The International Chess Federation or Federation Internationale des Echecs, (referred to in the ensuing text as FIDE for short), is the recognised international federation in the domain of chess, which was founded on July 20, 1924 in Paris. FIDE is recognised by the International Olympic Committee as the supreme body responsible for the game of chess and its Championships.
FIDE unites national chess federations throughout the world and oversees all International competitions.
BASIC RULES OF PLAY
Article 1: The nature and objectives of the game of chess
1.1 The game of chess is played between two opponents who move their pieces alternately on a square board called a 'chessboard'. The player with the white pieces commences the game. A player is said to 'have the move', when his opponent's move has been made.
1.2 The objective of each player is to place the opponent's king 'under attack' in such a way that the opponent has no legal move which would avoid the 'capture' of the king on the following move. The player who achieves this goal is said to have 'checkmated' the opponent's king and to have won the game. The opponent whose king has been checkmated has lost the game.
1.3 If the position is such that neither player can possibly checkmate, the game is drawn.
Article 2: The initial position of the pieces on the chessboard
2.1 The chessboard is composed of an
8x8 grid of 64 equal squares alternately light (the 'white' squares)
and dark (the 'black' squares).
2.2 At the beginning of the game one
player has 16 light-coloured pieces (the 'white' pieces); the other
has 16 dark-coloured pieces (the 'black' pieces):
2.4 The eight vertical columns of squares are called 'files'. The eight horizontal rows of squares are called ranks'. A straight line of squares of the same colour, touching corner to corner, is called a 'diagonal'.
Article 3: The moves of the pieces
3.1 It is not permitted to move a piece to a square occupied by a piece of the same colour. If a piece moves to a square occupied by an opponent's piece the latter is captured and removed from the chessboard as part of the same move. A piece is said to attack an opponent's piece if the piece could make a capture on that square according to Articles 3.2 to 3.8.
3.2 The bishop may move to any square along a diagonal on which it stands.3.3 The rook may move to any square along the file or the rank on which it stands.
3.4 The queen may move to any square along the file, the rank or a diagonal on which it stands.
3.5 When making these moves the bishop, rook or queen may not move over any intervening pieces.
3.6 The knight may move to one of the squares nearest to that on which it stands but not on the same rank, file or diagonal.
3.7 a. The pawn may move forward
to the unoccupied square immediately in front of it on the same file,
d. A pawn attacking a square crossed by an opponent's pawn which has advanced two squares in one move from its original square may capture this opponent's pawn as though the latter had been moved only one square. This capture may only be made on the move following this advance and is called an 'en passant' capture.
e. When a pawn reaches the rank furthest from its starting position it must be exchanged as part of the same move for a queen, rook, bishop or knight of the same colour. The player's choice is not restricted to pieces that have been captured previously. This exchange of a pawn for another piece is called 'promotion' and the effect of the new piece is immediate.
3.8 a. There are two different ways of moving the king, by:
i. moving to any adjoining square not attacked by one or more of the opponent's pieces.
The opponent's pieces are considered
to attack a square, even if such pieces cannot themselves move.
ii. 'castling'. This is a move of the king and either rook of the same colour on the same rank, counting as a single move of the king and executed as follows: the king is transferred from its original square two squares towards the rook, then that rook is transferred to the square the king has just crossed.
(1) Castling is illegal:
b. The king is said to be 'in check'
if it is attacked by one or more of the opponent's pieces, even if such
pieces cannot themselves move.
9. No piece can be moved that will expose its own king to check or leave its own king in check.
Article 4: The act of moving the pieces
4.1 Each move must be made with one hand only.
4.2 Provided that he first expresses his intention (e.g. by saying "j'adoube" or "I adjust"), the player having the move may adjust one or more pieces on their squares.
4.3 Except as provided in Article
4.2, if the player having the move deliberately touches on the chessboard
4.4 a If a player deliberately touches
his king and rook he must castle on that side if it is legal to do so.
4.5 If none of the pieces touched can be moved or captured, the player may make any legal move.
4.6 A player forfeits his right to a claim against his opponent's violation of Article 4.3 or 4.4, once he deliberately touches a piece.
4.7 When, as a legal move or part of a legal move, a piece has been released on a square, it cannot then be moved to another square. The move is considered to have been made when all the relevant requirements of Article 3 have been fulfilled.
