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I played chess 30 years ago an now I am back in the arena. I have some spare time to train and play online. Could you please recommend me a good place to do so. A web interface without the need of any special clients would be great. Even greater would be the possibility to earn an official FIDE Elo ranking to see my progress.

  • I recommend chess.com. – Mithical Jan 7 '16 at 13:14
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There is one (and so far only one) place where you can get the official FIDE rating - the FIDE Online Arena. It however needs a client. A quick introduction is here and the arena is at http://arena.fide.com

I have not tried it so I cannot comment on how good the interface is but I assume it is good. The killer feature is that it calculates official FIDE rating, which is calculated the same way as the official rating for over the board play thus they are directly comparable. Even better they are linked - every time a new FIDE rating list for over the board play is published this rating is incorporated in the online rating (in other words games played over the boards count to the online rating too). It does not work the other way around.

A very little known fact so far is that FIDE has introduced new players titles, so called FIDE Titles for the Lower Rating Band. Official info here and some basic info here. You earn these titles for online play but the cool thing is that they are valid for life and you can use them in over the board play as well. As an example if you consistently keep your online rating above 2000 you will become an Arena Grand Master (AGM).

It is very likely, and I would bet on it, that in future all most popular online servers will offer calculating the official rating too. This may take some time though.

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    Looks like a money-grabbing scheme by FIDE. +1 though, as it answers the question! – GloriaVictis Jan 7 '16 at 9:37
  • What do you mean by official rating? No rating from online games can be equivalent to FIDE OTB. – ferit Jan 7 '16 at 10:06
  • @Saibot It is not equivalent to the OTB rating but it is official in the sense that it is calculated by FIDE according to FIDE Rating Regulations. It compares to FIDE OTB rating as RFRL compares to FRL (they are not equivalent but both are official). Moreover OTB games are counted to the online rating, you can hardly get more official than this. By FIDE own words: "Online ratings are official ratings mentioned on the players' profile card on FIDE website." – IA Petr Harasimovic Jan 7 '16 at 10:41
  • People refer FIDE OTB by saying official, if you say they are calculating official ratings online, it would be a misguide. Btw, using same rating algorithm doesn't mean you get the same rating. Rating depends on the population of players. This is just, FIDE is getting ready to open a internet chess server, with FIDE rating calculation in it. Nothing more. – ferit Jan 7 '16 at 10:59
  • @Saibot I will not argue about it. FIDE calls it official so the complaint should be addressed to them. No one says (neither me nor FIDE) that the rating is the same. Classical, rapid and blitz chess ratings are also different (for the reason you suggest) and they are official ratings. When the OP asked for the opportunity to get an official rating via playing online he surely expected there to be differences. – IA Petr Harasimovic Jan 7 '16 at 11:19
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To have an official FIDE rating you need to play in a FIDE rated tournament. National events or some of the larger local tournaments run by your country's chess federation are likely to have FIDE rated tournament sections.

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I recommend lichess.org you to play. But it's not possible to get official FIDE rating from any internet servers. Only way is to play in FIDE. And for training, I recommend Daniel King's Power Play DVD series, excellent quality training and easy to study with a DVD, better than books. lichess.org also has tactical training feature, where you can solve tactical problems.

I'm really surprised to see FIDE launching an online server, it's something very new. But again any rating you get on their internet servers won't be the same official rating with OTB. It will be official online FIDE rating actually.

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  • Is the 'no internet for rating' policy because it's just so easy to cheat from the comfort of your bathrobe? – corsiKa Jan 6 '16 at 22:30
  • Perhaps. But there is no official online FIDE tournament. – ferit Jan 6 '16 at 22:37
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If you need a rating that is sactioned by FIDE, then FIDE Arena is the only way. But you need to install special software and pay to register under your real name. Your rating will be publicly displayed on your FIDE ID page available through: http://ratings.fide.com/

Otherwise, I recommend http://chesstempo.com and as a second choice http://chess.com.

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