion.

If you concede that, we would then be discussing what's the appropriate period to use for average ratings, rather than the validity of average ratings themselves (in contrast, <devere> denies the validity of average ratings in principle, for any purpose).

FIDE Grand Prix: This one was a mixture of average ratings and pre-2019 accomplishments. So the discussions around World Cup and Grand Swiss apply similarly to this one.

Sep-30-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: And then let's contrast all that with the average rating qualification path.

This criterion uses ratings from Feb. 2019 to Jan. 2020. Yes, to have a realistic shot at this, a player's rating has to be near the top in Jan. 2019, a dependency on events before then. Beyond that, the player must maintain that high position while satisfying the minimum activity requirements.

Having a rating near the top of the list in Jan. 2019, to you, is too much to ask of someone who wants to try for the world championship based on rating? Again perhaps it comes down to your definition of the concept, "being a top player."

Oct-01-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <beatgiant> Yes, of course I'll agree that losing the previous WCC depended on events before Jan-2019. Focusing on the average rating calculations I just overlooked that. My bad. So that leaves 5 of the 7 players qualifying for the Candidates Tournament based <directly> on events occurring after Jan-2019.

Since you asked, I would define a "top player" as a player good enough to be considered for participating in the <Candidates Tournament>. Participating in one of the qualifying events for the Candidates Tournament does not necessarily make you a "top player". I think that you'll agree that Shaun Press, rated at 1954, was selected to participate in the World Cup but it would take a great deal of wishful thinking to consider him a "top player", even if he had managed to beat Ding Liren by a score 2-0.

Or, if you want to quantify it, I would think that any player rated 2700+ could be considered a "top player". But 2700 is an arbitrary number, a case could easily be made only for someone rated 2750+ or 2600+.

As far as the FIDE Grand Swiss qualification for it would not automatically make you a "top player" either. But it's unlikely that anyone but a "top player" will win it, the requirement for qualifying for the Candidates Tournament.

But I think that you're deviating from what I think is the difference in our positions. I think that other than qualification for the Candidates Tournament by average rating and, now, by losing the previous WCC match, all the players likely qualified <directly> based on events happening before 2019. Even the selection of the at large player falls in this category since it's only a constraint that the player selected must be among those with the 10-highest average ratings, that player must also have participated in at least 2 of the Candidates Tournament qualifying events after Jan-2019.

I think that you think that the time an effort spent by some persons to become good players means that this was based on events happening before Jan-2019. That might be true, but those players did not likely qualify <directly> for the Candidates Tournament based on events happening after Jan-2019.

Look, it's clear that we have a difference of opinion on this issue. I don't think it's productive to spend any more time discussing it. If you want to stick to your opinion you're entitled to do so, just as I am entitled to stick to mine. They're just opinions after all. We'll just have to agree to disagree and move on.

Oct-01-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <AylerKupp>
I think you mixed up <before> and <after> in your post, but I understood.

We don't only have differing opinions, we also start from differing premises.

What's the big difference for you, in principal, between "becoming good players" and "achieving high ratings"? Aren't the realistic candidates precisely the same as the people with ratings near the top of the list as of Jan. 2019?

And to what extent is the average rating criterion influenced by pre-2019 events? It tapers quickly if a player is active enough. But if you don't get invited to the World Cup, you definitely won't win the World Cup, which sounds much more like an explicit condition to me.

But, yes there's quite a full list of other areas for discussion, so I'll tackle one of those next, as soon as time permits.

Oct-02-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <beatgiant> I don't see any difference either between becoming a good (maybe I should have said great) player and achieving highor top ratings. Only the good players will achieve high ratings and only the great players will achieve top ratings.

Yes, the realistic candidates will be likely be precisely the same as those with ratings near the top of the list as of Jan-2019, barring the highly unusual exception of a breakthrough performance by a less-than-top young player that maybe, like Fischer, "all of a sudden he just got good". But, like a Fischer, this doesn't happen very often.

But, as <devere> has pointed out and I have created scenarios to show, and verified by tracking the performance of Caruana, So, and Kramnik in terms of average ratings prior to the 2018 Candidates Tournament, having the highest rating in Jan-2019 gives that player a great advantage in the average ratings calculation race. It does <not> necessarily taper quickly because of the averaging; the player with the higher initial rating will always have an advantage, and that player's initial rating (like Ding Liren's at the beginning of this cycle) will have a dominating advantage, even in the case of a total collapse during the year.

Actually most of the players (92) qualifying for this World Cup were determined by their performance in zonal events and only 18 qualified by average rating. Eight others qualified by virtue of titles won in previous events. The reverse is true for the FIDE Grand Prix and the FIDE Swiss, most of the players qualifying for those two events qualify on the basis of rating.

And true, if you don't get invited to the World Cup you definitely won't win it. But again, I thought that we were talking about qualifying for the Candidates Tournament, not the World Cup. So a player that doesn't qualify for the World Cup is <indirectly> not qualified for the Candidates Tournament whereas a player that doesn't finish in the top 2 in the World Cup is <directly> not qualified for the Candidates Tournament. To me that makes a difference, to you maybe not.

That's why, besides taking into account the <explicit> qualification criteria, I make a distinction between <indirect> events (achieving a high rating, qualifying for qualifying events, etc.) that occurred before Jan-2019 and <direct> events (top performance in qualifying events occurring after Jan-2019, although the Jan-2019 date is somewhat arbitrary, it's just practical. Also, if you want to have the <current> (i.e. at the start of an event) best players participating in the Candidates Tournament and the WCC match, then recent performances (the qualifying events for the Candidates Tournament) are a better indicator than events that happened earlier (e.g. the qualifying events to the qualifying events, averaged ratings). But, of course, that's just an indicator, not a guarantee. It just increases the chances that the participants in the Candidates Tournament and the WCC Challenger are the best current players.

And, BTW, in case you have any doubt, I enjoy discussing things with you. You have your opinions and you back them up with solid reasoning and/or facts. That's unlike many others who post here who express an opinion and either try to pass it up as fact or refuse to indicate the basis for their opinion. You are like a breath of fresh air.

Speaking of other, although related, areas of discussion, have you had a chance to look at my suggestion of replacing the average rating qualification criteria for the Candidates Tournament with a TPR-like calculation? If you remove the rating term from the TPR calculation then it becomes only a calculation involving actual results between a player and his opponents. Truly memoryless since it does not involve calculations outside the PR calculation period.

Not that I think it will ever happen or will make any difference, since I think that selecting participants for the Candidates Tournament on the basis of average ratings is on the way out, witnessed by the reduction of the number of players selected this way from 2 to 1. I think that for the next WCC cycle, particularly if this year's FIDE Swiss is a success, that the top 2 players in the FIDE Swiss will qualify for the next Candidates Tournament. But that, of course, this is just my opinion. :-)

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