In almost all sports there are ways to measure the strength or skill of the players who play that sport in order to classify them, in chess there is also a classification or way to rank the players. That is why today we are going to see what is the purpose of the chess ratings.
Chess Ratings: The Elo
The ELO is the way in which the strength of a chess player is measured (visit our special article on ELO here and find out how to get rated). It serves the function of ranking players.
What is the purpose of chess ratings?
Being able to differentiate players by skill level has many benefits, both for organizations and for the players themselves.
To play tournaments
There are many tournaments where players who wish to play must have a certain classification, for example, sub-1600 this means that the maximum amount of points that players must have to register for the tournament is 1600, this is done with the aim that players who are more amateur level or just starting in competitive chess have a chance to improve their level and to win the tournament because if the tournament was for all levels of classification the strongest players or chess masters would leave the lower level players with almost no chance.
As it also happens the other way around, where the classification to be able to register to the tournament is very high, with the intention that only chess masters can participate, for example, the "elite" tournaments (they are called elite because they are tournaments where the best players in the world usually participate, many times the world chess champion participates in these tournaments). These are the tournaments that are usually broadcasted in chess websites such as Chess.com or Lichess.org.
To obtain chess titles
Chess ratings are also used by the strongest players to qualify for titles awarded by FIDE (International Chess Federation) which classify them as world-renowned chess masters (see our article on how to obtain a chess title).
Titled players are those who achieve a sufficiently high chess rating to qualify for these titles. These titled players are usually the ones who represent their countries in international competitions such as the Olympics and the World Championship.
There are also some tournaments where it is necessary to have a title in order to participate, such as the "chess titled tuesday".
For chess training
To be eligible for some trainings as a chess trainer it is also necessary to have a certain rating, this depends on the federation of each country as some may ask for this requirement as others do not request it.
What types of ratings exist in chess?
The only official rating that exists in chess is by the ELO system, but there are other virtual ratings that mimic the ELO system, for example on websites or mobile applications that assign you a score as you win games against other people or against the computer itself.
But as we said it is not an official ranking, this means that it is only valid within the application or web page in which we are playing and for the same reason, even if we have the best ranking of the web it is not valid to obtain a chess title.
On the FIDE website you can see the ratings of all players who meet the requirements (see here the requirements to obtain a rating in chess) and even if you have one you can also see your own rating and your progress in it (see fide rating).
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