by Steve Lopez

A cool feature of our various and sundry interfaces is the ability to generate a crosstable for complete tournaments or matches. As long as you have all of the games of the event (or at least a listing of the players and result, even if the game itself in the database contains no moves) you can quickly generate a crosstable for the event. The prerequisite for this function is that all of the event's games must be adjacent to each other in the database -- you can't have the first three rounds from Linares in the database followed by a couple of games from another event followed by the rest of the Linares games. All of the Linares games must be in a "block" together in the database for a crosstable to be generated.

To generate a crosstable in Fritz6 (or the other playing programs we offer), highlight the first game of the event in the game list, right-click, and choose "Crosstable" from the menu. As an alternative, you can use the crosstable button on the toolbar. In ChessBase 8, it's the same deal: right-click and pick "Crosstable" or use the toolbar button. In CB8 you have two additional options: pick "Crosstable" from the Tools menu or just hit the "T" key. You'll get a lovely new window that looks something like this:

Once again (as always), please excuse the crappy resolution, but I've reduced the graphic for the folks who aren't blessed with monitors (like mine) which are the size of drive-in movie screens.

There's a row of buttons at the top of this window. From left to right (in CB8), here's what they are and what they do:

There's also a pulldown menu which lets you change the font size of the crosstable. Note that in Fritz6, you have only the "Previous" and "Next" buttons, the button to force a round robin table, the button to send the table to the Windows clipboard, and the font size pulldown.

All of this is pretty slick stuff, but the real purpose of this article is to describe the information within the crosstable itself. Here's a sample HTML crosstable I generated with ChessBase 8:

Salou-A 2000

1 Georgiev,Vladimir 2564 +94
11116.5 / 9 25.25
2 Miladinovic,Igor 2563 +95
11116.5 / 9 24.75
3 Stefanova,Antoaneta 2514 +101
1116.0 / 9 22.75
4 Tyomkin,Dimitri 2522 +92
1116.0 / 9 22.75
5 Kogan,Artur 2504 +27 0
01115.0 / 9  
6 Pogorelov,Ruslan 2445 +53 01
014.5 / 9  
7 Hamdouchi,Hichem 2541 -94 00
14.0 / 9  
8 Oratovsky,Michael 2486 -75 0001
3.5 / 9  
9 Ivanov,Jordan 2461 -138 00000
12.5 / 9  
10 Montell Lorenzo,Joan Carlos 2327 -330 00000000
0.5 / 9  
Average Elo: 2492 <=> Cat: 10 gm = 6.03 m = 4.23

Generated with ChessBase 8.0

The first column is (obviously) the place in which each competitor finished; the second column is the name of the player. We see that Vladimir Georgiev finished in first place in this event.

Next is the player's rating at the start of the tournament (2564 for Georgiev). The next column lists that player's performance rating for the event. I'd rather eat a fifty pound bag of raw unsalted glass shards (mixed with razor blades for seasoning) than go into the mathematics of how this is calculated. But the basic lowdown is this: a performance rating is a gauge of a player's performance in an event. If he did better than statistically expected (given his rating and the ratings of his opponents), he has a positive performance rating. If he did worse than expected (according to the laws of statistical probability), he'll have a negative performance rating. To determine at what level a competitor played, you add or subtract the number in this column from his actual rating to get his performance rating. In the example above, we see that Georgiev had a performance rating of 2658 for the event (2564 plus 94) -- to express this in vernacular English, he played like a 2658 player during the course of this tournament. (As a rough yardstick for determining performance rating, for a win you take the opponent's rating plus 400 points, for a loss, the opponent's rating minus 400 points, and the rating of a player who was drawn, add these numbers together, and average them [by dividing the total by the number of players] to get the performance rating).

Next are the player's actual results against his specific opponents. Obviously, Player #1 (Georgiev) didn't play against himself, so there's a big ugly black square in that box. In the next column, we see how he did against Player #2 (Igor Miladinovic): the game was a draw. The next column to the right shows how he did against Player #3 (Antoaneta Stefanova): another draw. Obviously, the number "1" in a column to the right of a player's name means that the player won that game, while a "0" means that he lost.

You'll sometimes see two figures in one of these boxes. This occurs in a double-round-robin event, in which each player played every other competitor twice.

The next-to-last column shows the players score in the event. There are two numbers separated by a slash, meaning Player's score/Number of games in the event. Thus, we see that Georgiev finished with 6.5 points of a possible 9.

The last column is the tiebreak information. In the crosstable above, we see that Georgiev and Miladinovic tied for first with 6.5 points each, while Stefanova and Tyomkin tied for third with 6 points each. Various tiebreak systems are used in chess for determining who places ahead in the case of a tie. I'm not sure which tiebreak system is assumed by ChessBase and Fritz so, although I'd love to provide that information, the sad fact is that I just don't know yet (but I am trying to find out -- I'll keep you posted on this). Georgiev took first place on tiebreak, while Stefanova got third on tiebreak points in the sample table above.

There's some additional info listed at the bottom of the crosstable. "Average Elo" is self explanatory -- it's the averaged rating for the players in the event. "Cat." is the FIDE category number for the tournament, a number given by FIDE which reflects the level of the players in the event (based on the average rating), used for determining how many points a player must accumulate to earn an International Master or Grandmaster "norm" (several of which must be earned by a player to have a title bestowed upon him). "gm=" displays the number of points required to earn a Grandmaster norm for the event, while "m=" shows the number of points required for an IM norm. For this tournament, we see that the rating average was 2492, making it a Category 10 event: a player needed 6.03 points to gain a GM norm, while 4.23 was needed to get an IM norm.

If you're absolutely burning with intellectual curiosity on how categories and norm requirements are determined, the information is part of the FIDE Laws of Chess, and can also be found on pages 334 and 335 of the USCF 4th Edition rulebook.

Note that you can create a crosstable for any event in which all of the games are in a "block" in the database, but you'll likely get weird results if any games are missing. For chess clubs who have access to all games of an in-house event, the crosstable generator is a wonderful tool to aid in producing club newsletters and even web pages.

Until next week, have fun!

You can e-mail me with your comments, suggestions, and analysis for Electronic T-Notes.