As we're all aware, many over-the-board tournaments were canceled in the past couple of years. Some of them are coming back now, but many ratings are outdated.

For example, in a recent tournament, one person I know with a USCF rating in the 700s had a performance in the 1700s (and based on playing him at a club several years ago and now, I know this isn't a fluke; he really has improved that much.) The players he beat lost rating points in a larger than normal amount, since they were playing someone who was grossly underrated. In normal years, this would have happened anyway as he improved, but it wouldn't have happened all at once. On the other hand, giving him a lot of rating points all at once results in "bonus points" being added, which might help counter any deflation (the USCF ratings estimator tells me that, of his 300 point ratings increase from that tournament, over 140 came from those bonus points.)

Have there been any studies on how this will affect (or has affected) ratings, in the short term and the long term? Is it expected to cause deflation, or is it expected to all work itself out normally?

  • 1st approximation: Corona affects everyone, thus no change at all. 2nd approximation: People playing online often will stay in shape and win points. I don't know any study, though. Nov 6, 2021 at 13:29


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