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Suggested Idea for Performance Grading

Posted By: Timothy Chow
Date: Saturday, 4 October 2014, at 1:22 a.m.

In Response To: Suggested Idea for Performance Grading (AdamStocks)

For the sake of completeness, let's record a few numbers here. There are slightly more than 1400 chess grandmasters. FIDE reported a little over 100,000 active players with a FIDE rating in 2013. Since there are significant numbers of tournament players who play only in domestic events and don't have a FIDE rating, I think that 1% is a reasonable estimate of the percentage of "serious" tournament players who are GMs.

How many tournament players average under 3.5? I think that if we look only at the Giants list or Iancho's list then we will get an underestimate. Early in this thread we got estimates (from Rick and Tenland) of 25 to 30 players worldwide. Are there 2500 to 3000 active tournament backgammon players worldwide? I don't really know, but I would guess that that's probably an overestimate. If so, then even by this crude percentage estimate it's "easier" to play a 3.5 than to become a chess GM. But I think that one also has to adjust these percentages because "easier" suggests what fraction of people would be able to achieve these goals if they tried. I really think that of the people who could become a chess GM if they tried, a rather large percentage has tried, at least to some extent. Whereas, what percentage of people who could play a 3.5 in backgammon have tried? Surely, it's a far smaller percentage. What percentage of those people even know what it means to play a 3.5 in backgammon? Chess simply has far greater visibility.

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