So I was wondering where is it located, in the fide handbook, the rule that you have to shake hands with your opponent. I know it exists, especially since the Cheparinov-Short case some time ago, I was just wondering if anyone knew the exact place of it in the Handbook?


2 Answers 2


I'm not sure there was ever more than this press release. It should have been expounded upon and turned into some rules of conduct, but it seems to me this never happened.

They do put the following rule in tournament regulations from time to time:

"13.3 The players shall shake hands (or shall greet each other in a normal social manner in accordance with the conventional rules of their society) before the start and after the end of each game. If a player fails to meet these requirements and after being asked to do so by the Chief Arbiter, then the player will lose the game immediately."

Which they really wouldn't have to do, if this rule was a part of the official laws of chess.

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    However, on Wikipedia it says this: FIDE's behavioural norms state that, [a]ny player who does not shake hands with the opponent [...] before the game starts in a FIDE tournament or during a FIDE match (and does not do it after being asked to do so by the arbiter) [...] will immediately and finally lose the relevant game. May 2, 2015 at 15:55
  • Yes, and if you check the sources you will find the press release I linked. There is no official document called "FIDE's behavioural norms", or at least I cannot find it anywhere. May 2, 2015 at 16:43
  • Oh, I see, thank you very much for your answer! :) I was just wondering in the end, if that happens to me, should I call the arbiter or not? May 2, 2015 at 18:54
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    Basically, the Cheparinov-Short case only happened because the press release had just been published, and Short, who is involved in chess politics himself, knew about it. I guess 99% of all GMs (and the arbiter in that case!) had never heard of it. And without that controversy it would have been savely forgotten by now even by the 1%. May 5, 2015 at 7:25

Also the fact that Kramnik and Topalov don't shake hands before and after the games (since the incident in the world championship game in 2006) shows that it's not compulsory even in the very high level. Here you can find an interview with Kramnik about this issue.

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