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Modified FIDE logo

The Fédération Internationale des Échecs ( FIDE , French for International Chess Federation ) is the umbrella organization of the national associations of chess players . The German name is usually Weltschachbund , which corresponds to the English form of the name World Chess Federation used by FIDE .

The seat is in Lausanne , the secretariat is in Athens . FIDE has additional offices in Singapore and Elista . The Latin motto of FIDE is gene una sumus ( "We are a family"). In addition to a white jumper on a black background, the official logo also includes the motto below the logo.

The association is a member of the Association of IOC-Recognized Sports , the General Association of International Sports Associations Sportaccord (formerly GAISF) and the International Thinking Game Association .


List of FIDE Presidents
Surname from ... to country
Alexander Rueb 1924-1949 Netherlands
Folke Rogard 1949-1970 Sweden
Max Euwe 1970-1988 Netherlands
Friðrik Ólafsson 1978-1982 Iceland
Florencio Campomanes 1982-1995 Philippines
Kirsan Ilyumschinov 1995-2018 Russia
Arkady Dvorkovich since 2018 Russia

Beginnings 1924 to 1946

Parallel to the 1924 Summer Olympics , a tournament called Tournoi international d'amateurs à l'occasion de la VIIIe Olympiade (International amateur tournament on the occasion of the 8th Olympic Games) took place from July 13 to 24 in the Hotel Majestic in Paris Hermanis Matisons as well as the Czechoslovak team was won.


During this tournament on July 20, 1924, the Frenchman Pierre Vincent announced the founding of FIDE, which had been decided by the delegates from fifteen nations. At the same time a committee was formed to draw up the statutes. This consisted of the President Alexander Rueb from the Netherlands, the secretary Leonard Percy Rees (England) and the cashier Marc Nicolet (Switzerland). The founding members of FIDE were Argentina , Belgium , Great Britain , Finland , France , Italy , Yugoslavia , Canada , the Netherlands , Poland , Romania , Switzerland , Spain , Czechoslovakia and Hungary . The signatories of the charter for the individual states were:

The founding day July 20, 1966 was also declared International Chess Day.

Chess Olympiad

At the third FIDE Congress in Budapest in 1926 , it was decided to introduce a Tournament of Nations , which is known today as the Chess Olympiad . This tournament was held for the first time at the following congress in London in 1927 . At the same time, the first women's world chess championship took place.

In 1928 the Second Olympic Chess Tournament took place in The Hague at the same time as the 1928 Summer Olympics in neighboring Amsterdam . The winner in the individual competition was Max Euwe .

World Championship

It was at least as important for FIDE to take control of the World Cup . In the spring of 1928 Efim Bogoljubow had won a competition against Max Euwe for the championship of the World Chess Federation with 3-2 victories. The winner should be the official challenger to FIDE in the battle for the world championship. World champion Alexander Alekhine agreed at the 1928 FIDE Congress in The Hague to defend the world championship under the leadership of FIDE. Only a possible revenge against José Raúl Capablanca should take place under the same conditions as the title fight of 1927 .

At the Congress in Warsaw in 1935, it was decided to set up a committee that included world champion Alekhine. This should compile a list of candidates for the challenge annually. Players who have won an international tournament three times within six years with at least fourteen participants (at least 70 percent of whom had to be international champions) should be included on the list. At the congress in Lucerne from July 24th to 26th, 1936 it was determined that the world chess championship should be decided in competition and not in tournament. However, FIDE still did not have control.

The Dutch proposal to play a candidates' tournament in 1938 had many supporters. The loser of the 1937 World Cup, Botvinnik , Capablanca , Fine , Flohr , Keres , Reshevsky , and possibly another champion should take part. At the Stockholm Congress in 1937, FIDE gambled away the opportunity to organize the World Cup. Initially, the Dutch proposal for a candidates' tournament was rejected. The decision to choose Salo Flohr as the official challenger of the world champion caused outrage. Alekhine also noted that the commission, of which he was a member, saw Capablanca, followed by Botvinnik, as suitable candidates.

The outbreak of World War II made all plans obsolete and FIDE was inactive for several years during this period.

Established from 1946 to 1970

The fact that FIDE was finally able to take control of the world championship was due on the one hand to the interregnum caused by the death of the world champion Alexander Alekhine and on the other hand to the accession of the Soviet Union with around 600,000 registered players. Spain, a founding member of FIDE, was “sacrificed” to join the Soviet Union in 1947.

