View Full Version : Can you lose rating points when you win a tournament?

29-02-2012, 11:45 AM
I heard a story a few years ago that you could could not lose rating points from a tournament if you won it.

(1) Is this currently true?
(2) If so, does it apply if you came equal first?

If its not the case, its it worth implementing.

It seems fair to me that your rating cannot go down if you win the tournament.

29-02-2012, 12:07 PM
Here (http://www.chesschat.org/showpost.php?p=324117&postcount=52) is Bill's answer from December, when you asked this before.

29-02-2012, 01:45 PM

Kevin Bonham
02-03-2012, 03:57 PM
It seems fair to me that your rating cannot go down if you win the tournament.

I don't (in general) agree. A rating is designed to accurately predict future performance. If a player who is several hundreds of points stronger than a field they are playing against wins a long tournament but loses some games and draws others in the process (say they score 11/14 when expected to score 13.5), then that may well be evidence that that player is overrated and should have a lower rating, since they are not likely to perform at their current rating when matched against players of their own strength.

I would be interested to know if it was better from a predictive accuracy viewpoint to discard last-round draws by a tournament winner or co-winner against opponents more than a certain number of points below them. After all players routinely discard ratings points in such situations when if the tournament was not on the line they would play for a win and most likely get it.

The trouble with that, I suspect, is that if a player concedes a draw once to win a tournament they will most likely do so again, and therefore the rating system is picking them as someone who on average will continue to perform at a level dragged down by such draws. But such a player may well play at a level above their rating, on average, in the majority of games they play. That won't necessarily be cancelled out by other players doing the same since some players don't ever win tournaments while some win many.

(Also if there was a rule that last round draws by the winner aren't rated, a player rated well below the winner who drew by playing a great game might not be all that impressed!)

02-03-2012, 05:30 PM
I can see reasons for both sides. Players who take soft draws in the last round to secure a tournament win is really displaying a lower strength but only in a limited context. To generalise that to their overall rating might be misleading, especially if they are not in the position of taking such draws very often. But really it seems the player is trying to have their cake and eat it too. They want to secure the win and the prize money by taking the draw (counting that result) and at the same time they don't want to have that result count towards rating.

It seems in the absence of two ratings, one for most games and another for situations when it may be advantageous for the player to take a draw, the best solution is to rate all the game as a single group. Unrelated but tournament organisers might prefer this too as it provides some encouragement for top players to demonstrate their virtuosity in situations where they may otherwise accept a soft draw.