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CFC Rating Explained

Source: CFC Website

Section 7 - C.F.C. Rating System & FIDE Rated Events

701. Overview

Ratings provide a way to compare the strengths of two players without requiring them to play each other.

A rating is a number that may range from about 300 to about 2800. A player rated 100 points higher than another should expect to win 5 games out of 8. If the difference is 200, the higher rated should win 3 of 4; for 300 it's 7 of 8. Three out of four could be three wins and one loss or two wins and two draws.

A player may become rated by competing in a CFC-rated event of 3 or more rounds. Ratings may go up or down based on results in CFC-rated events.

By tradition, a player rated over 2200 is called a Master. Only about 1% of all competitive players are Masters. The other traditional classifications are: 2000 - 2199 Candidate Master [Motion 87-8» see GL, October 1986, p. 26]; 1800 - 1999 Class A (or Category I); 1600 - 1799 Class B ( or Category II); 1400 - 1599 Class C (III); 1200 - 1399 Class D (IV); below 1200 Class E (V). The titles of International Masterand Grandmaster are awarded by the World Chess Federation (FIDE). They correspond roughly to ratings of 2400 and 2500. The highest rated active player is World Champion Gary Kasparov at 2800, achieved with the January 1, 1990 FIDE list.

Previously, the highest rating ever was Bobby Fischer's in 1972 - 2780. An average competitive player is about 1750; a bright beginner about 1200.

702. National Rating Committee

Whereas it is widely accepted that the CFC rating system is in need of both near term adjustments and an accurate longer term method of monitoring the rating system to ensure the ongoing integrity of the rating system.

Be it resolved that the CFC establish a National Rating Committee responsible for both implementing near term adjustments to the rating system and establishing a credible long term monitoring process.

Composition: The National Rating Committee will be chaired by Robert Hamilton and will include as voting members; the President and the Rating Auditor.

The Committee shall seek input from experienced individuals such as Jonathan Berry, Vlad Dobrich, John McPhail, and Eduardo Azmitia in implementing both near term adjustments and long term monitoring processes for the rating system.

{2005-06 GL10 Bond/Urquhart}


711. Rateable Tournaments

To be rated under the CFC "standard" rating system the time control must be at least 60 minutes per player for the game (or for 60 moves with increment). To be rated under the CFC Active rating system the time control must be at least 15 minutes but less than 60 minutes per player for the game (or for 60 moves with increment)."

There may be many complicated time controls. The intention is to stick to the maximum game time. Non sudden death time controls shall not have a rate of play exceeding one move per minute. For both rating systems, all secondary time controls must be a minimum of 5 minutes long.

All games in a tournament should fit the same category. All time controls of a tournament must be advertised and/or posted prior to the tournament. Any Active rated tournament must be advertised as such prior to the tournament.

During a rated event, no player is allowed to be in competition with more than 1 opponent, including opponents in other events. [CFC Executive motion carried, 2001-02]

The Executive Director has discretion to accept or refuse any tournament for rating where the intent of this rule has not been followed. [see Motion 90-11, as amended, GL, September 1990, p. 1-13 - 1-14]

711.1 Active Chess.

[Removed, see Motion 2003-03; 02-03GL3, December 2002]

711.2 Rating of Junior Events.

{Removed, see 2005-06 GL9 Mallon / McDonald} [Original Motion See GL2 1999-2000, October 1999]

712. Current Ratings

All events are normally rated in chronological order with the current ratings from CFC files. When an event is rated, the ratings produced become the new current ratings and are used for the next calculations. The ratings of players who are inactive are still valid, except that the ratings of players rated under 1400 are cancelled after 5 years of inactivity. [ref: GL, September 1979, p.25]

713. Matches

Individual matches are rated with the following restrictions:

a) the maximum change allowed as a result of a match is 50 points;

b) match results must be dated and signed by both players;

c) the rating difference between the two players must not exceed 400 points.

714. Equations

The equations used to calculate ratings are as follows:

714a) For previously unrated and provisionally rated players, the performance rating is:

Rp = Rc + 400 (W - L) / N

where Rp is the performance rating, Rc is the average rating of the player’s opponents, W is the number of wins, L is the number of losses, N is the total number of games played.

714b) For players with established ratings the new rating is

Rn = Ro + 32 (S - Sx)

In applying this equation to players of 2199 or over, change 32 to 16. For players who start an event below 2199 and then in the event go above 2199 the gains are computed normally, namely with 32 in 714b and then the increase over 2199 is cut in half. For players who start an event above 2199 and then in the event go below 2200 the loss is computed normally, namely with 16 in 714b and then the decrease under 2200 is doubled.