Takeover of the world championship

First of all, however, it was necessary to resume the association activities that had been idle since the 1939 Chess Olympiad . From July 25 to 27, 1946, the first congress after the war took place in Winterthur . Because of financial and logistical problems, only nine associations were represented, which is why the decisions made had to be confirmed by the next congress. A World Cup tournament was decided here, which was to take place in the Netherlands in 1947. One participant should be the winner of the Staunton Memorial in Groningen or the Treybal Memorial in Prague .

In addition, the structure of the future three-year World Cup cycles was decided, which should essentially apply for many years: the regional zone tournaments should be followed by an interzonal tournament with 20 participants, followed by a double-round candidate tournament . Mikhail Botvinnik, on the other hand, proposed candidate competitions. At the same time, he criticized the association for its deficits in terms of finance and authority.

More critical for FIDE were the consequences of a Dutch newspaper report that accused the Soviet players of collusion. Because of this statement, Botvinnik initially refused to play in the Netherlands.

Finally, at the congress in The Hague from July 30th to August 2nd, 1947, the decision for a World Cup tournament was confirmed, which should now take place in 1948 in The Hague and Moscow.

Awarding of titles

In 1950 the association awarded official titles for the first time. For their achievements, 27 players were awarded the grandmaster title. Another 93 players received the title of International Master . In 1957, standards were defined according to which the titles were awarded.

Trouble about the Candidates Tournament

Following the candidates' tournament in 1962 , the young American Bobby Fischer accused his Soviet teammates of using unfair means. As a consequence, Fischer announced that he would never again take part in a World Cup cycle. At the FIDE Congress in Saltsjöbaden, Sweden, from August 25 to September 5, 1962, the rules were adjusted because of these incidents. Now the candidates' tournament was to be held in competitions, as Botvinnik had once suggested.

More new competitions

Since the association was also responsible for the world championship, its supremacy in all chess matters has been undisputed. The support of the largest and most influential association by far, the Soviet Union, was certain.

During this time, the Swede Folke Rogard was President of FIDE, who had replaced Alexander Rueb in 1949. He established other FIDE competitions, such as the women's chess Olympiad from 1957.

Introduction of the Elo numbers

At the Congress in Siegen in 1970, at which Rogard's successor was elected, it was also decided to introduce the Elo numbers . It was first developed by its namesake, Arpad Elo , for the US association in the 1960s.

Expansion from 1970 to 1982

FIDE member countries. Countries marked in blue joined before 1970, green until 1991, yellow since 1993, countries marked in red are successor associations of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia.

In 1970, the former world champion Max Euwe was elected President of FIDE. Its primary goal was to expand the association. During its eight year presidency, more than two dozen new associations joined FIDE. Euwe's expansionist policy was continued by his successors Olafsson and Campomanes.

Yuri Awerbach, who described Euwe as the best FIDE President of all time, later viewed this as critical, as the right to vote enabled many small associations to fight against large associations. Anatoly Karpov also later remarked that Euwe had acted with the best of intentions to want to spread chess everywhere, but that this had led to a leadership vacuum in FIDE.

Even in the first few years of his tenure, Euwe was already controversial. At the 1974 congress in Nice, an opposing candidate for the first time in the presidential election ran. Ultimately, Euwe won more clearly than expected with 43 to 29 votes against the Puerto Rican Raball-Mendez.

Controversies about Bobby Fischer

It was very important to Max Euwe that Bobby Fischer had the opportunity to play for the world title. However, since this had not participated in the US championship in 1969, he was not qualified for the interzonal tournament. In order to enable Fischer to participate in the interzonal tournament, Pál Benkö waived his qualification place as did any successors. Max Euwe interpreted the rules clearly in favor of Fischer.

He won the world championship against Boris Spasski in 1972 , but tied numerous conditions to his title defense. Euwe tried to find compromises that should enable the competition with Anatoli Karpov , but failed, whereupon Fischer did not defend his title. On April 3, 1975, Euwe therefore declared Karpow the new world champion.

1976 Chess Olympiad in Israel

The award of the 1976 Chess Olympiad in Haifa , Israel , also presented Euwe with some difficulties. The Swiss system, which was initially introduced on a test basis, did not meet with too much approval, especially among the strong chess nations. What weighed more heavily, however, was that the Soviet Union had no diplomatic relations with Israel at the time and sharply criticized the choice of the venue. Nevertheless, Euwe stuck to the decision. The Soviet Union and the associations from its sphere of influence boycotted the tournament. 34 teams took part in a counter-Olympiad in Tripoli , Libya .

Emigration of Soviet players

During Euwe's presidency, several players from the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact states emigrated to the West. The desertion of Gennadi Sosonko in 1972 caused the first sensation . He settled into the Netherlands via Israel. There Max Euwe played against him in 1975. The Soviet Union, especially its Sports Minister Sergei Pavlov, saw this as a provocation.

