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I was wanting to collect some statistics about players, and also just easily update player ratings for my local club. I tried the web crawls on USCF's Member Services Area (even using the thin pages http://msa.uschess.org/thin.php), but it takes too long just waiting for the server to respond. How can I read the players from the Golden Database into a program I have made?

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    What's the golden database? – Inertial Ignorance Sep 28 '19 at 23:03
  • The Golden Database lists are cumulative rating lists for all US Chess Federation current and past members. They contain all member IDs, including those without ratings, through the current (monthly calculated and published) rating supplement. They can be downloaded by affiliates and tournament directors in dBase III database format or as tab-delimited text files. – NilsR Dec 12 '19 at 21:37
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You probably found all of this on your own already, but here is what I've learned:

The "Golden Database" can be downloaded in many formats, one of them as a tab separated text file. If you have made a program already, coding the import of the file should be trivial. Each line consists of:

LASTNAME,FIRSTNAME(S) USCFID EXPIRYDATE STATE RATING OTHERRATING

These files have certain limitations.

  • Only room for 2 ratings, so 2 files is provided with either speed or blitz rating as the 2nd.
  • Fields have limited lengths, so long names might be cut off.
  • Rating numbers can come in many variants, 1234/12 means the rating is
    based on 12 games, while I forget what 1122* means. (Provisional?)
  • Ratings can be texts as well, like 'Unrated' or 'Duplicate', etc.

If not you, then I hope this helps someone else...

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