Tuesday, August 16, 2011

While on the topic of ratings;

Why did we ever change the bonus points formula?

I remember from years ago the bonus was a doubling of your rating gain in a tournament over a certain threshold depending on the number of rounds. (i.e. if you gained 40 points in a 4 round tournament you would get 40 points + bonus points of 40-24=16 for total gain of 56 points). This made sense to me as an improving junior could gain points quickly.

The new formula makes no sense to me. Now if a severely under-rated junior plays in a tournament in which they are one of the lower rated players, it is very unlikely they will gain any bonus points. Take for an example Jason Cio at the 2009 BC Open. He came in with a rating of 1164, performed at 1791 and his new rating was 1232, a gain of only 68 points. He scored only 2/5 and was therefore ineligible for bonus points, but obviously performed well above his rating. Under the old system he would have gained 68 + (68 – 28) = 108 points. In the next two tournaments he also played at ~ 1750 but gained only another 74 and 92 points to get to 1398 with only a measly 5 bonus points for scoring 3.5/6 in the last tournament.

Tourney           Score  Perf    Pre     Post   Gain Bonus
2009 BC Open 2/5       1791   1164   1232   68      0
4th GPO          2.5/6    1714   1232   1306   74      0
35th Keres       3.5/6     1769   1306   1398   92      5

Under the old bonus system, he would have received a lot more bonus points. If I am calculating right, he would have ended up at 1584 after those three tournaments. A few more tourneys with bonus points and maybe it would not have been necessary to artificially adjust his rating by 370 points the following year after he won the world under 10.

Tourney          Score  Perf     Pre     Post   Gain   Bonus
2009 BC open 2/5       1791   1164   1272   108     40
4th GPO         2.5/6     1714   1272   1408   136    54
35th keres       3.5/6     1769   1408   1584   176    74

So who is benefitting from the new bonus system? It appears to me only the highest rated players. They are almost guaranteed to get Bonus points. They only have to score 60%, which shouldn’t be too hard if you’re the highest rated person in a tournament. Maybe they were designed to get high rated players to play in weekend swisses. Thus we see ratings at the top climbing to over 2700! I have nothing against Bator Sambuev, I think he may be the strongest player in Canada now, but he should not be getting bonus points. They were designed for under-rated players, not the top player in the country.