Viktor Korchnoi , who did not return to the Soviet Union after the 1976 IBM tournament in Amsterdam , caused much larger confrontations . During discussions during the tournament, Euwe Kortschnoi had assured his personal help if there were any problems with his entitlement to the candidates tournament. Because of Euwe's stance in the Korchnoi case, efforts were made in the Soviet Union to vote him out, which took place in 1978. His successor in 1978 was the Icelander Friðrik Ólafsson , who continued Euwe's expansion policy. After an extremely tight first ballot, in which Ólafsson received 30 votes, his opponents Gligorić and Raball-Mendez received 29 and 31 votes respectively, Ólafsson won the second ballot. Max Euwe did not run again.

Campomanes era 1982 to 1995

Florencio Campomanes (2008)

The Filipino Florencio Campomanes was elected the first non-European President of FIDE in 1982. At the congress in Lucerne, he won the second ballot with 65:43 votes over incumbent Olafsson. With the organization of the World Cup in 1978 in Baguio City , he had drawn attention in the chess world. For the 1975 World Cup , Campomanes had made an offer for the Philippines amounting to 13 million Swiss francs .

Already in 1978 Campomanes was under discussion as the new President of FIDE, but did not take on incumbent Friðrik Ólafsson until four years later with the slogan “Time for Change” and the promise to bring chess to the Third World .

Campomanes was also keen to continue Euwe's expansion course and to increase the number of member associations, especially in Asia. Many new associations joined FIDE after the breakup of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union . The loss of the Soviet Union, which had previously stabilized both FIDE and Campomanes 'power, led to the destabilization of FIDE and Campomanes' power.

Conflict with the Soviet Union

Campomanes had to survive a first serious test in the 1983 candidate competitions. The semifinals between the promising Garri Kasparov and Viktor Korchnoi had been awarded to Pasadena , California . The Soviet federation refused to let Kasparov play there, whereupon Korchnoi was declared the winner. The duel between Hungary's Zoltán Ribli and Wassili Smyslow , which was to take place in Abu Dhabi , was also rated . Much has been speculated about the motives of the Soviet chess federation. Campomanes risked splitting the chess world, but emerged victorious in the power struggle with the Soviet Union thanks to associations from the Third World. Ultimately, both semi-finals were rescheduled in London.

Cancellation of the 1984/85 World Cup

Kasparov became Campomanes' adversary in 1985

Garry Kasparov finally qualified as a challenger to world champion Anatoly Karpov . At the 1984 World Cup , he quickly took the lead before Kasparov played more prudently and there was a long series of draws . Only in the 32nd game could the challenger reduce to 1: 5.

At this score, the Soviet Chess Federation requested that the competition be stopped in order not to endanger the health of the players. With the score of 5: 3 for Karpow Campomanes decided against the rules and against the will of Kasparov to break off the competition. Karpov also stated during the press conference that he wanted to continue playing, but this was doubted by the media and chess fans. Campomanes himself said that it was up to Karpov that this press conference did not go well.

Florencio Campomanes had previously had the competition relocated from the portico of the union building to the Hotel Sport at the behest of the organizing committee , for which the rules would have required the consent of both players. This gave the ailing Karpov a few days to regenerate. According to press reports, at that time he was only a "battered, bent, tired Hutzelmännchen", while his opponent was bursting with strength.

Campomanes had fraternized with Karpov shortly after his election and privileged him time and again, so that not only Kasparov mocked the two as "Karpomanes". As a result, there were repeated clashes between Campomanes and Karpov on the one hand and Kasparov and other grandmasters on the other. After winning the title in 1985 , Kasparov initially refused a revenge match, whereupon Campomanes wanted to depose him as world champion.

1986 Chess Olympiad

When the decision to cancel the 1984/85 World Cup was in the room, Florencio Campomanes and other officials were in Dubai , where the 1986 Chess Olympiad was planned. The United Arab Emirates Chess Federation as the organizer did not want to invite Israel , which was even permitted under the FIDE rules of the time. However, since around 40 associations had threatened a boycott in the event of Israeli expulsion, a split in the chess world was again possible. Ultimately, Israel was excluded and Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Faroe Islands and the Netherlands, as well as individual players, actually stayed away from the Chess Olympiad in protest.

