“FIDE calculates the Elo ratings of players
and defines the rules of Chess”
French: Federation Internationale des Echecs (International Chess Federation). Its motto is
“Gens una sumus”: We are the people or We are one race. It is divided into 12 zones formed by geographic location and has a President who is elected for four-year terms of office.
A rating is achieved by attaining a certain score against other rated players by means of the Elo method.
Although is widely believed this method was invented and codified by professor of mathematics Arpad Elo, he specifically acknowledged in the introduction to his report to FIDE, that the method was invented by Roger Cook, a Chess player and mathematician, who had earlier used it to devise a grading system for the New South Wales Chess Association.
It was derived from principles that Cook had developed in his graduate thesis on measuring (logarithmically, as it happens) the significance of changes in rated events. Elo made a few changes to the way it was employed but he didn't invent, and he didn't claim to invent, the method.
Retired in Wisconsin, U.S.A., Mr. Elo died in 1992.
According to some people, Elo changed the nature of Chess as radically as the Italian amateur in Renaissance times who gave the Pawn the option of moving two cells on the first move, instead of just one, some 500 years ago.
The Elo system is based on players performances in international and national events, and forms a network throughout the world, monitored and reported by FIDE who publish its standings twice a year and adjudicate on all disputes.
The qualification for international honors is complicated but very precisely laid down. International ratings are published by FIDE twice a year, on 1 January for events from the preceding June to November, and on 1 July for events in the preceding December to May. There are two lists, one for men over 2,200 and the other for women over 1800.
The equivalent British grades are 200 and 150 (British grade x 8 + 600 = Elo rating).
The rules are reviewed at the FIDE congress each year and usually tinkered with - the subject is fraught with prestige, argument and complexity and, not least, intrigue, because possession of a high rating is very important to traditional Chess players, being the passport to expenses and appearance fees, invitations to foreign tournaments and, overall, the opportunity to earn a crust and being recognized as a genius by friends and foes.
Founded in 1924, FIDE also publish books called Albums which contain problems and studies. Composers are awarded points for a study, problem or, composition. Since 1975 they have been awarded titles. A breakaway group known as the Grandmasters Association (GMA) was founded in 1987.
The awarding of FIDE titles were instituted in 1950:
1. International Grandmaster. 2. International Master. 3. FIDE Master.
4. International Woman Grandmaster. 5. International Woman Master. 6. Woman FIDE Master.
7. International Correspondence Chess Grandmaster. 8. International Correspondence Chess Master.
9. International Grandmaster (Chess compositions). 10. FIDE Master for Chess Compositions.
11. International Grandmaster for Solving. 12. International Master for Solving.