A Chess Formula Is Taking Over the World

Discussion of anything and everything relating to chess playing software and machines.

Moderators: hgm, Rebel, chrisw

Posts: 2769
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:18 pm
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Full name: Srdja Matovic

A Chess Formula Is Taking Over the World

Post by smatovic »

A Chess Formula Is Taking Over the World
https://science.slashdot.org/story/24/0 ... -the-world
The math that powered FaceMash -- and, by extension, set Zuckerberg on the path to building the world's dominant social-media empire -- was reportedly, of all things, a formula for ranking chess players: the Elo system.
Arpad Emmerich Elo, creator of the Elo rating system, understood the limitations of his invention. "It is a measuring tool, not a device of reward or punishment," he once remarked. "It is a means to compare performances, assess relative strength, not a carrot waved before a rabbit, or a piece of candy given to a child for good behavior."

User avatar
Posts: 11726
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 12:57 am
Location: Birmingham UK

Re: A Chess Formula Is Taking Over the World

Post by towforce »

Elo will have seen all this looking down from heaven. Not sure what he thinks about social networking, but he'll be happy his work was used in the first version.

Tbf, though, I think we can give some of the credit for Facebook's success to Mark Zuckerberg. :)
The simple reveals itself after the complex has been exhausted.
User avatar
Posts: 1985
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:04 pm
Location: Madrid, Spain.

Re: A chess formula is taking over the world.

Post by Ajedrecista »


Here is a fairly large amount of info about the early days of the Elo rating system and its development. I hope someone can enjoy the reading!


There is a progress report by Arpad E. Elo called 'Progress report on rating systems', published at different issues of Chess Life in 1960:

https://uscf1-nyc1.aodhosting.com/CL-AN ... 0_03_1.pdf [Part I].
https://uscf1-nyc1.aodhosting.com/CL-AN ... 0_04_1.pdf [Part II].
https://uscf1-nyc1.aodhosting.com/CL-AN ... 0_05_1.pdf [Part III].


More about the then new Elo rating system was published at the June, 1961 issue of Chess Life magazine:

https://uscf1-nyc1.aodhosting.com/CL-AN ... 961_06.pdf

According to the article, two additional publications were available to students interested in the system and its application: an 'Analytical Supplement' and 'Examples of Computations', if asked to Elo himself.


Elo rating system appeared again at different issues of Chess Life magazine:

https://uscf1-nyc1.aodhosting.com/CL-AN ... 962_08.pdf [August, 1962].
https://uscf1-nyc1.aodhosting.com/CL-AN ... 964_04.pdf [April, 1964].
https://uscf1-nyc1.aodhosting.com/CL-AN ... 967_08.pdf [August, 1967].


Additional two-part explanation:

https://uscf1-nyc1.aodhosting.com/CL-AN ... 971_02.pdf [Part 1. USCF Rating Regulations].
https://uscf1-nyc1.aodhosting.com/CL-AN ... 972_03.pdf [Part 2. How We Calculate the Ratings].


Elo rating system replaced Harkness rating system. Chess Life dedicated a series of articles in 1952 called 'How the Rating System Works' to explain the Harkness system:

https://uscf1-nyc1.aodhosting.com/CL-AN ... 2_05_2.pdf [Part 1].
https://uscf1-nyc1.aodhosting.com/CL-AN ... 2_06_1.pdf [Part 2].
https://uscf1-nyc1.aodhosting.com/CL-AN ... 2_06_2.pdf [Part 3].
https://uscf1-nyc1.aodhosting.com/CL-AN ... 2_07_1.pdf [Part 4].
https://uscf1-nyc1.aodhosting.com/CL-AN ... 2_07_2.pdf [Part 5. Round Robin Performance Ratings].
https://uscf1-nyc1.aodhosting.com/CL-AN ... 2_08_1.pdf [Part 6. Rating Short Tournaments].
https://uscf1-nyc1.aodhosting.com/CL-AN ... 2_08_2.pdf [Part 7. Rating Swiss System Tournaments].
https://uscf1-nyc1.aodhosting.com/CL-AN ... 2_09_1.pdf [Part 8. Rating Swiss System Tournaments (continued)].


Disclaimer: this list might be incomplete.

Regards from Spain.