Division of the chess world in 1993

Although Campomanes was very controversial in the chess world, he was re-elected in 1986 and 1990. Garri Kasparov, whom he snubbed, campaigned with all his might in 1986 for the election of the Brazilian Lincoln Lucena, whose candidacy failed miserably. Lucena, who among other things had campaigned for the tightening of the World Cup qualification, withdrew his candidacy on election day. Campomanes was also able to avert the threatening division of the chess world twice.

In 1993, however, he himself contributed significantly to the division of the chess world. Garry Kasparov and his challenger at the 1993 World Championships , Nigel Short , felt they were not adequately represented by FIDE and decided to play for the title under the direction of the specially founded Professional Chess Association (PCA). Both players were removed from the association's ranking, and Anatoli Karpow and Jan Timman , who lost out in the candidates' tournament, were invited to the official World Cup as successors. This FIDE World Championship turned into a complete fiasco after one of the two organizers could not raise the promised prize money and the second withdrew completely at short notice.

Chess Olympiad and resignation

When in 1994 Thessaloniki resigned as organizer of the Chess Olympiad at short notice, Garry Kasparov of all people helped organize the event in Moscow. Following this, Kasparov was again led in the FIDE ranking and in turn supported the re-election of Campomanes.

Other supporters, however, increasingly turned away from Campomanes. His old friend Anatoly Karpov complained that he and his challenger Gata Kamsky had to organize their competition themselves after "Campomanes had become Kasparov's henchman".

Ultimately, however, Campomanes only failed because of financial irregularities that were held up against him at the 1995 FIDE Congress in Paris. In this case, the Philippine Association explicitly pointed out that Campomanes was not its delegate. At that time there was apparently no longer any basis of trust in their own country either. Campomanes was accused at the congress, among other things, of having paid out 120,000 Swiss francs due to “special merits” despite the vote made a year earlier . In addition, at the 1992 Chess Olympiad in Manila , he is said to have accepted checks for more than US $ 400,000 on behalf of FIDE, but not accounted for them.

Ultimately, Campomanes agreed to his resignation, provided Kirsan Ilyumschinov would be elected as his successor. He met him in Moscow in 1994 and assessed him as a "very interesting man". Ilyumschinov was in Paris because his hometown Elista applied for the 1998 Chess Olympiad .

Ilyumschinov era from 1995 to 2018

Kirsan Ilyumschinov 2008

Kirsan Ilyumschinov was only 33 years old at the time of his election. In 1993 he won the election to head the Republic of Kalmykia . After the collapse of the Soviet Union , he had amassed a fortune in a short period of time, the origin of which has never been clarified beyond doubt.

According to his own statements, Ilyumschinov had already known half a year in advance that he would be elected. His fortune teller informed him about this and that he would remain in office for two legislative periods . Notwithstanding this, Ilyumschinov was nominated again in 2010 under controversial circumstances for the presidential election, which he clearly won against challenger Anatoly Karpov .

It has been speculated that Ilyumschinov was elected President of FIDE in order to secure his political career. Due to the high status of chess in Russia , Ilyumschinov had hoped for a certain immunity from Boris Yeltsin , said the Spiegel .

As FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumschinow always had ambitious plans that went far beyond the necessary financial consolidation and the reunification of the chess world. So he planned a competition between Anatoli Karpow and Bobby Fischer for the end of 1996 .

Financial importance

Due to the ruinous situation of FIDE, Ilyumschinov was, at least financially, a stroke of luck for the association. In 1996 alone, he said he invested 2 million US dollars in FIDE, which he intended as "start-up financing". In his estimation, a total of 20 million dollars was necessary to achieve the long-term goal of making FIDE an "internationally powerful organization" with as many members as the UN .

Chess town Elista

One of his investments , which should benefit FIDE and his homeland alike, was the “ chess town ” in Elista, which alone is said to have cost 50 million US dollars.

Equally ambitious were Ilyumschinov's plans to make chess players the "highest paid athletes in the world". For the next ten world championships, he promised total prize money of 55 million US dollars.

In order to make chess interesting for sponsors , Ilyumschinow wanted to prove that chess is a TV-compatible sport like golf or tennis .

In order to improve the marketing of chess, companies were founded one after the other to solve this task professionally in accordance with FIDE. The companies FIDE Commerce and FIDE Commerce International , based in London, were followed by the Dutch company Global Chess under the management of Bessel Koks , which was liquidated in 2009 without any noteworthy public awareness. The successor was the Chess Network Company .

Ilyumschinov was largely unable to implement his ambitious goals. He often still helped FIDE out of his own fortune. He always successfully countered the opposition criticism of his numerous failures by pointing out the fortunes that he personally put into check.

