How to become a FIDE Rated Player?

A lot of people are excited by the prospect of becoming a FIDE rated player. Such a player enjoys a lot of perks and it’s the first step in anyone’s chess journey.

Also if you aim to become a Grandmaster, you must have a FIDE rating.

So what are the steps to get a rating? Is there anything that can help in this process? You’ll find out the answers to these questions here. We’ll also share what our coaches believe is the mantra to getting a FIDE rating.

But first, let’s understand the basics.

What is a FIDE Rating?

A FIDE rating is a measurement of a chess player’s strength. It reflects how strong your chess is compared to others in the world.

It’s also popularly known as elo rating or elo. Why?

Because the system to calculate the rating was developed by Alfred Elo.

FIDE Rating and FIDE Ranking are two different things in chess

If you’re new to chess, you might confuse FIDE rating and ranking. However, both of them are completely different! In the chess community, we’ve heard hilarious stories of people who are 1200-something elo, claiming that they’re ‘higher ranked’ than the strongest grandmasters who are 2700+ elo.

Their logic? 1200 is a ‘higher rank’ than 2700. But it doesn’t work like that!

And you should run away from people who don’t know the difference between the rating and ranking.(At least if they want to coach you!)

The Truth

1200 & 2700 is a FIDE rating. The higher the FIDE rating, the stronger the player. So the player with 2700 is the stronger one.

Currently, the player with the highest FIDE rating is World Champion Magnus Carlsen, hovering in the 2850+ elo range. And because he has the highest rating, he is ranked no.1.

How to Get a FIDE Rating?

We’ll break this down into 3 steps.

Later, you’ll also see a mantra that’ll sum up exactly what you need to do to get a rating.

Step 1: Play in FIDE-approved Tournaments

In order to get a FIDE rating, you need to play in FIDE-approved rating tournaments. Such tournaments are listed on a federation’s website. So an Indian player can find such events on the website of AICF (Bookmark it!).

Similarly if you’re from the US, check USCF’s calendar. USCF is the governing body for chess in the US. Also to confirm if the event is FIDE rated or not, get in touch with the tournament organizer and simply ask them!

Step 2: Register with FIDE

Registering with FIDE is pretty much straight forward(at least in India). When you play the rated tournament, the arbiter will ask you to register with your National Federation(AICF for India). You’ll have to fill up a form online.

Once you submit it, you’ll get a FIDE ID. This ID is like your official page in chess. Here you can find your rating, ranking and all other information. Remember that you are registered with FIDE via your national federation only.

Now moving to the most crucial step…

Step 3: Score points against rated players to get the rating

Now that you’ve participated in a FIDE rated event, you need to meet the ‘chess requirement’.

In the FIDE manual, there are a lot of conditions, but I’ll simplify it –

  • You have to play against a minimum of 5 FIDE rated players. It’s okay if you can’t play all 5 in 1 tournament. You can play in multiple rated tournaments in order to meet this criteria.
  • Second, you should score a rating performance of over 1000 to get a FIDE rating. To do this, you have to at least win or draw against the rated players you face in the tournaments.

The better your score against rated players, the better will be your initial rating. So if you play against 5 players who had an average rating of 1300, and you scored 3 points, your rating will be around 1320. Similarly if you score 5/5 against an average rating strength of 1300, your initial rating will be 1400.

Note – I’m using FIDE’s official rating calculator to show you these numbers. There is a complex process of how they come up with it, which you can find in FIDE’s Arbiter Manual.

The Magic Mantra

In the end, it all comes down to this –

Play good chess in a FIDE rating tournament to get a FIDE rating.

Once you start winning against rated players, you won’t have to worry about any conditions.

Also note that your rating performance has to be over 1000. That’s the lowest rating one can get. Anything below that, and you’ll be delisted from the list.

Is it easy to become a FIDE Rated Player?

At one point, the lowest rating someone could get was 2200! Today, it has come down to 1000. So yes it has become easier to become a rated player.

But there’s a difference between being rated & being a strong chess player.
Rating is just a metric of your playing strength. You can be unrated and still be stronger than 1500 rated players.

So don’t let someone’s rating deceive you into believing that they’re stronger chess players.

Have faith in yourself and ratings would follow.

This is what we firmly believe and inculcate in our teaching philosophy at the academy.

Get in touch with our expert chess coaches who’ll help your child become a strong player and get a good rating.

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