Last Updated: June 8th, 2022
Added details about the origins of FIDE in the beginning of the article.
The World Chess Federation or International Chess Federation, also known as FIDE, is the world’s premier authority on Chess. Based in Switzerland, FIDE has been organizing the world chess championships since they were founded in Paris, France, on July 20th, 1924.
With their motto of Gens una sumus, Latin for “We are one Family”, FIDE does more than organizing international competitions, they are also responsible for rating international players. FIDE was first created in 1924, and it is based in Switzerland. Chess rules are decided by FIDE and its 195 member federations. Today, if you’d like a serious chess rating, you need to get one from them.
What is FIDE
FIDE is the world’s most authoritative Chess organization. Since they were founded in 1924 in Paris, they have become the world’s leading authority on chess and have been recognized by the International Olympics Committee. As such, FIDE is in charge of organizing international chess competitions. International players are rated using the ELO rating system. FIDE is an international organization with 195 different international federations compose FIDE. FIDE helps to organize competitions between each of these organizations.
Here are some of the responsibilities of FIDE:
Defines the Chess Rulebook
FIDE even sets the rulebook for modern chess. Most major chess competitions play by their rules. However, in some circumstances, alternatives may come into play.
Assigns Players Their ELO Rating
One of FIDE’s most visible roles involves the ELO rating system. ELO ratings are used to rank different chess players internationally.
Title Designation Such as Grandmaster Status
FIDE also awards titles to players who reach a certain rank. If you’ve ever heard of a grandmaster, FIDE is the organizations that designates that status. Players who achieve an ELO rating above 2500, in addition to acquiring three GM norms, are awarded the prestigious title of Grandmaster.
How To Become a FIDE Rated Chess Player
Are you interested in becoming a ranked FIDE player? Doing so is a challenging process, but anyone can make it happen. Becoming a FIDE rated player requires that you play in some of their tournaments. We have a separate page dedicated to this process on how to get a FIDE rating, but for this post, we’ll cover the basics here.
You Must Play 5 Games Against FIDE Rated Players:
Playing against other FIDE rated players is the main component of obtaining a rating. Players must compete against a total of 5 separate ranked players. Plus, they’ve got to score at least half points.
How to Play Against Ranked FIDE Players:
To play against ranked players, you’ll have to attend a FIDE tournament. Many of these tournaments are open, meaning anyone can join. However, most of the time, you’ll have to pay some sort of entry fee. Pay attention, though. Not all players at these tournaments will have a rating. Only games against players with an official rating will count towards your total.
You Have 26 Months to Play 5 Games
Players don’t have to play all 5 games at a single tournament. You’ll have a little over 2 years to play all 5 of them. During this time, you’ll have to score at least half a point in all 5 games.
How to Win Half a Point
A full victory scores you a full point. Losing a games is a negative point. Half a point goes to both sides in the event of a draw. So, you’ll have to at least draw on each of the 5 games.
You Must Score a Minimum of 1000 ELO:
Finally, only players who score a minimum 1000 ELO score will obtain a ranking. If you score lower than that, you won’t receive anything. These scores are determined by comparing your score against your opponents. The more wins someone has, the higher their ELO score will be.
Before Registering for a Tournament, You Must Open an FIDE Profile
One last thing, you’ll need a FIDE profile to start playing at their tournaments. These are under the control of local organizations. So, for example, US players must register with the US chess organization. Without doing that, you won’t have an opportunity to play in a FIDE tournament.
Can I get a FIDE Rating Online?
There are ratings you can obtain online. However, they aren’t the same as a regular rating. FIDE online ratings are only used for online tournaments. Until recently, there were no ratings given to players who played online. That has changed in recent years with the introduction of FIDE’s new online ranking system. This has made chess more accessible to those who can’t easily attend in-person tournaments.
What Is the Difference Between a FIDE Rating and a FIDE Online Rating?
FIDE online ratings are similar to their traditional ratings. However, these are only given to players who use their online platform. In theory, the ratings you obtain their should translate to the real world. However, obtaining a traditional rating still requires in-person tournaments. Both scores are calculated using the same methodology. So, if you beat 5 online rated players, you qualify for an online rating.
How to Obtain a FIDE Online Rating?
Online ratings are given to players who meet all the traditional requirements. But, you must play on their online platform. The official FIDE online platform is My FIDE Arena.
What Is My FIDE Arena?
My FIDE Arena is the online branch of the international chess organization. It’s built to prevent people from cheating, and it has a whole suite of anti-cheat software. This is to ensure that rankings are fair. Becoming a member is relatively straightforward. You’ve just got to register on their website, and you’ll have to pay their annual membership fee. After doing that, you’ll have access to their online platform. You can play in ranked tournaments on there.
