Characterizing Rating Levels

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #1


    Hey everyone,

    I had what I think might be an interesting idea that, should we work it through properly, with necessary help from high rated players, might leave us with an interesting chart (* summons artfizz *). If nothing else, it might also spur some interesting discussions.

    Basically my idea is as follows; I thought we could try and describe general playing tendencies according to rating ranges. I’m too much the patzer to come up with some of the specifics, which is why I can only kick it off with some silly examples.

    For instance, something rough like;

    900; often neglects development, regularly hangs pieces, often pushes a & h pawns and develops rooks early, sometimes misses mates-in-1, etc.

    1250; little to no knowledge of opening theory or principles, often makes uncoordinated attacks, often immediately trades pieces should the opportunity arise, sometimes hangs pieces, often sees mates-in-1.

    1350; Follows opening principles, often is comfortable with one or two opening systems, usually anticipates forks, understands basic tactical ideas (pins, discoveries)

    1450; Preliminary understanding of ideas like maintaining the tension, creating imbalances…

    1550 and up; I can kindof imagine but barely, in as much as I've never cracked this... ???

    Well, you can see something of what I’m imagining here. Maybe it would work if we made a list of tendencies like “Recognises Mates-in-3” or “Recognises Forks” running along one axis and then tally “Almost always, Usually, Sometimes, Rarely, Never”, I dunno – artfizz and excelguru are the… gurus of that.

    If you think that it’s too difficult to assess, or not a worthwhile cause du jour, that’s cool. Maybe it’s not, maybe it’s too difficult to really pin down?

    Just an idea.

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #2


    I think this idea could develop nicely if done properly. The toughest part is to characterize each interval like that, cause part of the reason some people do decent, but not amazing, is because they know and implement one theory better than another.

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #3


    Get idea I can see where I place and it is embarrassing to say the least. BUt what a great idea I hoep it moves forward.

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #4


    it's a good idea, though you might want to use larger brackets at first and reduce them as we make progress with the analytical work

    I'd suggest using 200 pts. brackets or USCF classification (class F, class E...)

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #6


    2 months to get from 1500 to 1900?That s huge accomplishment!

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #8


    Ratings on tend to run around 300 points lower than USCF ratings, and perhaps 200 points lower than FIDE ratings.


    Players who can attain and maintain a rating on of 1950 or higher are approaching master strength, assuming they are not cheating with chess engines.

    Usually, ratings should be fairly consistent across the speed of play. Thus quick = blitz = long to a first approximation.  If you find a huge differential in long vs blitz or quick, this is something to investigate.  For example if a player is 1800 quick, but can't maintian 1650 or higher in longer play, its' a sign of a tendency to be careless.

    Now there are special cases of rating differential that are just plain suspicious. If a player has a 1200 rating in quick, but a 1900 rating in long, that smells like engine use.

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #9


    I'm starting to think this is more difficult to do than I initially thought, but in the interest of advancing it once more step I piled ih8sens' and my rough sketches for criterion, removing all of the rating levels.

    I do realize it really boils down to "the better you are, the more you notice and avoid, and the less you blunder", but I'd hoped that by creating more of a "psychological profile" of a player at X rating that it would benefit lower rated players in some way.


    often neglects development
    regularly hangs pieces
    often pushes a & h pawns and develops rooks early
    sometimes misses mates-in-1
    little to no knowledge of opening theory or principles
    often makes uncoordinated attacks
    often immediately trades pieces should the opportunity arise
    sometimes hangs pieces, often sees mates-in-1.
    follows opening principles
    often is comfortable with one or two opening systems,
    usually anticipates forks,
    understands basic tactical ideas (pins, discoveries)
    didn't really understand the rating system or any of the main concepts of chess. 
    I knew en passant
    No understanding of positional play and minimal tactical understanding.
    begin to notice tactics
    I very rarely missed a tactic (for or against...)
    I knew very little of openings and often found myself 'losing for no reason' against class A players simply because I didn't understand how midgames take you to the endgame.
    "Oh, that's why I lost" ... My tactical eye, now very well trained has left me making very few mistakes...
    I begin to develop favourite openings ...
    my positional understanding grows very quickly.
     "Oh well that can't be right" ... intuition now being used for good ... instead of speculative sacrifices I begin to look at my position more critically (and my opponents position more agressively)...
    becoming accustomed to winning most of my games
     I actually was pretty good... but I always did something that just made no sense ... why... I have no clue.
     difference between a 1600 and a 1700 player is HUGE from my perspective ... 1600's are still trying weak 'traps' and missing the occasional tactic ... 1700's don't always find the right 'idea' but they always have one and they are very proficient at making it work ...
     From what I've been told, the difference between a 2000 player and a 2200 (NM), is largely openings... a 2000 knows the openings.. a 2200 knows WHY that opening is played... he see's the ideas behind it.

