Convert Lichess Blitz Rating to FIDE

Previously, we have written a blog post on Lichess to FIDE Elo Rating Conversion. The formulae there still hold to some extent, but it is slightly outdated. We have updated the formula (using linear regression), using recent data in Feb 2020.

Conversion Formulae

The formula is:

FIDE rating = (0.8399)*(Lichess Blitz Rating) + 179.8890

For example, if your Lichess Blitz Rating is 1800, then your estimated FIDE rating is:

(0.8399)*1800+179.8890 = 1692

Methodology

We use 30 data points obtained from Lichess.org website through searching the keywords: “FIDE rating:” site:https://lichess.org/@.

We then use R to perform linear regression. The best fit line is shown below.

Code and Output

df <- read.csv("lichessfide.csv")
head(df)

##   X Lichess..Blitz. FIDE
## 1 1            2425 2390
## 2 2            2215 1899
## 3 3            2521 2550
## 4 4            2834 2554
## 5 5            1498 1597
## 6 6            2943 2612

#scatter.smooth(x=df$Lichess..Blitz., y=df$FIDE, main="FIDE rating against Lichess Blitz")  # scatterplot

cor(df$Lichess..Blitz., df$FIDE)  # calculate correlation 

## [1] 0.8609222

# 0.8609222

linearMod <- lm(FIDE ~ Lichess..Blitz., data=df)  # build linear regression model on full data
print(linearMod)

## 
## Call:
## lm(formula = FIDE ~ Lichess..Blitz., data = df)
## 
## Coefficients:
##     (Intercept)  Lichess..Blitz.  
##        179.8890           0.8399

summary(linearMod)

## 
## Call:
## lm(formula = FIDE ~ Lichess..Blitz., data = df)
## 
## Residuals:
##     Min      1Q  Median      3Q     Max 
## -318.89 -132.16   -0.55   98.59  294.14 
## 
## Coefficients:
##                  Estimate Std. Error t value Pr(>|t|)    
## (Intercept)     179.88901  228.51972   0.787    0.438    
## Lichess..Blitz.   0.83989    0.09379   8.955 1.04e-09 ***
## ---
## Signif. codes:  0 '***' 0.001 '**' 0.01 '*' 0.05 '.' 0.1 ' ' 1
## 
## Residual standard error: 152.5 on 28 degrees of freedom
## Multiple R-squared:  0.7412, Adjusted R-squared:  0.7319 
## F-statistic: 80.19 on 1 and 28 DF,  p-value: 1.038e-09

plot(df$Lichess..Blitz, df$FIDE)
abline(lm(FIDE ~ Lichess..Blitz.,data=df))

My most exciting Bishop’s Opening ever

Game URL: https://lichess.org/pKHiu5ey/white#1

I did make a few serious blunders, hence it is not my best game. But it is certainly quite exciting. My heart pounded furiously as I played 22. f6! sacrificing my queen… If my opponent takes the queen, it will be checkmate in 3. (He didn’t.)

White has just played 22. f6!

My opponent, being 2000 rated, played quite well. He missed punishing my blunder at around move 14.

Currently, my white opening repertoire involves the Bishop’s opening (1. e4 e5 2. Bc4), with a view towards playing f4 whenever possible to transpose into Vienna/King’s Gambit.

Benko Gambit Review with Book Recommendations

I used to play 1. d4 as White, and had a terrible record against the Benko Gambit (something like 20% win, 80% loss). It improved slightly to 30% win after I switched to the Qc2 line. I have since switched to 1.e4, hence I do not encounter Benko Gambit as White anymore.

Review: Benko Gambit as repertoire against 1. d4

I decided to play the Benko Gambit myself as Black, and it gave surprisingly good results. The plan for playing Benko Gambit is very simple, fianchetto the dark-square bishop, line up both rooks on the a & b files, and play on the Queen side. The dark-squared bishop is very powerful as it has an unobstructed diagonal. White will have a very hard time hanging on to his two a & b pawns. The only way you can lose (other than obvious blunders) is if White checkmates you first (which is not that easy to do). In endgames, it is almost always the case that Black has an advantage.

