I haven’t posted anything in quite a while. I apologize for that, and want to reassure my readers that I’m still alive, still working on the background data for my blog, and do not plan to remain dark. My last post came midway through Norway Chess, and I *did* continue running my simulations every round through the completion of that event. I didn’t post mostly because there wasn’t much interesting to say. Topalov jumped out to an early lead, and then just held it. Little changed over the final four rounds. Then my life got hectic, my wife and I moved to a new city, and the blog got left on the back burner.
I have been updating my database though. All the listings in our Prodigy Watch section are updated to include the August ratings list, and after updating those for players I was already tracking I then went through and added a bunch more players to the database. You can see that we now are tracking 499 players! In getting these names added, I focused on inclusion rather than research, and so spent less time than I normally would tracking down players’ birthdays. As such, our list of unknown birthdays is much larger than we’d like. Any help cleaning up this data would be greatly appreciated. In some cases, if these players turn out to have born in November or December, they could be almost a full year younger than we are currently giving them credit for, which will make a huge difference when we calculate their place on the prodigy watch list, or check to see if they might have been record setting prodigies at any particular age.
I’ll be writing more articles over the coming weeks. I’m gearing up for the Sinquefield Cup coming up later this month, as well as getting my simulation model finalized for next month’s World Cup In between those major events, we’ll find time to talk about prodigies when we get the chance, and perhaps to discuss broader philosophical issues regarding chess ratings, such as the role of rating inflation in comparing current players to those from prior eras, or the impact of recent changes to FIDE’s rating formula (in particular: the increased K factor for U18 U2300 players.) All sorts of stuff to cover. For now though, this is just a quick note that I’m still around. I hope some of you out there take that as good news, and are as excited to read my future content as I am to work on it!