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Council meeting
I like the motion proposed by Sean though. I think a spreadsheet which takes all possible statistical factors into consideration within an agreed framework is heading in the right direction.
Mike Scott Wrote:The alternative to selecting players based on their five best results, selected with hind sight, the selectors could nominate at the start of the season a selection of events for players in the squad to play at least five from to be considered for selection and their performances at these events becomes a major selection criteran.

This not only tests their chess ability but their ability to turn up at a specific event and perform on the day - as they will have to for the event they are hoping to be selected for.

At these events selectors would attended and observe the players and provide coaching after the games and if practical before. This would both help the selectors get to know the players but gets the players partly used to the routine involved in major events.

It is only appropriate for players above a certain age or ability but it is something they do in swimming and it seems to work.

I was under the impression that this is more or less what is already happening.
Quote: think a good idea would be to look at which player has improved the most in the last 12 months (i.e. grade rise). It's maybe more credible to suggest that a player who has risen 120 points in the last 12 months is playing better Chess than someone who has only risen by 10 points

No! No! No! This has been a common mistake in past selections when this season's new stars are preferred over last seasons.

It is their grade that gives an indication of their strength not their change in grade. If Player A grade jumps up in one season by say 150 pts and then by just 10 pts in the following season and ends up with a grade of X then you know that they are probably worth that grade. If Player B that went up 10 pts the previous season than 150 pts this season to end up with a grade of X, they will almost certainly played fewer games at that level than player A and therefore there would less confidence in their grade of X. So often a rapid rise one season is followed by a small rise or indeed a fall the following season.

Quote:different journeys to getting those grades, but I'm not sure I agree that we can assert one to be stronger than the other purely on preference of one of those records over another.

I am NOT asserting one is stronger than other. That is exactly the point. My point was that by selecting only a subset of results one will favor one type of player over another. One needs to be aware of these differences and try to understand whats going on with the specific player. It might be a sign of strength or weakness: if the latter it might be something that needs work on.

I am also in favor of the Sean's proposal - I think the principles/aims are definitely correct. I think its incredibly hard to think of objectively fair ways to do selections, as human beings have a built in bias to look for evidence that supports our own ideas.
Apologies, I slightly misread your post Mike.

My view is that we need to understand each candidate's strengths and weaknesses. Using the grading data is an important part of that picture, but there will always be a requirement for humans to assess other factors too.

I do think that grade rise can provide valuable information though. I appreciate what you're saying, but mathematically a person who has risen the most to attain a grade has played better most recently than the other. For example, to keep a grade of 1600 one must only perform at 1600 level throughout a season. However, to climb from 1500 to 1600 in a single season, one will almost certainly have to have performed consistently higher than 1600 to do it. Therefore, you could say that the high climber is being held back by their historical results, and is actually stronger than their new grade. We often hear phrases akin to this being thrown around; "he's a strong 1400" for example, implying that one player is stronger than their grade would otherwise suggest.

Further, I think the psychological factors of having a good run of form are valuable. A player who has just had a large grade increase is probably going to be feeling more confident in their ability than a player who hasn't; and therefore might perform better in subsequent games than the other now similarly graded player. Such confidence is one of the most overlooked aspects of improving in my opinion. Simply having the confidence to believe that you can beat someone graded much more highly; or refuse a draw against a much higher rated player if you are winning; is an important step in getting better. This is the reason sports psychologists exist, and we see it all the time in other games/sports. Take tennis, for instance (I like tennis ;P ); following a surprising win against a higher rank, a player often goes immediately on to score more wins against higher ranked players. The confidence of a good win can sometimes be all it takes to flick this switch.
Quote:However, to climb from 1500 to 1600 in a single season, one will almost certainly have to have performed consistently higher than 1600 to do it.

Not necessarily - play at 1600 for 30 games starting at 1500 and you end up at 1602, if the grading calculator is to be believed. High climbers tend to be more active as well, which means that their performance is going to tend to approximate whatever grade they end up at.

I think it's always going to be a case-by-case decision there. Someone who's basically been winning Majors isn't necessarily going to be as well equipped as someone who's maintained a 1900 grade for a year in Opens, but on the other hand they might be on the sort of upward curve that is clearly continuing. On the other hand, they might be about to revert to the mean!

The flipside of the 'confidence' point is that the player with the more static grade is probably more experienced at dealing with strong opposition - and indeed with setbacks, which is an important mental skill to have when playing for Scotland. I'd strongly argue against either the fast riser or the more established highly-rated player being given precedence per se.
Fair points Hugh.

Can't help but laugh at Clement's avatar. You know Clement, that image epitomises my thoughts sometimes when I read what some people post on here. lol Big Grin
Andrew McHarg Wrote:I like the motion proposed by Sean though.

I'm not sure if it is a motion or a point for discussion. Can anyone enlighten me?

I'm also unsure of the difference between a motion to Council and a motion to the AGM. If someone can explain before high noon tomorrow, I'd be grateful.

My understanding is motions to AGM require a proposer and a seconder, is there not the same requirement for motions to council?
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All too often (especially those that go 200up) players that do well one season simply do not do so well (in terms of improving their grade) in the next season, both because actual development often goes in fits and starts but also because the grading system over-estimates their performance. You got to member that sometimes players jump forward simply because they are playing catch up - they had a poor season last year, stopped playing for six months or whatever.

My concern is that focusing on grade rise tends to lead to a short term approach, where your gain last season becomes irrelevant this season. Sure use it to flag up someone that is worth paying attention to but you need to look behind it so see what is actually going on.

I think it is important to define what selection is trying to do. Is it to reward players for achieving a certain goal at the cutoff date for selection? Is it to try and define who is most likely to score most points at the specific event in 4 - 6 months time? Or is it to try and find the player most likely to benefit from taking part?
This all seems way to complex and unnecessary. I would suggest a return to a more basic approach to the issue of selection. Perhaps a Ryder cup style approach and appoint a team captain to pick the team. He would be judged on team performance and if they under perform then his re appointment would be under threat.

By all means have a team of selectors feeding recommendations and data - team captains decision would be final. The Captain has a tough job and in recognition he should get the support of all even if they disagree.

For the selectors current grading has got to be the starter for 10. All other factors good and bad can be fed in but the selectors jobs would be to summarise this data for the captain. Most of the teams will pick themselves to a degree especially when you filter out unavailable players. If you have 3 players competing for one place and there grades are close then there is no perfect solution.

I am in favour of improved communication and transparency but not an audit on the process. Players who miss out should not be told why so and so was picked over them but constructive and player specific feedback on what they have scored well in and where they could do more such as more games/ play up a section in tourney's, coaching etc.
I get a strong impression that no matter the selection process used, there is some merit in the various methods mentioned, there will never be harmony or agreement within the chess community. Shame really.

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