What is a Chess Rating?

NWSRS Ratings:

A Chess Rating is a number typically ranging from 100-2000+.  It is an estimate of a person’s tournament playing strength. You get a rating when you play a tournament, and your name goes into the database of players. The number will never go under 100 and will go up or down depending on how well the student scores against other players.

How does a rating go up and down?

If a student wins against a player much higher rated than they are, they will gain more rating points.  Likewise, if a student wins a game against a much lower rated player, they will gain a few rating points.  Also, if a student loses to a much higher rated player, they will lose very few rating points.  And a loss to a much lower rated player would result in losing a lot of points.  If a student wins a game against a similarly rated player, they will gain about 30 rating points.  Draws generally don’t have as big of an effect on a rating as wins do.  A draw against a similarly rated player would result in a very minor change, if one at all.

The most a chess player can go up or down in a game ranges from around 0-60 points.  (0-30 in case of a draw). 60 points would be defeating a player 300+ points higher and 0 would be defeating a player 300 points less.  For the first 26 rated games students play, the rating can change very rapidly.  The first 26 games are called a “provisional rating”.  And students can go up or down 100s in the provisional stage.  Losing or winning against an unrated player will not increase or decrease a rating at all.  (because the unrated player could be a chess master or a total beginner!  It wouldn’t make sense to gain or lose points against a player without tournament experience!)

How do I get a Chess Rating?

You can only get a chess rating by playing in a rated tournament. Your chess rating will only be affected by playing in a rated tournament.

Is an online rating the same as my tournament rating?

No. Online ratings vary depending on what site you use and have no effect on your “real” rating.

They use different databases and sometimes different methods to estimate changes. The NWSRS is a ratings database primarily for K-12 kids in WA, OR, ID, and British Columbia. “Rated” events at Chess4Life primarily use this system.

What is a Rating ID?  (NWSRS)  North West Scholastic Rating System

An ID is created as follows:

First 3 Letters is the school code associated with the school the player goes to.  This needs to be updated from time to time.  Example “HSC” for home schooled.  Or ADU for Adult player.  The next letter is the letter symbolizing the grade the child is in.  A for grade 0 (Kindergarten), B for grade 1, C for grade 2, etc.  (all the way up to N for grade 13, meaning anyone older than grade 12 including adults)  The next 4 digits are a random sequence of numbers that the NWSRS site auto generates.  An Example school code would be LYEM (this student goes to Lynden High School and is in grade 12).  After a student’s first chess tournament, they get the random 4 numbers following LYEM.  For example:  LYEM1234.  The grade letter auto changes every year. However, the school code will not auto change if a student graduates an elementary school and moves onto a middle school.  Those school change requests need to be emailed to NWSRS directly.

For Ratings Issues: Washington Coordinator, Kirk Winges: WA_ratings@nwsrs.org
More Rating Info: http://www.ratingsnw.com/more/how-ratings-work/