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I am looking for statistics on the FIDE Elo of chess players.

I would like to know what is the percentage of players who have a rating which is:

  • Below 1000 Elo
  • Below 800 Elo
  • Below 600 Elo
  • Below 400 Elo
  • Below 200 Elo
  • Higher than 2000 Elo
  • Higher than 2200 Elo
  • Higher than 2500 Elo

I'm making it clear that I am only interested in statistics for the FIDE Elo, not the USCF Elo. And I am only looking for statistics for OTB games (not correspondence) of long time control (not rapid, nor blitz).

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You can get the FIDE rating list here. I used R statistical software to analyse the data for the latest OTB rating list (of 15th Sep. 2014). At the moment there are 383543 active FIDE players. Among them, slightly less than one third (107320 players) are rated.

As noted by others, the FIDE rating floor is 1000:

"Players whose ratings drop below 1000 are listed on the next list as ‘delisted’. Thereafter, they are treated in the same manner as any other unrated player." (FIDE Rating Regulations effective from 1 July 2014, article 7.21).

From that I understand that players going below 1000 Elo are unrated at all effects. However, the list shows 14 people with a rating of 0 (I do not know what this means, though).

For rated players, please see the figure below. It shows the number of FIDE active rated players for different Elo intervals: 1000-1100, 1100-1200, etc. So, to answer your last three bullets, as of 15th Sep. 2014:

  • there are 31603 players with Elo higher than 2000, or 8.2% of the total
  • there are 10220 players with Elo higher than 2200, or 2.7% of the total
  • there are 768 players with Elo higher than 2500, or 0.2% of the total

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According to this site http://www.metrowestchess.org/Compete/FIDE/FAQ_FIDE_Ratings.htm, the absolute FIDE floor is 1000 so the answer to your first five bullet points would be 0.

I found the absolute number for each of your last 2 bullet points here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elo_rating_system#FIDE_ratings but have been unable to locate a figure on the total number of rated players in the world so I can't tell you percentages. According to that link, there are about 11000 players above 2200 and 800 above 2500.

I'm ~2050 FIDE and about 55000th in the world if that helps at all for the 2000 Elo question.

  • "Currently, the FIDE rating floor is 1200. Ratings under 1200 are not published on the FRL. Starting July 1, 2012, the FIDE rating floor will be lowered to 1000." But that doesn't exactly mean that there are no players with a rating below 1000. I heard that there are a lot of players with a USCF rating below 600, so probably there must also be a lot of players with a FIDE rating below 1000. – Fate Jul 18 '14 at 0:39
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    I think it does. The USCF has a similar floor at 100 and you never see any players below it. The FIDE 1000 floor means that no matter how many games a player loses, they cannot fall below that. – Cleveland Jul 18 '14 at 1:41
  • @Cleveland The FIDE statement is ambiguous. "Rating floor" sounds very much like what you describe: a minimum possible rating. But "Ratings under 1200 are not published" implies strongly that there are ratings below this "floor" but FIDE doesn't publish them. – David Richerby Jul 19 '14 at 10:27

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