Runny-ness of tactics performance

  • #1

    I am a psychologist curious about the sharp variations in my performance on the tactics site.   I would like, for starters, to do a statistical analysis on all the [thousands of ] puzzles I have done.  Is there any way to get back the results of from the beginning of my starting with the Site?  Are there any other people on the site that have thought about this phenomenon? 

    nthompson

  • #2

    At least my tactics performance seems to have really big swings. I'd guess my mindset at the time contributes a lot, and the initial successes/fails feed this current state even further. Another contributing factor is whether I get real positions or dreary endgame compositions :p

  • #3

    nthompson,

    If you want to look at your trend since you joined the site, you can go to the tactics homepage at http://www.chess.com/tactics/myhome.html and click "All Time" under the graph.  Might be useful if you didn't already know about it, but won't give you any raw data.

    Mine swings a lot too and the graph ends up looking nicely like a mesa landscape.  From day to day it can vary by 100+ points.  However, in my case I suspect it has the most to do with when I do the tactics in relation to when I have my coffee, and how much coffee I drink that day Cool

  • #4

    Ok, folks.  Over two or three months, I fought my way up to 1440 doing tactics puzzles, and then, in the last two weeks, dropped 400 points!  Now I am stuck between 1000 and 1100.  Possibilities I am considering. (1)  I have had a cerebral "incident" in my frontal cortex, large enough to kill my chess playing, but not large enough to have any other effect or (2) the scoring system has changed.  (3) Chess.com was cutting me some slack until I renewed my membership, but once I paid my money, the party was over. 

    Health is good, mood is good, eating good, weather has been cold, but not particularly challenging. 

    Anybody else have anything else to report?

    nst.

  • #5
    nthompson wrote:

    Ok, folks.  Over two or three months, I fought my way up to 1440 doing tactics puzzles, and then, in the last two weeks, dropped 400 points!  Now I am stuck between 1000 and 1100.  Possibilities I am considering. (1)  I have had a cerebral "incident" in my frontal cortex, large enough to kill my chess playing, but not large enough to have any other effect or (2) the scoring system has changed.

    ....

    Anybody else hae anything else to report?

    nst.


    I have seen another topic about dropping TT scores. My guess is they tweaked the rating formula again. I haven't done any since the 4th so I don't know if it has changed for sure. Though, with your experience and the other posts, I think that is likely the case.

  • #6

    Glad to hear about this.  Might save me a trip to the neurologist. My sense is that speed has become more important.  I will try to find the other posts you mention.  Thanks.  Nick

  • #7

    Here's an anecdote on how being tired can affect your tactics score.

    http://thebackrank.blogspot.com/2006/10/tactics-while-tired.html

  • #8
    nthompson wrote:

    Ok, folks.  Over two or three months, I fought my way up to 1440 doing tactics puzzles, and then, in the last two weeks, dropped 400 points!  Now I am stuck between 1000 and 1100.  Possibilities I am considering. (1)  I have had a cerebral "incident" in my frontal cortex, large enough to kill my chess playing, but not large enough to have any other effect or (2) the scoring system has changed.  (3) Chess.com was cutting me some slack until I renewed my membership, but once I paid my money, the party was over. 

    Health is good, mood is good, eating good, weather has been cold, but not particularly challenging. 

    Anybody else have anything else to report?

    nst.


    I stand by what I said 2 years ago. ;)

    http://www.chess.com/forum/view/community/the-cruel-tutelage-of-tactics-trainer

  • #9

    I've noticed that recently, tactics trainer seems to "punish" more for wrong answer than "reward" for correct ones. For example a wrong answer leads almost always to -15 or -16, wheras a correct answer, even if answered relatively quickly, gives maybe +7 or maybe +8. So, just to stay still, I've gotta answer 2 correct answers for every wrong one!

    Has anyone else noticed this or am I paranoid? (tactics trainer and/or chess.com are out to get me!)