How To Get a Profile on FIDE
Opening a FIDE profile isn’t all that difficult. All you’ve got to do is contact the organization. Then, you’ll have to pay your membership dues. Check out your local FIDE organization to obtain more information on how to register in your area. Remember, depending on which rating you’d like to get, you’ll have to choose between online or in-person.
Difference Between In-Person Profiles and Online Profiles
FIDE has profiles for both online and in-person tournaments. These track player stats for their respective games. If you’d like an official in-person rating, you’ll need the appropriate profile. Online profiles are only useful if you plan on playing online. The process for registering a profile is similar in both cases.
Minimum Rating to Get a FIDE profile
FIDE assigns anyone who passes their criteria a score, called an ELO rating. This rating system is meant to categorize players by their skill levels. Scores can go as low as 100 and as high as 3000.
What Is an ELO Rating?
Prior to the ELO rating system the Harkness system was in use. The ELO system gives us the probability that a particular player will be victorious in a given match. The higher a person’s score is, the more likely they are to win. Scores are recalculated at the end of every match. The spread between winners and losers determines how much each person’s score changes. As a comparative rating system, it becomes more accurate as the total pool of players increases.
Minimum Rating for a FIDE Profile Is 1000
FIDE won’t give someone a rating unless they score at least 1000. This is determined by comparing how well someone performs against established players. So, you’ve got to beat FIDE-ranked players in order to become one yourself. That leads us to a simple question. How are initial ELO scores calculated?
Grandmasters Are Players Who Have Scores Above 2500
FIDE also awards titles to players who perform exceptionally well. Grandmasters are the world’s best chess players. Becoming one isn’t easy. You’d have to win enough games against ranked players to receive an ELO score above 2500. Only then would you receive the title of grandmaster.
How Are Ratings Determined?
- Play Against 5 FIDE-ranked Players:First, you’ll have to play 5 full games against players who already have a score. The outcome of these games will impact you final score. After you finish each game, you’ll receive a certain number of points. A victory would be worth 1 point. Draws are worth 0.5 points. Losses are worth 0 points.
- Add Up the Total Points That You Won:After playing all 5 games, add up the total number of points you won. Let’s say you played to a draw in all 5 games. That would mean you’d receive a total of 2.5 points, or 0.5 points per game.
- Divide This by the Total Number of Games Played:Now, take the number of points you won. Then, divide that by the total number of points possible. In this example, the maximum number of points you could’ve won was 5. That’s because you played 5 games total, and in each game you could’ve scored 1 point. If you had 2.5 points total, you would score a 50%. The ELO rating system says you should receive a rank equivalent to the average of everyone you played.
- Depending on How You Performed, Add or Remove the Appropriate Amount of Points:If you were playing against players who had an average score of 1700, that would mean you’d receive a 1700 rating. On the other hand, if you had won more than half of the total points, you would rank higher. At the same time, if you lost more than half the total points, you would rank lower. The exact amount is determined by using a specific equation. Check it out here https://ratings.fide.com/calculator_rp.phtml.
How Many Games Do You Need to Play to Get a FIDE Rating?
How many games must you play total in order to receive an official rating? The answer to this question has varied over time. Established players are reevaluated after each ranked game they play. However, to receive an initial rating, you’ll have to play more than a single game.
A Minimum of 5 Games Must Be Played
Officially, you’ve got to play 5 games total to receive your initial rating. There is a bit more to it than that, though.
Each Game Must Be Against a FIDE Rated Player
Each game you play must be against someone who already has a FIDE score. The outcome of each game you play against such a player will determine what score you’ll receive.
Other Games Won’t Count Towards Your Score
If you play games against unranked players, they won’t be counted towards your total. So, if you’d like to practice, try playing a few unranked games. Otherwise, stick to games with ranked players.
These Games Must Occur Within a 26 Month Window
Finally, each of these 5 games must occur within a 26 month timeframe. If it takes you longer than that, they will not count towards your ranking. Thus, if you’d like to become rated, you’ll have to play the games close together.
Getting Your Initial FIDE Rating
FIDE ranks all international chess players using the ELO scale. This is a comparative scale. It gives us the probability of each player winning a particular match. Obtaining an initial rating is pretty straightforward. To obtain a traditional rating, you’ll need to attend a few in-person tournaments. At these tournaments, players must compete against players who are already established. New players must play 5 games against established players.
The outcome of these matches will be used to calculate a new players initial score. The better you perform against them, the higher your initial score will be. There is also an online rating system used for FIDE’s online platform. The formula and requirements are the same for their online platform. However, the two scores are separate.
Players who have a traditional score can’t transfer their scores online. So, depending on which score you’d like, you’ll have to play in the appropriate setting. After obtaining an initial score, it’s recalculated after every game against ranked players. Wins will push your score higher, while losses will push it lower.
I hope this guide on FIDE and how to get a FIDE rating helped you.