This post is in reference to points raised by Ronnie Lim in the comments to my last post.
To Ronnie :
To Ronnie :
Actually, there is hardly any evidence of ratings inflation at the sub-2500 level. The main 'ratings inflation' discussion by so-called experts, and considered by FIDE, focuses on the elite level (Top 100). Even then, I believe that it is now accepted that it is an inevitable consequence of the explosive growth in the number of rated players, which is why this subject is not much discussed in international forums anymore.
In fact, it has been known that there would be a 'ratings deflation' at the sub-2500 level as the FIDE rating floor was progressively lowered. This then potential phenomenon was covered in a paper prepared by Stewart Reuben for FIDE about 10 years ago, (I had read in full when I came across it many years ago).
All these matters are well known by those who are up to date with current views. It is already well established that a 2400/2500 player nowadays plays much stronger than a 2400/2500 10 years ago due, not least to the wider and electronic access to information thru databases, analysis with much stronger playing programs, better coaching, etc
At the practical level, we can see it happening with Mas. You can't seriously be saying that after 2 years of full time chess, training with a GM coach and playing over 200 games at international GM tournaments during that period, Mas' playing strength was not at least at his year 2000 level. And yet his rating couldn't hit the heights of his year 2000 rating. Yes, it is definitely more difficult to get a GM norm nowadays compared to 10/12 years ago, and definitely there was no ratings inflation over the last 10 years at this rating range. In fact, the reverse is true.
With the reference 1990s period taken as 1994 (when Mas won) until 1999, I would say, with due respect:
Yes, a 2400/2500 player nowadays plays much stronger than a 2400/2500 player 10/12 years ago.
Yes, a 14 year-old Ronnie Lim would have been crushed by the present day 37-year old 2455-rated Richard Bitoon, who completed his GM title about a year ago, meaning that he is playing near his peak, and still playing chess full-time.
Yes, any of our present top 10 juniors would have a very good chance of beating a 50-year old (in 1997) 2250-rated Herman Suradiradja who was then working full time at the Indonesian tax office.
Yes, our current top juniors are not inferior to the top juniors of 1990s.
Yes, I think it was easier to win the National Closed in the 1990s when none of the then top Malaysian players took part. Just look at the top 5 list for each of those years and you will see what I mean. No Mok, no Jimmy and no Mas (after 1995). Just juniors ahead of other juniors generally.
Yes, I think even a 53-year old Jimmy Liew could have won the National Closed in 1994, 1996-1999, something he could not do in 2011.
Yes, Yee Weng who won the National Closed in 1996 & 1997, at 14/15 years of age, found it much more difficult to do it (in fact could not do it) in 2002 and 2003, although he was older, presumably stronger & higher rated).
Yes, the National Champs of the 1990s (at their 1990s National Closed Championship winning strength) would have no chance of winning the 2004 National Championship.
So again, yes, I definitely hold the view that it was easier to win the National Closed in the 1990s than in later years.
[Note to Najib: I hope you don't mind if I borrow your 'copyrighted' title style.]