FAQ List on CS Grading System

A detailed explanation of calculation procedures is included in the general introduction to the grading system. Information for area graders (the people who compile grading data) is available here. Information for players reporting results from outside Scotland is included here.

How to look up your latest grade

All CS members are given a password to log-in to the grading system. If you have not been given or have lost your password please contact membership secretary

How do I get a grade?

If you play at least 8 gradeable games and score at least half a point you will get a grade of 100 or more. Grades are computed and fixed officially once a year when the new grading list is published in August. These "published grades" are based on games between July 1 to July 1 of the year preceding publication, so a grade published in the grading book in August 2010 was based on games played July 1 2009 to July 1 2010. Graded players should quote this published grade when entering tournaments.

New (fluctuating) grades are continually displayed throughout the year in the Online grading system (see below). Therefore you do not have to wait until August to see your new grade - but only until you have the minimum number of games and points when your new grade will appear immediately in the online display (assuming the games have been submitted for grading).

A "gradeable" game is one against a player who has a published rating in the most recent grading list or an ungraded player who has been awarded a temporary grade (see next item). Only games which are played in official tournaments or leagues in Scotland, club events, or recognised events outside Scotland and are submitted by the event organiser (or the individual for outside Scotland games) will count.

If you don't manage to get a grade in one season or don't manage to record the minimum 8 games then your results will be carried forward until a second season.

You need 8 games which count separately for the Main List or for the Allegro List ie so it is possible , but unlikely, that you could have 7 games for the Main List and 7 for the Allegro List and not be published in either.

What is a PNUM?

A PNUM is a player number. These numbers are unique to every player. You are allocated a PNUM the moment you play in a graded event. All grading is based on PNUMS. To make sure the correct results go to the correct player you should quote your PNUM when entering tournaments. These numbers are permanent. If you return to chess after a break you should still quote the old PNUM when your record will be re-activated.

Do I have to be a Chess Scotland member to get a grade?

No. Membership is not required to get graded. However membership confers additional grading benefits like the ability to see an itemised listing of every game you played and to see weekly updates of your grade. Membership income assists CS in providing grading and other services.

Do games against ungraded players count?

Games against ungraded players will count if the computer has enough information to be able to calculate a reliable estimate for the ungraded player. The minimum number of games for the ungraded player is five - below that we dont make an estimate.

These estimates for ungraded opponents will appear in your online record. An ungraded player will have a 0 in the published grade column and some figure in used grade.

As the ungraded player accumulates more games throughout the season the estimate is continually revised. The opponent of the ungraded player will get credit for the latest estimate so that means that game will continually change in value throughout the whole season. This also means that a game may not initially count when the game was played but may count later in the season when an estimate can be calculated.

I have a Main List grade but not an Allegro Grade - am I ungraded if I play an allegro event?

If you have a Main List grade already then that also counts as your first Allegro grade - so you are NOT considered as ungraded. The grading computer will use your published Main List grade for any allegro games you play if you don't have an Allegro grade already. If your Allegro grade lapses it is your most recent Main List grade will be used when you next play an Allegro game.

If you have an Allegro grade but not a Main List grade you are still considered as ungraded for the Main List. However you should still inform the event organizer of your allegro grade. It is up to the event organizer to decide if your published Allegro grade will determine eligibility to rating restricted sections or prizes but as far as grading calculations are concerned you will still be processed as ungraded.

How can I see if I have a new grade? How can I see my latest grade if I am already graded?

Members of Chess Scotland (CS) can look up their latest grade 24hrs a day by consulting the Online Grading page here. To become a member and get access to the Online Grading page you can join CS with the form at this page.

April 2011: Non CS members can now only see published grade in the online grading system. However there will be a period in August each year when the full system is available to all players, regardless of membership status, to see how their new grade was calculated. We would hope that most players would support CS by joining and help us to maintain and enhance the facilities on offer.

What does the Performance column mean on the tournament charts?

