Chess has lot of interesting rules such as castling, en passant, 50 move rule, stalemate, etc. I am interested in knowing the history behind the introduction of chess rules.

Can anybody explain which rule was recently introduced/modified in chess officially?

2 Answers 2


Do you mean what rules have been changed the most recently? FIDE, the international federation of chess, just changed some rules four days ago (2014 July 1). Changes include:

  • You are now officially allowed to promote a pawn by removing it from the board while it is still on the 7th rank and then placing a new piece on the 8th rank, rather than moving the pawn to the 8th rank and then removing it. You may also place the new piece before removing the pawn. (The move has not changed, just the list of allowable ways of executing it.)

  • If 75 consecutive moves have been played without a pawn move or a capture, or the same position has occurred for 5 consecutive alternate moves in a row, the arbiter is allowed to step in and declare the game drawn (without a player claiming a draw).

  • Players may not bring cell phones into the tournament hall at all.

  • Could you elaborate on when the 50 move rule got changed into a 75 move rule? Did it just change now? This is a pretty major change ...
    – Joe
    Jul 9, 2014 at 16:16
  • 2
    The "arbiter can declare draw after 75 moves" rule was added on 1 July 2014. The "player can claim draw after 50 moves" rule remains unchanged.
    – dfan
    Jul 9, 2014 at 19:19
  • 2
    I'm surprised they had to legislate the procedure for promoting a pawn in such excruciating detail!
    – itub
    Jun 29, 2017 at 12:08

The rules of chess have varied over time and various authors have written them down over the centuries.

Philidor is most often credited for formalising the rules for tournament use, however the problem still remained that there were no common set of rules accepted by everyone.

In the 1920s FIDE was formed, and there was an attempt to standardised the rules. This was successful to to a degree, however different interests still maintain their own rules: for example the English Chess Federation base their rules on the FIDE rules but with some modifications, and some tournaments or matches may add their own rules e.g. The Sofia Rule.

There is therefore no universal set of rules, but the FIDE rules are use in FIDE organised tournaments, which are most of the top level ones. Minor changes are made to these every so often. Mostly these are to clarify existing rules but occasionally you get new rules such as the ones forbidding 'note taking' and those prohibiting the use of electronic devices which have been added relatively recently.

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