Sunday, May 10, 2009

K-Factor Debate for Dummies

This recent debate over FIDE ratings, and which is covered extensively by Chessbase (see here for the latest counterpunch), is absolutely doing my head in. First and foremost, it seems to be about this question: should the so-called "k-factor" be modified? And secondly: by how much?

In one corner we have Poland's GM Bartłomiej Macieja saying yes, change the k-factor; while in the other corner we have GM John Nunn flatly declaring that we should leave the k-factor alone!

For math dummies like yours truly, it's all a bit too much. But thanks to ChessVibes and Daan Zult from the University of Amsterdam we now have some sort of easy guide. Here's a good piece from CV, "On the increase of the K-factor".

I've sent a quick note to the ACF's ratings man to ask about their body's position on all of this. So far, no reply.


Anonymous said...

I dont why everyone is so worried about the k factor overseas. Here in Australia some people have a k factor of 500 points!

Kevin Bonham said...

The ACF hasn't taken a formal position on this but you can see from the debate on chesschat that John Nunn is not getting taken very seriously by those of us interested in the issue.

Rowan said...

In New Zealand, we have used a sliding K-factor, (3000 - R) / 50 for years. So the K factor for 2400 is 12, 2000 is 20 and 1600 is 28. Works well for us.