Sorry Vadim, can't help with the US system but I would like to know some more about the French system and how it works.
Is the ranking self-assesed or achieved via competitive play ? What results are counted ? How often are rankings published ? Do all players have a ranking ? Even those just playing in local leagues ? How do players feel about the ranking system ? Love it, hate it, or just ignore it ? And what do you mean by it "uses handicaps" ?
Sorry for all the questions but there has got to be a reason why France has so many players in the top 100!