From online research, it is stated that most players who are below master level don’t know how to play properly against the Benko gambit. Due to the simple and standard plan, you can also move very fast without having to calculate much and hence that is why Benko gambit is very good for rapid or blitz games. On the other hand, playing White against Benko gambit is very hard and tedious, hence white players tend to either lose on time or make a blunder in time trouble.

My rapid game against a 2100+ rated Lichess player: https://lichess.org/Yflbsg5H/black#1.

White made a blunder by playing b3. What is the best move for black? (There is more than 1 correct answer.)

Best Books on Benko Gambit


Benko Gambit: Move by Move

This is a book by a Singaporean author, Junior Tay.


The Dynamic Benko Gambit: An Attacking Repertoire for Black

This book is by Grandmaster Sergey Kasparov, who shares the same name as the famous Garry Kasparov. (See also Garry Kasparov Masterclass Review.)


Play the Benko Gambit (Everyman Chess Series)

Michael De La De Maza Chess Book

Chess Books for Adults

This book is quite famous, or some may say “infamous”, in the circle of Chess books. The author is an adult player who managed to gain roughly 400 rating points in 400 days. To be precise, he gained 400 USCF rating points in the first year, and almost 300 USCF rating points in the second year, finally ending up with a rating of 2041. His original rating was 1321.

This is quite a meteoric rise for an adult. It is well documented that for many reasons, adults tend to improve slower than children when learning chess. Similarly, for music, languages, etc. Firstly, children’s brains are more “plastic” and flexible, and they have more time and less outside commitments to study chess.

The basic principles in his book seems to be to study tactics, which are “combo moves” in chess that can change the course of the game. Making a tactical mistake can spell the end of the game for either player.


Rapid Chess Improvement (Everyman Chess)

The opposite of tactics is strategy. Strategic masters are Anatoly Karpov, Tigran Petrosian, and the current World Champion Magnus Carlsen. They play in a calm and controlled manner and accumulate a small advantage. Strategic mistakes tend not to lose immediately, but may lead to a slow and steady deterioration of the position.

The best author on strategic chess (for beginning to intermediate players) is probably Jeremy Silman. His book “The Amateur’s Mind” is a classic book:


The Amateur’s Mind: Turning Chess Misconceptions into Chess Mastery

Checkmate Black King on 1st rank (Sicilian Defense, O’Kelly Variation)

Game: https://lichess.org/aX4hTelY

I try to play Sicilian in the “Delayed Alapin” style with c3 followed by d4. The black player, though lower rated, is quite an experienced player with over 11,000 rapid games played on Lichess.

The turning point was 14. d5! I did not fully calculate all the lines, but I thought it was worth giving up the isolated d-pawn for a very active position, with my rook lined up against the black queen. The tactics worked out well in the end, in fact it turns out that white can always regain the pawn.

Lichess seems to have rating deflation: Many players (including myself) who were once rated over 2000 for rapid, are now dropping back to 1900 rating range. It seems due to an influx of good players into Lichess. Also see: Lichess to FIDE Elo Rating Conversion.

Final Position:

Lichess 2000 rating

Finally reached Lichess rating of 2000! (Rapid rating)

That had been my goal for some time but I only managed to achieve it after 1000 games or so. (See my Lichess profile.) I have no coach so I mostly learn from YouTube videos such as from GingerGM and the Saint Louis Chess Club. Those have helped a lot.

Note: Lichess rating is inflated, so 2000 Lichess is nowhere near 2000 FIDE unfortunately.

Check out my previous post on how to convert Lichess ratings.

Tip: Also World Champion Garry Kasparov’s Masterclass is incredibly helpful for beginning to intermediate players to improve their game. In fact, my ideal opening is Kasparov’s Queen’s Gambit variation with Bd3 and Ne2, aiming for a f3 and e4 expanding in the center. This opening is incredibly powerful and commonly played by Kasparov and his teacher Botvinnik.

