As you can tell, we don’t take ourselves too seriously at the Etobicoke Chess Club, especially when it comes to something like ratings. So why bring them back at all? Aren’t we a casual-play free-of-charge nonprofit coffee house multi-generational chess club?
We are, and while we’re always striving to offer more than we currently do, and be more than we are, and have more available for our users, we’re never going to change our casual-play coffeehouse chess club spirit.
Volunteers from local high schools have been invited to come to our chess club to earn volunteer hours which are mandatory for high school graduation. These people aren’t me ; they haven’t been at the chess club for 10 months, running it almost every week, and they don’t know everybody’s name, nor do they have an intuitive idea of who is great, good, average, and novice and below.
That’s why we have the ratings system. We want volunteers to be able to say “Hey, okay so you won your last two games? Let’s put you up against (someone better than you)”. We’re working on the premise that nobody likes coming to chess club and
- Easily winning all of their games or
- Painfully losing all of their games
The ratings system is designed to prevent this, but hey if someone wants to play all the really strong players and get crushed one day, or they want to play instructive games against all the weak players and tune everybody up? A ratings system allows us to facilitate that as well.
What does this mean for you, as an Ambassador (any player at the ECC is an Ambassador) ? It just means that, after you win or lose, we would appreciate if you notified the host (usually me, but maybe soon a volunteer, or Matt, elbow nudge) of who won and who lost. This way, we can ensure close games and we can empower hosts other than myself (I really wanna start playing chess at the ECC again :-P) to match people up based on what players want most from their ECC experience.
For now, the ratings list will not be public because the system is not designed for competition, though it may end up that way through popular demand and belligerent trash talk. The ratings on the list are mostly arbitrary anyway; some are from old CFC ratings and USCF ratings and some others are from online ratings, but some are just “well, this person beat that person last week, so I guess they’re better”. We may also use the rating system as a tool. If Thomas or Matthew is instructing you, then you should take the opportunity to find out what your rating started at, and ask about it in a couple of months to see if it’s better. If it isn’t, then talk to the instructors and see if they can help. We are here to help.