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The Rating of Chess Players, Past and Present
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Top Customer Reviews
Elo, in his book, defines the rating system, the formulas, the statistics and mathematics around it. He also analyse the performance of the best players of his time (and also the old players like Alekhine, Capablanca, Lasker), and make some points around the validity of the system. As usual with someone with mathematics preparation, Elo is very strict in his ideas and makes a good evaluation of the rating system in a whole.
In fact, he predicted the final result between Spassky and Fischer match (1972) exactly, using his formulas for that. I think this result validates correctly the good behaviour of the rating system
The only problem with the book is that it is not a very actual one. I mean, Elo talks about the first stage of the FIDE rating where there were no more than 300 players ranked. Right now the FIDE rating list has about 80,000 players classified.
On the other hand, Elo never predicted a phenomena is seeing today: rating inflation. Jeff Sonas, a mathematician who loves chess statistics has not also a good explanation to this problem.
In any case, Elo book is a must for who is interested in the mathematics of the Elo rating system.
Also, the format is bit like reading a judge's verdict. Perhaps this was because Elo felt he needed to defend his ideas against political opposition. I cannot imagine what being the president of the USCF must have been like; I suspect the approach used in this book reflects antagonism of the period.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Definitive history of how to rate chess players with fascinating insight into historical players.
Should be regularly updated with new editions. Read more