(byname of Stanley
; November 12, 1896 - October 4, 1972) was a chess
organizer. He is the creator of the Harkness
Life and career
born in Glasgow, Scotland.
of the United
States Chess Federation
from 1952 to 1959. He was also the
editor of Chess Review
merged into Chess Life
lived in Boca
became an International
in 1972. He was a member of the FIDE
Permanent Rules Commission.
Harkness was responsible for bringing Swiss system tournaments
United States, and also introduced the Harkness rating system,
which was a precursor to the Elo rating
system. One method of tiebreaks in Swiss
, where players tied on points are ranked by the sum of
the opponents scores minus the top score and the bottom score, is
named after him. For his services, Harkness is in the U.S. Chess
Hall of Fame
Harkness co-authored a book, An Invitation to Chess
, as well as being
responsible for a number of the first American chess rulebooks
Harkness died on a train in Yugoslavia, where he was on his way to
Skopje to be an arbiter at the Chess Olympiad.
Harkness devised a rating system that was used by the US Chess Federation
from 1950 to 1960.
When a player competes in a tournament, the average rating of his
competition is calculated. If the player scores 50% he receives the
average competition rating as his performance rating. If he scores
more than 50% he new rating is the competition average plus 10
points for each percentage point above 50. If he scores less than
50% his new rating is the competition average minus 10 points for
each percentage point below 50 .
- Chess Life, March 5, 1955, page 4
- Shady Side: The Life and Crimes of Norman Tweed
Whitaker, Chess Master, p. 232, ISBN 0939433575