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?
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...