Olympic movement

In order to increase the status of chess, Ilyumschinow aspired to chess as an Olympic discipline. In 1999 he succeeded in getting chess recognized as an Olympic sport by the International Olympic Committee . Apart from a demonstration in Sydney in 2000 , chess did not become an Olympic discipline. Following the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing , the first World Thinking Sports Games took place there, which included not only chess but also disciplines such as checkers and bridge . The competitions in Beijing were all held with a short time to think about it .

World championships

Ilyumschinov's first publicly recognized official act was the award of the 1996 FIDE World Cup between Anatoly Karpov and Gata Kamsky . Completely surprisingly, Baghdad was chosen as the venue. Ilyumschinov was accused of abusing his office as FIDE President in order to rehabilitate his globally ostracized friend Saddam Hussein . Ilyumschinov rejected this on the grounds that he was acting as a person and speculated that the United States might one day propose Saddam Hussein for the Nobel Peace Prize . In his opinion, neither the US nor the UN had any objections to the venue. In fact, however, the US State Department threatened Gata Kamsky with imprisonment and a fine if he were to run in Iraq despite the UN embargo . The world championship was eventually moved to Elista.

The mode of the 1997/98 World Chess Championship was sharply criticized by the top players. Vladimir Kramnik delivered a protest note from almost all top players at the FIDE Congress, but it was ignored. In order to qualify for the final against world champion Anatoli Karpow, a three-week knockout tournament was scheduled in Groningen immediately before the competition . In addition to the mode, Karpov's privileges and the unknown origin of the high prize money were criticized.

The FIDE World Championships from 1999 to 2004 were all completely knockout tournaments and were viewed by players, the media and the public as inferior in sporting terms. At the congress in Tehran in December 2000, a new qualification was also decided. Accordingly, 117 players should qualify at national and continental championships and another eight on the Internet. Three more participants should be nominated by the President.

Despite the experience gained at the 1986 Chess Olympiad in Dubai , the 2004 World Cup was held in the Libyan capital Tripoli . Not unexpectedly, this caused problems. Israeli players were not invited and other players stayed away from the event.

In 2005 and 2007, the world championship was finally held in a double-round tournament with eight participants each. After the reunification, the World Cup mode was changed again. The general desire for duels was taken into account, the qualification changed again. The qualification for the first regular cycle for the 2012 World Cup consisted of a series of six tournaments known as the Grand Prix and the World Cup . For this, players could qualify in zone and continental tournaments. Originally a candidate competition between the Grand Prix and World Cup winners was planned. With great protest, the mode was changed during the ongoing qualification so that eight players should take part in candidate competitions.


Of course, after the Professional Chess Association split off in 1993, the reunification of the chess world was one of Ilyumschinov's primary goals. That was all the more true after joining the Olympic movement. With this the demand for a clear world champion was connected. The PCA disbanded after only two World Cup matches in 1993 and 1995 and the loss of its main sponsor Intel in 1996. The World Chess Council , founded as a successor organization, did not succeed in organizing a world championship planned for 1998.

Nevertheless, Ilyumschinov only managed to take the initiative for a possible reunification in 2002. Together with Bessel Kok , Alexei Orlow, Garri Kasparow , Wladimir Kramnik and Yasser Seirawan , Ilyumschinow published the Prague Plan on May 6, 2002 . This provided for two matches, the winners of which should play for the sole world title. One competition was to take place between Vladimir Kramnik and the winner of the Dortmund Chess Days 2002, another between FIDE world champion Ruslan Ponomarjow and Garry Kasparov.

Despite the noble aim, the plan was not undisputed. Ultimately, it was not put into practice. The competition between Kramnik and the Dortmund winner Péter Lékó did not take place until 2004. In the same year Ponomarev lost his title to Rustam Kasimjanov . A year later, Garry Kasparov said goodbye to tournament chess.

On April 13, 2006 Ilyumschinow finally announced the unification competition between Vesselin Topalow and Vladimir Kramnik, which took place in Elista in the fall. Here it came to some disputes, which Ilyumschinow were also blamed.

Controversial rule changes in Ilyumschinov's tenure

During Ilyumschinov's term of office, a number of rule changes fell, which were often controversially discussed by organized chess players.

The shortening of the reflection period decided at the 2000 Tehran Congress caused a particular stir . Accordingly, for a classic game of chess, only 75 minutes were allowed for the first 40 moves and 15 minutes for the rest of the game plus a surcharge of 30 seconds per move played. This rule has been sharply criticized in terms of content and form by leading chess players. Ultimately, such a short reflection period could not be enforced. The "FIDE time limit" is now 90 minutes for the first 40 moves and 30 minutes for the rest of the game plus 30 seconds surcharge per move played.

