last1=Hooper | first1=David | author1-link=David Vincent Hooper
last2=Whyld | first2=Kenneth | author2-link=Kenneth Whyld
year=1992 | title=
The Oxford Companion to Chess| edition=second
publisher=Oxford University Press
FIDE was founded in
Paris, Franceon July 24, 1924. Its motto is "Gens una sumus", meaning "We are one people". Its current president (as of January 2008) is Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who is also president of Kalmykia, an autonomous Republicin Russia.
FIDE's most visible activity is organising the
World Chess Championship(overall and for women and juniors), regional championships and the Chess Olympiad. It is recognized by the International Olympic Committee(IOC) as the supreme body, responsible for the organization of chess and its championships at global and continental levels. FIDE oversees few other tournaments, although other top-level events, almost without exception, respect FIDE rules and regulations.
It defines the
rules of chess, both for playing individual games (i.e. the board and moves) and for the conduct of international competitions. The international competition rules are the basis for local competitions, although local bodies are allowed to modify these rules to a certain extent. FIDE awards a number of organisational titles including International Arbiter, which signifies that the recipient is competent and trusted to oversee top-class competitions.cite web
publisher=FIDE (contents page)]
FIDE calculates the
Elo ratings of players and uses these as the basis on which it awards titles for achievement in competitive play: FIDE Master, International Master, International Grandmaster, and women's versions of those titles. cite web
publisher=FIDE (portal to other FIDE ratings-related pages)] It also awards Master and Grandmaster titles for achievement in problem and study composing and solving, and periodically publishes
FIDE Albums of the best problems. cite web
Correspondence chess(chess played by mail) is regulated by the International Correspondence Chess Federation, an independent body that co-operates with FIDE where appropriate.
Foundation and early years (up to 1939)
In April 1914 an initiative was taken in
St. Petersburgto form an international chess federation. Another attempt was made in July, 1914 during the MannheimInternational Chess Tournament. In 1920 another attempt to organize an international federation was made at the GothenburgTournament.
Players also made the first attempt to produce rules for world championship matches - in 1922 world champion
Jose Raul Capablancaproposed the "London rules": the first player to win 6 games would win the match; playing sessions would be limited to 5 hours; the time limit would be 40 moves in 2.5 hours; the champion must defend his title within one year of receiving a challenge from a recognized master; the champion would decide the date of the match; the champion was not obliged to accept a challenge for a purse of less than $10,000; 20% of the purse was to paid to the title holder, and the remainder being divided, 60% going to the winner of the match, and 40% to the loser; the highest purse bid must be accepted. Alekhine, Boguljubow, Maroczy, Reti, Rubinstein, Tartakower and Vidmar promptly signed them. cite web
title=The Mad Aussie's Chess Trivia - Archive #3
author=Clayton, G.] The only match played under those rules was Capablanca vs Alekhine in 1927. cite web
title=Capablanca v Alekhine, 1927
In 1922 the Russian chess master
Eugene Znosko-Borovsky, while participating in an international tournament in London announced that a tournament would be held during the 8th Sports Olympic Gamesin Paris in 1924 and would be hosted by the French Chess Federation. On 20 July 1924 the participants at the Paris tournament founded FIDE as a kind of players' union. cite web
author=Wall, W.] cite web
publisher=FIDE] cite journal
title=Whose Title Is it, Anyway?
author= Seirawan, Y.
url=http://www.edcollins.com/chess/whose-title.htm] In its early years, FIDE had little power, and was poorly financed.
FIDE's congresses in 1925 and 1926 expressed a desire to become involved in managing the world championship. FIDE was largely happy with the "London Rules", but claimed that the requirement for a purse of $10,000 was impracticable and called upon Capablanca to come to an agreement with the leading masters to revise the Rules. cite web
title=Chess Notes Archive 
FIDE's third congress, in Budapest in 1926, also decided to organize a
Chess Olympiad. But invitations were late in being sent out, so that only 4 countries participated. As a result, the competition was called the Little Olympiad. The winner was Hungary, followed by Yugoslavia, Romania, and Germany. In 1927 FIDE began organizing the First Chess Olympiad during its 4th Congress in London. The official title of the tournament was the "Tournament of Nations", or "World Team Championship", but "Chess Olympiad" became a more popular title. The event was won by Hungary, with 16 teams competing.
