I'm curious about a specific scenario in chess rating systems, particularly for a player attending their first rated tournament. Is it possible that for an unrated player, winning a game in their first-rated tournament could actually result in a lower initial rating than if they had not played that game?

I understand that chess ratings are calculated based on the performance of players in rated games, but I'm unclear on how this applies to unrated players entering their first tournaments. Specifically, are there circumstances under which winning a game could negatively impact the initial rating assigned to a new player?

1 Answer 1


To gain first FIDE rating you need at least 5 games in 26 months against FIDE rated opponents. Tournaments where you scored 0 aren't counted, and you only get rating if your first rating is at least 1400 (based on rating changes from this year - all FIDE players rated under 2000 are getting rating increase, so 1400 will be new rating floor). Maximum first rating is 2200.

For first rating you take average rating of your opponents and add part from score.

To find such an example as you ask for we can use FIDE initial rating calculator:

1. You played and won against 5 players rated 2000 and 1 player rated 1400:

Your average opponent was 1900, you scored 6 points out of 6 games, so your first rating is 1900+120=2020.

2. You played and won against 5 players rated 2000:

Your average opponent was 2000, you scored 5 points out of 5 games, so your first rating is 2000+100=2100.

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