Wednesday, November 12

Fpawn Rating List - Largest Gains in 2008

(Rebekah poses with GM Susan Polgar at the Polgar Invitational in Texas last summer. This photo was taken from Polgar's excellent chess blog.)

Now that the December ratings have been released, it is time to look back at the improvements over the past 12 months (December 2007 to December 2008). A total of 20 students took advantage of my private lessons throughout the entire year 2008. All but one increased his or her USCF rating, with the average gain coming to 122 points. Five students (25%) impressively gained over 200 points!

The statistics become more significant when you consider that most of my students are already highly ranked, Six current students are rated over 2000 and three of those have an international rating. Another eight are A players; yet another eight are B players. All of these players know from experience how much harder it is to gain points at higher ratings, both due to the stiffer competition and because of the ratings formula (lower K factor).

Congratulations to CalChess Polgar representative Rebekah for demonstrating once again that, contrary to stereotypes, girls can beat all of the guys at chess! She gained nearly 300 points, jumping all the way to class A from a midrange class C rating last year. Her numbers actually pale in comparison to her little brother DanielL (see photo at right), who unbelievably gained almost 1000 points (from 734P to 1712)--he only began lessons with me in the middle of the year. "Math deity" Brian nearly matched Rebekah's success, earning 275 points to lead Saratoga High School's freshmen. Brian's teammates Kevin and EvanY also had a successful year and all three are now solid B players. Last yet certainly not least, CalChess Denker representative Steven cooled off a bit, but I dare say that improving by 177 points in the rare air of expert and master sections is no less impressive than the 554 points that he gained in 2007.
  1. Rebekah +298
  2. Brian +275
  3. MichaeL +250
  4. Tyler +240
  5. Kevin +210
  6. Steven +177
  7. Yian +169
  8. EvanY +163
  9. Nicholas +132
  10. James +113

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