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Masters events - What???

Posted By: Havard Raddum
Date: Friday, 27 December 2013, at 11:36 p.m.

In Response To: Masters events - What??? (Keene)

Been reading the debate about what (not) to rate over in the US. As has already been mentioned, I think it's wise to look at other federations that's been producing ELO-based ranking lists for many years and look at their experiences.

The Danes have been noted, and I am familiar with how the Norwegian federation is doing the rating among their members. Both countries do it pretty much the same way, and the principle is to rate every match played under their umbrella. It's not too much work once you have a good system for entering match results. 1-point and 2-point matches have been noted as exceptions, and I guess they should be. However, in my 13 years as a member in Norway's BG federation I can't remember ever playing a match to less than 5 points. No tournaments seem to have them, probably because they are non-rateable.

And all matches means all matches, also ad hoc jackpots played at some major tournament. Also matches from the weekly tournament at the local pub, with 8-9 participants. Also a "private" match between two members. If you meet another member somewhere and decide to play a match, one normally verifies before start that the match is rated, and one of the players reports the result afterward. I can already hear the complaint that it is then possible to find some weak player and play a lot of private matches that you'll win and hence inflate your rating. Sure it is, but to my knowledge that kind of abuse is not happening in practice.

Other complaint aired: "Matches in some minor side events are not taken as seriously, and shouldn't count." Answer to that: If you don't take a rated match seriously, that's your decision, and it's your rating that will suffer. It's each player's choice to play their best, no reason to exclude these matches as long as they are proper BG matches.

I think that one big difference between the US and the European federations mentioned is that in Europe these federations have been around for a long time. All serious (and not-so-serious) BG is now being played under these federations. Don't know if there were any major tournaments before the national federations were started. In USA you have had big and major tournaments (and the ABT) for many years, but the USBGF is not so old. I'm not sure if American tournaments are sanctioned as USBGF or not, but if an event is played as a USBGF-event, all proper BG matches from that event should get rated. That's the principle that has been followed for more than a decade elsewhere in the world.

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