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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Founder of the Elo Rating System


ChessBase has published an informative article about Professor Arpad Elo, for whom the Elo rating system is named.

August 25, 2008 marks Professor Elo's birth. He was born in Egyházaskeszo, Hungary, as Árpád Imre Élö. His family emigrated to the United States of America when he was ten. Educated in public primary and secondary schools, he earned his BS and MS degrees, in Physics, from the University of Chicago. He spent the better part of half a century teaching various courses in physics and astronomy at university level in Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin.

Author Elmer Dumlao Sangalang continues:

In many ways my friendship with Professor Elo was unique. In 1973, when it started, I was 26 and he was 70 – much older than my father was then. More than a whole generation in time and of ideas separated us but our mutual interest in chess, mathematics, statistics and history – disciplines that transcend the vicissitudes of fashion – bridged the wide age gap. We were destined never to meet each other in person. But a personal encounter did not seem to be a necessary condition for a warm relationship to develop. When some tragic events befell his family in 1985, he revealed his feelings to me in a letter. "I feel very sentimental about the friendship and rapport that we have established over these few years. Here we are, half a world apart, never having met face-to-face, of different race and different cultural background, and we communicate as brothers or as father and son – it is truly touching. I treasure this friendship now especially when my life has reached such a low ebb."

Read the entire article here.

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