FIDE-Rated Event Reporting, Part 1

fide logo
FIDE, the International Chess Federation.

Congratulations! You’re going to be Chief Arbiter of your very first FIDE-rated event. It may even be a tournament offering IM or GM norms!

What information do you need to submit? How? And by when?

Remember: National Arbiters (NA) may be Chief Arbiter of FIDE-rated events that do not offer title norms. A FIDE Arbiter (FA) or International Arbiter (IA) must be the Chief of norm events.

Here in Part 1, I’ll talk about pre-event “gotchas.” Part 2 will cover what to do during the tournament. Finally, Part 3 will discuss what to do after the event has ended.

While some info here can be helpful to any arbiter, these posts are aimed at USA arbiters submitting events to the US Chess Federation (USCF, or US Chess).

 

USCF Responsibilities

You need to email your event’s information to the US Chess FIDE Events Manager (currently, IA Brian Yang) so that he can register your tournament with FIDE. You cannot do this yourself, and must go through US Chess. You can email fide@uschess.0rg.

For a title norm event (you’re an FA or IA, right?), you need to send the info to US Chess at least 33 days before the start date of your event.

For a non-norm event, you can send the info a mere 3 days 6 days before the start. [FIDE needs the info 3 days prior, from US Chess. Thanks to IA Judit Sztaray for this correction!]

Which information to include? Below is the info I sent Brian to register the 2023 New York Winter Invitational – GM A. Feel free to steal this template:

Tournament Name: 2023 New York Winter Invitational – GM A
City and State: New York, NY
Number of players: 10
System: RR
Start Date: 2023-01-12
End Date: 2023-01-16
Time Control: 90 minutes with 30 second increment from move 1
Playing schedule:
Round 1: 01/12 7PM
Round 2: 01/13 12PM
Round 3: 01/13 6PM
Round 4: 01/14 12PM
Round 5: 01/14 6PM
Round 6: 01/15 12PM
Round 7: 01/15 6PM
Round 8: 01/16 10AM
Round 9: 01/16 4PM
Chief Arbiter: Andre Harding (2008335)
Chief Organizer: Keith Espinosa (30911044)

Note as well that you need to have a Chief Arbiter and Chief Organizer (a person, not an organization) when registering your event. Include their FIDE IDs, as I have done here. The CA and CO can be the same person.

When your event is registered, it will be assigned an Event Code and look like this on the FIDE website:

fide tournament details
If this page doesn’t exist, your tournament doesn’t exist to FIDE!

 

A Very Important Detail

USCF rating report screenshot
Two FIDE-rated sections, one USCF rating report.

TDs usually include all event sections in one USCF rating report. You can do that when submitting FIDE events for USCF rating, too.

(I’ll talk more about the rating reports in Part 3.)

 

When it comes to FIDE-rated events, however, each FIDE-rated section must be registered as a separate tournament! Behold:

fide events rated
Two USCF-rated sections in one USCF rating report become two separate FIDE events!

 

The email snippet above registering the January 2023 event was actually four times as long, because I had to send essentially the same info four times to register each section: GM A, GM B, IM C, and IM D. Cut and paste is your friend here…

 

SwissSys

If for some reason you don’t already have a copy of SwissSys, you now need it! That’s because you need to submit your event for FIDE rating using SwissSys files.

This means, even if you use Swiss-Manager as I do, prepare your SwissSys files before the tournament!

Create as many sections in SwissSys as you need for your event as you would for a normal USCF tournament. Enter all of your players (if your event is far in the future, update regularly).

Now, as you register players, the “I.D. number” field should contain their USCF ID. In the “I.D. #2” field, enter their FIDE ID number! Search the players on ratings.fide.com

Which rating to use? I enter the players’ current FIDE ratings, but this doesn’t matter UNLESS you’re going to pair a FIDE-rated Swiss tournament with SwissSys. Then it is a must (more on that in Part 2).

[Edit: IA Tom Langland mentioned a combined USCF/FIDE rating database I was unaware of, which should make this process much easier! I found it here: https://www.kingregistration.com/combineddb]

Check that the players have current USCF memberships, as you would for any non-FIDE-rated event. However: any GM/IM/WGM/WIM whose FIDE country is not USA is exempt from having a current membership. They just need a USCF ID number. So get your foreign players a USCF ID if they don’t have one!

[Edit: IA Sztaray reminds us to make sure all players in FIDE-rated sections have FIDE IDs! Get info from the players (federation, gender, birth year) and email fide@uschess.org to get new IDs. When you have them, enter this info manually.]

 

PGN files

This applies to norm tournaments: GM, IM, WGM, and WIM.

    • For a norm to be valid in a round robin event, a PGN file of all games in the tournament must be submitted to FIDE [in our case, we send them to the US Chess FIDE Events Manager].
    • For a norm to be valid in a Swiss event, PGN files of all games from norm-earners must be included. It’s not required to include all games.

Keep this in mind! If you’re not using DGT boards, you will be entering lots of games into ChessBase! Even if your event doesn’t require the submission of PGN files, strive to collect all game scores.

Order carbonless scoresheets — NOW. Collect the top (white) copy, while the player keeps the bottom (yellow) copy. While you’re at it, order lots of pens.

 

Final Thoughts

This is more work than you anticipated, am I right? Yes — and you must be very detail-oriented.

Doing all this pre-work, however, will make your life much easier when it comes time to submit your event for FIDE rating.

I would appreciate any questions or comments from other arbiters or prospective arbiters!

Stay tuned for Part 2!

Author: Andre Harding

Since 2003 I've taught chess to thousands of students in public, private, and charter schools in the New York City area, and have given countless private lessons. I also direct USCF- and FIDE-rated chess tournaments.

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