I have seen on the FIDE website https://www.fide.com/fide/handbook.html?id=10&view=category that only the regulations governing the award of FIDE titles effective from 1st July 2014 are available.

Are the regulations governing the award of FIDE titles prior to these ones available somewhere ?

  • Not directly. You can infer them from articles in various chess publications when they may discuss them while announcing results of new IMs or GMs of interest to their readers.
    – yobamamama
    Jan 7, 2020 at 3:45

2 Answers 2


I don't think there is an official listing of previous title regulations. You just have to glean what you can from internet searches.

Here's what I found.

From the 1st July 2009 the following changes will apply to FIDE titles.

1) Only one player can having a rating uplift, instead of two.

2) The rating of the player uplifted has been reduced by 50 points. Hence the uplift for a GM norm is now 2200 (was 2250), IM norm 2050 (was 2100).

3) Performance requirements and requirements of the opponents’ ratings have been changed to even tens. i.e GM norm used to be 2601 performance, now 2600, minimum average rating of opponents used to be 2381, now 2380.

4) For any given title norm at least 1/3 of a players opponents must hold that title. i.e. For a GM norm 1/3 must hold GM title. Whilst in comparison to the old regulations this makes no change to a 9 round event, it would effect a 12 round event where 4 GM's would be required (used to be 3).

Going back to the beginning, this chessbase article fills in some of the history - https://en.chessbase.com/post/a-gm-is-a-gm--fide-title-devaluation-270613

Summarizing -

When grandmaster titles were first awarded in 1950, they were given to the world champion Mikhail Botvinnik and all those who had qualified or been seeded in the inaugural Candidates Tournament: Isaac Boleslavsky, Igor Bondarevsky, David Bronstein, Max Euwe, Reuben Fine, Salo Flohr, Paul Keres, Alexander Kotov, Andor Lilienthal, Miguel Najdorf, Samuel Reshevsky, Vasily Smyslov, Gideon Ståhlberg, and László Szabó.

The title was also given to older living players who were recognized as having been world class at their peak: Ossip Bernstein, Oldrich Duras, Ernst Grünfeld, Borislav Kostic, Grigory Levenfish, Géza Maróczy, Jacques Mieses, Viacheslav Ragozin, Akiba Rubinstein, Friedrich Sämisch, Savielly Tartakower, and Milan Vidmar.

In 1957 the regulations were set to give the GM title automatically to the world champion and to any player qualifying from the Interzonal tournament to play in the Candidates.

In 1965 the rules were tightened up so that a player had to score 40% in the Candidates Tournament, or reach the quarter finals of the Candidates Matches to get the title.

In 1970 the modern system was initiated whereby you had to get your rating up to a certain ELO rating - 2450 - and to get 3 "norms" in a 3 year period. A "norm" was a rating performance of 2551 or above in a suitable tournament.

Since 1970 that basic formula has been tweaked with changes to the ratings involved and the type and makeup of qualifying tournaments in terms of how many of the other players must be from different federations, how many have the GM title, what the time controls are, how many players, etc., etc.

  • Ok, but if there is not such official listing, how does people take any decision on facts before the mentioned date ?
    – Tanj
    Sep 21, 2016 at 13:13
  • @Tanj What sort of decisions does anyone have to make about old GMs and their norms?
    – yobamamama
    Jan 7, 2020 at 3:48

The previous version, for "competitions starting before 1 July 2014" are still available on the FIDE website.

If you are looking for older versions, it may be good to know that some of them were published as printed books. For example:

  • The Official Laws of Chess and Other FIDE Regulations, Macmillan, 1986 (see the entry in WorldCat);
  • The Official Rules of Chess, by Eric Schiller, Cardoza Publishing, 2001; 2nd edition 2003.

As pointed out by Brian Towers, the Chess Arbiters’ Association, a group of mainly British arbiters, also has historical versions of the laws of chess on its website.

  • Thaks for your answer. In fact, I was particularly interested in the Title Regulations, which is a specific part of the rules that I can't find on their website.
    – Tanj
    Sep 19, 2016 at 15:51
  • Check out also the Chess Arbiters Association website which has historical material going back as far as about 1800 - chessarbitersassociation.co.uk/html/laws.html.
    – Brian Towers
    Sep 19, 2016 at 21:56

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