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FIDE Events
In New Mexico and Beyond!

FIDE Events: Overview, Ratings, and Rules

FIDE, or the International Chess Federation, was initially founded in 1924 in Paris and was one of the very first International Sports Federations. It is now one of the largest, encompassing 199 countries as affiliate members, in the form of National Chess Federations. FIDE hosts several large events throughout the year under the Individual World Championship Cycles, Chess Olympiad, National Team Cycles, and more, but just like USCF, affiliates can also rate their events under the FIDE rating system. In New Mexico we are lucky to be able to run such rated tournaments. Many players are excited to play in these events as a way to establish an international rating, and higher rated players can work towards FIDE titles, but there are some key differences between USCF and FIDE events and processes.

Memberships and IDsUnlike USCF memberships, there is no cost associated with a FIDE membership, however you cannot sign yourself up, only your federation can. For FIDE and USCF dual rated tournaments, the Arbiter, the equivalent of a USCF tournament director, will submit any players who do not have a FIDE ID yet on their behalf to USCF before the tournament begins. Alternatively, players can request an ID by contacting USCF, or their federation, directly and they will work with FIDE to create your ID. The specific requirements can vary based on federation but you can always find your federations FIDE contact by looking them up here: For USCF, you must be an active USCF member and registered in the United States.

Ratings: Unlike USCF, playing in a single FIDE rated tournament or section will not automatically give you a FIDE rating. In order to have a FIDE rating, a player has to score at least 1/2 a point in 5 rated games in a FIDE rated event or events against players with published FIDE ratings within the span of 26 months. That means even if you play in a 5 round FIDE rated event and win every game, if some of your opponents have not achieved a FIDE rating yet, you will not either, so it often takes multiple tournaments to achieve a rating. FIDE also has a minimum rating of 1000, so if your rating ever drops below 1000, you are treated as unrated and have to re-earn your rating. Like USCF, FIDE has Regular, Quick, and Blitz ratings. FIDE also does not share live ratings between published ratings like USCF ratings do, so events will not be visible and rated until the last day of the month the tournament took place in, or even the month after depending on when the tournament took place and was submitted during the month.

Rules: USCF supplies a handy summary of the differences between the USCF and FIDE rules, which you can find here: 

This document is great for reviewing before your first couple FIDE events, as there are a couple important rules to note that may go against what you're used to in USCF only rated events. For example, notation notebooks and electronic notation devices are prohibited; inverted rooks placed on the last rank after a pawn promotion are still considered rooks, not queens; tournament arbiters (directors) may intervene in a game to call flag falls, draws, touch move violations, illegal moves, etc; and many more!

You can view the official FIDE handbook here:

Below you will find any FIDE events upcoming in New Mexico, however you can check out all upcoming FIDE rated events in the US by clicking here!

Working on scheduling our next FIDE event in New Mexico! Check back soon!

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