Frequently Asked Questions: Member Services Area


Crosstables are NOT SHOWN in tiebreak order. That’s because we do not know what tiebreak methods were used! Even if we did know what tiebreaks were used, some of the tiebreak methods cannot be regenerated from the crosstable of an event. (For example, ‘performance rating’ will use whatever ratings the TD had for players at the start of that event, which are probably not the same pre-event ratings that show on the crosstable.) Although it is not common, there are occasions in which the crosstable has to be adjusted to have the proper information needed for ratings purposes but it may not reflect the standings and tiebreaks that were used to distribute prizes.

We do sort the crosstables into point group order. Within a point group, players are in order by their post-event rating.


First we have to receive the rating report from the Tournament Director.

You can check the Tournaments Received search page or the Events Rated page to see if the rating report has been received by the US Chess office.

Depending on when and how the TD submits the rating report, it can take as little as an hour to rate an event or several weeks. As of September 2012, about 95% of the events we rate are now being submitted online, most of those are being submitted within 2 days of when the event ends and are rated within a few hours of when they are submitted online.

Events sent to the US Chess office by mail take longer, in part because of the time it takes for the event to get to the office. The typical event received in the mail is rated about 10-14 days after it ended. However, not all TDs get their events submitted promptly, sometimes we don’t receive an event until several months after it ends.


US Chess issues rating lists 12 times a year. Each list contains events rated since the most recent list.

In December we also issue the annual rating list, it contains everyone who played in an event that was rated in the last year.

As of September 1, 2013, the cutoff for a monthly ratings list is 11:45 PM Central Time on the 3rd Wednesday of the month before that list becomes official. For example, the October 2013 list will be created on Wednesday, September 18th. Events that have been received and rated by the cutoff are included in that ratings list.

However, even if someone isn’t in the most recently published ratings list, his or her last published rating is still current, even if it was published years ago. “Once Rated, Always Rated.”


Before the development of the current programming, US Chess events that were dual-rated (ie as both regular and quick rated events) had to be entered into the US Chess crosstable records twice. As a result these events will show up with two different 12 digit Event IDs.

Also, because of how the old programming worked, if the regular-rated event had the lower Event ID (which was usually the case), and if this was your first US Chess rated event, your quick game count is likely to be twice that of your regular game count, because under the procedures for rating games your regular rating would have been used to start you quick rating. This is no longer necessary under current programming, but we do not have the ability to correct several years worth of events from the past, mostly from 2001 through 2004.

If there is an actual duplication of an event, please report it to the US Chess ratings department,


Under US Chess policy, events that are played at a total time control of Game/30 through Game/65 (ie, each player has a total of 30-65 minutes, including the increment or delay setting) must be rated as both regular and quick chess events. This is not an option, all events that are played at those time controls will be dual-rated. US Chess’s time control rules have changed several times in recent years, players and TDs are advised to consult the current US Chess rulebook, including the Update to the US Chess Rulebook for the complete current time control rules.


A player who has a regular rating but no quick rating is given a starting value for the quick rating equal to his or her regular rating. If the regular rating is based on 10 or more games, the initial quick rating is treated as if it were based on 10 games. If the regular rating is based on fewer than 10 games, the initial quick rating is based on the actual number of regular rated games. Similar rules apply to starting Blitz ratings. For full details, please see the explanation of the US Chess Rating System.


This was something that occured under our old ratings programming. Events submitted and rated after February of 2005 should not have this problem.


In order for you to have a published Regular, Quick or Blitz rating, you must have played at least 4 rated games at a time control that is Regular, Quick or Blitz rated, respectively. (Also, some time controls are both Regular and Quick rated, these are called dual-rated time controls.)

You are still considered ‘Unrated’ until your rating has been published in a monthly ratings list. We issue ratings lists every month. At this time, the next month’s rating list is generated on the third Wednesday of the month before it becomes official.

