Is it possible to view or obtain old versions of the FIDE Laws of Chess? I would like to trace the history of when various rules were added or modified.

The FIDE handbook only goes back as far as the 2009-2014 rules as far as I can see.


This site appears to have old rules of chess, FIDE and otherwise

I do not attest to the accuracy or completeness of this site

|improve this answer|||||
  • 1
    Thanks I didn’t know about that site. Seems worth harvesting those documents in case the link disappears. I will contact the British Chess Problem Society to so do – Laska Jan 7 at 3:45
  • 2
    @Laska I requested web.archive.org to archive it , HTH. It now has a depth-1 recursive save feature – M.M Jan 7 at 4:06
  • 1
    Thanks @M.M I have contacted BCPS so can maybe find out whose page this is. Not just a question of archival but need to ensure this material is always available, e.g. BCPS site – Laska Jan 7 at 7:27
  • @Laska Hmm, you say you didn't know about the site but you commented on it in another answer two months ago :) – M.M Jan 7 at 20:22
  • Ha @M.M yes I evidently forgot about it! – Laska Jan 7 at 23:42

The only source I know is The Retro Corner. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been kept up to date, but together with the FIDE site itself, it should give you coverage back to 1977.

The rules are hardly perfect, but there have been continual improvements in writing quality over time. Specific changes have mainly been in various kinds of draws, and filling various funny holes (e.g. Pam-Krabbé castling).

For further back than 1977, I would approach a proper chess historian. Hope this helps.

|improve this answer|||||
  • 3
    Have you contacted FIDE? I would have to think they keep historical records going all the way back to their start. But that leaves you with the question about changes in the rules of the game of chess not the bureaucratic rules about how chess tournaments are run and games are arbitrated when there are disputes. – yobamamama Jan 7 at 3:39
  • 1
    Thanks @yobamamama. My contact in FIDE rules committee has retired. It seems another source has been found, can explore that so see if any need to approach FIDE with cold call email. – Laska Jan 7 at 7:24

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.