Friday, March 14, 2008

Trajectory of Elite Scholastic Chess Player Improvement

After reading that Nicholas Nip has become the youngest US master, I dug around a little and tried to map out the ratings progress for him and several other exceptional young players (and Richie just for kicks). This was a good excuse to play around with Google's charting API which I have to say is pretty nice.

The exercise emphasized to me that chess strength has a lot to do with experience up until maybe 1500 or so. As you can see when we re-map so that the X-axis is scaled based on years of chess played, almost all of these elite players reached roughly 1500 after about 1 year of play regardless of starting age. Maybe that breaks down for really young kids like Richie, but it's hard to say since I don't have that many data points.

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