Article 5: The completion of the game
5.1 a. The game is won by the player
who has checkmated his opponent's king. This immediately ends the game,
provided that the move producing the checkmate position was a legal
5.2 a. The game is drawn when the player
to move has no legal move and his king is not in check. The game is
said to end in 'stalemate'. This immediately ends the game, provided
that the move producing the stalemate position was legal.
Article 6: The chess clock
6.1 'Chess clock' means a clock with
two time displays, connected to each other in such a way that only one
of them can run at one time.
6.2 a. When using a chess clock, each
player must make a minimum number of moves or all moves in an allotted
period of time and/or may be allocated an additional amount of time
with each move. All these must be specified in advance.
6.3 Each time display has a 'flag'. Immediately after a flag falls, the requirements of Article 6.2(a) must be checked.
6.4 Before the start of the game the arbiter decides where the chess clock is placed.
6.5 At the time determined for the start of the game the clock of the player who has the white pieces is started.
6.6 If neither player is present initially, the player who has the white pieces shall lose all the time that elapses until he arrives; unless the rules of the competition specify or the arbiter decides otherwise..
6.7 Any player who arrives at the chessboard more than one hour after the scheduled start of the session shall lose the game unless the rules of the competition specify or the arbiter decides otherwise.
6.8 a. During the game each player,
having made his move on the chessboard, shall stop his own clock and
start his opponent's clock. A player must always be allowed to stop
his clock. His move is not considered to have been completed until he
has done so, unless the move that was made ends the game. (See Articles
5.1, and 5.2)
6.9 A flag is considered to have fallen when the arbiter observes the fact or when either player has made a valid claim to that effect.
6.10 Except where Articles 5.1 or one of the Articles 5.2 (a), (b) and (c) apply, if a player does not complete the prescribed number of moves in the allotted time, the game is lost by the player. However, the game is drawn, if the position is such that the opponent cannot checkmate the player's king by any possible series of legal moves, even with the most unskilled counterplay.
6.11 Every indication given by the clocks is considered to be conclusive in the absence of any evident defect. A chess clock with an evident defect shall be replaced. The arbiter shall use his best judgement when determining the times to be shown on the replacement chess clock.
6.12 If both flags have fallen and it is impossible to establish which flag fell first, the game shall continue.
6.13 a. If the game needs to be interrupted,
the arbiter shall stop the clocks.
6.14 If an irregularity occurs and/or the pieces have to be restored to a previous position, the arbiter shall use his best judgement to determine the times to be shown on the clocks. He shall also, if necessary, adjust the clock's move counter.
6.15 Screens, monitors, or demonstration boards showing the current position on the chessboard, the moves and the number of moves made, and clocks which also show the number of moves, are allowed in the playing hall. However, the player may not make a claim based on information shown in this manner.
Article 7: Irregularities
7.1 a. If during a game it is found
that the initial position of the pieces was incorrect, the game shall
be cancelled and a new game played.
7.2 If a game has begun with colours reversed, then it shall continue, unless the arbiter rules otherwise.
7.3 If a player displaces one or more pieces, he shall re-establish the correct position on his own time. If necessary, either the player or his opponent shall stop the clocks and ask for the arbiter's assistance. The arbiter may penalise the player who displaced the pieces.
7.4 a. If during a game it is found
that an illegal move has been made, the position immediately before
the irregularity shall be reinstated. If the position immediately before
the irregularity cannot be determined the game shall continue from the
last identifiable position prior to the irregularity. The clocks shall
be adjusted according to Article 6.14. Article 4.3 applies to the move
replacing the illegal move. The game shall then continue from this reinstated
7.5 If during a game it is found that pieces have been displaced from their squares, the position before the irregularity shall be re-instated. If the position immediately before the irregularity cannot be identified, the game shall continue from the last identifiable position prior to the irregularity. The clocks shall be adjusted according to Article 6.14. The game shall then continue from this re-instated position.
Article 8: The recording of the moves
8.1 In the course of play each player
is required to record his own moves and those of his opponent in the
correct manner, move after move, as clearly and legibly as possible,
in the algebraic notation (Appendix E), on the 'scoresheet' prescribed
for the competition.
8.2 The scoresheet shall be visible to the arbiter throughout the game.
8.3 The scoresheets are the property of the organisers of the event.
8.4 If a player has less than five minutes left on his clock and does not have additional time of 30 seconds or more added with each move, then he is not obliged to meet the requirements of Article 8.1. Immediately after one flag has fallen the player must update his scoresheet completely before moving a piece on the chessboard.
