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does chess.com favour stonger players?

  • #1

    Recently, as an admin of the one of the groups, I have been faced with weaker players wanting to play but losing out on the chance.

    Two common scenarios are: firstly, my team having more players than the opposition and the way the system works is players are chopped from the bottom and secondly, when the opposition has more players than my team, the rating discrepancy tends to widen the lower down in the roster you go. I tend to operate on a rule of thumb that if that difference is more than 200 I delete my player from the match. Also, out of consideration to the opposition, I remove my higher rated player if the converse is true, although I find few other admins do this.

    There are ways to overcome this dilemma through match selection and the type of game chosen e.g. numbers of players, rating restrictions, non auto start etc. and, most importantly, having good communication with the opposing admins. None of this is perfect but one tries.

    I do find having unrated players can create a problem and I understand some teams prefering not to include such players. Besides the fact they are statistically more likely to time out (a real pain in team matches), we don't know their true chess playing ability (my experience is they are usually better than the default 1200 they are assigned).

    Having said all that, I think playing matches between teams is a great way to maintain interest in playing chess. If indeed chess.com does favour stronger players, it also encourages aspiration to become better - and that is a good thing!

  • #2

    You do know you can set the rating range right?

  • #3

    I did say that mvtjc! Funnily, the problem arose recently in a non rating match when our opponents ended up with twice as many as us. It was notable as you went down the roster the difference in rating got wider... mostly, our opponent's lower rated players lost out and only one of ours (the rating disparity was just too much). As a result we decided on a <1600 match and the same thing is happening, albeit on a lesser scale. As I say, there is no easy solution, but it has helped having good communication with the admins - sadly that doesn't always happen!

  • #4

    I don't think it is a case of chess.com favouring higher rated player. This would happen in any situation like this. The lower rated players have to go somewhere.

    Instead of going for <1600, go for bracket ranges. Find a team you can set up a few matches with and have a 1200-1400, 1400-1600, 1600-1800 and a >1800 (or something like this)

    I am not an admin, so I'm not sure, but I think that's possible isn't it? That way the biggest gap will be 200 points (unlikely to happen though)

  • #5

    point taken - but I do find the more you narrow, the harder it is to get the games you want - I think the key is good communcation and relations between teams.

  • #6

    Even though I don't have a great rating, I like to play people who are better than me...within reason of course, but I do it so I can learn from them and I still have fun trying to beat them.

  • #7

    One of the situations I was faced with recently was having to cancel a match becoz there was such a big rating disparity and there seemed no way this could be resolved. The situation occured when the team we were up against filled then exceeded their roster quota long before we did and while we were waiting for our members to come on board our opponents list was every growing, pushing weaker players of the roster and creating increasing rating gaps, especially on the lower boards.

    This is not so much an observation as to how things operate but also a plea for admins to be more sensitive to these situations happenning, including if necessary removing stronger latercomers from the roster and for team members to be more savvy.

    While I like to be challenged by playing good players, I also get de-motivated and discouraged when I am continually being pitted against those stronger than me and why I believe playing people of similar ratings is the best way to proceed.

  • #8

    With the thousands of groups here, obviously many randomly challenged team matches will have a great disparity.  Part of the role of the admin who issues or accepts challenges is to research the potential opponents first.

    It's not just the number of strong players you have, but how many actively participate in team matches that counts.

  • #9

    I agree entirely. I find a big and often not widely accepted part of the admin role is to do what you say - but despite having done the job for the best part of a year, I am far from cracking it. Sometimes, sadly, team members are fickle and unpredicatable. Sometimes, other admins are not very communicative (if they were some of these problems could be ironed out). Despite all this, playing team matches is an excellent part of chess.com and in the main work out very well.


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