yes the elo (and little variations, for example halving the points exchanged in case of draws) is meant to say "look you are stronger than this guy, if you lose/draw, it is his merit or your demerit, but anyway your score should be closer". Instead if one wins one with little elo, this is "expected".
In short the elo value is a value that tries to predict the next result, if one has 1600+ and another has 1250, the system predicts that the one with 1600+ will win easily.
If one played chess for a while, will see this immediately.
Of course gfx can change a lot of little details. K factor (that can be asimmetric for example), point exchanged, the range to consider for the elo (the "hundreds" at the exponent in the division).
For example given the formula shared by GFX
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The exact formula is:
player 1 expected result = 1 / (1 + 10^( (player 1 score - player 2 score) / 400) )
player 1 result = 1 for victory, 0 for defeat, 0.5 for draw
player 1 score delta = round( K_factor * (player 1 result - player 1 expected result))
player 2 score delta = - player 1 score delta
The 400 is the range considered by the formula. As the wiki reports, if one tweaks that number one can quickly change the expected results. For example if one player is 400 points above the other, the expected result will say "ehy that's obviously a win", If one wants to enlarge it, has to tweak the 400 to 500 or more. If one wants to make it smaller, then 300 or smaller.
But since tweaks are needed only to find balance, I think it is ok how it is. I am interested now in the average elo over time/games, that is quite an indicator of strength in my opinion.
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