In some online chess platforms you can see the Elo distribution of the players. It usually has Gaussian form.

Is there somewhere where you can find the distribution of the classical Fide Elo?

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    I am sure it is not Gaussian. It probably has a central hump, but Gaussian is much more specific than that. Most real world distributions have tails that are too high for a Gaussian. Dec 25, 2020 at 15:46
  • "It usually has Gaussian form." Citation or evidence needed. I do not believe this statement to be true based on the analyses I've seen conducted. Jun 29, 2021 at 2:58

3 Answers 3


Here are some fide visualizations from 2014. Distribution is one, but not the most interesting to me. Enjoy!

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    The median rating is 1900, with 2200 (master) level not even in the top 10%!? That can't be right. Dec 24, 2020 at 0:12
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    @BlueRaja-DannyPflughoeft I don't know exactly when it happened, but FIDE used to have quite a high minimum rating; 1900 would have been an unrated player at one point. That may have something to do with it.
    – D M
    Dec 24, 2020 at 1:41

As far as I know, Fide does not publish a figure of the Elo distribution. So you can plot it yourself from the latest rating list; or you can rely on secondary sources who occasionally post it, such the link provided by @Michael West or this answer on this site. Both show the distribution of Fide Elo on July 2014.

The figure below shows the Elo distribution on December 2020. As you can see, it doesn't follow a normal distribution, since there is a large number of low rated players (much greater number than in 2014).

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I've run some queries against my database constructed from the rating data downloaded from the the FIDE download site. I've then copied the output of the queries to Excel and asked it to draw some graphs.

Here are the results for standard, rapid and blitz for December 2020.

Standard rating distribution

Rapid rating distribution

Blitz rating distribution

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