Glicko Rating System

The Glicko Rating System was developed by Professor Mark E. Glickman from Boston University. The system was initially considered as a thesis topic whilst Glickman was a statistics major at Princeton University. Glickman subsequently wrote a Harvard doctoral dissertation where he examined the deficiencies of the chess Elo rating system and also devised an alternative ratings system which he called the "Glicko System" (a homage to Professor Arpad Elo?).

The Glicko system is used by:
  • Australian Chess Federation (ACF)
  • Numerous online chess sites i.e.
  • Free Internet Chess Server
One of the benefits of Glickman’s Glicko System is that it also recognizes that a players' rating is only an estimation of their true strength. The Glicko System uniquely also calculates an estimate of the degree of uncertainty regarding that rating, called the rating deviation (RD) which is similar in concept to standard deviation. The higher the rating deviation the greater the uncertainty regarding the players' rating.

In the Glicko system the rating changes, following a game, are not balanced as they usually are in the Elo system. With the Glicko system, the amount by which the opponent's rating changes is governed by both players' RD's.

Further Reading:
Mark Glickman's description of the Glicko system
Mark Glickman's technical paper on the Glicko system.
New Glicko-2 System (improvement on the original Glicko system).

Posted by ALCHEssMIST.
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