Working with EGD

The BGA submits the results of all approved tournaments to the European Go Database (EGD) for ratings. This document has useful information on how organisers need to work with the system, as well as introducing the relevant documents relating to ratings.

Rating Basics and Resets

The details of how player's ratings are calculated are very well described in the EGF ratings system. The change in a player's rating depends only on the players own rating at the start of the tournament, the rating of the player's opponents, and on the game results for each round.

If a player enters a tournament with a grade 2 or more stones stronger than the previous highest entry grade, then the player's rating gets reset to the new grade at the start of the tournament. If a rating reset is not justified by the results achieved, then opponents who won will gain more rating points than they should.

Most BGA tournaments are run using the McMahon pairing system which relies on players entering tournaments at a realistic strength. Organisers are encouraged to check players' ratings before the tournament starts, so that inappropriate rating resets can be avoided. On the other hand, some players need to be encouraged to to enter at a higher grade if they are improving rapidly but don't check their rating. It is better to enter just 2 grades higher if you are improving rapidly rather than 1 as you see a bigger rating gain. It is wasteful to enter 3 stones higher because you cannot reset beyond 1d, and so you reduce the number of jumps you can do.

Unfortunately it is not possible to adjust a rating downwards. It can then take quite a while for a player who is seriously overrated to reach a realistic level.

Preparing a Ratings File for Submission

Any one of the EGF approved pairing programs provides a means to produce a ratings-file for uploading to EGD. You can do this manually following the format specification in EGD. GoDraw uses a club-file to convert club names into the 4 letter code for clubs used by EGD. If someone enters from a new club, the club-file will need to be updated and the ratings-file will need to be corrected.

The ratings-file has a header section containing a number of EGD tags including start and end date of the tournament, and these will need to be filled in manually. Note that EGD does not allow names with spaces, so you will find spaces in given names converted to underscore (_). Family names do not have spaces.

The EGD Form

In order to submit ratings to EGD you will need to get an account and you can do this via EGD-Admin in the About EGD page. The organisers of the database have requested that there is one person per country responsible for submitting results, and for the BGA that person is contactable via [ratings at britgo dot org].

Once you have an account you are then able to access the EGD-Admin form. This has a large documentation section including the important Use of the system which guides you through the three steps of uploading the file, identifying players, and completing the form.

Making Corrections During Form Submission

In the upload phase, if any syntax errors are detected you get an error message. You then need to correct the ratings-file and submit again. Once the file is uploaded, you get a summary of the data obtained from the header tags in the ratings-file. It is important to carefully check the tournament dates. It is entirely possible to re-submit a tournament even a year later if some error needs correcting. However if a tournament is being submitted with wrong dates then you may be overwriting an earlier tournament.

You move to the next stage via a continue button and now you get to a full tabular display with all the players' previous and new data as identified by EGD. You are able to change fields like player club or country if there is a difference from the previously known fields. Sometimes EGD will not recognise the short form of a player's name and a new record will be created. You detect this by noticing that there is no previous data in the players record. You cannot correct this in the table. Cancel the submission, correct the rating-file, then re-submit. We sometimes get Asian players entering tournaments as UK players with their Asian name and at other times their English name. Sometimes Family and Given names are reversed. For any unidentified names or in case of any doubt, it is worth checking back with the tournament organiser that the player really is new.

Once you have checked the table you continue to the next stage which is a form for adjusting tournament class and overtime. You can also provide a comment to EGD clarifying any changes, if this is needed.

If you continue to the final stage of submitting the results, you will be asked to validate any rating resets that have been detected. The best way of doing this is to open the EGD Players page in a separate browser tab. You can copy the pin number of the player in the displayed ratings-table and paste into the Pin player field in the Find Player form. This gives you the rating graph of the player and a list of all tournaments attended. It usually very quickly becomes clear whether the rating reset is justified. If it is not then the submission should be abandoned and a consultation started with the tournament organisers, who may know the player well.

Once you agree to the rating resets, the form is submitted. You then get a display of all the rating changes for each player known to the system.

Corrections After the Form is Submitted

Once the tournament results have been submitted, it goes into a holding queue waiting for EGD approval. Once it is approved (usually 1 or 2 days) it is then shown at the top of a list in the EGD Home page. The BGA has its own ratings page of active players that gets updated during a nightly run. So the latest ratings will appear in the BGA site the day after approval. It can then happen that someone notices a problem with one of the player's data and this will need to be corrected.

Corrections are made by sending an email to the EGD webmaster [web_admin at europeangodatabase dot eu], or to Aldo Podavini [aldo.podavini at europeangodatabase dot eu] the EGD manager. It is best to provide a link to the player needing correction with a clear statement saying what needs to be corrected. There are 3 basic kinds of correction:

change details
A correction to any of the fields in the record of an existing player.
merge records
An existing player was not recognised, so merge the new record with the old.
split a record
A new player was wrongly identified as existing.

In the last two cases you may be asked to re-submit the tournament results. Aldo Podavini is very busy having to manage a large number of tournament submissions every week, so try to keep the requests for correction to a minimum. It is sometimes quite acceptable to wait till the player enters another tournament where simple corrections to grade, club, country can be made in the submission form itself.

Last updated Sat Oct 14 2017. If you have any comments, please email the webmaster on web-master AT britgo DOT org.