Navara with a 3241 performance at the Czech Championship

by ChessBase
5/8/2010 – After seven rounds top Czech GM David Navara has scored 7.0 points, i.e. won every game. This extraordinary result is evaluated by most rating calculators as a 3241 performance. But there are problems with the arbitrary addition of a few hundred points in the case of a 100% score. After discussion with experts we have decided to implement a new algorithm in the next version of ChessBase.

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Ostravský Koník 2010 is the Czech men and women's chess championship in the city of Ostrava, the third largest city in the Czech Republic.

The high quality black coal deposits discovered in the locality have given the town a
look of an industrial city and a nickname of the “steel heart of the republic” [photo Wiki]

Pick a colour: David Navara at the start of the tournament

The top Czech GM in action at the national Championship

Top results after seven rounds

Rk. Ti. Name Rtg Club/City Pts. Perf
1 GM Navara David 2718 ŠK Mahrla Praha 7.0 3241
2 GM Hrácek Zbynek 2632 1. Novoborský ŠK 5.5 2640
3 IM Bernášek Jan 2495 ŠK Rapid Pardubice. o.s. 5.5 2611
4 GM Polák Tomáš 2525 ŠK Zlín 5.0 2585
5 IM Kanovský David 2489 Agentura 64 Grygov 5.0 2581
6 IM Šimácek Pavel 2518 Agentura 64 Grygov 5.0 2587
7 IM Rašík Vítezslav 2480 Šachový klub GEOFIN Ostrava 5.0 2568
8 GM Babula Vlastimil 2536 Agentura 64 Grygov 5.0 2544
9 IM Petr Martin 2511 2222 ŠK Polabiny 5.0 2512
10 FM Studnicka Tomáš 2332 SK Litomerice 4.5 2496
11 GM Velicka Petr 2479 Šachový klub GEOFIN Ostrava 4.5 2523
12 IM Krejcí Jan 2455 Tatran Litovel 4.5 2544
13 GM Vološin Leonid 2452 ŠK AD Jicín 4.5 2470
14 GM Štocek Jirí 2593 1. Novoborský ŠK 4.5 2454
15 GM Votava Jan 2587 ŠK Rapid Pardubice. o.s. 4.5 2462
16 FM Mudrák Josef 2368 Slavia Kromeríž 4.5 2454
17 IM Konopka Michal 2458 2222 ŠK Polabiny 4.5 2487
18 GM Vokác Marek 2454 1. Novoborský ŠK 4.5 2484
19 GM Cvek Robert 2495 1. Novoborský ŠK 4.5 2447
20 IM Zpevák Pavel 2401 Tatran Litovel 4.5 2420
21 GM Hába Petr 2513 1. Novoborský ŠK 4.5 2454
22 GM Meduna Eduard 2443 ŠK AD Jicín 4.5 2418
23 GM Talla Vladimír 2505 Šachový klub GEOFIN Ostrava 4.5 2377
24 IM Nun Jirí 2361 TJ Slavia Hradec Králové 4.5 2396
25 GM Blatný Pavel 2409 ŠK Rosice 4.5 2326

A note on 100% scores and rating performance

David Navara's 7.0/7 is evaluated by most rating calculations – including the one built into ChessBase 10 – as a 3241 performance. When Alexei Shirov was leading Wijk aan Zee 2010 with 5.0/5 points and a 3474 performance we wrote:

"This performance was assigned by the table generator of the ChessBase database program. Such performance calculations are not fully meaningful for players scoring 100% (or 0%). Mathematically Shirov's performance is infinite – we could expect a player rated 4000 or even 40,000 for that matter to achive no more than he has done. To obtain a practical value the program assumes he has scored 99% and adds up to 800 points to his nominal rating. If Shirov does not win a game then the performance will be more realistic."

To this our friend and long-time advisor Ken Thompson at the time wrote:

"fred, when i did 0%/100% calculations, i threw a draw in with himself, and did the normal calculation. it is not as phony, gives more realistic numbers and rewards lesser rated players less than higher rated players. (eg it depends on his own rating.) anyway, i think it is a much better algorithm and since you expect an even score playing yourself, it seems well founded in theory."

In spite of his orthography – he abhors capitalization – we have learnt to always listen to what Ken says. We consulted Albert Frank, an International Arbiter and retired Professor of mathematics, who had previously criticized the traditional 100% performance calculation:

"You (the mathematicians/staticians of Chessbase) should know that, when a player has 100% after a few games, the calculation/estimation of his performance is a total nonsense: The program gives something from the Normal Gaussian tables, and arbitrarly adds a few hundreds points. I knew Dr. Arpad Elo well – we were laughing about such things. Please, in such a case – and at the begining (less han six games) of a tournament, just don't publish "performances". The mathematicians will thank you for that."

After leaning of Ken's proposal above Albert wrote: "I think Ken Thompson's idea is excellent! It could be used everywhere. I'll make a few simulations, using it. I trust him: this idea makes sense." That's it – we are implementing Ken's system in ChessBase 11.

David contemplating his performance at the Czech Championship?

In action at the board, where he has won every game so far

GM Pavel Blatny, rated 2409

GM Vladimír Talla, rated 2505

GM Eduard Meduna, rated 2443

WFM Tereza Olšarová, rated 2269

WFM Karolína Olšarová, rated 2191

Anna Bálková, rated 1889, playing in the FIDE Open

The tournament hall

Veteran GM Vlastimil Hort gives a simultaneous exhibition


The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!

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