Premium Membership correlates with Player Rating

(Personal opinion below, and does not necessarily represent the views of management or anyone else with authority or insight.)

Not many minutes go by in Live Chess chat without some player asking the question: "Is a premium membership worth it?"

There is no single answer to that question, I suppose. One's personal financial situation and other interests must be weighed against one's interest in chess enjoyment and improvement and how one imagines the myriad features offered on the site contributing to those interests.

One thing is clear, if you look at the readily available data: higher rated players opt for premium memberships more frequently than lower rated players. The following chart was built from ratings and membership status data readily available using the full stats feature:

Each datum was obtained on August 7, 2009 by sampling roughly 250 to 450 players information centered around nominal rating values, spaced every 100 rating points (except for the lowest two and highest one datum).

Clearly, there is a strong correlation between premium membership and player rating. Immediately, I must point out that this is a correlation, not necessarily a cause-and-effect relationship.

Indeed, there are many possible explanations that might yield such a correlation. One that pops to mind quickly is that older players are typical higher rated AND might have more ready access to funds to pay for the premium benefits. Another possible explanation is that higher rated players more readily see the value of the premium membership features. Still another possible effect is that premium membership features help raise the ratings of players who procure and use those features.

The cause-and-effect possible of these explanations cannot be determined from these raw data. All three explanations, and even others unmentioned, could be at play. However, knowing what I know about my personal chess learning experience, what I value as a player, and what has helped me grow as a player, I'm guessing that the latter two explanations above are surely in the mix.

Now, if I'd only take even better advantage of premium features, I'm sure I could improve by another hundred ratings points by the holidays.Smile


  • 3 years ago


    The article does not claim to say anything about improvement. It might suggest that stronger players recognize the value of having access to more training aids, or it might mean something else. The data do not prove cause and effect ... and I said that clearly. We would need other data to see if premium membership helped foster improvement. These data show correlation, not causation - as the disclaimer in the article suggests.

  • 3 years ago


    The data here is flawed. This does not show improvement: the main reason one would purchase a membership. It shows only the types of players that buy memberships, which does not answer the question of whether buying a membership "is worth it."

  • 5 years ago


    Even erik is interestedLaughing!

  • 6 years ago


    Wow a mind bugling computation there sir. he he he, I wish you can teach me how to equate the points that you'll earn for example, I am rated 1810 and my opponent is rated 1901. How many points will I earn, if just in case I win the game. he he he. thanks.

  • 7 years ago


    Or being good at chess is correlated with being able to make more money, and therefore be able to afford premium membership. 

    However surely there is a hidden factor working in the other direction - addiction to might raise one's rating but my destroy earning ability!

  • 7 years ago


    yes, it is very intesting! point shooter, hit the point!

  • 7 years ago


    If one gets a premium membership, he is forced to get serious about Chess and practice it with sincerity. Dollars involved.

    Analogous to the student's ability to study and learn more than an independent learner in a particular field, say History or Science. 

  • 7 years ago


    I'll check the Diamond membership later.The idea of ChessMentor and unlimited Tactial training and those chess videos are worth it!!!

  • 7 years ago


    good post.
  • 7 years ago


    very interesting....

  • 7 years ago


    Ill eventually get it. Not now tho.

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