The IECG Title Regulations can be found in the IECG Rules. However, the detailed application of these regulations is based on a 'best praxis' approach. Possible questions and answers are listed here.

*I have achieved two IEE norms, one in a Class M and one in a Quad M tournament. When will I be awarded the IEE Title?*You must achieve further norms, since your current two norms are based on maximum 12 games and the requirement is that they are based on at least 24 games. We are aware that the two norm requirement can only be achieved, in practice, in two Large Class M tournaments, but we wanted the gaining of a title to be a challenge.

*I have achieved five IEE norms in five Quad M tournaments, based on 26 games. When will I be awarded the IEE title?*Although your result is impressive, it is not sufficient for an IECG Title. Although you have to play the same number of games in a Quad tournament as in a Class tournament, there is a certain difference. In a Quad tournament you face only three opponents; in a Class tournament you face six different ones. We therefore restricted the number of Quad tournaments valid for norms to two per title. The IECG Title Commission will ensure that the best Quad results are taken into account, instead of following a "First Finished - First Accepted" path. It is therefore possible that for an IEE title a set of Quads is accepted that is different from those accepted for an IESE title. This might happen if e.g. the IEE norm in Quad X was based on all six games while the IESE norm in a different tournament could be achieved with only 4 games (I have assumed here that in a third Quad, both norms have also been achieved).

*I have fulfilled all the requirements for a title. When will I be awarded the title?*Title norms are checked after the publication of each new IECG Rating list, when the latest results are supplied to the Rating Office. The Rating Office can then forward the names of potential title candidates to the IECG Title Commission. Official confirmation should take place one week after the publication of the rating list at the latest, i.e. on the second weekend of January, March, May, July, September or November of each year. (It is possible that the IECG Title Commission may decide on a different schedule in future.)

*I have won two Large Class M tournaments with 26 games. Why I am not listed as a player who fulfilled a norm?*Winning a Large Class M tournament and achieving an IECG Title Norm are two different things. As an example, check the results of Class Tournament CM-2000-0-00115. James Monacell won this tournament but reached only 4.5 points. The norm for an IEE title is 5 points. Therefore James achieved a qualification for the IECG World Championship Semi-Final Stage, but not an IECG Title norm. The only tournaments in which a win also means achieving an IECG Title Norm are the IECG World Championship, the IECG Cup Final, the IECG Cup Semi-Final and the IECG World Championship Candidates' Final.

*Are the norm requirements affected in a tournament when a player withdraws?*This question was a major issue when we discussed IECG Title requirments. Different scenarios exist. The easiest is when a player withdraws right at the beginning of a tournament. He is then replaced and norm calculations are based on the new member's rating. If the player is not replaced, then there will be no change, the Norm Category remaining as if the withdrawing player had continued playing. We decided to treat the situation this way so as to simplify the planning for norms. If the Norm Category had to be recalculated after withdrawals occurring perhaps several months after the tournament start date, then a norm candidate might suddenly find himself or herself no longer close to a norm (because of the drop in the rating average). Another reason was that a player may have already achieved a good result against the withdrawing player, this result suddenly becoming valueless.

*What changes happen to a Title Tournament if a player withdraws early and his games are cancelled?*A good example is the tournament LM-2000-0-00005. Player S. Kubishin withdrew early and could not be replaced. The tournament remained Category S, but the norm was reduced by one point, i.e. to 10 points instead of 11. Only the five remaining games are now valid for a norm.

*What changes happen to a Title Tournament when a player withdraws late and his games are forfeited?*A good example here is the tournament CM-2000-0-00122. Alhough some games of Hansjuergen Baum had already been finished, Hansjuergen had to withdraw. The norm should be adjusted to 4 points as usual for a Category S tournament. But for practical reasons, namely the easy visibility on the IECG Crosstables on the website, the norm is not adjusted. However, only the five normally-finished games are valid for the norm. (In the end it does not matter whether a player achieves 4/5 or 5/6, if the latter result contains one forfeited game ...). A second example is the tournament LM-2000-0-00005. Because of the canclled games of S Kubishin the norm was updated to 10 points out of the remaining 13 games, but since four further players withdrew, these four games are not valid for the norm. However, the forfeits count for better visibility. Joop Simmelink has therefore fulfilled the norm in this tournament (10/13, with 9 games valid for the norm).

*Do I have to wait until all games in a tournament are finished until my norm achievement is confirmed by the Title Commission?*The answer here is simply no. Alhough the rules state (section 10.9 of the Title Regulations) that only completed tournaments are valid for a norm, this has to be understood as "completed by a player". A good example here is tournament CM-2000-0-00117. Ashot Nadanian has reached the IEE norm after three finished (and one forfeited) game, but the norm was not confirmed. Now, after he has finished all six of his games, all three of the norms he fulfilled are confirmed by the Title Commission, but the tournament itself is not finished (as at the 26

^{th}February, 2001, when these lines were written).*I have the impression that IECG Titles are harder to achieve than ICCF Titles. Is this correct?*

Yes, we think that this is correct. One factor is that we oriented our title requirements on FIDE requirements. As an example, we decided to base the titles on 24 finished games. A second factor is that the win of certain IECG tournaments, such as the IECG World Championship or the IECG Cup, does not lead directly to a title,but only to the achievement of a title norm. A third factor is the generally lower level of ratings in IECG. This is based on two factors, the first being that in general we do not rate forfeited games, but only when the player provides an analysis which can be evaluated. If the adjudicator's decision and the player's request are similar, then the game is rated according to the adjudicated result. Typically, these are drawn and won positions (which player would request rating a lost game? However a draw against a 200 points better player is worth some points ...) But a large majority of results are not rated. The second reason for the lower IECG Ratings is that no lower rating boundary exists in tournament. In another organisation, a new player in a tournament is given a starting rating of 2200, this rating being adjusted according to the player's later results. This happened even if the player's actual rating was 1800. However, even if this players rating dropped below 2200 he was assumed to remain at 2200 in the next tournament. In this way additional rating points were inadvertently introduced into the rating system. This cannot happen in IECG because all ratings stay as they actually are. And since the general rating niveau is lower, it is more difficult to create tournaments where IESM norms can be achieved and the required number of points for the IEE title is relatively high. As compensation, we decided to introduce four titles and the lowest Title Category S starts at 2200 points. Therfore all M tournaments (except the Rapids) will be Title Tournaments, since we will setup the pairings accordingly. Furthermore, we try to pair players of comparable strength, so that we will have more M tournaments in the higher title categories. Unfortunately this is not always possible, because it can lead to unacceptably long waiting periods, but we try our best.

Two comments on the rating system differences noted above are due here, although a bit off-topic. The first is that ICCF now offers more tournaments for lower rated players and the ratings are often lower than 2200. I do not know if this rating is taken if such a player e.g. starts an ICCF Master Norm tournament, or if a rating of 2200 is an assumed one if the player's rating is lower than this. In the case where the rating is not lifted to 2200, we could expect a general lowering of ICCF top tournament average ratings sometime in the future (in approx. 10 - 15 years). The second, for the individual player there is a kind of rating boundary or rating cutoff. Especially For players with a preliminary rating, results against players who are more than 400 points stronger or weaker are treated as results against a player who is exactly 400 points stronger or weaker. This is important for the calculation of the first established rating. For players with an established rating it makes no difference, since the rating tool rounds up to 1 point rating gain, if a 2600 player wins against a 1200 player, independently of this cut-off.

If you have additional questions regarding the achievements of title norms, please contact iecgwc@gmx.de.

Ortwin Paetzold

Last modified 18th April, 2001