Chess and Baseball have one thing in common. Numbers and statistics are a large part of both pastimes. In past posts, we have talked about the value of diligent study. After you have studied numerous books and have developed a style of your own, you will find that there are still players who consistently beat you despite your best efforts.
The US Chess Federation has added new functionality to the Players and Rating section to help you chart your progress. The ratings history graph has been part of the site for a long time, but provides a quick overview of how your rating has evolved over time. This can be useful to see if you have reached a plateau or if you are steadily improving. If you are involved in an event where you know who your opponents are, you can check their history to see if they are on the rise or at their rating floor. Remember a rating only represents a point in time, it doesn’t show how people have performed over the past few months. The graphing feature will answer this question very quickly.
The new addition to the Rating section is the link to “Show Game Statistics”. The data provided can be very useful in evaluating your performance across a number of dimensions. Information is broken out for your entire career as well as for the past 12 months. Performance is mapped out across rating levels as well. This allows you to see if you consistently beat lower rated players or if you are more of a “slugger” who has built their rating by knocking off unsuspecting higher-rated players.
Best of all, you can click a few buttons and see you actual record against the top 30 people you play against most often. This will let you confirm who your biggest nemesis (or nemeses) are! Once you know that, it’s time to check your notes, find some tendencies, and hit the books again! Or save up and invest in the newest copy of Fritz!