FIDE adjusts its ratings to be more in line with Lichess (not really)

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[EDIT] April fools! While FIDE really did update its rating, it makes no mention of Lichess.

Those who closely follow the over-the-board (OTB) chess world will be aware that over the past few months, FIDE (the international governing body for chess) has recently increased the ratings of most of its OTB players.

Many have speculated exactly why FIDE made this change – but today, on this day, we can exclusively reveal the true reason: for years, FIDE has been working tirelessly to align their own ratings to be closer to Lichess ratings.

Now, we know this may seem a little bizarre – but all will become clear to those who read on. Meanwhile, those active within online chess forums (there is no inner circle!) will already know that FIDE has been followed by debate and discussion online over whether FIDE ratings are deflated when compared to Lichess ratings, for several years now.

To help portray this for those unfamiliar with the uninformed carping of online society ahem, enlightened discourse by our generation’s brightest minds, we’ve collected some anonymised samples of the comments, below, from the popular “r/chess” subreddit:

Lol yh u mite be 1700 FIDE but what’s ur lichess rating? Every1 knows FIDE ratings are artificially deflated.

I prefer playing for FIDE rating because it feels more genuine that my rating is lower, lol

Everyone knows FIDE is trying to set an artificial difficulty cap by having such deflated ratings.

FIDE needs to fix their broken ratings to be more realistic, more aligned with Lichess ratings.

After these artificially inflationary changes by FIDE, many players have received hundreds of additional points to their FIDE rating. The result of the change has been to narrow the difference between Lichess ratings and FIDE ratings – with some players’ FIDE ratings now being even higher, than their Lichess ratings.

Many believe that the closer harmonisation and FIDE’s alignment of their ratings with Lichess’s ratings, has been a long-term strategic goal for FIDE for some time. The argument is that, in doing so, it helps the international governing body to establish more credibility, legitimacy, and trust in its evaluation of a player’s strength. Ultimately, however, this remains an exercise flawed at its very outset, with different rating systems being used between the various chess platforms and organisations, different pools of players, and games played under different conditions – therefore trying to compare ratings as being more “genuine” is nothing more than a marketing gimmick targeting those unfamiliar with the topic.

Many of the r/chess galaxy brains ahem, perceptive intelligentsia, are not yet convinced by the changes:

Lichess is the only platform using the modern Glicko-2, following Glicko’s paper exactly. FIDE uses Elo, so they’re just slapping a band-aid on a flawed and outmoded rating system.

haha, I gained 256 FIDE rating, how much did you guys get?

you guys get rating?

well actually, everyone knows you can’t compare different rating pools, in different conditions, using different rating systems

Additional rating points will awarded today, on 1st April, to those who have made it this far!

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