Tuesday, November 10, 2009

2009 Grade National Chess Championship Player List

Last year when we went to the SuperNationals I had a spreadsheet where I recorded the players in the K-1 section. I used it to keep track of the top handful of players names and most recent ratings on the USCF website. Due to the lag between the most recently used USCF supplement and the actual tournament date, current ratings will often be a better indicator of playing strength than the listed rating from the official tournament publications.

I have a small story which probably says too much about chess parents in general and me in particular. Before the first round I was chatting with another parent as our kids played some practice games. The subject of ratings came up and we talked a little about how impressive some of the top players were. Then he reached into his bag and surreptitiously handed me a piece of paper. Imagine my surprise as he said, "I've recorded all of the most recent ratings from the USCF website. You can use this to see how strong your kids opponents really are." As I imagined the two of us (and who knows how many others) clicking through the torturous USCF website and scribbling down the latest ratings in the wee hours of the night, I got to thinking that there was probably a better way to do this.

This year, to spare myself the trouble, I wrote a small program to do the work for me. Once I had the data and a way to refresh it easily, I needed a nice way to put it on the blog. I found this is a neat applet to publish data on the internet from Socrata.

And voila! I will be keeping this as up-to-date as possible until the tournament start.

2009 Grade National Chess Tournament, Dallas TX

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