International Chess Federation
Saturday, 22 Jul 2023 11:21
FIDE seeks public discussion about proposed rating changes

One of the essential chess assets that FIDE is overseeing is FIDE ratings. Since adopting the Elo rating system in 1970, the rules and formulas for calculating ratings have undergone numerous changes, and the number of rated players has grown exponentially.

In the past decade, certain innovations have caused rating deflation, a concern that has been raised by professional players and mathematicians and did not go unnoticed by FIDE. Players' ratings are spread out too widely, and the situation is deteriorating with each passing year. The problem arises due to various factors, including the minimal rating being set too low at 1000 points, changes to the famous 400-point rule and the way the initial ratings are calculated.

FIDE Qualification Commission and mathematician Jeff Sonas put significant effort into analysing the situation. As a result of this work, they propose two corrective measures.

The first measure, which they called compression, aims to adjust for deflation. All players rated below 2000, which constitutes the bottom 85% of all rated players, shall be given a one-time rating increase on the January 2024 rating list. The additional points awarded will gradually decrease from 400 (for those rated 1000) to 0 for those rated 2000. For instance, a player with a rating of 1600 will receive an additional 160 points.

The second measure, calculation improvements, focuses on improving the rating regulations to prevent future deflation. This includes raising the minimum rating from 1000 to 1400, restoring the 400-point rule to its earlier state so that it can apply multiple times in an event, and adjusting the formula for calculating initial ratings to incorporate two additional draws against hypothetical 1800-rated opponents.

Understanding the significance of resolving the issue of rating deflation, we are sharing these proposals and inviting the chess community to engage in a public discussion. You can read the full text of Jeff Sonas' suggestions here.

We encourage the chess community to express their thoughts on this proposal and send us their comments, suggestions, ideas, and mathematical calculations. Please address your correspondence to Qualification Commission at until 30 September 2023.

The Qualification Commission will thoroughly review all communication, analyse your suggestions, and present the final version of the rating regulation changes to the FIDE Council in October 2023. Once approved, the changes will be communicated to the public in December 2023 and will come into effect starting January 2024.