The New Normal

Sherwood, Russell  Thursday, January 18, 2018

A while ago I had a look at tournament opportunities signing off with a promise of a review of them at the higher level.


From the diagram, we can see for any rating the level of Category event we can or should hope to be entered into.

As a general rule, it will be the same level as we are now – so beginning at 2251 (1), we go up a Category every 25 elo points. This is complicated a little by the new(ish) Individual Category calculation but for the purpose of this discussion, the Tournament Category is more relevant.


So if you are a 2260, then a Category 1 would be the normal expectation and so on.


There are some finesses to this…..


For Invitational Tournaments it is typical that the “home” players will be 1 or 2 categories lower than the average and the “Overseas” players will be 1 or 2 Categories higher than the average. So our 2260 could hope to get up to a Category 3 this way.  Clearly, the opposite is true if you are the “Overseas” player invited to someone else’s party.


It you play in international Opens, often later rounds will offer higher Category events but you have to get there!


International Team Events can offer higher Categories than you might normally be able to access but these require you to be selected for a team.


So where does this leave the aspiring player? A few thoughts:


  • Don’t expect to be offered players much above your current Category by your National Federation, unless you happen to be (a) One of the stronger players and (b) Part of one of the smaller federations.
  • Unless you have a good reason to take part, avoid events which are more than 2 Categories below your natural category. The reason for this is that anything short of an excellent performance can impact your elo significantly
  • Look closely at International Opens – what is the likelihood of getting through the first round to the “good stuff”
  • Make sure your national federation knows about your willingness to play – if they don’t they cannot select you! BUT do realise that you generally have to “pay your dues” to be selected


So that’s a very quick review of Rightsized Categories!


Updated Thursday, January 18, 2018 by Russell Sherwood

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