Summary: should, and can, answerers and commenters be encoraged to speak in terms of approximate FIDE ratings rather than of "ratings" of unspecified types?

Details follow.

Answers and comments often group players by approximate rating. For example, "If your rating is up to 1400 at least, you probably need to develop planning skills."

Such grouping is helpful. It can make answers more useful and informative, but a vague impression is forming to me that, when many answerers say "1400," they mean "1400 on the website at which I play."

If the website is Lichess, for instance, then maybe 1400 is like FIDE 1050.

On the other hand, if the answerer meant FIDE 1400, then he would roughly be saying that the average adult amateur tournament player needs to develop planning skills—and maybe he is indeed saying that, but I cannot tell it by his answer. Can you?

I am not, of course, asking you today whether the average amateur tournament player needs to develop planning skills! That was just an example. Rather, I am asking the following.

Would it substantially improve the site's content if answerers and commenters consistently spoke in terms of approximate FIDE ratings? (Precision would not be required. If they say "about FIDE 1050," then we get the general idea.) If it would indeed substantially improve the site's content, then can you think of a practical way to encourage answerers and commenters to speak of ratings in some approximately consistent way?

Or are answerers and commenters already implicitly speaking in terms of FIDE ratings, only I have not understood this?

Because if not, then something a bit weird is going on here where a player whose FIDE rating is 1400 is likely to be offered experienced advice (as it were) by a player whose online rating is 1600, whereas the advice should probably be flowing in the opposite direction.

  • An IM told us at our region at Spain, a bask with 2000 ELO was a player like a Valencian of 2150, but I agree at some sites I can reach easily 2000 while at other I don't pass throw 1800
    – user16971
    Jul 30, 2018 at 12:29
  • If someone says rating they should say whether FIDE,USCF, specific country, or specific web site. It is too hard to correlate them to try to change them all to one rating such as FIDE. And like prusswan says below, the time control makes a bigger difference. I know high masters who are virtual patzers at blitz. Some GMs are very high rated in both. So time control for a rating makes a big difference as does the skill of the player at that time control.
    – yobamamama
    Dec 10, 2019 at 23:54

1 Answer 1


There is no way to do it since the ratings can come from FIDE or any of the online playing sites with different time controls. The nature of this site means that regardless of the rating (proven or claimed), the content and user reputation may have very little to do with actual playing strength. On some playing sites they do check for and verify titled players, but I doubt there are enough titled players here for that to be worthwhile.

  • Well, yes, sure, granted, but I was not seeking an enforceable method, but rather a meaningful standard for purpose of communication. If you ask what my income is, and I reply, "30,000.00," then I have probably not given useful information. However, if I reply, "U.S. $30,000.00 annually," that is different. As you note, I could still be lying—and, moreover, there might remain details to discuss such as employment benefits packages, local costs of living, and so on—but these are not what I meant.
    – thb
    Sep 8, 2018 at 12:12
  • It brings to mind an anecdote. An American, I happened to be riding a train in Germany one day about 1988. Seated across was a Canadian couple. We should have shown better public manners by speaking German, I suppose, but the man's wife could not speak German and anyway English was easier for all of us, so we soon fell into small talk. The man's wife marveled how much happier it was to shop in Germany, since one could get two or three Deutsche Mark for a dollar. What could one politely say in the face of such innumeracy? Attention soon shifted silently to the window and its passing scene.
    – thb
    Sep 8, 2018 at 12:27
  • I don't see any single meaningful standard apart from FIDE, and quite many people are into online chess only. Then there is the issue of playing strength not necessarily translating into content quality for chess-related Q&A, it is possible for a person of average playing strength, to know a great deal about computer chess or trivia.
    – prusswan
    Sep 8, 2018 at 19:16

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .