Sunday, January 30, 2011

BCF Grand Prix - off to a good start

The Boylston Grand Prix (see previous post by Jason Rihel) was inaugurated with a fine tournament on Saturday, Jan 29, which drew 29 players.

FM Chris Chase won the Open Section with 4 of 4.

Christopher Gu followed with 3.5.

The third position was shared by Matt Meredith

and Tian Rossi with 3. The Open Section had 23 contestants.

Bob Holmgren, Vlald Khachaturyan, and Bowen Wang shared the U1800 honors with 3.


But, as Jason states in his comment, for the Grand Prix, what is important is standings within the classes. After the first event, here they are --- revised from an earlier version to reflect the comments about not counting 1/2 point byes.


Rihel said...

what is more important is to see the tally of leaders in each ratings class, keeping in mind that it is a marathon, not a sprint, to the prizes.

Also important, who had the biggest ratings gains? Harder to quantify-- who learned the most?

Rihel said...

Bob-- Great graphic! I was about to do it, but you made it look nice!

Could you print it out and post it at the club?

dfan said...

It looks to me like Bob's numbers include half-point byes, which I don't believe they should (e.g., Natasha Christiansen is listed as having 2 points, although 1 of those points came from two byes).

I guess the rating class is based on the most up-to-date rating as of the tournament, rather than the supplement used for the pairings? I was 1788 on the wall, which was populated with ratings as of the January supplement, but during January my rating had risen to 1843! I'm perfectly happy to compete in class A rather than B, but it should probably be clear what the criteria are.

dfan said...

Actually, it occurs to me that I'm better off competing as an U2000 since that way I avoid competing with the folks racking up points in the U1800 section! Dealing with multiple sections fairly is another thing that is worth thinking about for future years.

Ken Ho said...

Great to see this successful start to the BCF Grand Prix!

Re: dfan's comment, since the pairing chart had him at 1788, it seems to me that he should be in the class B category for the 2011 Grand Prix, per the original article introducing the Grand Prix (I'm thinking of rating and result transparency for an observer looking at only pairing charts and wall-posted tournament charts). If he never falls below 1800 for the rest of the year, he'd never be competing again in a Class B tournament section, but he'd always be in the Class B 2011 BCF Grand Prix group.

Your rating at your first Grand Prix event merely indicates where your rating started for this partly participation-based Grand Prix competition (though it's unlikely anyone will win a Grand Prix prize solely based on 1/2-point byes). The larger part of the points should come from successful results compared to other people in your 2011 Grand Prix group, even if you are competing in different rating sections.

Just thoughts as an observer....

Robert Oresick said...

Hi Jason and all.

Let's discuss the details of which rating to use (Jan 2001 or initial pairing rating at the first grand prix event entered). I forgot about the 1/2 byes and will have to revise that also. So, let's call this standings list tentative. bob

Rihel said...

For the Grand Prix standings, yes, 1/2 point byes should be excluded. Also, the rating should be the official one for the tournament, not necessilarly the most up to date one.

As for multiple sections, I guess it could skew the results for a few classes. But my guess is that over the course of the year, the people who win the prizes are the people who played in the most Grand Prix events.... Consider, if you are consistently racking up the U1800 points, you might not be U1800 for long and will be forced into the Open Section anyway!

dfan said...

I think the only mathematically fair solution if there are two sections is to have separate prizes for people who play in the U1800 section, but 1) there may not be an U1800 section every month (there were so many players who wanted to play up this month that there were only 6 players for the lower section), 2) it doesn't seem nice to "penalize" players for moving up halfway through the year, and 3) as you note, people could be also be forced up to the open section (although it's worth noting that the highest-rated 3-1 player in the U1800 section actually saw his rating go down, from 1760 to 1754).

The other "fair" alternative is to do away with the U1800 section in future months and not worry about the few folks who got a little boost from it in January. But maybe that's not fair to players who don't want to get killed in an open section.

The last choice (that I can think of) is to ignore the fact that there are multiple sections for prize purposes, although I think that this means that any U1800 players regularly playing in the open section are going to pretty quickly drop out of the running for the U1800 prize.

Rihel said...

No doubt, the U1800 section complicates the results.

The big question for me is-- do people care about the Grand Prix prize very much, or are the cheap games attractive on their own? The test for this will be the rate of repeat players and the rate of late-in-the-year new arrivals. How many people will play their first Grand Prix in September-December, for example, when the prize is likely already elusive?

My hope is that the cheap play is the draw, not the minimal prize at the end.

dfan said...

I don't personally care about the prize itself, but I think having a year-long race for the front spot is fun (and part of the point of having a Grand Prix series), and it would be a shame for that to be "broken" in some way.

Rihel said...

It is true. One question, though-- those U1800 players who choose to 'play up' -- don't they know it will hurt their chances to win the Grand Prix prize? If they still choose to play up....

As for changes in rating class during the Grand Prix (e.g. an 1800 becomes a 2100), I see no way around it but to state a cutoff for what rating we use. Any other suggestions are welcome.

dfan said...

I was an U1800 (at the time) who chose to play up, and yep, I realized it would hurt my chances to win a prize. (Note that 9 out of the 15 U1800 players played up, but I don't know how many of them thought about the prize implications).

I don't really mind having a disadvantage competing for the U1800 prize as long as I am eligible for the U2000 prize. (Hubristically I consider that to be my class now anyway...) Arguably, U1800 players who play in the open section are making the decision to compete as U2000s anyway.

Ken Ho said...

I think dfan's idea of making it a single section for the rest of this year (or maybe some months?) is reasonable. I don't know if that would cause some lower-rated players will stay away, but the U.S. Open and the Amateur Teams are all one section, and those two (particularly the latter, of course) regularly attract players.

We could try a single section for the February event and see, as Jason mentions, whether that seems to materially affect the attendance. I'm inclined to side with Jason that it's the inexpensive entry fee that primarily makes the event attractive, not the year-end prize (whose value will not be huge, as has been made clear).

I agree with d(f)an's comment that it's kind of fun to have a running scoreboard of the leaders.

Hey, maybe some month's one-day event can be just two slower time control games? Or a single 40/2, infinite 20/1, game like the old days (sniff, sniff)? You might get a variety of players.

Rihel said...


I guess we could allow players to choose which rating they want us to use for the purpose of Grand Prix section. So, if your official Jan 1 supplement rating was 1790 and your unofficial rating at the time of the tournament was 1810, I don't see the harm in allowing you to choose which of the two you want us to use. Just as long as you get "locked in" to your section for the year.