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From what I understand Universal Ratings takes into account all Standard, Rapid and Blitz to give a universal rating. But I don't understand how it can be much higher than any of the FIDE ratings. For countries like USA the ratings are more or less close.

For example for a country like Sri Lanka here are the top 10 in the Universal rating list. Also the rankings on FIDE and URS doesn't seem to show any pattern at all

+------------------+------------+-------------------------+----------------------------+---------------+------------+------------+
| URS Country Rank | URS Rating | FIDE Country Rank (All) | FIDE Country Rank (Active) | FIDE Standard | FIDE Rapid | FIDE Blitz |
+------------------+------------+-------------------------+----------------------------+---------------+------------+------------+
| 1                | 2428       | 4                       | 1                          | 2286          | 1699       | 1858       |
+------------------+------------+-------------------------+----------------------------+---------------+------------+------------+
| 2                | 2394       | 22                      | 6                          | 2129          | 1810       | 1749       |
+------------------+------------+-------------------------+----------------------------+---------------+------------+------------+
| 3                | 2381       | 45                      | 8                          | 2024          | 2081       | 2077       |
+------------------+------------+-------------------------+----------------------------+---------------+------------+------------+
| 4                | 2369       | 55                      | 15                         | 1983          | 2001       | 2013       |
+------------------+------------+-------------------------+----------------------------+---------------+------------+------------+
| 5                | 2368       | 53                      | 13                         | 2000          | 2085       | 2062       |
+------------------+------------+-------------------------+----------------------------+---------------+------------+------------+
| 6                | 2368       | 27                      | 7                          | 2079          | -          | 1988       |
+------------------+------------+-------------------------+----------------------------+---------------+------------+------------+
| 7                | 2364       | 20                      | 5                          | 2156          | 1744       | 1631       |
+------------------+------------+-------------------------+----------------------------+---------------+------------+------------+
| 8                | 2324       | 13                      | 4                          | 2195          | 1695       | 1811       |
+------------------+------------+-------------------------+----------------------------+---------------+------------+------------+
| 9                | 2314       | 104                     | 34                         | 1879          | 1758       | 1859       |
+------------------+------------+-------------------------+----------------------------+---------------+------------+------------+
| 10               | 2312       | 57                      | -                          | 1973          | 1882       | 1932       |
+------------------+------------+-------------------------+----------------------------+---------------+------------+------------+

1 Answer 1

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The answer is clear if you understand how the universal rating is calculated and how different players can be better or worse at different time controls.

Here is the relevant part from the FAQ you linked to:

Q1: What are the major differences between the URS™ and the Elo system that is currently used by FIDE?
The URS™ recognizes that there is useful information about a player's over-the-board chess strength in all game results regardless of the time limit, and can therefore more effectively estimate a player's Classical chess strength by also considering their results at games played at faster time controls. As the speed of play increases, the URS™ assigns less and less importance to the game results relative to games played at slower time controls
Furthermore, the URS™ is a weighted performance rating, calculated across several years of previous game results for all players. Older games are given less importance than more recent games, by applying an exponential decay rate

Now check out the URS top 5 with the FIDE top 5. Here is the URS top 10 with URS ratings, FIDE ratings and FIDE rankings:

URS Rank Player URating FIDE Ranking Standard Rapid Blitz
1 Carlsen 2860 1 2864 2847 2832
2 Nakamura 2821 11 2760 2837 2850
3 Ding 2807 2 2806 2836 2788
4 Caruana 2793 4 2783 2766 2847
5 So 2793 6 2775 2779 2742

The big stand out is Nakamura. He is 11th in the FIDE rankings but 2nd in the URS rankings. The reason is very simple. His rapid rating is a lot higher than his standard rating and his blitz rating is even higher. So these push up his URS rating well above his standard rating.

The other anomalous entry is Wesley So who has a URS rating above all 3 of his FIDE ratings! How is that possible. Well, if you look at his recent history you will see that almost a year ago his blitz rating was 2861. He has since had two bad blitz tournaments that reduced his blitz rating by almost 120 points. URS is giving him some credit for that earlier very high rating.

3
  • how is it possible for players less than even 2000 to have 2300+ URS. is it possible to come at any type of conclusion with those ratings
    – cmgchess
    Jun 9 at 11:03
  • 1
    Two things. 1. When somebody's standard and rapid or blitz ratings are 400+ points apart one of those is wrong (probably the lower one) because it is out of date. 2. If somebody improves rapidly while playing no rated chess then when they start playing rated again then their first few ratings will be much lower than their real playing strength. URS tries to correct for these "mistakes" by de-emphasising old games. URS claims to be more accurate more quickly.
    – Brian Towers
    Jun 9 at 11:43
  • Can you put the table data in a Markdown table? It's pretty difficult to read right now
    – qwr
    Aug 27 at 19:01

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