FIDE-Rated Event Reporting, Part 3

US Chess Federation logoIn Part 1 and Part 2 we discussed how to prepare a FIDE event, and how to run it.

Let’s wrap up our series on reporting requirements for FIDE-rated events. Now we discuss what to do after your event has ended.

TLDR: all “paperwork” goes through US Chess!


Norm check

In a round robin norm event, you’ll immediately know if any players have secured a title norm, since they either reached the required score (based on their opponent’s ratings) or did not.

In a Swiss tournament, calculate player performance ratings to check if they earned a norm or not. GM: 2600; IM: 2450; WGM: 2400; WIM: 2250.

[Think “5-4-3” for a 9 round tournament; the norm-seeker faced at least: 5 titled players (GM/WGM, IM/WIM, FM/WFM); 4 non-USA players if from USA (otherwise 3 non-USA players); and 3 opponents with the title they are seeking, or a higher one — GM > IM > WGM > WIM.]

Once you know if any players earned a title norm, print out IT1 forms. The same form is used for all player norm types, whether GM, IM, WGM, or WIM. Remember: the FM/WFM and CM/WCM titles don’t require norms.

Swiss-Manager creates a perfect IT1 form in Excel that you can just print without filling anything out. As far as I know, SwissSys does not do this, which means you need to enter all information manually — the event info, player’s info, and the names, federations, FIDE IDs, and ratings of all opponents.

Sign and date the completed certificates and scan them into your computer as PDFs. We’ll need them soon.

Gus Huston earns 1st IM norm
Andre (left) with FM Gus Huston (center) and Organizer Keith Espinosa (right) at the 2022 New York Winter Invitational; Gus earned his 1st IM norm. Source: NYCChessNorms

It’s also nice to take pictures with the Organizer and norm earners holding their certificates. Believe it or not, when I first became a FIDE Arbiter, I looked forward to this more than anything else!




Don’t forget about Arbiter norms (FA or IA) for any assistants you may have, and an International Organizer (IO) norm for the Chief Organizer if everything went well. FIDE Arbiter norms require an FA1 form, International Arbiter norms an IA1 form, and International Organizer norms the IO1 form.

Arbiters: If you’re interested in serving as a Deputy Arbiter to earn FA or IA norms at our events in New York, contact me or send an email to Note: NAs are unpaid, FAs may potentially be paid.


Rating the Tournament

For US Chess

If you entered all USCF and FIDE IDs into SwissSys before the event, you’re ready to rate the event for USCF.

There’s nothing different about this process than any other USCF event, except for telling SwissSys which sections are FIDE-rated.

Oh yeah…and listing the TDs appropriately.

First, only active IAs, FAs, and NAs are allowed to be listed as TDs for FIDE-rated events.

For FIDE events, you need one Chief Arbiter, can have up to two Deputy Chiefs, and can have other Sector Arbiters and Arbiters below them. You can also name pairing and anti-cheating arbiters, but this is normally only done for really big or prestigious tournaments.

The Chief Arbiter needs to be the same as the Chief TD in the USCF report.

The Deputy Chiefs correspond to the Chief Assistant and Section Chief in the USCF report.

Other Arbiters you can list as section assistants, etc. in the USCF report.


This part is easy. Just send the final SwissSys file to the US Chess FIDE Events Manager (see below). For a round robin this would be the .SRR file; for a Swiss it would be the .S9C file (for a nine-round tournament). He will create the FIDE rating report from that.


PGN files

Enter all the games you need to send (Round robin: all games; Swiss: games from any norm earners). We’ll need it soon.



I send one email per FIDE-rated section to the FIDE Events Manager (Brian Yang). For example:

Subject: ACME Invitational – GM A (Event Code: 987654)

In it, I include:

    • The final SwissSys file (.SRR or .S9C)
    • The PGN file with all games from that section
    • Whether any norms were earned — player, arbiter, organizer
    • A promise to send any norm certificates earned in separate emails

Then I send one email for each norm earned (if any), for example:

Subject: Jane Doe IT1: ACME Invitational – GM A

“Dear Brian,

Attached is the IT1 for Jane Doe (USA) who achieved an IM norm at the ACME Invitational – GM A (Event Code: 987654).
Best wishes,
Then I attach the norm with my signature that I scanned previously.


What happens next?

First, you’ll see that your tournament has been rated by USCF.

Later, you’ll get confirmation that the FIDE Events Manager has received your SwissSys files and all is well with those. He’ll notify you when your event has been posted to FIDE for rating, and also confirm receipt of any norm certificates you sent.

When he signs the norms and affixes the USCF seal, he’ll send them to Baira Marilova at the FIDE Elista Office, who will later confirm when she has posted the norms online.

And that’s it! You made it through your first FIDE-rated event as Chief Arbiter. It’s a lot of work, so price your services accordingly…

Thanks for staying with me through this series! Was there anything I missed? Let me know!

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…



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

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:]

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 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!