To give you some idea of the time lags involved, the December 2013 annual list, which is the list TD’s are generally required to use for events held in December, will be created in mid-November and will include events received and processed through mid-November.

So, if your first event is in late November of 2013, you would still be unrated until the January 2014 Rating Supplement comes out. That means that you would still be considered unrated for events held prior to January 1st.

For your first 25 games, your rating is provisional. A provisional rating is indicated by a slash and the number of games upon which it is based. For example, a rating of 1213/16 is based on 16 games. (However, read the earlier answer on how Quick or Blitz ratings are started.)


Here are three possibilities:

  1. A rating report for the event was not sent in by the Tournament Director. If it is not listed on the Tournaments Received search page or the Events Rated page, contact the TD or the sponsoring Affiliate or club to see if the event was submitted for rating.
  2. The rating report has been received but has not yet been rated, usually because there were problems with the details, such as missing or invalid membership ID’s.
  3. The rating report was received and rated but there was an incorrect ID. Try searching for the event by tournament name or sponsoring Affiliate using the tournament feature of MSA or try the Events Receivedp age or the Events Rated page. If you can find the event but it does not show that you played in the event, see the question ‘How do I report an error in a crosstable?’

An official rating list is a snapshot of the ratings information we have on players as of a particular point in time, currently around 11:45 PM on the third Wednesday of the month before a new ratings list becomes official.

However, the post-event rating from your most recent event at that time can change later on, due to rerates.

For example, suppose you played on a tournament on the 10th of the month and that was your most recent event in our records as of the time the new rating list was created. Your post-event rating from that event would become your new published rating.

However, suppose you also played in a tournament a few days earlier but it had not yet been received and rated by US Chess by the time we generated the next official ratings list. Once that event is received and rated, it needs to be sorted into the proper chronological order, which happens during the next rerate. When that occurs, both your pre-event rating and post-event for the event on the 10th may change.

Similarly, suppose there is a correction made to the event on the 10th after the new ratings list is prepared, such as an incorrectly reported result for one of your games. When that correction is made, your post-event rating from that event is likely to change when that event is re-rated.

In either case, we do not go back and revise the published ratings list.


Events are not always received in the order in which they completed and are rated, some TDs get their events to us faster than others (Most, but not all, events are submitted online, and most TDs have their events to us within 2-3 days of when it ends.) In addition, events sometimes need to be corrected, for example if a result was mis-recorded.

Both of these can cause changes in the post-event ratings for an event (and the pre-event ratings for subsequent events.) Rerating is designed to address both issues. Rerating recomputes the ratings from events after reordering them and taking into account any corrections, in other words, what they should have been if every event had been received in the order in which it is rated and if every event was received error-free.

We currently re-rate events on Tuesdays, though it can take up to 2 days for rerated events to be posted on MSA. We also do a full rerate (back to 2004) before the creation of a new monthly rating list.


Corrections to rated events must come from the Tournament Director or the sponsoring US Chess Affiliate . If you believe there is an error in an event you played in, please contact the TD or Affiliate to have them submit a correction.

Events that were initially rated after January 1, 2004, can be corrected and rerated, those from earlier events can be corrected but generally that correction will not affect your current rating.

TDs need to send corrections to

In order to enter those changes quickly (or if sending corrections to the US Chess office), here’s a checklist of the information that will be needed:

  • The 12 digit Event ID and event name.
  • The section number and name.
  • The players’ pairing numbers. (Keep in mind that the pairing numbers as shown on MSA may not match those in the original rating report. We need the original pairing numbers.)
  • The players’ Member IDs and names. (Please note: The pairing numbers in our internal records may not match the ones shown on MSA, because the MSA results are in final standings order. If an ID appears more than once in the crosstable, correctly or because of an ID error, you will need to provide enounformation, such as the final score or round-by-round results, to uniquely identify the pairing # that needs to be changed.)
  • If player IDs need to be changed, list the correct IDs and player names.
  • If game results need to be changed, list the results as originally reported and the corrections needed.
  • If the event was rated under the wrong rating system (eg, dual rated when it should be quick-rated only), we need the correct time control for the section.

