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USCF/FIDE/Chess Around the World



The United States Chess Federation, founded in 1939, is the nonprofit membership organization which serves as the governing body for chess in the United States and represents the U.S. in the World Chess Federation, also known as FIDE (see below).  USCF's current membership is over 90,000.  The USCF supervises the organization of the annual U.S. Chess Championships, national scholastic championships and other national events.  USCF publishes the official rule book for tournament play (now in its 5th edition), and provides and maintains separate rating/title systems for members participating in USCF-rated events of four types:  regular tournament chess (time control minimum of 30 minutes), "quick chess" (10-29 minutes), correspondence chess, and, beginning recently, Blitz chess as well.  USCF also produces a free weekly email newsletter:  click here to subscribe, and here to look at past issues online.   

USCF members receive Chess Life (a monthly magazine), the opportunity to obtain an official USCF rating, free (online chess) membership and great discounts on books and equipment (the semiannual USCF catalog comes with Chess Life each May and November).  Chess Odyssey encourages USCF membership, as it is a requirement for participating in USCF-rated events.  For further information, call 1-800-388-5464 or email  Be sure to ask about free materials/services available to new scholastic members.    

USCF Rating Classes:
Master 2200-2399
Expert 2000-2199
Class A 1800-1999
Class B 1600-1799
Class C 1400-1599
Class D 1200-1399
Class E 1000-1199
Class F 800-999
Class G 600-799
Class H 400-599
Class I 200-399
Class J 100-199 (min. rating is 100)


The World Chess Federation is better known by its French name:  Federation Internationale des Echecs, or, more commonly, its acronym--FIDE (pronounced Fee-day).  Founded in 1924 and eventually headquartered in Switzerland, it is the international umbrella organization for dozens of national chess federations (including 156 member countries with over five million registered members), sanctioning certain international competitions, and administering its own rating system.  Individual players do not join FIDE directly, but are affiliated through their respective national federations.  FIDE states its purpose is "the diffusion and development of chess among all nations of the world...FIDE supports a close international cooperation of chess devotees in all fields of chess activity, thereby also aiming to improve friendly harmony among all peoples of the world."  For more information about FIDE, click here

FIDE awards the following international chess titles:
Grandmaster (GM) -- highest rank
International Master (IM)
FIDE Master (FM)
Woman Grandmaster (WGM)
Woman International Master (WIM)
Woman FIDE Master (WFM)
International Arbiter (IA)

Chess Around the World
FIDE World Zones
Armenian Chess Federation
Austrian Chess Federation
Belgrade Chess Federation
Brazilian Chess Federation

British Chess Federation
Bulgarian Chess Federation
Chess Federation of Canada
Chinese Chess
Croatian Chess Federation
Czech Chess Federation
Cuban Chess Federation
Danish Chess Federation
European Chess Union
French Chess Federation
German Chess Federation

Greek Chess Federation
Hungarian Chess Federation

India Chess Federation
Chess Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Irish Chess Union

Chess Federation of Israel
Italian Chess Federation
Japanese Chess Federation 
Mexican Chess Federation

Netherlands Chess Federation
New Zealand Chess Federation

Chess Federation of Paraguay
Poland Chess Federation
Portugese Chess Federation

Russian Chess

Scottish Chess Federation

Singapore Chess Federation
Chess Federation of Spain
Chess Federation of Sweden
Swiss Chess Federation
Turkish Chess Federation
Ukrainian Chess
United Arab Emirates Chess Federation

Welsh Chess Union

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