Alekhine, the reigning world champion, attended part of the 1928 Congress and agreed to place future matches for the world title under the auspices of FIDE, although any match with Capablanca should be under the same conditions as in Buenos Aires, 1927, i.e. including the requirement for a purse of at least $10,000. FIDE accepted this and decided to form a commission to modify the London Rules fopr future matches. But the commission never met; and by the time of the 1929 Congress a world championship match between Alekhine and Bogoljubow was under way (neither under the auspices of FIDE nor in accordance with the London Rules).
While negotiating his 1937 World Championship re-match with
Alexander Alekhine, Max Euweproposed that if he retained the title FIDE should manage the nomination of future challengers and the conduct of championship matches. FIDE had been trying since 1935 to introduce rules on how to select challengers, and its various proposals favored selection by some sort of committee. While they were debating procedures in 1937 and Alekhine and Euwe were preparing for their re-match later that year, the Dutch Chess Federation proposed that a super-tournament (AVRO) of ex-champions and rising stars should be held to select the next challenger. FIDE rejected this proposal and at their second attempt nominated Salo Flohras the official challenger. Euwe then declared that: if he retained his title against Alekhine he was prepared to meet Flohr in 1940 but he reserved the right to arrange a title match either in 1938 or 1939 with Jose Raul Capablanca, who had lost the title to Alekhine in 1927; if Euwe lost his title to Capablanca then FIDE's decision should be followed and Capablanca would have to play Flohr in 1940. Most chess writers and players strongly supported the Dutch super-tournament proposal and opposed the committee processes favored by FIDE. While this confusion went unresolved: Euwe lost his title to Alekhine; the AVRO tournamentin 1938 was won by Paul Keresunder a tie-breaking rule, with Reuben Fineplaced second and Capablanca and Flohr in the bottom places; and the outbreak of World War IIin 1939 cut short the controversy. cite web
title=World Championship Disorder
author=Winter, E.] cite web
url=http://www.endgame.nl/AVRO1938.htm] Although competitive chess continued in many countries, including some that were under
Nazioccupation, there was no international competition and FIDE was inactive during the war.
1946 to 1993
Birth of the World Championship challenge cycle
Before 1946 a new World Champion had won the title by defeating the former champion in a match.
Alexander Alekhine's death created an "interregnum" (gap between reigns) that made the normal procedure impossible. The situation was very confused, with many respected players and commentators offering different solutions. FIDE found it very difficult to organize the early discussions on how to resolve the "interregnum" because problems with money and travel so soon after the end of World War IIprevented many countries from sending representatives - most notably the Soviet Union. The shortage of clear information resulted in otherwise responsible magazines publishing rumors and speculation, which only made the situation more confused. See Interregnum of World Chess Championsfor more details.
It did not help that the
Soviet Unionhad long refused to join FIDE, and by this time it was clear that about half the credible contenders were Soviet citizens. But the Soviet Union realized it could not afford to be left out of the discussions about the vacant world championship, and in 1947 sent a telegram apologizing for the absence of Soviet representatives and requesting that the USSR be represented in future FIDE Committees.
The eventual solution was very similar to FIDE's initial proposal and to a proposal put forward by the Soviet Union (authored by
Mikhail Botvinnik). The 1938 AVRO tournamentwas used as the basis for the 1948 Championship Tournament. The AVRO tournament had brought together the eight players who were, by general acclamation, the best players in the world at the time. Two of the participants at AVRO - Alekhine and former world champion José Raúl Capablanca- had died; but FIDE decided that the other six participants at AVRO played a quadruple round robin tournament. These players were: Max Euwe(from Holland); Mikhail Botvinnik, Paul Keresand Salo Flohr(from the Soviet Union); and Reuben Fineand Samuel Reshevsky(from the USA). But FIDE soon accepted a Soviet request to substitute Vasily Smyslovfor Flohr, and Fine dropped out in order to continue his degree studies in psychiatry, so only 5 players competed. Botvinnik won convincingly and thus became world champion, ending the "interregnum". cite web
publisher=Chess History Center]
The proposals which led to the 1948 Championship Tournament also specified the procedure by which challengers for the World Championship would be selected in a 3-year cycle: countries affiliated to FIDE would send players to Zonal Tournaments (the number varied depending on how many good enough players each country had); the players who gained the top places in these would compete in an Interzonal Tournament (later split into 2 and then 3 tournaments as the number of countries and eligible players increased cite web
title=World Chess Championship FIDE Events 1948-1990
author=Weeks, M.] ); the highest-placed players from the Interzonal would compete in the
Candidates Tournament, along with whoever lost the previous title match and the 2nd-placed competitor in the previous Candidates Tournament 3 years earlier; and the winner of the Candidates played a title match against the champion. Until 1962 inclusive the Candidates Tournament was a multi-round round-robin (all-play-all) - how and why it was changed are described below.
