Arpad Emrick Elo
(born Élő Árpád
, August 25
– November 5
) is the creator of the Elo rating system
for two-player games
such as chess
. Born in Egyházaskesző, Hungary, he moved to
States with his parents as a child in 1913.
Elo was a
professor of physics at Marquette
University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
He was also a chess
. By the 1930s he was the strongest chess player in
Milwaukee, one of the nation's leading chess cities. He won the
Wisconsin State Championship eight times.
Wisconsin in 1992.
The Elo rating system
Elo is best known for his system of rating chess players. The
original chess rating system was developed in 1950 by Kenneth Harkness
, the Business Manager of
the United States Chess
. By 1960, using the data developed through the
Harkness Rating System, Elo developed his own formula which had a
sound statistical basis and constituted an improvement on the
Harkness System. The new rating system was approved and passed
at a meeting of the United States Chess Federation in St.
Louis in 1960.
In 1970, FIDE
, the World Chess Federation,
agreed to adopt the Elo Rating System. From then on until the
mid-1980s, Elo himself made the rating calculations. At the time,
the computational task was relatively easy because fewer than 2000
players were rated by FIDE.
FIDE reassigned the task of managing and computing the ratings to
others, excluding Elo. FIDE also added new "Qualification for
Rating" rules to its handbook awarding arbitrary ratings (typically
in the 2200 range, which is the low end for a chess master) for
players who scored at least 50 percent in the games he played at
selected events, such as named Chess
. Elo and others objected to these new rules as
arbitrary and politically-driven.
- The Rating of Chessplayers, Past and Present (1978),
Arco. ISBN 0-668-04721-6