The Zaggy Metric

A not-too-serious page in honor of Viacheslav Zagorodniuk



© Photos by J. Barry Mittan.

News Flash!

As of April 1998, Zag has turned pro. This means there will be no more Zaggy metric in the future. As I have time, I may turn this into a more general Zag fan page instead. Stay tuned for more details.

I may also put together a collection of "Dick Button's top 10 worst insults to Viacheslav Zagorodniuk". Sheesh.


Ellyn Kestnbaum has observed that Viacheslav Zagorodniuk (aka "Zaggy") goes to a lot of international competitions and has both defeated and been defeated by nearly all of the other top eligible male figure skaters, and that it might be an interesting metric to rank skaters by comparing how they fared in competition against Zagorodniuk.

First of all, here, to the best of my knowledge, is Zagorodniuk's competitive record since the 1991-92 season. (I was too lazy to go any farther back than that....)

In terms of defining metrics for comparing the other skaters, it seems useful to look at how often a skater has defeated Zaggy as a fraction of the total number of times they have competed against each other (metric Z1). It may also be useful to consider the average of how many places ahead or behind of Zagordniuk a skater has placed (metric Z2), which might say something about how closely the two skaters are ranked.

For some other variations not computed here, one might want to consider the standard deviations as a measure of relative consistency. It may also be desirable to assign more recent competition results greater weight than those from several seasons back. Finally, Eda Tseinyev has also suggested that one might factor in whether or not Zagorodniuk was wearing a tiara at the time.

Here is how to interpret the raw data. For easy reference, for each skater the event key (from the list above) and Zagorodniuk's placements at each of those events are given on the first two lines. The next line represents the placements for the skater being considered, and the fourth line notes the difference in placements. Positive numbers indicate the skater finished ahead of Zagorodniuk, negative numbers behind. (Be sure these show up in a fixed-width font or they won't make any sense at all.)


Elvis Stojko: 7 events, Z1 = 1.000, Z2 = +3.43

Elvis has rarely competed against Zaggy except at the World Championships.

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
 6  2  2  4  8 10  4  3  3  2  2  3  4  5  4  3  3  6  4  6  1  1  6  6  6  4  2  3  4  5  3
             7  3                 1                 1                 2  4           1
            +1 +7                +2                +5                +4 +2          +3


Todd Eldredge: 18 events, Z1 = 0.889, Z2 = +2.22

Todd and Zaggy have actually been competing against each other since as early as 1987. Todd has quite consistently come out on top.

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
 6  2  2  4  8 10  4  3  3  2  2  3  4  5  4  3  3  6  4  6  1  1  6  6  6  4  2  3  4  5  3
 3          10  7  1  1  1           2  1     1     2  1     3        5  1  1  1     2  1
+3          -2 +3 +3 +2 +2          +2 +4    +2    +4 +3    -2       +1 +5 +3 +1    +2 +4


Alexei Urmanov: 18 events, Z1 = 0.667, Z2 = +1.33

Alexei's results show an interesting pattern: on those occasions when he has been defeated by Zaggy, it's always been by only one place.
01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
 6  2  2  4  8 10  4  3  3  2  2  3  4  5  4  3  3  6  4  6  1  1  6  6  6  4  2  3  4  5  3
    3  3     5  8     2     3  3  4  1           2  4     1  2     3  1  5  2     1
   -1 -1    +3 +2    +1    -1 -1 -1 +3          +1 +2    +5 -1    +3 +5 +1 +2    +2


Ilya Kulik: 9 events, Z1 = 0.444, Z2 = +0.444

Ilya is a relative newcomer to the international scene, and has had mixed success in competing against Zaggy.
01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
 6  2  2  4  8 10  4  3  3  2  2  3  4  5  4  3  3  6  4  6  1  1  6  6  6  4  2  3  4  5  3
                                                 1  9  6        3  1  4  2        4  5
                                                +2 -3 -2       -2 +5 +2 +4       -1 -1


Philippe Candeloro: 16 events, Z1 = 0.688, Z2 = +0.31

Philippe and Zaggy appear to be very closely matched. Philippe had the clear edge in the 1994-95 season (could this be the tiara effect?), but seems to be slipping.

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
 6  2  2  4  8 10  4  3  3  2  2  3  4  5  4  3  3  6  4  6  1  1  6  6  6  4  2  3  4  5  3
                9  5     2  1  5  2  3  2  1  2  4  3           5  5     9        2
               +1 -1    +1 +1 -3 +1 +1 +3 +3 +1 -1 +3          -4 +1    -3       +1


Alexei Yagudin: 6 events, Z1 = 0.667, Z2 = +.17

Alexei is a young skater who has had fairly good success in competing against Zaggy.