FIDE starts awarding titles to players
In 1950 FIDE awarded its first titles - 27 Grandmasters (GMs), 94
International Masters and 17 International Women Masters. FIDE's first GMs were Ossip Bernstein, Isaac Boleslavsky, Igor Bondarevsky, Mikhail Botvinnik, David Bronstein, Oldrich Duras, Max Euwe, Reuben Fine, Salo Flohr, Ernst Gruenfeld, Paul Keres, Borislav Kostić, Alexander Kotov, Grigory Levenfish, Andor Lilienthal, Geza Maroczy, Jacques Mieses, Miguel Najdorf, Viacheslav Ragozin, Samuel Reshevsky, Friedrich Sämisch, Vasily Smyslov, Gideon Stahlberg, László Szabó, Savielly Tartakower, and Milan Vidmar. In 1957 FIDE introduced norms (qualifying standards) for FIDE titles. Note that the title "Grandmaster" had been in use since 1914, when Czar Nicholas IIconferred the title "Grandmaster of Chess" on Emanuel Lasker, Jose Raul Capablanca, Alexander Alekhine, Siegbert Tarrasch, and Frank James Marshall, after they took the top five places in the 1914 St. Petersburg tournament. cite web
The Bobby Fischer controversies
FIDE found itself involved in some controversies relating to the American player
Bobby Fischer. The first was when Fischer alleged that at the 1962 Candidates Tournamentin Curaçao: the Soviet players Tigran Petrosian, Paul Keresand Efim Gellerhad pre-arranged to draw all their games; and that Victor Korchnoi, another Soviet player, had been instructed to lose to them (Fischer had placed 4th, well behind Petrosian, Keres and Geller). Grandmaster Yuri Averbakh, a member of the Soviet delegation at the tournament, said in 2002 that Petrosian, Keres and Geller privately agreed to draw their games, and a statistical analysis in 2006 supported this conclusion. cite web
title=Yuri Averbakh, An Interview with History, Part 2
date=2002] cite web
title=Did the Soviets Collude?: A Statistical Analysis of Championship Chess 1940-64
authors=Moul, C. and Nye, J.V.C.
publisher=Washington University in St. Louis
date=2006] FIDE responded by changing the format of Candidates Tournaments from multi-round round-robin to a knock-out series of elimination matches.
In 1969 Fischer refused to play in the U.S. Championship because of disagreements about the tournament's format and prize fund. Since that event was being treated as a Zonal Tournament, Fischer forfeited his right to compete for the right to challenge world champion
Boris Spasskyin 1972. But U.S. grandmaster Pal Benkoagreed to give up his place at the Interzonal in Fischer's favor, and other U.S. players did the same. FIDE president Max Euweinterpreted the rules very flexibly to allow Fischer to play in the 1970 Interzonal at Palma de Mallorca, which he won convincingly. Fischer then crushed Mark Taimanov, Bent Larsenand Tigran Petrosian in the 1971 CandidatesTournament and won the title match with Spassky to become world champion. cite web
title=Remembering Max Euwe Part 1
publisher=The Chess Cafe]
After winning the world championship, Fischer criticized the existing championship match format (24 games; the champion retained the title if the match was tied) on the grounds that it encouraged whoever got an early lead to play for draws. While this dispute was going on,
Anatoly Karpovwon the right to challenge in 1975. Fischer refused to accept any match format other than the one he proposed, and eventually FIDE awarded the title to Karpov by default. cite web
|title=World Chess Championship 1975 - Fischer forfeits to Karpov
publisher=Mark Weeks] Some commentators have questioned whether FIDE president Max Euwe did as as much as he could have to prevent Fischer from forfeiting his world title.