The performance figures in the tournament web reports are merely given for interest and do not affect your grading calculations. These performance figures are the grading that you would be allocated as if you were an ungraded player based only on these games in that event. NB: the performance figure does take into account 400 limits between your grade and those of your opponents and this will distort a true performance calculation.

Why does my latest grade keep changing even when I don't play any additional games?

If you play new or rapidly improving players you will be playing against an estimated grade rather than a fixed grade. The computer continually makes revised estimates for new and improving players when new data is received.

So for example you may have played against a new previously ungraded player who was initially estimated at 1200 - later in the season he is valued at 1300. Without playing any additional games your grade will have increased slightly to reflect the fact the computer now considers that player stronger than the initial estimate. Similarly the player may be revised downwards in which case your grade could move down slightly and so on. These changing estimates of opponent's grade can be viewed in your online record.

How do I know if an event has been processed for grading?

There is a continually updated list of every event processed at this Check List. The same information is displayed in a Tree List grouped into tournament types. If you played in an event which has not yet been processed for grading ask the organiser if it has been submitted. (Depending on when this file is viewed the check and tree lists may be out of date - just change the file address to the latest season).

All data received by the chief grader is usually processed every Wednesday. All data gets the latest processing date on it regardless of whether it has changed or not. So for example the Marymass Congress grading data from near the start of the season may be the same for weeks on end but the "Grading calculations last updated" date will keep changing every Wednesday. Quite often they will be subtle changes like a player name spelling so that's why everything goes through processing each week to keep these crosstables accurate.

This does not mean that every game played prior to that Wednesday is included in calculations. Leagues and clubs vary with the frequency with which they supply data to be graded (eg some leagues supply data every week, some leagues once or twice a season - if you want a more frequent service perhaps you might like to volunteer to assist with data collation and submission).

If the data has not been supplied to the chief grader or the league official who compiles grading data is not informed of the result then clearly the data will not include those games.

How do I get a FIDE grade?

Updated September 2014 to reflect new rules.

FIDE, the world chess federation, will allocate a player an international FIDE rating once the player has at least 5 results and a new grade at least as high as the minimum level at which FIDE grades are published.

For many years a minimum of 9 results and a minimum rating level of 2200 was required. Now you only need 5 results and a new grade of at least 1000.

Players do not need to get 5 games all in the one event - they can achieve "partial" grades which can be summed over several rating periods (26 months). Once the minimum number of games and minimum grade level is satisfied the new rating will appear in FIDE's monthly rating list update.

For an unrated player's first performance to count, he must score at least half a point.

The Scottish Championship, the SNCL, The Richardson and Spens Cups, East of Scotland Championship, Winter Chess Festival, Edinburgh Blitz, Grangemouth and Edinburgh Congresses have previously submitted data for FIDE grading. Events need to meet certain requirements before their data is eligible to be submitted. The event should register with FIDE at least one month before it starts. To register you send the CS grader the data required in the registration form displayed at the bottom of this page.

The latest Scottish FIDE ratings are published here.

FIDE page indicating registered and rated events in Scotland (please inform us immediately if any errors).

FIDE rated games played outside Scotland will be included in a player's domestic record for CS members. Every month these results are imported using a FIDE supplied spreadsheet of data from that preceding month period. See more details.

If you are about to play outside Scotland in a FIDE rated event either as an individual or a member of a team and you are currently FIDE unrated it is worth contacting the CS Grader beforehand. The CS Grader can login to the FIDE database and generate a FIDE ID number (the equivalent of our domestic pnums). Outside Scotland events may not accept your entry unless you can provide them with this FIDE ID number.

When you provide this FIDE ID to the organiser this should mean the correct results go to the correct player. This procedure should avoid the many problems which can occur with player identities. Give your full name including any initials and year of birth - email grading@chessscotland.com


Please email grading@chessscotland.com if you think there are any other tips or clarifications worth highlighting - last updated Sep 8, 2014