20 February 2014

Federations Large and Small

Are the FIDE rating lists once again complete? A year ago, in Countries with World Top-100 Players, I complained about finding entire countries missing, where Argentina (ARG) was the most visible example. ARG is back on the list for the first time since 2009, now with 2238 players, an increase of more than 50% over five years ago.

Alas, no, the lists are not complete. Three federations with rated players in the four previous years are missing from the 2014 list. The missing country with the most players is Ecuador (ECU), which had 706 players at the start of 2012. Somewhat curiously, a search for 'ECU' on ratings.fide.com lists the players without their standard ratings, but with their rapid and blitz ratings. Silly, no? But that's FIDE.

The missing data means that posts like last year's Other FIDE Titles or The Youngest and the Oldest might be misleading, but that's a risk I have to acccept.

Not at all misleading is the chart on the left. Of the 169 federations on the January 2014 rating list, it shows a count of countries having approximately the same number of players, rounded to the nearest 100. For example, the first row says 54 federations have less than 50 players. The second row says 28 federations have 50-149 players, and so on.

The numbers say that exactly 100 federations have fewer than 250 players. Together they represent almost 7000 players. Sounds like a lot, except when compared to the more than 170.000 players, both active and inactive, on the full list.

One more thing: the last row in the chart on the left is not the last row in the table. There are nine more federations with more than 3500 players. The top five have more than 12.000 players each. Their votes in the forthcoming FIDE elections count the same as the five smallest federations with one or two players each.

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