Other 1970s controversies
FIDE had a number of conflicts with the Soviet Chess Federation. These conflicts included:
* The defection of grandmaster
Gennadi Sosonkoin 1972. The Soviets demanded that that Sosonko should be treated as an " unperson", excluded from competitive chess, television or any other event that might publicize his defection. FIDE refused, and no Soviet players took part in the 1974 Wijk aan Zeetournament in The Netherlands because Sosonko was playing in it.
* In 1976 world championship contender
Viktor Korchnoisought political asylumin The Netherlands. In a discussion a few days earlier Euwe told Korchnoi, "...of course you will retain all your rights ..." and later opposed Soviet efforts to prevent Korchnoi from challenging for Anatoly Karpov's title in 1978.
* FIDE decided to hold the 1976
Chess Olympiadin Israel, which the Soviet Union did not recognize as a country. The Central Committeeof Communist Party of the Soviet Unionthen started plotting to depose Euwe as president of FIDE.
Rapid expansion of membership
During his period as president of FIDE (1970-1978)
Max Euwestrove to increase the number of member countries, and Florencio Campomanes(president 1982-1995) continued this policy. Former world champion Anatoly Karpovlater said this was a mixed blessing, as the inclusion of so many small, poor countries led to a "leadership vacuum at the head ofthe world of chess – in other words, to our current situation." Yuri Averbakhsaid the presence of so many weak countries made it easy to manipulate decisions. cite web | url=http://www.chesscafe.com/text/skittles183.pdf |title=Yuri Averbakh: An Interview with History - Part 2 | author=Kingston, T. | date=2002 | publisher=ChessCafe ]
World Championship 1983-1985
The events leading to
Garry Kasparov's winning the world championship involved FIDE in two controversies. While arranging the Candidates Tournamentsemi-final matches to be played in 1983, FIDE accepted bids to host Kasparov versus Victor Korchnoiin Pasadena, California. The Soviet Union refused to accept this, either because it feared Kasparov would defect or because it thought Kasparov was the greater threat to reigning champion Anatoly Karpov; and their refusal would have meant that Kasparov forfeited his chance of challenging for the title. FIDE president Florencio Campomanesnegotiated with the Soviet Union and the match was played in London. cite web
title= A crisis is looming in chess world
publisher=New York Times] cite web
title=Campo’s Legacy to World Chess
In the 1984 world championship match between Karpov and Kasparov the winner was to be the first to win 6 games. In the first 27 games Karpov gained a 5-0 lead but by the end of the 48th Kasparov had reduced this to 5-3. cite web
title=1984 Karpov - Kasparov Title Match
author=Weeks, M.] At this point the match had lasted for 159 days (from September 1984 to February 1985), Karpov looked exhausted and many thought Kasparov was the favorite to win. After six days of talks, on February 15 FIDE president Campomanes announced that "the match is ended without decision", that a new one would begin in September 1985 with the score 0-0, and that it would consist of at most 24 games. Karpov entered the press conference rather late and said he wished to continue the existing match, and nobody has revealed what had happened behind the scenes. Kasparov won the second match and became world champion. cite web
title=White knight who brought down the Red king
publisher=The Times] cite web
title=FIDE World Chess Championship 1948-1990
publisher=about.com Also available on [http://www.fide.com/news.asp?id=1268 FIDE's Web site] ]
1993 to present
World Championship divided 1993-2006
Nigel Shortsurprised the world by winning the Candidates Tournamentand thus becoming the official challenger for Garry Kasparov's world title. FIDE very quickly accepted a bid from Manchester(England) to host the title match in 1993. But at that time Short was travelling to Greece and could not be consulted as FIDE's rules required. On learning of the situation Short contacted Kasparov, who had distrusted FIDE and its president, Florencio Campomanesever since Campomanes had stopped his title match against Anatoly Karpovin 1984. Kasparov and Short concluded that FIDE had failed to get them the best financial deal available and announced that they would "play under the auspices of a new body, the " Professional Chess Association" (PCA). FIDE stripped Kasparov of his FIDE title and dropped Kasparov and Short from the official rating list. It also announced a title match between Karpov and Jan Timman, whom Short had defeated in the semi-final and final stages of the Candidates Tournament. Kasparov and Karpov won their matches and there were now two players claiming to be world champion.cite web
title=The Schism: Two World Chess Champions (1993-1996)
In 1994 Kasparov concluded that breaking away from FIDE had been a mistake, because both commercial sponsors and the majority of grandmasters disliked the split in the world championship. cite web
title=The Garry Kasparov Interview, Part 2
author= Greengard, M.
