Saturday, 1 January 2022

074. Online Ratings

White: tripoduk -, 2021

Online ratings are – how should I put it? – not very reliable. As evidence for that assertion I present my own. On I'm rated 2882 right now and have a highest ever rating of 2960. Eat your heart out, Magnus Carlsen. On my blitz (3+0) rating is 2403, which also seems a bit high. I'm not an IM-level blitz player.

On, my blitz (3+0) rating is 2340. That cost me considerable pain and suffering (in the form of appalling and repeated blunders after playing for too long), so it's the only one I care anything about. My daily rating, on the other hand, is 2244, down from a highest of 2314. The steep decline there is the impetus for this post.

At blitz my opponents are... whoever turns up. You never have to wait more than 10-15 seconds. My opponents at daily are basically just two, whose ratings are currently around 1500. So whenever I win a game – which I nearly always do – my rating goes up perhaps a single point. Anything else causes it to drop considerably.

I've never lost at daily, but there have been a few draws, as in Game 18 and Game 29. Although the analysis module usually assesses my play in the 90th percentile – because I'm not challenged seriously enough to make many mistakes – that's not always sufficient to win. And the result of the game below actually made me laugh out loud.

Facing the very rare MacLeod's Opening, 1 e4 e5 2 c3!?, I went for a line suggested by GM Bologan: 2...d5 3 exd5 Qxd5 4 d4 Nc6 5 Nf3 e4!? (instead, 5...exd4 is a Göring Gambit Declined, as in Game 5) 6 Nfd2 Nf6, whereupon my opponent surprised me with a troublesome novelty: 7 f3!?.
This logical move removes Black's presence in the centre, leaving White's sturdy d4-pawn dominating. Black should still be okay, but... I don't much like it. I liked it even less after 7...Bf5?! (7...exf3 was necessary) 8 Bc4, when I was in danger of being worse. Escaping that fate via liquidation but then seeing no winning chances, at move 17 I offered a draw, which was accepted and — whomp! My rating dropped 76 points.

Ha ha ha. It would take me another year of winning every game to get back over 2300. Supposing I managed to do that. And supposing I was the tiniest bit bothered.

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