Sunday, October 12, 2014

MCF Chess Rating: October 2014 [Pre-release]

The main activities in the last 3 months were mainly relate to Malaysian Chess Festival that took place from 12th Sept until 21st Sept. A festival that I physically was MIA. I did pay a brief visit on 14th Sept. That's all the time I had for the entire festival. Please don't start your own speculation because I did hear a fair bit of story on why I didn't show up for the Closing Ceremony of the Festivals (That was 5 to 6 hrs of valuable time inclusive of transportation time). I was later told that I'm supposed to receive a medal from the Organiser. Due to my no show, Greg had received it on my behalf. Anyway, I would like to thank the Organiser.  

While many people were involved in the Festival either as a player, a parent, an official, an arbiter, or even as a businessman having a brisk business in chess-related stuff, I'm very busy spending no lesser than 10 hours a day calculating rating changes plus some other 'not my job but force to do' since the festival started and it carries on until today. Not many people actually realize the horrendous tasks in doing the National Rating and yet many think that it can be done easily. During the 90's, one chess enthusiast gave up after 2 years in trying to help MCF in setting up a local rating system. In recent months, another organizer too has gone silent on his own rating list that was started two years ago. Why? Go figure out yourself..... The following paragraphs may provide you with some clues .......

Before calculation on ratings for thousands of individual players (with many playing more than 1 event, and some up to 7 events) can actually be started, I must re-align the naming convention for thousands of individual players because Arbiter had spelled their names wrongly (even by 1 letter), manually re-check every single NR for thousands of individual players, re-identify hundreds of game that were not played but Arbiter enter as played game among thousands of players. All these works that I mentioned here are not the job of a Rating Officer. It is the work of the Chief Arbiter that is included in the Chief Arbiter payroll to ensure everything are input correctly.

This same theory applies to FIDE event where FIDE Rating Officer in FIDE will not accept a pairing file that contains 1 character spelling mistake when I submit the file on behalf of Malaysia. Do you think is it FIDE problem in not accepting an Event Rating Report or the Fault of local Organiser who cannot gives a compliant report? 

As a player, didn't you know your name in the player's list is not following the same naming convention as in FIDE list or adopting I couldn't care less attitude at that time. As an Organiser, didn't you know  it is a must to follow the EXACT naming convention as per FIDE list i.e. 1 extra space or character is not allowed?   

And Who is the person ends up cleaning up the mess with the file just for the sake of the event can be rated in time for the month before our players start to 'ask' / blame MCF for no rating change?

A sample of non-compliant in recent FIDE-rated event during the Festival. There were 32 wrong names among 125 contestants. That represents a bizarre 25.6% margin of errors. Check it out!

Here, I've to correct it one-by-one as though I were the CA of the event. This is the tip of an iceberg, it always happen in rating files that I had received in the last 10 years regardless a national-rated or FIDE-rated event.

To follow the same logic applied by FIDE, I should not be accepting any rating file from local chess organizer that can't give me an error free file for my National Rating Calculation / submission to FIDE. Over the last 10 years, I've been kind enough to clean all the mistakes contain in the file whether the file is meant for National Rating or FIDE Rating purposes just to make sure rating can be published on time ........ This will not be going on forever ...... Enough is Enough!  

So what is the job of a Rating Officer?

He is supposed to calculate rating change for each player based on the player's score against each of the player's opponents in an event (by itself is already a tedious task), do the necessary update in ratings change, compile it and update it into the Rating Changes NR list. Repeat the same process for few thousands rounds. Then, clean up the Rating Changes NR list and insert one-by-one unique players into the NR Master List. Re-check the names one-by-one in the Master List (19,900 names for October 2014 release) to eliminate potential duplicates on EXACT same name. Finally, extract the relevant info of each player to be published as the Official Rating Release.

How can you help the Rating Officer in improving the current condition?

Attention to all Result Arbiters: Any unplayed Game must be identified and be marked accordingly. Don't take an easy way out by just giving 1-0 or 0-1. Unplayed game doesn't count for Rating Change. The same applies to FIDE event! 

Attention to all Chief Arbiters: It is your duty to ensure a file with all correct inputs to be submitted. Your duty don't finish on the event day itself. Also, it is a must to include player's gender, MCF ID and date of birth in the pairing file.

Attention to all Chess Organisers / Tournament Directors: Please make sure you get your Chief Arbiter and Result Arbiters to perform their job professionally. Please pay them more so that you can get the right people who can perform job professionally.

Attention to all Chess Players: Please put in an effort to remember your MCF ID, latest national rating (in this case Oct rating list for this 3 months usage) and most importantly your names are spelled correctly. In addition, you must remember your FIDE ID, latest FIDE rating and the naming convention in FIDE list if you are taking part in FIDE-rated event.  Ensure all the relevant data are input correctly in the Chess Pairing Program used by the Chief Arbiter.

Now lets get back to the rating changes:-

A total of 19 events were rated nationally in Q3 2014. There were 2,287 unique players among 3,263 entries. Any event that did not meet the submission deadline on 30th Sept 2014 shall be included in January 2015 release.

The events that were included in the Oct 2014 release are listed as follows:-
1.      The Summit USJ Juniors Open 2014
2.      The MBSSKL Juniors Open 2014 
3.      The SSTwo Mall Age-Group 2014 
4.      The SSTwo Mall Open 2014
5.      The SMK Ahmad Open 2014
6.      Johor Juniors Open 2014  
7.      Swensen Juniors Open 2014 
8.      Bukit Kiara Rapid Open 2014 
9.      ASTRO Merdeka Rapid Team Open 2014
10.   IGB Malaysia Open 2014 (FIDE rated)
11.   Bukit Kiara Chess Challenge 2014 (FIDE rated)
12   KLK Seniors Open 2014 (FIDE rated)
13.   Perlis Open 2nd Series 2014
14.   SMK Clifford Team Open 2014
15.   Pahang Open 2014
16.   Politeknik Malaysia Open 2014
17.   POLISAS Classical Open 2014
18.   Sabah Tuaran KENT Open 2014
19.   Johor Age-Group 2014

A copy of the rating changes for 2,287 players in Q3 2014 can be downloaded from here.

While, a copy of the Top 20 Most Improved chess players in Q3 2014 can be downloaded from here.

The complete version of MCF Chess Rating List shall be uploaded officially in the next post.