FIDE rating update

Steven      25.12.2023

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The proposals come after a public consultation launched by FIDE in March 2023. They will be put forward at the forthcoming FIDE Council meeting on December 14

Earlier this year, the Qualifications Commission (QC) initiated a review of the FIDE rating regulations, inviting federations, officials and the public to contribute their thoughts and suggestions.

The review was prompted by feedback from professional players and FIDE officials, highlighting a rating deflation resulting from prior changes in the ratings system.

A dedicated working group, comprising Aleksandr Moiseenko (GM), Pavel Tregubov (General Strategy Commission), Nick Faulks (QC), Vladimir Kukaev (Ratings Office) and Sabrina de San Vicente (QC), worked together with mathematician Jeff Sonas on reforming the existing ratings system. Sonas is a professional database consultant and owner of Sonas Consulting, who has consulted FIDE’s Qualifications Commission on issues regarding the Elo rating system since 2009.

The proposed concept was shared with the public in July this year, seeking feedback and suggestions for improving FIDE ratings. Over 150 comments were received, all of which have been analyzed and reviewed by Jeff Sonas.

Following a thorough review of the received suggestions and proposals, the QC came forward with a set of new regulations regarding ratings.

The recommendations include the following:

  1. A one-off change to Standard Ratings as of January 1st 2024 for rated players: For players with a standard rating lower than 2000 points, an increase will be applied following the formula (0.40) x (2000 – Rating). Players with a standard rating of 2000 or more will retain their current rating.
  2. Changes in the rating floor: An increase in the rating floor from 1000 to 1400.
  3. Changes in the initial rating:
    • Unrated players achieving a plus score against rated opponents will have their initial rating calculated based on the performance rating derived from their percentage score, not by simply multiplying the plus score by (K/2). The maximum initial rating attainable via this method will not exceed 2200.
    • Modification of the initial ratings formula for unrated players to include two hypothetical opponents rated 1800, with the result of these two games considered as a draw.
  4. The 400-points rule: A difference in rating of more than 400 points shall be counted for rating purposes as though it were a difference of 400 points, with no restrictions on how many times it can be applied during a single tournament, thus restoring it to the pre-2022 state. Notably, almost 90% of received emails favored reverting to the previous 400-point-rule.

The QC proposal recommends applying these same changes to both Standard and Rapid & Blitz Ratings Regulations.

The proposals will be deliberated and voted upon at the forthcoming FIDE Council meeting scheduled for December 14.

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