Lichess to FIDE Elo Rating Conversion

Lichess is a free Chess Server – one of the best out there in fact. It comes with free engine (Stockfish) analysis, and many other nice features. It is well known that Lichess ratings are inflated compared to FIDE / USCF / most other rating systems. The following are some of the best conversion systems to convert Lichess rating to other ratings.

1) Dudeski_robinson’s Formula

FIDE Rating = 187 + Lichess Classical Rating X 0.38 + Lichess Blitz Rating X 0.48

Dudeski_robinson’s formula is pretty scientific, he actually uses linear regression out of real data to produce the above formula.

A rough estimate would be:
Fide ELO = Lichess Classical – 170
or
Fide ELO = Lichess Blitz – 80

Source: Lichess Forum

2) Chess Rating Comparison 2016 (Google Sheets)

This is also pretty scientific, with the added plus that it also compares between USCF and Chess.com, in addition to FIDE.

Chess.com Lichess.org USCF FIDE
Bullet Blitz Rapid Bullet Blitz Classical Regular Regular
860 1100 1160
900 1125 1200
930 1150 1250
960 1175 1290
1000 1200 1330 1370 1530 1590 1270 1260
1030 1225 1360 1390 1550 1620 1290 1280
1060 1250 1400 1410 1570 1640 1320 1310
1090 1275 1430 1440 1590 1670 1340 1330
1130 1300 1460 1460 1610 1690 1360 1350
1160 1325 1490 1480 1630 1720 1390 1370
1190 1350 1520 1510 1650 1740 1410 1390
1230 1375 1550 1530 1670 1770 1430 1410
1260 1400 1570 1550 1690 1790 1460 1430
1290 1425 1590 1580 1710 1810 1480 1460
1320 1450 1610 1600 1730 1830 1500 1480
1360 1475 1630 1620 1750 1860 1530 1500
1390 1500 1650 1650 1770 1880 1550 1520
1420 1525 1670 1670 1790 1900 1570 1540
1460 1550 1680 1690 1810 1920 1600 1560
1490 1575 1700 1720 1830 1940 1620 1580
1520 1600 1710 1740 1850 1960 1640 1610
1550 1625 1730 1760 1870 1980 1670 1630
1590 1650 1740 1790 1890 2000 1690 1650
1620 1675 1750 1810 1910 2010 1710 1670
1650 1700 1760 1840 1930 2030 1740 1690
1690 1725 1770 1860 1950 2050 1760 1710
1720 1750 1780 1880 1970 2070 1780 1730
1750 1775 1790 1910 1990 2080 1810 1760
1790 1800 1800 1930 2010 2100 1830 1780
1820 1825 1810 1950 2030 2110 1850 1800
1850 1850 1820 1980 2050 2130 1880 1820
1880 1875 1820 2000 2070 2150 1900 1840
1920 1900 1830 2020 2090 2160 1920 1860
1950 1925 1840 2050 2120 2180 1950 1880
1980 1950 1850 2070 2140 2190 1970 1910
2020 1975 1860 2090 2160 2210 1990 1930
2050 2000 1870 2120 2180 2220 2020 1950
2080 2025 1880 2140 2200 2230 2040 1970
2110 2050 1890 2160 2220 2240 2060 1990
2150 2075 1900 2190 2240 2250 2090 2010
2180 2100 1910 2210 2260 2270 2110 2030
2210 2125 1930 2230 2280 2280 2130 2060
2250 2150 1940 2260 2300 2290 2160 2080
2280 2175 1950 2280 2320 2300 2180 2100
2310 2200 1970 2300 2340 2300 2200 2120
2340 2225 1980 2330 2360 2310 2230 2140
2380 2250 2000 2350 2380 2320 2250 2160
2410 2275 2020 2370 2400 2330 2270 2180
2440 2300 2040 2400 2420 2340 2300 2210
2480 2325 2420 2440 2340 2320 2230
2510 2350 2440 2460 2350 2340 2250
2540 2375 2470 2480 2360 2370 2270
2580 2400 2490 2500 2360 2390 2290
2610 2425 2510 2520 2370 2410 2310
2640 2450 2540 2540 2370 2440 2330
2670 2475 2560 2560 2380 2460 2360
2710 2500 2580 2580 2380 2480 2380
2740 2525 2610 2600 2380 2500 2400
2770 2550 2630 2620 2390 2530 2420
2810 2575 2650 2640 2390 2550 2440
2840 2600 2680 2660 2390 2570 2460
2870 2625 2700 2680 2390 2600 2480
2900 2650 2720 2700 2400 2620 2510

