The age-old mathematics behind the ELO system and is it any worth?

The age-old mathematics behind the ELO system and is it any worth?

The ELO player rating system, originally introduced for chess, can now be found in many competitive (e)sports. It aims to be a measure to compare players against each other, but it is any worth?

This is what this weeks paper aims to answer. It has the fitting name “Rating the Chess Rating System”. (Christopher Nolan would be proud)

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The introduction of chess rating systems may have done more to popularize tournament chess than any other single factor. In the 1950s, Arpad Elo (1903–1992) developed the theory of the current U.S. rating system, often called the “Elo system.” Elo based his scale on one previously used by the U.S. Chess Federation (USCF), which was calibrated relative to the performance of an “average” player in a U.S. Open Championship. Elo’s system, however, added considerable statistical sophistication. Since its development, the system has been adopted with various modifications
by many national chess federations. Today, it is impossible to imagine tournament chess without a rating system.

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Additional Links:

  • Kinda like the hackerearth article on this topic. Page is quite full of ads though.
  • This Glicko rating system is the successor of the Elo system for the US chess organization. It’s inventor is the same person who wrote this weeks paper:
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