  • #10
    ebax wrote:

    I've noticed that recently, tactics trainer seems to "punish" more for wrong answer than "reward" for correct ones. For example a wrong answer leads almost always to -15 or -16, wheras a correct answer, even if answered relatively quickly, gives maybe +7 or maybe +8. So, just to stay still, I've gotta answer 2 correct answers for every wrong one!

    Has anyone else noticed this or am I paranoid? (tactics trainer and/or chess.com are out to get me!)


    You're not paranoid!  After a lot of analysis of user data, there have been some recent changes to ratings calculations across the board.  The two main goals are to bring all the ratings types more in line (some were consistently FAR above other kinds of ratings) and also to slow the rate of artificial inflation in live and turn-based ratings.

  • #11

  • #12
    DeepGreene wrote:
    ebax wrote:

    I've noticed that recently, tactics trainer seems to "punish" more for wrong answer than "reward" for correct ones. For example a wrong answer leads almost always to -15 or -16, wheras a correct answer, even if answered relatively quickly, gives maybe +7 or maybe +8. So, just to stay still, I've gotta answer 2 correct answers for every wrong one!

    Has anyone else noticed this or am I paranoid? (tactics trainer and/or chess.com are out to get me!)


    You're not paranoid!  After a lot of analysis of user data, there have been some recent changes to ratings calculations across the board.  The two main goals are to bring all the ratings types more in line (some were consistently FAR above other kinds of ratings) and also to slow the rate of artificial inflation in live and turn-based ratings.


    Hey Deep Greene, 

    I really think we could get an NSF grant to study this phenomenon of ratings collapses.  But I really need to know how much of these huge swings are a contrivance of the program that runs this thing.  I caught a cold the other day and before it announced itself as a cold, exactly, it manifested itself as a 400 point drop in my rating.  If tactics ratings are that sensitive to health, then its a tremendous test of cognitive functioning and the world ought to know about it.

    Would you be willing to help me figure out what is going on here.  I have tried contacting chess.com and the problem doesnt seem to interest them.  I just want to know if this is a real phenomenon or something that is being engineered by the program to keep motivation up. I suppose the best motivators would be short sharp falls, followed by long slow climbs, and that is exactly the kind of pattern I see in my performance.  I suspect I am being manipulated.

    I know I am overthinking what everybody else regards as a lovely time waster, but it really seems interesting to me.

    Any thoughts? 

  • #13

    Ok, I have developed another paranoid theory about runniness.  Last year around my birthday I fought my way up to 1440 and then immediately collapsed.  Recently, I have again started to rise dramatically in anticipation of my birthday.  Paranoid theory:  Chess.com knows my birthday (I think I told them when I registered( and the program is designed to keep me in the game by giving me a little gift on my birthday.  Unfortunately, this year I was so tired when I was doing it, I only got up to 1365. 

  • #14
    nthompson wrote:

    Ok, I have developed another paranoid theory about runniness.  Last year around my birthday I fought my way up to 1440 and then immediately collapsed.  Recently, I have again started to rise dramatically in anticipation of my birthday.  Paranoid theory:  Chess.com knows my birthday (I think I told them when I registered( and the program is designed to keep me in the game by giving me a little gift on my birthday.  Unfortunately, this year I was so tired when I was doing it, I only got up to 1365. 


    Paranoid Theory: CTS is screwing with my head!

    Paranoid Prediction: CTS will give me a great run on my birthday; afterwords the bottom will fall out. 

    Prediction fulfilled:  The bottom HAS fallen out. 

    Paranoid Theory Confirmed. 

  • #15

    Ok.  How many others have experienced a run of good TT events either (1) on the approach of their renewal decision or (2) on their birthday?   Perhaps we can catch the TT genie out of his bottle. 

  • #16

    I agree with Conquistador's post.

  • #17

    I've noticed how my tactics performance is linked to stress (e.g. at work), or the lack thereof, even before I realize I am stressed! I can map holidays (and probably deadlines, if I kept the dates) onto the graph and it makes perfectly sense. Ups and downs are perfectly normal, but extended streaks now tell me something is up in my life.

    PS: I only play about three problems a day, so my mapping is over an extended period.

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