The "zero tolerance rule" introduced in 2009 was also controversial. This stipulated that a player would lose a game if he did not show up on time. Previously, there was a waiting period of up to one hour, during which the delay was counted towards the reflection period. Tournament organizers may set the waiting period differently.

As a member of the Olympic movement, FIDE also submitted to WADA's strict anti-doping regulations . The necessity and the resulting costs, but especially the possible intrusion into the intimate sphere , has been sharply criticized, especially by amateur athletes. The possibilities of doping in chess are still controversial today.

FIDE under Dvorkovich

Arkadi Dworkowitsch, Dortmund 2018

Arkady Dvorkovich was elected as the new President of FIDE at the beginning of October 2018.


In its statutes, FIDE defines itself as a world association that deals exclusively with chess issues. In addition to the development and spread of chess in all nations, the definition of the rules of chess, the organization of world championships and other tournaments as well as the award of titles are emphasized. However, FIDE's exclusive claim has been and is de facto repeatedly called into question.

Title and ratings

The FIDE Qualification Committee is responsible for the closely related areas of titles and ratings.

The worldwide introduction of the Elo numbers was decided by FIDE at the Congress in Siegen in 1970. Since then, the association has been calculating the rating of all registered players and now publishes the resulting ranking list every month.

The quality of a tournament is measured on the basis of the participants' Elo numbers. This is important for the achievement of standards. If a player achieves certain standards, FIDE gives him a title like Grandmaster for life . Special achievements are also rewarded with the award of a title.

The valuation figures are controversial because of possible and partially already proven manipulations, especially because of the assumed inflation.

In the recent past, the specialist media have also increasingly referred to the so-called live rating, which is calculated on a daily basis . These unofficial calculations by the Norwegian Hans-Arild Runde are very popular due to the daily calculation and the resulting dynamics, even though they are actually only a forecast of future ratings and not an actual live calculation.

FIDE competitions

The association claims the staging of numerous chess events for itself, above all the entire cycle of the World Chess Championship and the Chess Olympiad , but also the continental championships including events for youth and juniors. The Chess Network Company has been responsible for the commercial part of the events at least theoretically since 2009 .

FIDE's claim to exclusivity was definitely questioned, especially in the years after the division of the chess world in 1993. The majority did not recognize the official FIDE world champions as such. Only in 2006 did the reunification of the world championships succeed. FIDE also feels responsible for the world championship in rapid chess. However, this was held until 2010 as part of the Chess Classic in Mainz.

Controversial venues for competitions

For a long time, FIDE has organized world championships and chess Olympiads in Islamic states that refuse entry to Israel and accepts the exclusion of Israeli players from the competitions. The exclusion of Israel at the 1986 Chess Olympiad in Dubai led to a boycott of the event by various European associations and individual players. Israelis were also not welcome at the 2004 FIDE World Chess Championship in Libya . The rapid and blitz chess world championships were awarded to Saudi Arabia for the years 2017 to 2019 . In 2017, several Israeli players tried unsuccessfully for a visa.

The clothing regulations for women in the Islamic host countries also gave rise to criticism and led to players being rejected. At the 2017 women's chess world championship in Tehran , players were also required to wear a veil during the competition, which led to the cancellation of several female grandmasters. At the World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships 2017 in Riyadh , the dress code was relaxed to the point that players were allowed to remain unveiled during the games. Nevertheless, the world champion Anna Musytschuk renounced a title defense in protest.


A particularly important task of FIDE is the formulation of uniform rules. In addition to the immediate rules of the game, which have remained unchanged for centuries, the tournament rules in particular are defined.

A number of rule changes have been sharply criticized by chess players, and not only in recent years. The reflection times, which were greatly reduced at the beginning of the millennium, were among the most controversial decisions and ultimately could not be implemented in practice. The "FIDE cooling-off period" was gradually extended again. However, it is z. B. not used at world championships. Also very controversial are the rules that if a mobile phone rings or if you don't appear on time at the board, the game is considered lost.

In particular, the Grand Slam Association , initiated by Silvio Danailow, has introduced new rules in the tournaments belonging to it in recent years, above all the Sofia rule and the award of three points for a win and one point for a draw. In the meantime, FIDE has moved away from its strict guidelines that deviations from the standard rules e.g. B. regarding draw agreements or zero tolerance are possible. Various classic cooling off times are also tolerated.


The association is officially financed primarily through contributions from member associations, entry fees and the granting of rights. Meanwhile, however, FIDE's share of prize money has also become an important source of income. The association was contractually entitled to 600,000 euros at the 2010 World Chess Championship .