Here’s what happens when a correction is reported by a player:

  • The TD has to be contacted to confirm the accuracy of that report. US Chess cannot accept correction reports from players, as TDs are responsible for the accuracy of their rating reports. It usually speeds things up if the player contacts the TD directly.
  • The TD has to report (or confirm) the correction to the US Chess ratings staff.
  • The ratings staff has to review the correction to make sure they have all the information needed to make the correction properly. This may require contacting the TD for clarification.
  • The records for the event have to be corrected.
  • The correction should be noted on MSA within a day, but any ratings impact will not occur until after the event has been rerated.

We currently run rerates once a week, on Tuesdays, but a rerate can take up to two days to complete and get posted to MSA, as once an event has been rerated all subsequent events for everyone who played in that event have to be rerated too.

This means it can take a week or longer for a correction to be reported, made and rerated.

US Chess runs a full rerate before generating a new rating list, so the current list should reflect the most current and accurate information we have at that time, though a correction to an event from several years ago could take 6 weeks or longer to affect someone’s rating.


The rankings currently use the same selection criteria that the Top 100 lists use, with one exception. A player must have a published and established US Chess rating to be included in the Top 100 lists, but players who have enough games for a published US Chess regular rating (eg, 4) are included in the rankings.

These are national rankings, not international ones, though all US Chess members are included in the rankings, even those who live outside of the USA or who are registered with FIDE under another nation.

As an example of how the selection criteria work, here’s the criteria that were used for both the April 2014 Top 100 lists and the April 2014 rankings:

  • US Chess membership that expires on or after January 1, 2014.
  • Most recently rated event rated on or after March 1, 2013.
  • For the age based lists, age as of April 1, 2014. The junior list is for players who are under age 21, the senior list is for players who are age 65 or older.

Age, sex and state information are drawn from US Chess records, please send corrections to Click here to show mail address.

Percentile rankings are also shown, eg, the top 5% are in the 95th percentile and the 0.1% are in the 100th percentile.

The rating used for rankings are official ratings, which are issued once a month, and will be updated when a new official ratings list is generated, but rankings can change during the month if other information (eg, membership status, birthdate, address) change.

When a ranking is follwed by ‘(T)’, it means there is a tie for that position.


US Chess has historically used integer ratings. However, we do all internal ratings computations in floating point.

This means that someone who had a slightly positive result would gain at least a full point and someone who had a slightly negative result would lose at least a full point.

The Ratings Committee and Executive Board decided that we should save those floating point ratings in between events, so this change was made effective with events that ended on September 18, 2014.

However, official published ratings are still kept as rounded integers. This means that someone whose rating in floating point is 1999.50 or greater will be rounded up to 2000 for official ratings purposes, including peak rating based floors.


This is part of the Norms Based Title system.

The letter/number following ‘N:’ on a crosstable shows what norm performance level was achieved at that event. In essence, norms are achieved when a player scores more than one point above what a player at that norm level would have been expected to score. (This means, incidentally, that it is mathematically impossible to earn a norm in an event unless you score at least 1.5.)

N:S means senior master performance level (2400)
N:M means master performance level (2200)
N:C means candidate master performance level (2000)
N:1 through N:4 means level 1 through 4 performance level, respectively (1800, 1600, 1400 and 1200)

Norms performance levels are computed independently of the awarding of titles, so someone who has, for example, the Candidate Master title (C) could still be listed at having performed at a Level 1 or lower level in subsequent events as well as at a level higher than the highest norms-based title he or she has earned to date.

Performance levels and titles are only computed after an event has been rerated at least once, so they may take a week or so to show up for an event. Titles at the Candidate Master Level or higher have ratings requirements in addition to the requirement to earn five norms, so those titles may not be earned and awarded until after the ratings requirement has been met.