Handbook ::  A. Administrative Subjects

Chapter 01 - Status, principles and aims of FIDE


The World Chess Federation or Fédération Internationale des Echecs, (referred to in the ensuing text as FIDE for short), is a non-governmental organisation founded on July 20, 1924 in Paris, France, recognised by its members and the International Olympic Committee as the international federation in the domain of chess, the supreme body responsible for the sportof chess and its Championships.  FIDE has the sole rights to organise the World Chess Championships and the Chess Olympiads. FIDE unites national chess federations throughout the world and oversees all International competitions.
The seat of FIDE is in Lausanne, Switzerland.  FIDE is an association registered in the Commercial Register in accordance with the Swiss Civil Code.


FIDE is concerned exclusively with chess activities. FIDE is democratically established and bases itself on the principles of equal rights of its members.  FIDE is a non-profit making organisation. It rejects discriminatory treatment for national, political, racial, social or religious reasons or on account of gender. It observes strict neutrality in the internal affairs of the national chess federations.

  1. FIDE events (competitions, congresses, meetings) may be hosted only by Federations where free access is generally assured to representatives of all Federations.
  2. The General Assembly may take exceptions for reasons of state of war or severe violence between countries, only on a three quarter majority vote.


Chess is one of the most ancient, intellectual and cultural games. It is a combination of sport, of scientific thinking and of elements of art.
The purpose and aim of FIDE are the diffusion and development of chess among all nations of the world, as well as the raising of the level of chess culture and knowledge on a sporting, scientific, creative, educational and cultural basis. FIDE supports a close international cooperation of the chess devotees in all fields of chess activity, thereby also aiming to improve friendly harmony among all peoples of the world.
The practice of the game of chess in all its ramifications is fully recognised as sport by the International Olympic Committee at the IOC session in Seoul, Korea in June 1999 and therefore any form of practice of the game of chess and any decision thereon by FIDE or any form of activity relating thereto either directly or indirectly falls within the definition of sport. The interpretation of these statutes must be in conformity with the Olympic Charter as envisaged by art 25 of the Olympic Charter.


FIDE issues the rules of chess and the provisions pertaining to the organisation of the World Chess Championships and all other FIDE chess competitions. It awards the international chess titles. It decides on the regulations for all FIDE competitions and determines the conditions for the award of international titles.
FIDE competitions are in general open to players of both sexes. A competition described as a women`s event is reserved for women players but women players are entitled to compete in events described as open events.


English and French are the official languages of FIDE. The official language of FIDE for business and announcements shall be English and all meetings, FIDE documents, rules and regulations will be in this language.
English, French, Spanish and Russian are the official languages at the Congress. Qualified interpreters shall translate into these languages. Delegates may speak in their mother tongue if they ensure interpretation into one of the official Congress languages by a qualified interpreter.


The FIDE Motto is "Gens Una Sumus" (We are one family). The FIDE seal is a white Knight intersected by five white latitudinal lines on a black globe, with the word "FIDE" in black at the base of the Knight, and the FIDE motto in black below the globe. The FIDE flag is the FIDE Seal at the centre of a sky-blue background, on both sides of the flag, measuring 100 x 150 cm. or in proportion thereto.

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General inquiries: office@fide.com

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System of Parings Commission
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