publisher=chessbase.com] Kasparov started trying to improve relations with FIDE and supported Campomanes' bid for re-election as president of FIDE. But many FIDE delegates regarded Campomanes as corrupt and in 1995 he agreed to resign provided his successor was
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, president of the Republic of Kalmykia. cite web
title=The Saga of Chess Unification (1994-2006)]
In the next few years several attempts to re-unify the world championship failed for various reasons - notably inability to finance a match or Kasparov's opposition to any plan that required him to play in a qualifying series rather than go straight into a re-unification match. In 2000
Vladimir Kramnikdefeated Kasparov in a match for what was now the Braingames World Chess Championship (the PCA had collapsed by this time). But Kramnik was also unwilling to play in a qualifying series, and objected strongly to FIDE's attempt to have the world championship decided by annual knock-out tournaments and to reduce the time limits for games, changes which FIDE hoped would make the game more interesting to outsiders. cite web
title=Vladimir Kramnik: “I am ready for a civilized dialogue with FIDE”
Finally in 2006 a re-unification match was played between Kramnik and
Veselin Topalov, which Kramnik won after an unpleasant controversy which led to one game being awarded to Topalov. cite web
title=Kramnik vs Topalov, 2006 - Toiletgate in Elista
But the split in the world-title had after-effects, as shown by FIDE's complicated regulations for the 2007-2009 world championship cycle. Because Topalov was unable to compete in the 2007 World Chess Championship Tournament, FIDE decided he should have a "fast track" entry into the 2007-2009 cycle. And FIDE also decided that, if Kramnik did not win the 2007 championship tournament, he should play a championship match in 2008 against the winner - and this provision became applicable because
Vishwanathan Anandwon the tournament and thus became world champion. cite web
title=Regulations for the 2007 - 2009 World Chess Championship Cycle
publisher=FIDE] cite web
title=Veselin Topalov and the new FIDE world championship cycle
date=2007-06-24] [ cite web
title=World Chess Championship Tournament 2007. Mexico City - Results and Pairings
publisher=The Week in Chess
In 1999, FIDE was recognised by the
International Olympic Committee(IOC). Two years later, it introduced the IOC's anti-drugs rules to chess, as part of its campaign for chess to become part of the Olympic Games. cite web
title=FIDE to adopt IOC Medical Code
There are at present 158 member nations of FIDE. There were 159 until recently, when one was dropped. The list fluctuates, as new nations join and sometimes national federations collapse or are unable to pay their dues.
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, England, Estonia, Ethiopia, Faroe Islands, Fiji, Finland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guernsey, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jersey, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, San Marino, Scotland, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Surinam, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Uruguay, US Virgin Islands, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Wales, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe Ghanaand Ivory Coasthave been temporarily suspended from membership in FIDE because of their failure to meet their financial obligations.
* 1924–1949 (25 years)
* 1949–1970 (21 years)
* 1970–1978 (8 years)
* 1978–1982 (4 years)
* 1982–1995 (13 years)
* 1995–present (12 years)
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov(as of 2007)
FIDE Federations Rankings
International Correspondence Chess Federation
Arab Chess Federation
Australian Chess Federation
Chinese Chess Association
English Chess Federation
New Zealand Chess Federation
United States Chess Federation
Chess around the world
*http://www.fide.com The official FIDE website
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