Where Rn is the post event (new) rating before the application of bonus or participation points, Ro is the pre event (old) rating, S is the score, and Sx is the expected score. This is determined by the following table to two significant decimals (a more accurate determination of the expected score may be used in the actual calculation):

Expected Result of Game

(For example, the higher rated player should score 3-1 in a 4 game match, for a difference in rating of 189-197 points.)

Rating Difference Expected score for higher rated player Expected score for lower rated player

0-3 .50 .50

4-10 .51 .49

11-17 .52 .48

18-25 .53 .47

26-32 .54 .46

33-39 .55 .45

40-46 .56 .44

47-53 .57 .43

54-61 .58 .42

62-68 .59 .41

69-76 .60 .40

77-83 .61 .39

84-91 .62 .38

92-98 .63 .37

99-106 .64 .36

107-113 .65 .35

114-121 .66 .34

122-129 .67 .33

130-137 .68 .32

138-145 .69 .31

146-153 .70 .30

154-162 .71 .29

163-170 .72 .28

171-179 .73 .27

180-188 .74 .26

189-197 .75 .25

198-206 .76 .24

207-215 .77 .23

216-225 .78 .22

226-235 .79 .21

236-245 .80 .20

246-256 .81 .19

257-267 .82 .18

268-278 .83 .17

279-290 .84 .16

291-302 .85 .15

303-315 .86 .14

316-328 .87 .13

329-344 .88 .12

345-357 .89 .11

358-374 .90 .10

375-391 .91 .09

392-411 .92 .08

412-432 .93 .07

433-456 .94 .06

457-484 .95 .05

485-517 .96 .04

518-559 .97 .03

560-619 .98 .02

620-734 .99 .01

735 and over 1.00 .00

714c) Participation Bonus Points {Motion 2008-10 GL6 Stockhausen/Craver}

{Eliminated July 2010 AGM Toronto}

Rated 1000-1100 = 2.00 Points per game played

Rated 1101-1800 = 1.50 Points per game played

Rated 1801-2000 = 1.00 Points per game played

Rated 2001-2200 = 0.75 Points per game played

Rated 2201+ = 0.50 Points per game played

714d)Result Bonus Points {Motion 2008-10 GL6 Stockhausen/Craver}

[Performance Rating must exceed highest CFC Rating ever]

0%-59% = No Points

60%-70% = 5 Points

71%-89% = 10 Points

90%+ = 15 Points

715. Initial Ratings

Previously unrated players are rated by equation 714a for their first 24 games. The equation is applied cumulatively - i.e. the rating after the second event will include the performance in both the first and second events. During this period their ratings are considered provisional. Beginning with the event in which they play their 25th rated game, their ratings become established and are computed by equation 714b, and, if appropriate, 714c, or 714d.

716. For a player with a pre-event rating below 800.

716a) If a player’s post tournament rating (including any participation and bonus points) is less than 800, and the player had a permanent rating before the tournament greater than 799, the player is entered in the rating list at 799.

716b) If a player’s post tournament rating (including any participation and bonus points) is less than 800, and the player had a permanent rating before the tournament less than or equal to 799, the player is entered in the rating list at the greater of the player’s pre and post tournament ratings.

716c) If a player’s post tournament rating (including any participation and bonus points) is less than 200, the player is entered in the rating list at 200. This applies to both provisional and permanent ratings.

717. Order of Calculation

When an event is rated, performance ratings under equation 714a are obtained, first for unrated players, then for provisionally rated players. For each rated player is calculated: Ro-400(W-L)/N. The mean of these is AR. When unrated plays unrated in this first pass, the opponent’s rating is estimated as AR-200+400(W-L)/N. After this, the previously unrated players are rerated on the basis of the ratings of their opponents just calculated. Finally, the players having established ratings are rated, first those with ratings below 800. A game with a previously unrated or previously provisionally rated player enters the rating of a player with an established rating on the basis of the opponent’s post-event (new) rating. In the case of a player having an established rating below 800, the following is used to calculate the rating of opponents having established ratings 800 and above: the higher of the player’s pre- and post-event ratings.

718. Dropouts

If a player does not advise the director that he has withdrawn from a tournament and subsequently loses a game by default, that game is treated like a game actually played and is rated, except when both opponents fail to appear for the game. A defaulting player must not be paired for subsequent round unless he is reinstated at his request.

719. Insufficient Information. Events can be rated if at least one of the players has a rating. If none of the players has a rating, the report may be set aside for rating later, when at least one of the players gains a rating.

