Why does the ECF Board plan to introduce monthly grades?
The website consultation – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/grading-consultation/ – says the following –
‘The ECF Board is responding to changes in the expectations of both members and potential members by working to move grading from a six monthly to a monthly update. The intention is to introduce the change with effect from the January 2020 grading list update.
This has also focused the Board on whether we should continue with the traditional three-digit grade used in English chess since the 1960s or move to a four-digit, Elo style system. This has been discussed within the Board who are minded to use this opportunity to move to a four digit system.
This has several advantages —
• It would bring English chess in line with FIDE ratings and the rating systems in most of the rest of the world, including – the other countries in the UK, most other National Federations, correspondence chess, online rating systems
• It would help comparability between English grades and other ratings
• It would make the grades more meaningful for younger players who are accustomed to four digit ratings from playing online
• It is likely to reduce substantially the cost of introducing the monthly grading system (as it will be easier to replicate existing software using four digit calculations)’
Is the move to monthly grading a done deal?
In the consultation exercise there is a question on whether you agree with the introduction of monthly grades, so the Board is still listening on the subject.
How will monthly grades be calculated?
A proposal is set out here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/monthly-grading-proposal/
When is the change going to happen?
The Board has targeted January 2020, but a lot needs to happen before then for the transition to go smoothly.
How will graders handle the increase in workload?
The ECF has a League Management System up and running. The results will be extracted from these records automatically. Other event management systems will have the opportunity to plug into this approach after a pilot phase. This overdue change should be a substantial mitigant.