The main decisions within the association are made by the general assembly, the presidium and the board. In addition, there are numerous specialist commissions, e.g. B. for rules, ethics or titles and ratings. Various committees meet as part of the annual FIDE Congress. In the Olympic years the congress takes place parallel to the Chess Olympiad, in the other years parallel to other important FIDE events.

General meeting

The General Assembly is FIDE's highest body. Each member association has one vote in the general assembly. These include a. also honorary members and presidents of FIDE and related associations, for example the correspondence chess federation ICCF. However, only the national associations are entitled to vote.

Certain decisions within FIDE may only be made by the General Assembly. This applies above all to the amendment of the statutes and the elections, but also to the matters of the regular and qualification committee. The General Assembly meets annually as part of the FIDE Congress. Every four years the General Assembly elects u. a. the president and his most important employees.


The Executive Board of FIDE meets at least once a year as part of the FIDE Congress. This body includes in particular the president and his deputy, the vice-presidents, the general secretary, the treasurer, the four presidents of the continental associations, the zone presidents and honorary presidents and vice-presidents.

The board of directors can make almost all decisions that are normally reserved for the general assembly. Exceptions are elections, changes to the statutes and matters relating to the regular and qualification committee. The decisions of the board are examined by the next general assembly.


The Presidential Board meets at least once a quarter and is therefore the body that is de facto responsible for everything that is going on. The members of the Presidium are the FIDE President and Deputy, the Honorary President, the Vice-Presidents, the Secretary General, the Treasurer, the Continental Association Presidents and the Men's and Women's World Champions and the Honorary Vice-Presidents.

On September 29, 2010 Kirsan Ilyumschinov (nominated by Russia, Argentina and Mexico) was re-elected as president. Pressure is said to have been exerted on the delegates in Khanty-Mansisk, where the Chess Olympiad was taking place at the same time, to vote for Ilyumschinov. The opponent was the former world chess champion Anatoly Karpov, who was supported in his campaign by his former opponent Kasparov. In 2014, the former world chess champion Garry Kasparov failed with his candidacy against Ilyumschinov.

Member associations and zones

The national and international chess federations belong to FIDE. In addition, there are associations that deal with special issues in chess:

Continental Associations

Four continental associations represent and develop chess on their respective continent. a. the continental championships (as of May 2010).

  1. The European Chess Union (ECU), based in Belgrade, comprises 54 associations. President is the Slovenian Boris Kutin.
  2. The Confederation of Chess for America (CCA), based in Mexico City, comprises 35 associations. The president is Jorge Vega from Costa Rica.
  3. The Asian Chess Federation (ACF), based in Al-Ain in the United Arab Emirates, represents 53 associations from Asia and Oceania. The president is Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan.
  4. The African Chess Union (ACU), based in Gaborone (Botswana), has 47 members, two of which were provisionally admitted in 2010. The president is Dabilani Buthali (Botswana).

Zones and National Associations

All continents are further divided into zones. In addition to regional aspects, the composition of the zones also takes qualitative and quantitative aspects into account, and in some cases also political aspects. Some zones are divided into sub-zones.

The zone tournaments are the first international stage of World Cup qualification in most regions. The number of qualifiers for each zone is determined by FIDE.

Each national association is assigned to a zone. In order to become a member of FIDE, a nation must not only be a member of the United Nations or at least have observer status, but the federation must also be a member of the respective National Olympic Committee . However, z. B. Great Britain represented with several associations in FIDE.

The zones and continents are currently (May 2010) structured as follows. The first digit stands for the continent:

Zone Subzone Associations player Grandmaster
1.1 1.1 a England , Ireland, Scotland, Wales 3,670 43
1.1 b Belgium , France , the Netherlands 36,167 72
1.1 c Italy, Portugal , Spain 38,582 45
1.2 1.2 a Germany , Austria , Switzerland , Slovenia 30,215 98
1.2 b Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel, Croatia, Macedonia 6.005 81
1.3 Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway , Sweden 9,322 53
1.4 Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary 30,403 168
1.5 1.5 a Albania, Greece, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey 20,585 75
1.5 b Armenia, Georgia 1,823 56
1.6 Russia 19,642 197
1.7 Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania 1,550 21st
1.8 Azerbaijan, Moldova, Belarus 1,969 41
1.9 Ukraine 3,439 76
1.10 Andorra, Faroe Islands, Guernsey, Jersey, Liechtenstein , Luxembourg , Malta, Monaco, San Marino, Cyprus 696 3
2.1 United States 7.006 68
2.2 Canada 1,581 8th
2.3 Guyana 6th 0
2.3.a US Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, Puerto Rico 3.213 19th
2.3.b Colombia, Ecuador, Netherlands Antilles, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago 5,207 5
2.3.c Aruba, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Venezuela 3,515 6th
2.4 Bolivia, Brazil and Peru 6,630 17th
2.5 Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay 6.015 25th
3.1 Palestine, Syria, United Arab Emirates 8,814 11
3.2 Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka 3,977 5
3.3 Brunei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan , Cambodia, Laos, Macao, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam 5,459 31
3.4 Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan 1,870 32
3.5 People's Republic of China 857 27
3.6 Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands 2,038 5
3.7 India 19,430 24
4.1 Algeria, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Mauritania, Tunisia, Senegal 987 3
4.2 Egypt, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Ghana, Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Central African Republic 1.932 3
4.3 Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa 1,293 1

