How Accurate Are Ratings? (Overview)

In chess, ratings a reflection of a player’s skill, experience, and prowess on the chessboard., being one of the largest online platforms for chess enthusiasts, has its own rating system that is used by millions of players worldwide.

But how accurate are ratings?

The accuracy of ratings, while not perfectly mirroring established standards like FIDE ratings, offers a dynamic and inclusive system that adapts to a player’s skill level and performance, providing a generally reliable gauge of their online chess skill.

Let’s look deeper into the intricacies of the rating system to find out.

Understanding the Rating System

The Elo Rating System

Before we delve into the specifics of ratings, it’s essential to understand the Elo rating system, which forms the basis of most chess rating systems, including that of

Developed initially by Arpad Elo, this system calculates the relative skill levels of players in two-player games such as chess.

It is a dynamic system where a player’s rating changes based on the outcome of games played against other rated players.’s Adaptation has adapted the Elo rating system to suit the online platform, incorporating various factors that influence a player’s rating.

These factors include the time control of the game (blitz, bullet, or rapid), the opponent’s rating, and the result of the game.

This adaptation aims to provide a more accurate representation of a player’s skill level, taking into account the unique dynamics of online chess.

Analyzing the Accuracy of Ratings

Comparison with FIDE Ratings

One way to gauge the accuracy of ratings is by comparing them with FIDE ratings, which are considered the gold standard in the chess world.

Several studies and analyses have shown that there is a correlation between a player’s rating and their FIDE rating, although it is not a perfect one-to-one correspondence.

The discrepancies can be attributed to various factors such as the player pool, the frequency of games played, and the different time controls used on

Player Feedback and Community Insights

Another method to assess the accuracy of ratings is through player feedback and community insights.

Many players have shared their experiences and observations about the rating system on forums and blogs.

While some praise the system for its accuracy and consistency, others point out potential flaws and areas for improvement.

This feedback can provide a rich source of information for understanding the nuances of the rating system.

What Makes Ratings Stand Out?

Dynamic Adjustment and Learning Curve’s rating system is dynamic, adjusting to a player’s performance over time.

This means that as a player improves, their rating will reflect this growth, offering a realistic depiction of their current skill level.

Moreover, the system encourages players to learn and develop their skills, as they can see tangible progress in their ratings.

Inclusive for All Skill Levels has made efforts to make the rating system inclusive for players of all skill levels.

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned player, the platform provides an environment where you can find opponents of similar skill levels, making the games competitive and enjoyable.

This inclusivity is a hallmark of the rating system, fostering a vibrant and diverse community of chess enthusiasts. Ratings vs. FIDE Ratings

The comparison between ratings and FIDE ratings often surfaces, especially when it comes to assessing the accuracy and reliability of the former.

Generally, it is observed that ratings tend to be inflated by about 300 points compared to FIDE ratings.

This inflation can be attributed to a variety of factors including the larger and more diverse player pool on, which encompasses players of all skill levels from around the world.

Moreover, the frequency of games played online can lead to quicker rating adjustments, potentially resulting in a higher rating compared to the more stable and slowly changing FIDE ratings.

Despite this discrepancy, it is important to note that the rating system still serves as a valuable tool for players to gauge their progress and skill level in the online chess community. Ratings vs. Lichess Ratings

When comparing ratings with Lichess ratings, another popular online chess platform, one might notice certain differences in the rating scales and distributions.

Lichess, like, has its own unique rating system, which tends to assign slightly higher ratings compared to for the same skill level.

This difference can sometimes be attributed to the distinct algorithms and rating calculations employed by each platform, which take into account various factors such as the strength of opponents and the outcome of games.

Players might find that their Lichess rating is a bit higher than their rating, although the exact difference can vary.

It is essential for players to understand that these ratings, while indicative of a player’s skill level, are relative to the specific platform and player pool, and direct comparisons might not always reflect an accurate picture of a player’s true skill level.

Thus, when navigating between these platforms, players should focus on their individual progress and learning curve, rather than the absolute rating numbers.

FAQs: How Accurate Are Ratings?

How are ratings calculated?

Understanding the Elo Rating System uses a variant of the Elo rating system, which is based on statistical models that consider the ratings of both players in a match to predict the outcome and update their ratings accordingly after the game.

Glicko-2 Rating System

Apart from the Elo system, also uses the Glicko-2 rating system which considers not just the ratings but also the rating reliability, which is a measure of the consistency of a player’s performance.

How often are the ratings updated?

Real-Time Updates updates the ratings in real-time, meaning that your rating will change immediately after a game ends, reflecting your performance in that game.

How accurate are the ratings on

Statistical Accuracy

The ratings are statistically accurate to a large extent as they are based on well-established rating systems like Elo and Glicko-2.

However, they are not foolproof and can have a margin of error.

Comparative Accuracy

The ratings are more accurate when comparing players within the ecosystem.

Comparing ratings across different platforms may not yield accurate results due to differences in the rating systems employed.

Can my rating be compared to my FIDE rating?

General Comparison

While there is no one-to-one correspondence between ratings and FIDE ratings, many players find that their ratings are generally higher than their FIDE ratings.

Rating Inflation ratings might experience a phenomenon known as “rating inflation,” where the ratings tend to be higher due to a larger and more diverse player base.

How can I improve my rating?

Consistent Practice

Engaging in consistent practice and learning from your mistakes can help you improve your rating over time.

Utilizing Learning Resources offers a plethora of learning resources, including tutorials, puzzles, and articles that can help you hone your skills and improve your rating.

Are there any limitations to the rating system?

Potential for Manipulation

Like any online rating system, there is a potential for manipulation through practices like sandbagging or using chess engines, which can affect the accuracy of the ratings.

Initial Rating Volatility

New players might experience a high volatility in their ratings as the system takes time to accurately gauge their skill level.


The rating system, while based on the traditional Elo system, has been adapted to cater to the unique dynamics of online chess.

While no rating system can be perfect,’s approach seems to strike a balance between accuracy and inclusivity, offering a platform where players of all skill levels can enjoy the game and track their progress.

Through continuous adjustments and feedback from the community, the system strives to provide an accurate representation of a player’s skill level, making a preferred destination for chess enthusiasts worldwide.


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