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
 6  2  2  4  8 10  4  3  3  2  2  3  4  5  4  3  3  6  4  6  1  1  6  6  6  4  2  3  4  5  3
                                                                6  2        3     5  3     1
                                                               -5 +4       +1    -2 +1    +2


Michael Chack: 3 events, Z1 = 0.667, Z2 = -0.33

Michael's results are probably too sparse to be statistically significant. He has not competed much internationally in recent years due to recurring injury problems.

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
 6  2  2  4  8 10  4  3  3  2  2  3  4  5  4  3  3  6  4  6  1  1  6  6  6  4  2  3  4  5  3
 4                                         3                                            9
+2                                        +1                                           -4


Scott Davis: 9 events, Z1 = 0.444, Z2 = -0.56

Scott's Zaggy rating reflects his problems with consistency.

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
 6  2  2  4  8 10  4  3  3  2  2  3  4  5  4  3  3  6  4  6  1  1  6  6  6  4  2  3  4  5  3
                   2              7           4     7     4  4     4        7           4
                  +2             -4          -1    -1    +2 -3    +2       -3          +1


Michael Weiss: 5 events, Z1 = 0.200, Z2 = -1.00

Again, these results are probably too sparse to be statistically significant.

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
 6  2  2  4  8 10  4  3  3  2  2  3  4  5  4  3  3  6  4  6  1  1  6  6  6  4  2  3  4  5  3
                                     6                 2                       3     7     4
                                    -2                +2                      -1    -3    -1


Eric Millot: 16 events, Z1 = 0.375, Z2 = -1.44

Eric's Z2 rating was hurt by a couple of competitions where he placed poorly. (Eric has now retired from eligible competition.)

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
 6  2  2  4  8 10  4  3  3  2  2  3  4  5  4  3  3  6  4  6  1  1  6  6  6  4  2  3  4  5  3
 5  4       15                 4  5     3  2     5  5     3     8     3  7  5  5    12
+1 -2       -7                -2 -2    +2 +2    -2 +1    +3    -7    +3 -1 -1 -3    -8


Dan Hollander: 3 events, Z1 = 0.00, Z2 = -3.67

Another newcomer to international competition with sparse results, Dan has yet to beat Zaggy at any event. (I'm sure he'd like to, though.)

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
 6  2  2  4  8 10  4  3  3  2  2  3  4  5  4  3  3  6  4  6  1  1  6  6  6  4  2  3  4  5  3
                                                                   8    10  9
                                                                  -2    -4 -5


Andrei Vlatchchenko: 8 events, Z1 = 0.00, Z2 = -3.875

Vlatchchenko has yet to defeat Zaggy, but he's come close a couple of times.

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
 6  2  2  4  8 10  4  3  3  2  2  3  4  5  4  3  3  6  4  6  1  1  6  6  6  4  2  3  4  5  3
                               9 11                    5 10  5           8        6  6
                              -7 -8                   -1 -4 -4          -2       -3 -2


Aren Nielsen: 5 events, Z1 = 0.00, Z2 = -4.20

Aren is another US skater who has not fared very well in competition against Zaggy. (Aren has now retired from eligible competition.)

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
 6  2  2  4  8 10  4  3  3  2  2  3  4  5  4  3  3  6  4  6  1  1  6  6  6  4  2  3  4  5  3
                      6          13  7  6              8
                     -3         -10 -3 -1             -4


Steven Cousins: 15 events, Z1 = 0.067, Z2 = -4.73

Plenty of data here, but except for Steven's narrow win over Zaggy at 1995 Skate Canada, he's clearly several places behind.

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
 6  2  2  4  8 10  4  3  3  2  2  3  4  5  4  3  3  6  4  6  1  1  6  6  6  4  2  3  4  5  3
 7  7       12 16  8  5       11 10              8  8     5     4       15       11 11
-1 -5       -4 -6 -4 -2       -9 -7             -5 -2    +1    -3       -9       -8 -7


More Zag pictures!

Check out more of these © photos by J. Barry Mittan: Zag pictures at other sites:

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Ellyn Kestnbaum for suggesting the idea and for double-checking the data. I got some of the results from Ellen Edgerton's results server. Sheila Turcon sent me the results from 1991 Trophee Lalique.

The photograph of Zago in the tiara is by Emma Abraham.

By the way, I think Viacheslav Zagorodniuk is a fine skater and much under-appreciated by the public (at least in North America).

SkateWeb
 Home © 1994-2010 SkateWeb