The German-speaking federations in FIDE are the German Chess Federation , the Swiss Chess Federation , the Austrian Chess Federation and the Liechtenstein Chess Federation.

The Bulgarian Chess Federation was excluded for an indefinite period in October 2017; the Bulgarian federation players were automatically assigned to FIDE as federation.

Honors - Medal of Merit Awardees

Gold Merit Award 2002 for Claus Spahn

The following people have been awarded the FIDE Medal of Merit :

Web links

Wiktionary: FIDE  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

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  2. Even at FIDE itself, the logo is often varied in color in practical use or reduced by the motto.
  3. La Stratégie July 1924, p. 169 ff.
  4. Unofficial Chess Olympiad 1924 at Olimpbase , accessed on May 7, 2010.
  5. ^ André Schulz : 90 Years of the World Chess Federation In: July 20, 2014, accessed August 25, 2019.
  6. Bill Wall: FIDE Story (English), accessed May 5, 2010.
  8. British Chess Magazine September 1928, p. 328.
  9. German chess newspaper May 1928, p. 132.
  10. ^ Bogoljubow: The Fate of a Chess Player by Sergei Soloviov, Chess Stars, Sofia 2004, p. 130.
  11. British Chess Magazine June 1928, p. 238.
  12. ChessHistory (English)
  13. Compte-rendu du XIIe congrès, Varsovie, 28-31 août 1935 , p. 10.
  14. Compte-rendu du XIIIe congrès, Lucerne, 24. – 26. July 1936 , pp. 5 and 9.
  15. Tjdschrift van den Koninklijke Nederlandse Schaakbond July 1937, p 171st
  16. Swiss Chess Journal October 1937, pp. 145 ff.
  17. Chess September 14, 1937, p. 3 f.
  18. Chess October 14, 1937, p. 45 f.
  19. a b Chess December 1946, p. 63.
  20. Swiss chess newspaper November 1946, p. 169 ff.
  21. Chess March 1947, p. 168 f.
  22. Swiss chess newspaper October 1947, p. 154 f.
  23. Der Spiegel 41/1962, p. 94 ff.
  24. Deutsche Schachzeitung 10/1962, p. 307 and p. 368.
  25. a b c d Gennadi Sosonko: Remembering Max Euwe in ChessCafe Skittles Room 167 ( Memento of July 11, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) via Internet Archive (English, PDF; 160 kB) p. 3 ff.
  26. a b Taylor Kingston: Yuri Averbakh: An Interview with History Part 2 in ChessCafe Skittles Room 183 ( Memento from September 11, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) via Internet Archive (English, PDF; 132 kB) p. 7 f. and 11.
  27. Schach 8/74, p. 239.
  28. Olimpbase: Counter Olympiad 1976 (English)
  29. Schach-Echo 12/1985, p. 468.
  30. Chess 1/83 p. 12.
  31. a b c d e Casto Abundo: Campo's Legacy to World Chess (English, Word document; 74 kB), accessed on May 11, 2010.
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  35. The time 8/1985
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  38. Schach-Echo 7/1986 p. 262.
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  40. Der Spiegel 30/1995, p. 159.
  41. Chess Magazine 64
  42. a b c d e Der Spiegel 16/1996, p. 188 f.
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  46. Der Spiegel 2/1998, p. 103 ff.
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  48. a b World Cup pages by Mark Weeks (English)
  49. Prague plan from Mark Weeks (English)
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  66. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov re-elected for FIDE President ,, September 29, 2010
  67., October 4, 2010: Karpov 2010: Setting the Record Straight . Retrieved October 7, 2010.
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  70. a b Complete FIDE Ranking List, May 1, 2011.
  71. FIDE, October 17, 2017: Executive Board 2017 Decisions
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