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FIDE has its Laws of Chess which have governed over-the-board chess for almost 100 years. During the Covid pandemic OTB chess has almost stopped in many countries and more and more chess is being played at a serious level online.

Some federations, which have had to cancel their regular national championships, have replaced them with an online version. Example - the English Chess Federation. Their online national championships have just finished with Micky Adams winning the first place playoff.

Does FIDE have regulations for online chess which can be used as a standard by the member federations?

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According to an announcement on the FIDE website today, 4th January 2021,

The FIDE Council has approved a new set of rules to be applied to official online chess competitions. The document, which will be incorporated into the laws of chess, is the result of a joint effort by a dedicated task force, in which several FIDE Commissions were involved

According to Article 1 of the new FIDE Online Chess Regulations they build on the existing FIDE Laws of Chess:

Article 1: Application of the FIDE Laws of Chess

1.1 Articles 1 – 3 of the Basic rules of play from the FIDE Laws of Chess are fully applied, except Article 2.1.

1.2 Article 2.1 of the Basic rules of play from the FIDE Laws of Chess is superseded by Article 3.1 of these Regulations.

1.3 Articles 4 and 5 of the Basic rules of play from the FIDE Laws of Chess are superseded by Articles 3 and 5 of these Regulations respectively

The new Article 3 deals with the mechanics of moving the pieces in online chess and so covers things like pre-moves and auto promotion.

The new Article 5 on completing the game is particularly interesting as it changes the repetition and 50/75 move rule to reflect the way online platforms currently operate. Here is what it says:

Article 5: Completing the Game
5.1 The game is won by the player who has checkmated his/her opponent’s king.
5.2 The game is won by the player whose opponent declares he/she resigns by pressing button “resign” or by another method available on the playing zone.
5.3 The player can offer a draw in accordance with any method provided by the playing zone. The offer cannot be withdrawn and remains valid until the opponent accepts it, rejects it by playing a move or the game is concluded in some other way.
5.4 The game is automatically drawn when:
5.4.1 the same position appeared for the third time (as described in Article 9.2.2 of the FIDE Laws of Chess);
5.4.2 the player to move has no legal move and his/her king is not in check. The game is said to end in ‘stalemate’;
5.4.3 a position has arisen in which neither player can checkmate the opponent’s king with any series of legal moves;
5.4.4 the last 50 moves by each player have been completed without the movement of any pawn and without any capture.

There is much more,including rules covering disconnection, and it is worth examining in detail. I have to admit that, although I'm a non-smoker myself, I find article 9.9 over-authoritarian -

9.9 Smoking, including e-cigarettes, is not permitted when visible on camera.

There is, quite rightly, nothing about eating or drinking on camera. FIDE should not be legislating on other non-disturbing behaviour in players' own homes.

Finally it is noteworthy that FIDE has adopted the more inclusive he/she, his/her

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