Perspectives on the Kuwaiti chess rating system

Many questions have been raised by my colleagues and chess fans about the mechanism of the local rating system of Kuwait and its practicability and sustainability …

According to the large number of inquiries I am receiving on this subject, it is clear  to me that there isn’t enough understanding of the scheme of our chess rating system and the need for it …
So I have decided to write this post on various aspects of the rating system;

Firstly: Historical briefing

The idea of creating a local rating system was initiated in March 2002 and that was because of the very limited number of Internationally Rated tournaments in Kuwait…
Based on that Kuwait chess federation Contacted   Mr. Mats winther  from Sweden asking for permission to use his program – Standard Rating – to calculate players rating improvement from one tournament  to another & immediately after obtaining his approval – to use the Swedish rating program – KCF issued the first Kuwaiti rating list  in May 2002 .

Swedish system is characterized as unstable; it was used to increase the possibility of lowering or elevating rating in each single tournament; considering the limited number of annual tounaments in Kuwait. Finally it’s worth noting that Kuwait chess rating list does not affect FIDE rating list whatsoever.

Secondly: Development of the Kuwaiti rating system

As a result of the fact that the rating calculation program was not linked to the Swiss pairing program, The process of the rating calculating was off-putting and stressful due to the large number of players that needed rating calculation; saying more than eighty players per tournament each of them playing the full nine rounds or less.
Therefore, after the Fide suggestion of allowing some flexibility on the K factor  Kuwait chess federation went for the the FIDE chess rating system  associated with the Swiss Perfect program. (i.e., nowadays it provides the possibility of a rating upgrade of more than eighty points in any given one {9-rounder} tournament)   
Accordingly, Kuwaiti ratings were calculated by the FIDE system with a K factor of 30 for the previous three tournaments (Sharq 2008 – Fischer  2009 – Sharq 2009) which provided more rapidity, flexibility and precision as it can be seen.

 Thirdly: The significance of the rating system

 A- The rating system levels the players based on their results in actual played rounds which can help the federation to go back to the 2-tier tournaments with A,B levels based on ratings, hopefully in the coming future.
B- Players can keep track of their personal progress.
C-Players shall be able to predict the class of their opponents in any given round, which can help to decide what kinda game one would start against a much stronger opponent for example. 
 D- The method of pairing in tournaments is mainly based on ratings, achieving justice without ratings is doubtful; as without ratings we might see a first round pairing showing :


1-Ferdinand Bugay X New Player
2-Edgar Benities X Bader Alhajri

 which may lead to an easy point (almost guaranteed) for bugay and a tough fight between the bader & edgar !

AS can be seen this is just one example for an early pairing that does not represent justice nor efficiency.
Using the rating system will lead to the above mentioned players playing opponents with similar rating points differences, achieving  relatively just pairing .

Fourthly: The accuracy of the rating system

Naturally the high-rated players think positively about the rating system, while the lower rated players think that their level of play isn’t reflected by their rating points …
But we must point out here that the accuracy of most players` ratings is excellent compared the results they achieve in tourneys, particularly after the completion of more than 27 rated rounds per player, as rating starts to be more reflective of one’s level. And that is the main aim of any given rating system…

Fifthly:Rating Follow-up and continuity of the system

 Some might think that the process of calculating the ratings have no scheme governing it, which is totally incorrect…
In the past, ratings were calculated twice a year (in the case of  having more than one tourney in that period) while currently due to technological advances and changing laws of Fide ratings are calculated after each Round by the program and as it can be seen my colleague Khalid published  the results and detailed rating list of Sharq 2009, after the tournament ended straightforwardly …
 

To illustrate the cycle of ratings over the past 7 years we shall track back the ratings of two active players in  Kuwait, those are Ferdinand Laming and Bader Al-Hajri :

– Ferdinand Laming`s rating cycle:
May rating list, 2002 (1555) point
Dec rating list, 2002 (1578) point
July rating list, 2003 (1575) point
 Oct rating list, 2003 (1575) point
June rating list, 2004 (1649) point
June rating list, 2005 (1646) points
Jan rating list, 2006 (1646) points
June rating list, 2007 (1629) points
Jan rating list, 2008 (1629) points
Oct rating list, 2009 (1653) points
Jan rating list, 2010 (1629) points

 – Bader Alhajri`s rating cycle:
May rating list, 2002 (1583) point
Dec rating list, 2002 (1564) point
July rating list, 2003 (1658) point
 Oct rating list, 2003 (1658) point
June rating list, 2004 (1712) point
June rating list, 2005 (1744) points
Jan rating list, 2006 (1723) points
June rating list, 2007 (1705) points
Jan rating list, 2008 (1705) points
Oct rating list, 2009 (1696) points
Jan rating list, 2010 (1744) points

Thats all for now folks 🙂

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3 thoughts on “Perspectives on the Kuwaiti chess rating system

  1. hamad a. says:

    thanks kuwait chess players…
    -when will the next rated tournament be ?

  2. Khaled says:

    Hello. Probably some time next month. (or February)

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