725. Sample Calculation

Let's say a player with an established rating of 1450 takes part in a 6 round event. He scores 4-2 against opponents rated 1237, 1511, 1214, 1441, 1579 and 2133. By equation 714b his new rating is 1450 + 32(4 - (.77 + .42 + .80 + .51 + .33 + .01)) = 1450 + 32 (4 - 2.84 ) = 1487 Finished? No. Rule 714c provides for Bonus points. Rt = 1487 - 1450 - 28 = 9. New rating 1487 + 9 = 1496.

What if my calculation differs from the published rating? There are several possible reasons: a) check your arithmetic; b) any of the ratings may not be the most current due to intervening events; c) Under rule 717 a player's rating is frequently based on the post-event ratings of some of his opponents.

730. Supplementary Regulations>

731. Fee: Effective May 1st, 2009 the Rating Fee for Adult Tournaments will be $3 per person per tournament if using CFC/SwissSys, $5 per person per tournament if not using CFC/SwissSys. The Rating Fee for Junior Tournaments will be $0.50 per person per Tournament if using CFC/SwissSys, $2.50 per person if not using CFC/SwissSys. Tournaments submitted Swiss Assistant shall receive the same rate as those using CFC/SwissSys. {2008/09 GL5 Lavin/Smith}

732. Membership. All players in a rated event must be CFC members for the inclusive dates of play. The CFC membership requirement is waived for Junior events (tournaments or matches). An event is considered Junior for the purposes of this section if all the players meet the age requirements of the World Junior of the year following the year in which the event ends. [Updated; Keshet/Stockhausen 1999]

733. Report. Rating reports should include the name and CFC number of all players. Address changes should be noted on the membership - not the rating - report.

It is not necessary to submit a record of the moves of a game in any rated event. We only need to know the results.

It is not necessary to redraw the crosstable in order of finish. Please use consecutive pairing numbers, starting at 1. Avoid for example, pairing numbers such as 22A.

Games marked F or D (for Forfeit or Default) will not be rated (rule 718) unless they are also marked R (for Rated).

Forms are available free of charge for reporting all events, and memberships collected.

An event will not normally be rated if the report is received more than three months after its end. A report should be submitted within one week of the end of an event.

734. Publication. A rating becomes published once a player plays 3 or more games. If a player has played less than three rated games, only the name and number of games are published:


If a player has a provisional rating based on 3 to 24 games, the rating is followed by a / and the number of games:

JONES JOHN 1471/14

Once a player has played 25 rated games the number of games is dropped:


The "o16" is called the rating indicator. It is the first two digits of the highest established rated achieved since the list published in En Passant # 64. Thus o16 indicates a peak rating between 1600 and 1699.[With a new ratings program now in production the CFC will have on record the highest lifetime rating of all players.]

It is the responsibility of the organizers to ensure that all players are CFC members. We realize that it is possible to overlook a player. We will still rate the tournament, but the rating of a player who does not fulfill CFC membership requirements will be deactivated. xxxx will appear after his name:


Such a player would not be eligible for class prizes, and special care should be taken to check his membership. Note in the last example that the surname and given name were separated by a comma. This indicates a Junior or Participating member. Ordinary members are separated by a space.

735. Frequency of Lists.

The CFC will publish the complete rating list in each issue of En Passant. Players who have played within the last year and are still current members will be listed.

The CFC will produce an alphabetic rating list for all CFC members active since 1981 still on computer files; this list plus photocopies of earlier rating lists will be available at a cost of $5.00. The computerized list will be revised annually. The list will not be divided into provinces, but will have the last known province of residence printed beside each name. [ref: Motion 85-17; GL, August 1985, p. 1-16]

To ensure publication, organizers should ensure that tournament reports reach the CFC Business Office by the 15th of each even number month (February, April, June, August, October, December).

736. Foreign Events and Ratings. If a foreign player has a rating in his own country or from FIDE, that will be used to determine his first CFC rating. If he is inactive in Canada for a year but has a change in his foreign rating, his changed foreign rating will be used to recalculated his CFC rating.

New residents of Canada without a CFC rating are considered unrated, whether or not they have a foreign rating.

A Canadian may have a foreign FIDE-rated tournament count for their CFC rating by sending a letter to that effect in advance to the CFC. (And include $25 in advance with the letter sent to the CFC office. The letter should be received by the CFC office not less than 1 month before the start of the event, and include the $25 flat rating fee. - CFC Office policy effective December 1st, 2003) The CFC will rate the event only to the extent that FIDE does. Results must be reported within one month after the tournament is completed. Failure to submit a crosstable after registering an event bars the player from registering a tournament participation for three years. [see Motion 78-15; GL, April 1978, p. 39]

737. Rating Boon. One June 15, 1980 all players active since June 30, 1974 were given points to counteract deflation. The added points depended upon rating. If the rating was below 972, it was increased 188 points; 1028 to 1196 = +133; 1204 to 1395 = +127; 1404 to 1509 = + 120; 1612 to 1799 = + 99; 1800 to 1906 = +101; 2003 and above = + 96;

Ratings not given above went to the highest level for the next lower group.