Source: Google Docs

Discussion: Reddit

3) Mathtuition88’s Formula (2020 Version)

FIDE rating = (0.8399)*(Lichess Blitz Rating) + 179.8890

Read more about the methodology for the 2020 Lichess Blitz Rating Conversion Formula.

I’m a Rare Breed: An Elite Chess Player Who’s Open About His Faith

A nice interview by Wesley So, one of the top chess grandmasters from Philippines.

On the small planet where elite chess players dwell, very few people worship Jesus Christ. If anyone discovers that you’re one of those “superstitious,” “narrow-minded idiots,” you’re likely to see nasty comments accumulate on your Facebook fan page. On a regular basis, I receive emails from strangers lecturing me about the dangers of following Jesus. Out of pity or disgust, they wonder how I, the world’s second-ranked chess player, can be so “weak-minded.” I have been assured that identifying openly as a Christian will interfere with sponsorship, support, and invitations to events. I have been told that spending time reading my Bible, praying, and going to church will inevitably weaken my performance. People plead with me to at least keep quiet. They say thanking God publicly makes me look ridiculous. So why did I make such a risky move?

Read more at: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/september/im-rare-breed-elite-chess-player-whos-open-about-his-faith.html?start=1

From Wikipedia:

As a young player, So’s aggressive and tactical style of play caught the attention of a former Philippine chess champion, International MasterRodolfo Tan Cardoso. Cardoso said of So:

“The young lad…would sacrifice a queen or any other pieces in his arsenal to get a winning attack….He cannot afford decent training given by well known GM-coaches and has to rely on his pure talent…before competing.”

How to win Sir Roger Penrose’s Chess puzzle (that computers can’t solve)

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/03/14/can-solve-chess-problem-holds-key-human-consciousness/

Despite chess computers being very highly rated and winning virtually all human grandmasters, there are still certain positions that the computers can’t solve.

Sir Roger Penrose has documented one of them here:

Chess engines will state that black is winning by a large margin, when in fact White can easily draw, or even win!

Drawing should be easy. Just move the king around (without moving the c6 pawn). The only black pieces that can move are the dark-squared bishops, which can’t checkmate your king.

Winning should be only possible if Black plays badly, e.g. Bishops all give up control of the c7 square. Then c7 followed by c8=B or c8=Q is checkmate!

Very nice study by Sir Penrose that illustrates the weakness of computers!

Math Tricks found in Chess

Just read this very nice article on Quora, on the relationship between Math and Chess: https://www.quora.com/What-math-tricks-are-hidden-in-chess

Also interesting is this YouTube documentary “My Brilliant Brain” featuring Susan Polgar.

Author:
Tom Boshoff

Singapore Education News

PSLE tweaks will come but as part of broader changes to education system: Heng
Straits Times
SINGAPORE – Changes being made to the Primary School Leaving … be done in the light of the broader changes to Singapore’s education system, …
SMU to broaden learning for freshmen
Straits Times
Freshmen entering the Singapore Management University (SMU) in August next year will go through a revamped syllabus, in the university’s bid to …
MOE to focus on tertiary, secondary education before turning to PSLE
Channel News Asia
SINGAPORE: With the Character and Citizenship Education syllabus being rolled out in all schools, the Ministry of Education (MOE) will tilt its focus …

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