When playing online chess, it is often possible to influence the order in which games are finished, either by choosing when to resign, or by intentionally playing as slowly as possible.

Once the outcome of a game is pretty clear, is it possible to "game" the rating system by manipulating the order in which games are finished? For example, if I'm currently losing against a low-rated player and winning against a high-rated one, will it make a difference if I first resign against the low-rated player, or wait until I win against the high-rated one?

  • 2
    Are you a bookkeeper or a chess player :-) Play for fun and do not bother about 1 or perhaps 2 ELO points that you might win by finishing your games in the right order. Also do not forget that if you try to wait as long as possible to win against a stronger player (or lose against a weaker) that s/he might lose a lot of points in between so in the end you 'lose' even more.
    – Marco
    Sep 13 '15 at 12:40
  • What you're describing happened to me inadvertently. Amidst 10 'daily' games, the opponents who were losing finished our games, while the opponents who were winning took a few days off. ... Which rating was it ... There are so many of these stupid things, who cares. ... It was the Daily 960 rating at chess dot com, and for a day or so, I was in the 99.8 percentile. Then I lost a million games, because water and chessplayers find their levels. In short: Dude, don't think about it. Sep 7 '20 at 6:54

A while ago you asked a related question. According to the answer you should probably resign games sorted by rating loss. If your rating drops quickly at the beginning, the subsequent losses should be smaller and the gains bigger.

At Gameknot this effect might be weaker because in that case they not always use the rating from the end of the game. But the safe bet is to always resign in sorted order. And there is another conclusion: You should start your new games at the moment, when you rating is lowest.

  • "But you should still resign in sorted order because otherwise you'll get punished by the reverse effect." If they use rating from the beginning of the game, why would one get punished? Sep 8 '20 at 4:33
  • Hmm, I have no idea what I meant. In the linked question, a comment says that gameknot always uses the higher rating, not necessarily the one at the beginning. I guess the safe bet is to always resign in order. Sep 9 '20 at 8:08

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