According to this statement from FIDE today:

Today, on December 18, the mini-matches featuring GM Alireza Firouzja (Elo 2750) began in Chartres, France - his hometown. This seven-game tournament pits Firouzja against three veteran players with an average rating of 2497 Elo points. Concerns have arisen regarding the tournament's potential purpose: whether it was orchestrated to aid Mr Firouzja in boosting his rating for potential qualification into the Candidates Tournament 2024.

The International Chess Federation would like to point out that, according to Clause 0.4 of its Rating Regulations, "FIDE reserves the right not to rate a specific tournament".

FIDE has already sent an official request to the organizers of the event. We will carefully follow and investigate all aspects of the organization of the above-mentioned tournament and all the games played by its participants before deciding whether to rate it.

The International Chess Federation is dedicated to addressing not just this specific case but also similar occurrences that may arise. Discussions will be held to explore potential amendments to the FIDE Rating Regulations, aiming to prevent such situations in the future.

It sounds like FIDE are concerned about the mini tournament but unless there is evidence of players throwing or arranging results I don't see how FIDE can legitimately refuse to rate it. If I recall correctly the Chinese federation did something similar for Ding Liren to qualify for the last candidates tournament.

Once a tournament has been registered correctly, played and the results sent to FIDE within the required timescale what do the rules say about reasons they can refuse to rate the games played?

Afterword: Nepomniachtchi reacted to Fedorchuk accepting a draw in a winning position against Firouzja with this tweet.


This recalls a tale from Soviet times, when player X agreed to help player Y make a norm. He needed a win, at worse a draw, but the game didn't go well for Y, and at some point he stretched out his hand and said, "I resign!" "I don't accept the resignation!" X replied.

4 Answers 4


The reason why this situation is not covered by existing rules is simply because it has not occurred before. New rules are needed, for the sake of future clarity, but not for the sake of deciding the status of these fake-ELO contests. FIDE has already given itself the right to ignore them without saying why. To influence the World Championship by introducing for comparison players so far from that status is grotesque.

It is told that when the poet Byron wished to keep a dog in his college rooms and was told that this was forbidden, he brought in a bear instead because bears were not mentioned in the college rules. I find the analogy irresistable.


I think the relevant detail to keep in mind when comparing the situation with Ding and the one with Alireza is that Ding already had the rating he needed: if I remember correctly, he was the clear world #2 and just needed to get enough games on the books without losing rating. Firoujza, on the other hand, has been having quite a poor year and, after his relatively disastrous performance at Sinquefield, is not in the lead for the rating spot: he is now behind Wesley So. So while Ding needed to play just to get a certain number of games in, Firoujza is playing to gain rating, which is where the rating manipulation accusations come in. Another detail to bear in mind is that Ding played (if I remember correctly) all solidly 2500+ grandmasters, including super-grandmaster Wei Yi. Additionally, the majority of the players he played were quite young (all the players he played in the Hangzhou tournament are in their early twenties,) whereas Firoujza is playing a tournament against players all 40+, two of whom are under 2500. So while Ding also played several tournaments against weaker players to qualify for the candidates (though it would have been difficult to play a stronger player unless he challenged Magnus,) Firoujza is playing significantly lower-rated, older players with the hopes of gaining rating off of them.

  • 2
    It seems to be a good point, so I don't want to downvote; but it doesn't actually address the primary question, which is by what rule or rules the decision to drop rating was made.
    – user30536
    Commented Dec 20, 2023 at 6:54
  • 2
    Another point to add is that Ding's activity deficit was caused by COVID regulations for China, while Firouzja's rating deficit was caused by his poor performance this year.
    – B.Swan
    Commented Dec 22, 2023 at 0:04

FIDE could try to find reasons in their Code of Ethics, perhaps in the fair play section.


It seems that what FIDE can do in such circumstances is retroactively change the rules.

Perhaps some very recent history might shed additional light on what FIDE have announced today, Christmas Day 2023.

On December 20 the US Chess Federation sent a letter to FIDE president, Arkady Dvorkovich complaining about the match and made the following request:

We urge FIDE to not rate the French event and take steps to require that all FIDE events be registered at least 30 days in advance of their start date. This will reduce the amount of gamesmanship that thwarts the spirit of fair competition during the biannual qualification cycle.

Today FIDE published this document, FIDE Council approves changes in tournament registration procedure. Here is the important part:

The FIDE Council reviewed the tournament registration procedure and approved some changes, effective immediately (see FIDE RATING REGULATIONS). These changes primarily concern the tournaments, with at least one of the participants having a rating of 2700+.

0.2 The tournaments to be rated shall be pre-registered by the federation in whose territory it is held, and they will be responsible for the submission of results and rating fees. Council may additionally designate these rights and responsibilities to Affiliated Organisations that are representing an autonomous territory which is contained within no more than one Federation.

The tournament and its playing schedule must be registered:

0.2.1 Not later than 30 days before the tournament starts, if one of the players in the tournament is rated in excess of 2700, or a female player rated in excess of 2500.

0.2.2 Otherwise, three days before the tournament starts.

Sure enough, if you follow the link in their announcement you come to the FIDE Rating Regulations effective from 1 January 2022 and the above is an extract from that document.

Checking the FIDE list of French tournaments registered for December 2023, sure enough, the Chartres event is missing.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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