What is FIDE?
FIDE stands for Fédération Internationale des Échecs, which essentially stands for “International Chess Federation”. To dive into this further, we should look into what is the definition of a federation. A federation is basically a union with a purpose under a governing body. That is essentially what it is. It’s a union of chess players and chess organizers, which all answers to one governing body, something we will cover later on in the article.
What does FIDE do?
FIDE is responsible for running many events for top players. FIDE also does a good job of getting sponsors, stipending chess players, helping meet player’s conditions, etc. Some prominent events in which they are responsible for include world junior championship, world senior championship, the Chess Olympiad (basically the world team championship), and, of course, the Candidates and World Chess Championship match.
On top of organizing these top-tier events, tournaments for amateurs/lower-rated players can also be run by FIDE.
FIDE was founded on April 0f 1914 in St. Petersburg in Russia. The purpose of the foundation was so that there could be a universal world chess federation that is governed by one body.
The President and his role
The current president of FIDE is the Russian Arkady Dvorkovich. Dvorkovich was the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia from 2012-2018 before he ran for FIDE president and got elected. He succeeded former president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov who was president from 1995-2018.
What is the role of the FIDE president? Some of those include being able to sign stuff in the name of FIDE. The president also presides over meetings among other leadership.
The candidates he was running against were Nigel Short, British Grandmaster, and Georgios Makropoulos. Short ended up withdrawing from the campaign, while Dvorkovich defeated Makropolus 103 votes to 78 votes.
An explanation of FIDE Titles
One good aspect of FIDE is that they award titles of recognition to chess players who work hard, devote their lives to great the great game of chess. These titles take HARD work to achieve. Not only the hours upon hours of studying alongside the expenses of getting good coaching, the travel expenses, etc, but you also have to get to a certain rating and achieve norms.
A norm is a certain high level in a chess tournament. And playing well/winning games is not the only criteria, there are other criteria required to get your norms. For a Grandmaster norm, some requirements include 1/3 of your opponents in a given tournament must be Grandmaster themselves, must be from different countries, must have a tournament performance rating of 2600 or above, etc.
Generally, you need three norms (three impressive performances with strict stipulations) to be eligible for a title, then you need to get to the required rating, then you will have that title! :)
A list of FIDE titles
Here is a list of FIDE titles, and the requirements to get them
Candidate Master — You must achieve a FIDE rating of 2200 or above, no norm requirements
FIDE Master — You must achieve a FIDE rating of 2300 or above to achieve the FIDE master title
International Master — A rating of 2400 or above is required alongside 3 IM norms to achieve.
Grandmaster — To become a GM, you must have a 2500 rating, and 3 GM norms.
On top of those titles, there are also woman’s titles, which include WCM (Woman Candidate Master), WFM (Woman FIDE Master), WIM (Woman International Master), and WGM (Woman Grandmaster).
Regardless of the title, it takes many hours of blood sweat, and tears to reach any given title. The rewards, however, are quite nice, they can include overall recognition in the online chess world like Chess.com or Lichess. Also, titled players are very likely to get offers for lectures, simuls, and can command a high rate for chess lessons, as many will want to learn the master’s secrets.
The wonderful thing about this Federation
What is the obvious wonderful thing about the international chess federation?? Besides the fact that they host so many big events for star players to play in. FIDE really unifies chess players from all over the country. If you need proof, look no further than the top 10 chess players in the world
#10 — Anish Giri (2764) The Netherlands
#9 — Teimour Radjabov (2765) Azerbaijan
#8 — Wesley So (2770) USA
#7 — Levon Aronian (2773) Armenia
#6 — Alexander Grischuk (2777) Russia
#5 — Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (2778) France
#4 — Ian Nepomniachtchi (2784) Russia
#3 — Ding Liren (2791) China
#2 — Fabiano Caruana (2835) USA
#1 — Magnus Carlsen (2863) Norway
Just naming the countries that these top players come from really proves the diversity FIDE has brought to chess. Who would ever guess that the #1 chess player in the world is from Norway? Or that China would have their first world championship candidate in 2o18?
It’s absolutely remarkable to think, and while chess has not quite reached every single country to its full potential, we can only imagine things going upwards from here…