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #10


    Smartattack wrote:

    2 months to get from 1500 to 1900?That s huge accomplishment!

     1900 separates boys from men :) Hope i can achieve that too..but it s coming hard for me.

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #11


    Don't forget ratings are a measure of consistency not ability. This means that, in any particular game a player may exceed or fall far below his/her actual ability. Sometimes you can get into a position where you feel comfortable and play much better than you usually do, it all depends. As Korchnoi said, "To win, you need a little luck."

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #12


    Are you talking about ratings on or about real ratings? As for the ratings on I am trully amazed how the GM's can play in blitz games like kindergarden kids compared to the level of (quite) many players on

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #13


    Ahhh good point, chawil. That does throw a wrench into the old gears, doesn't it? Because the measures I was thinking about are rough estimates of sometimes, often, etc, and as Immortalgamer showed us with his blindness thread, even someone as skilled as he drops his queen every once and again.

    Ah well.

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #14


    This is a very interesting idea, but I'm thinking that the work involved in creating an accurate "psycological profile" would be tremendous. That doesn't mean it's not worthwhile, mind you. The Panama Canal was a tremendous undertaking, too.

    Brainstorming here... The results would need to be objective, so personal opinion would have to be left out as much as possible. How to do that, exactly, is a topic of debate (engine analysis?). A "sample group" of players would have to be chosen for each rating group. To achieve statistically significant results, the sample group would need to consist of (at least) hundreds of players. Let's assume 200 players per rating group.

    Then you would need to "objectively analyze" (there's that debate topic again) a statistically significant number of games from each player in the group. This could mean hundreds of games per player. The more the better, obviously, but for the sake of argument let's say 200 games per player x 200 players = 40,000 games to be analyzed... objectively. Wow. Unfortunately, I have plans this weekend. How about next weekend? LOL

    As you can see, this is quickly getting into the neighborhood of a federally-funded research study or perhaps a graduate (institutionally-funded) research study. It might actually prove very beneficial for the purpose of helping individuals, coaches and teams to fine-tune their studying efforts. A very interesting idea indeed.

    Now, where did I put Matthew Lesko's book about getting government grants?? I know it's around here somewhere... Laughing

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #15


    I do think this is an interesting idea. It may give people insight into there own game. ... even me, I think I would like to see where I stand :-)

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #16


    Even Kramnik " sometimes misses mates-in-1"

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #17


    Alright, well, that idea is a bust then.

                    * crumbles paper and tosses it over to the trashbin *

                                 * heads back to drawing board *

    I have more good ideas where that one came from! I'm an Idea-machine!

    /grumble grumble if artfizz had just gotten here in time we'd have a chart...

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #18


    900: This player pretty much a patzer at chess.

    1250: This player is pretty much a patzer at chess.

    1400: This player is pretty much a patzer at chess.

    1650: This player is pretty much a patzer at chess.

    1900: This player is pretty much a patzer at chess.

    2150: This player is pretty much a patzer at chess.

    2400: This player is pretty much a patzer at chess.

    2650: This player, whle predominantly a patzer, often plays a nice game.

    2900: This player, while usually a patzer, often plays creatively and brilliantly.

    3100: This player will be considered a patzer by the next version of the software.


    The point? We're all patzers, just on different levels.

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #20


    Not bad but one rating is simply not enough. There's this guy on who always opens with e3, and hes rated about 1500, one 1700+ person tried the scholar's mate on me...

Back to Top

Post your reply: