I am chess enthusiast living in foreign country, ie. I hold a citizenship from another country (let's say A) different from my residence (call it B). I would like to start into chess tournaments in the country where I live (ie. country B).

Can my citizenship/nationality be an obstacle?

I am asking because I contacted the organizers of a local chess tournaments, and they are asking me two requisites:

  1. get a federation card for the hosting country (that is B),
  2. but also, being a foreigner, to provide a FIN (I guess that means FIDE ID Number) from my home country (A).

To me the second request doesn't make any sense. I have never played in chess tournaments in my home country, I am not registered in their chess federation and I even don't live there since more than 6 years.

  • Is 2. really a requirement? Or do they just assume you have one?
    – Glorfindel
    Nov 6, 2021 at 10:17
  • They know I don't have the FIN.
    – Lagrang3
    Nov 7, 2021 at 19:32

1 Answer 1


As someone who has also been in your position I can tell you that if you play in an official (nationally) rated competition in country B then you need to join their chess federation and pay the appropriate level of membership. This helps pay for running chess in that country. Sometimes the charge is disguised by you paying a higher entry fee for the tournament than somebody who is a member.

If you play in a FIDE rated tournament then you have to be a FIDE registered player with a FIN. The federation is responsible for making sure that unregistered players do not play and the federation is fined by FIDE if they break this rule. Like the national chess federation, FIDE costs money to run.

However the national federation is also responsible for registering players in that country. This can be done after the tournament is played as long as it is done before the tournament results are submitted to FIDE and most federations will do this provided they have your details, full name and date of birth.

For nationals of that country this is normally an automatic process. However if you are a national of another country you may prefer not to have FIDE registration with a different country and your permission is usually required by the federation before they "adopt" you.

Note also that while some countries are a bit backward regarding FIDE rating - most of their competitions are nationally rated only - in some countries all adult and most junior tournaments beyond weak players are also FIDE rated. In these "full FIDE" countries the only reason that tournaments for weak juniors are not FIDE rated is because they want to relax rules around number of illegal moves and use of clocks.

  • So, that means that the 2nd request is not really a requirement, because the hosting Federation is responsible for my FIN registration even if I am citizen of some other country?
    – Lagrang3
    Nov 6, 2021 at 18:36
  • Some federations, eg ENG, have different levels of membership which determine what types of competition you can enter. ENG has bronze membership, which allows you to enter club competitions like leagues and club championships, silver, which allows you to enter congresses and non-club tournaments and gold which allows you to enter FIDE rated tournaments. The gold membership is really an extra charge for having an ENG FIN. If you already have a FIN from another country then you can play FIDE rated tournaments with just silver membership and save a few bucks.
    – Brian Towers
    Nov 6, 2021 at 19:26
  • Quite complicated bureaucracy is going around chess federations. Just to play chess.
    – Lagrang3
    Nov 6, 2021 at 21:36

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