Elo's Book: The Rating of Chess Players

In 1978, Professor Arpad Elo, who established the Elo Rating System, published a book entitled "The Rating of Chessplayers, Past and Present". A description and review of the book can be seen at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0668047216/slavesofthomasje

This book, which is long out of print, contains the historical ratings of 476 chess players, including Paul Morphy, who is rated 2690.

The oldest players on the rating list are Alexander Petrov (1794-1867), who is rated 2530, and Jozsef Szen (1800-1857) who is rated 2450. There are 41 players on the list who were born before Morphy.

I have just posted the list on my web site. The address is http://www.anusha.com/eloslist.htm

The list is in text format delimited by tabs. Therefore, it is easy to take the list, insert it into any spread sheet program and sort it by name, birth date, rating or country.

I have sorted it in name alphabetical order.

Perhaps the most interesting question which the list addresses is: Who is the strongest chess player in history, before Fischer of course.

According to Elo's list, the strongest chess player was Capablanca, who is rated 2725.

After that comes Lasker and Botvinnik, both rated 2720, Tal, rated 2700, and Alekhine, Morphy and Smyslov, all rated 2690.

These are all five year peak averages. There is also a list of the ratings of every chess player still alive on 1/1/1978, the final date of the list.

The list contains surprises. For example, Gustav Neumann (1838-1881), an almost unknown German player, is rated 2570, making him one of the strongest players in the world in his day. Neumann rarely played outside of his home town, but frequently played with Adolph Anderssen (1818-1879), who is rated 2600.

I need to thank Jeff Sonas jeff@kasparovchess.com for e-mailing me the list. I used to have it in my computer, but I lost it in October, 1997 when I took my computer with me on a trip to see my girlfriend, Passion Julinsey, and somebody stole my computer off of the Greyhound Bus.

Sam Sloan

Here are links:
Sam Sloan's Chess Page

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Contact address - please send e-mail to the following address: Sloan@ishipress.com