738. CFC Life Masters. The CFC will issue a "Certificate of Chess Master" for each player who achieves a CFC rating of 2200 or above for 24 consecutive regular tournament games. Players who have achieved this performance in the past can request their certificate from the CFC business office, by providing satisfactory evidence of their performance to the CFC business office. [see Motion 2003-01; 02-03GL3, December 2002]

739. Appeals. If a player thinks an error has been made in his published rating he has the right to appeal. If the believed error is of a simple nature which can be quickly checked (e.g. misprints, confusion between two players with the same name etc.) the player should write to the Rating Statistician and the matter will be sorted out expeditiously.

If the player is still unsatisfied with the Statistician's ruling, or if the error is of a non-straightforward nature, the player can formally appeal.

Appeals should be sent to the Rating Auditor together with a fee of $10.00, payable to the Chess Federation of Canada. If the result of the appeal is that the appellant's rating changes by 15 points or more, the fee will be returned in full. Alternatively, if the appeal results in an unrated player getting a rating, the fee will be returned in full.

On receipt of an appeal, the Rating Auditor will get from the rating statistician a list of game scores on which the rating was calculated. The Auditor will send this list to the appellant for its correctness to be checked.

If the list is agreed complete and correct, the Rating Auditor will recalculate the rating on that basis and give a ruling on the appeal.

If the appellant claims the list to be in error, the Rating Auditor will attempt to verify such errors, e.g. by writing to the Tournament Director who sent in the disputed results.

Games are only rated by the CFC if results are submitted to the Rating Statistician together with the appropriate fee and evidence of CFC membership of the players. Appeals on the basis of the non-rating of games which do not satisfy the above will not be upheld.

The Rating Auditor's decision on an appeal will be final.

The Rating Auditor is required to provide his detailed calculations on his rulings on ratings when so requested by a provincial affiliate.

Send all tournament reports to the Rating Statistician, whose address is:

The Chess Federation of Canada

356 Ontario Street, Suite 373. Stratford, Ont. N5A 7X6

790. FIDE-Rated Events

Events may be rated by FIDE if they meet the following requirements: {Motion 2005-18 GL6 Barron/Dougherty}

a) In a Round-Robin, at least 4 of the players must be rated.

b) In a Swiss or Team event, only games against rated players are counted. If a player meets less than 3 rated opponents in an event, that event will not count towards his rating.

c) Each player must have a minimum of 120 minutes for a game, assuming the game lasts 60 moves. No more than three rounds per day and a total playing time of no more than 12 hours per day are allowed.

d) The event must be pre-registered with the CFC office. The FIDE Events pre-registration form to be sent to the CFC office is here. The crosstable must be sent to the CFC within one week of the completion of the event along with an updated event registration form, and the FIDE rating fee payment.

e) The following scheduled FIDE rating fee structure is payable to the CFC provided the event is submitted within 1 week to the CFC office. If the event is submitted to the CFC Office after 1 week then there is a $110 late fee due to the policies of FIDE. [see Motion 2003-05; 02-03GL4, January 2003]

Round Robin & Matches: Avg rating under 2300 $100, Avg rating 2300-2399 $200, Avg rating 2400-2499 $300, Avg rating 2500-2599 $400, Avg rating 2600+ $600.

Swiss & Team Tournaments: Number of players multiplied by $2.20

f) For the time being no FIDE rating fees will be required for ladies' tournaments although these tournaments as a matter of course shuld be registered.

g) Small tournaments such as local Swiss tournaments shall be exempt from FIDE rating fees.

h) All Canadian players who compete in a FIDE registered event should be members in good standing of the CFC.

Upon completion of a FIDE-registered event, the CFC will put the crosstable in the required form and send it along to FIDE. Note that rated in a) and b) means FIDE-rated. Lists of Canadian FIDE-rated players are available from the ratings page on our website.


Any player from Canada who applies for a FIDE player title must have maintained a CFC rating for at least 15 games, which is not more than 100 points below the FIDE benchmark for the title/norm in question.

TITLE___FIDE Benchmark___Minimum CFC Rating







[Motion 2009-10, 2009 AGM Bond/Lavin]


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