Founded in Paris on 20 July 1924, the World Chess Federation (Federation Internationale des Echecs, known as FIDE from its French acronym) was recognized by the International Olympic Committee as an International Sports Federation in 1999.
Prior to the founding of FIDE, Chess had existed as a sport played at competitive level for centuries. In its over 2000 years history from its origins in India and outlying countries in Asia, the game had undergone a series of changes and metamorphosed into its present day form by the 15th century. In those days, there was no common code governing the Laws of Chess or uniform regulations for International Competitions. The only binding force was that it was a gentleman’s sport in which the players were expected to act with decorum plus the enduring beauty of the game to its practitioners.
The general promotion of chess in the world owes a great deal to competitions officially known as the „Tournament of Nations” and more popularly as the „Chess Olympiads”. This latter title has been accepted so widely that the official name has been almost forgotten. This is quite understandable, given the fact that Olympiads date back over three thousand years.
The ancient Olympics gathered together not only athletes but also poets, who read their verse, philosophers who expounded their learning and statesmen, who used the occasion to negotiate and conclude agreements. The idea of peace, understanding and mutual respect still permeates those taking part in the Olympic Games today.
With 180 member federations, FIDE is among the biggest sports organizations in the world, very proud of over forty official championships for youngsters, men, women and seniors.
Chess is an affiliate member, or fully recognized by, National Olympic Committees in 117 countries, and chess as a sport is recognized in 107 countries. These numbers are constantly being revised upwards.
FIDE believes that all nations should be included in the international chess community. Our aim is to achieve significant growth in the number of people of all ages participating in chess events at all levels and to develop chess by increasing the level of tournament participation globally.
The objective is twofold, to assist our best chess players to continue to achieve new peaks of excellence and to increase the pool of talent from which new champions will emerge.
More players mean more strong or elite players. In addition, chess competition provides valuable opportunities for people of all ages to improve themselves, display team work and become more engaged in a safe and healthy community activity.