Prof. Arpad Elo's notorious report, regarding 100 free rating points for women

FIDE Congress, Dubai 1986 QC Annex 8
Qualification Commission

Memo of: October 15, 1986
From: A.E. Elo, Secretary Qualification Commission
To: Qualification Commission & Mr. S. Samarian, Secretary of the Commission for Women's Chess.
Subject: The relation of the FIDE Rating Lists for men & women

In the past there have been some questions raised concerning the conformity of the FIDE rating lists for men and women. These questions will continue to be raised as more and more women participate in tournaments with men. It was suggested at the 1984 Congress that these questions be resolved through an analysis of the performances of women who participated in both men's tournaments and exclusively women's tournaments. Data for this purpose was supplied to the writer by Mr. Samarian covering the period 1982-1986.

Actually, only six players were represented in the data and only two of these provided data of comparable significance from both men's and women's tournaments. These were Maya Chiburdanidze and Pia Cramling. The four others, Nona Gaprindashvili, Gisela Fischdick, Sheila Jackson and Zsuzsa Veroci-Petronic, provided less significant, but still useful data. Altogether the six subjects played 400 games against men and 670 games against women providing an adequate basis for a conclusion. A summary of the performances follows:

Player Rating Games % Rating Perf. Games % Rating Perf.
July 1986 v. men score of opp. rating v. wom score of opp. rating

Chiburdanidze 2435 63 .62 2443 2528 72 .69 2191 2332
Cramling 2400 185 .52 2404 2418 108 .72 2135 2321
Fischdick 2185 32 .38 2319 2232 107 .62 2110 2197
Gaprindashvili 2350 12 .52 2459 2473 102 .73 2144 2319
Jackson 2205 97 .45 2296 2261 24 .60 2098 2170
Veroci-Petronic 2320 11 .50 2320 2320 257 .66 2138 2255

The differences in performance ratings against men and women may be combined in various ways. When weighted by the number of games against men the average difference is 108 rating points and when weighted by the number of games against women it is 113 points. The interpretation is quite clear: the women's ratings are, in general, low by approximately one half of a class interval (100 points).

Zsuzsa Polgar

Although the above report seems harmless enough, it had a nefarious purpose. Zsuzsa Polgar had become the number one rated woman player in the world, entirely on the basis of her results against men, because the women were too weak at chess to give her effective competition. Therefore, this report was prepared in connection with a proposal to have all woman chess players in the world, except for Zsuzsa Polgar, awarded 100 free rating points.

The proposal passed through the efforts of Dirty Don Schultz, the arch-fiend criminal who is now President of the United States Chess Federation. Schultz wanted this proposal passed because he hoped to become the President of the World Chess Federation (FIDE). Schultz wanted the support of the Soviet Union, who naturally wanted their own player, Maya Chiburdanidze, to be made number one. Schultz also agreed to the black-listing of certain chess players who had defected from the Soviet Union.

Serge Samarian was the Secretary of the FIDE Women's Committee. He was from West Germany. He was a close friend of Nana Alexandria, Chairman of the FIDE Committee on Women's Chess, and the other Soviet women.

Respondents have noted several obvious things wrong with the Elo report, one of them being that this was not Elo's data, but rather was data supplied by Samarian, the principal advocate for giving 100 free rating points. In addition, data on Zsuzsa Polgar, the actual target of this report, was not provided. Statistics on only six women were provided, event though there were 600 rated woman chess players.

By going through every Chess Informant during that period, I was able to find every event which was used to create the statistics supplied by Samarian. Basically, he carefully selected those events where women happened to have good results against men as compared to their rating. He ignored those events in which the women had done badly.

For example, Zsuzsa Veroci-Petronic always played in the Budapest Spring Festival and often did not do well, losing rating points. However, on one occasion, she had a good result, and that one good result forms the basis for including her name in his statistics.

Regarding Maya Chiburdanidze, she is known for not trying hard and for giving quick draws in women's events. In a woman's tournament in Tiflis 1984, which can be found reported in Chess Informant, she won only three games and drew all the rest against a weak field consisting mostly of other women from Tiflis. I was able to establish that this result was the tournament which formed the basis for Samarian's statistics of Maya's tournament results against women. After Tiflis 1984, Chiburdanidze has never again competed in a purely woman's tournament. Clearly this 1984 result formed no proper basis for awarding Maya 100 free rating points in 1987. Samarian also used her World Championship matches, which Maya won by a narrow margin, since she had draw odds.

Please note that Elo never recommended that every woman, except Zsuzsa Polgar, be given 100 free rating points. That perversion was simply a way to get Maya back over Zsuzsa, after Zsuzsa's rating had risen from 1900 to 2495 in the space of only four years.

Because of giving every woman in the world, except for Zsuzsa Polgar, 100 free rating points, Maya attained a rating of 2530, in spite of having poor results, whereas Zsuzsa had earned a rating of 2495 by defeating 13 male grandmasters.

This was only the latest episode of discrimination against Zsuzsa Polgar. For a period or four years, from 1981 to 1985, she was banned and blacklisted from playing chess anywhere in the world, except for Bulgaria. This was after she had won the World Chess Championship for Girls in Teaside, England in 1981 at age 11.

Zsuzsa was punished for playing in an open tournament in Leipzig, 1984 without permission. When the ban against her was finally lifted, she alone among all the chess players in the world could not enter a chess tournament, not even an event open to all, without written permission from hard line Stalinist Sandor Serenyi, President of the Hungarian Chess Federation, or his deputy, Lako. Zsuzsa Polgar was not allowed to play in the World Junior Championship at a time when she was the highest rated junior in the world, on the grounds that she was a woman and only boys were allowed to play. Zsuzsa Polgar was not allowed to play in the "Men's Zonal Tournament" for the World Chess Championship, an event to which she had qualified by finishing second in the 1986 Hungarian Championship, again because this was a tournament for "men" and she was a woman. Zsuzsa did not get invitations to any of the cushy closed tournaments as did her rival Maya, where she could effectively chose her opponents and prepare to face them. Instead, Zsuzsa clawed her way to the top by competing in open events against men where she did not know who her opponents would be until the pairings went up a few minutes before each round.

When Zsuzsa reached the top and became by far the highest rated woman in the world in spite of suffering from this horrible discrimination, that monstrous criminal, Don Schultz, who was the USA delegate to the World Chess Federation, decided to further his own political ambitions by having every woman in the world, except for Zsuzsa Polgar, awarded 100 free rating points. Schultz was the criminal who had Grandmaster Quinteros of Argentina banned from playing chess anywhere in the world for three years, even though no provision of FIDE rules allowed for that. Schultz was the criminal who had International Master Ricardo Calvo of Spain declared "persona non grata" by the World Chess Federation solely because Calvo wrote a letter to the editor of New in Chess magazine critical of the FIDE administration.

Sam Sloan

Here is what the arch-fiend criminal Don Schultz has to say about this: Don Schultz replies to Zsuzsa Polgar's "concerns".

Here is a review of Zsuzsa Polgar's New Book

Here is Zsuzsa Polgar's Home Page

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