8.5 a. If neither player is required
to keep score under Article 8.4, the arbiter or an assistant should
try to be present and keep score. In this case, immediately after one
flag has fallen, the arbiter shall stop the clocks. Then both players
shall update their scoresheets, using the arbiter's or the opponent's
8.6 If the scoresheets cannot be brought up to date showing that a player has overstepped the allotted time, the next move made shall be considered as the first of the following time period, unless there is evidence that more moves have been made.
8.7 At the conclusion of the game both players shall sign both scoresheets, indicating the result of the game. Even if incorrect, this result shall stand, unless the arbiter decides otherwise.
Article 9: The drawn game
9.1 a. A player wishing to offer a draw
shall do so after having made a move on the chessboard and before stopping
his clock and starting the opponent's clock. An offer at any other time
during play is still valid, but Article 12.5 must be considered. No
conditions can be attached to the offer. In both cases the offer cannot
be withdrawn and remains valid until the opponent accepts it, rejects
it orally, rejects it by touching a piece with the intention of moving
or capturing it, or the game is concluded in some other way.
9.2 The game is drawn, upon a correct
claim by the player having the move, when the same position, for at
least the third time (not necessarily by sequential repetition of moves)
Positions as in (a) and (b)
are considered the same, if the same player has the move, pieces of
the same kind and colour occupy the same squares, and the possible moves
of all the pieces of both players are the same.
9.3 The game is drawn, upon a correct
claim by the player having the move, if
9.4 If the player makes a move without having claimed the draw he loses the right to claim, as in Article 9.2 or 9.3, on that move.
9.5 If a player claims a draw as in
Article 9.2 or 9.3, he shall immediately stop both clocks. He is not
allowed to withdraw his claim.
9.6 The game is drawn when a position is reached from which a checkmate cannot occur by any possible series of legal moves, even with the most unskilled play. This immediately ends the game.
Article 10: Quickplay Finish
10.1 A 'quickplay finish' is the last phase of a game, when all the remaining moves must be made in a limited time.
10.2 If the player, having the move,
has less than two minutes left on his clock, he may claim a draw before
his flag falls. He shall stop the clocks and summon the arbiter.
10.3 If both flags have fallen and it is impossible to establish which flag fell first the game is drawn.
Article 11: Scoring
11.1 Unless announced otherwise in advance, a player who wins his game, or wins by forfeit, scores one point (1), a player who loses his game, or forfeits scores no points (0) and a player who draws his game scores a half point (½).
Article 12: The conduct of the players
12.1 The players shall take no action that will bring the game of chess into disrepute.
12.2 During play the players are forbidden
to make use of any notes, sources of information, advice, or to analyse
on another chessboard..
12.3 Players who have finished their games shall be considered to be spectators.
12.4 Players are not allowed to leave
the 'playing venue' without permission from the arbiter. The playing
venue is defined as the playing area, rest rooms, refreshment area,
area set aside for smoking and other places as designated by the arbiter.
12.5 It is forbidden to distract or annoy the opponent in any manner whatsoever. This includes unreasonable claims or offers of a draw.
12.6 Infraction of any part of the Articles 12.1 to 12.5 shall lead to penalties in accordance with Article 13.4.
12.7 Persistent refusal by a player to comply with the Laws of Chess shall be penalised by loss of the game. The arbiter shall decide the score of the opponent.
12.8 If both players are found guilty according to Article 12.7, the game shall be declared lost by both players.
Article 13: The role of the arbiter (see Preface)
13.1 The arbiter shall see that the Laws of Chess are strictly observed.
13.2 The arbiter shall act in the best interest of the competition. He should ensure that a good playing environment is maintained and that the players are not disturbed. He shall supervise the progress of the competition.
13.3 The arbiter shall observe the games, especially when the players are short of time, enforce decisions he has made and impose penalties on players where appropriate.
13.4 The arbiter can apply one or more
of the following penalties:
13.5 The arbiter may award either or both players additional time in the event of external disturbance of the game.
13.6 The arbiter must not intervene in a game except in cases described by the Laws of Chess. He shall not indicate the number of moves made, except in applying Article 8.5, when at least one player has used all his time. The arbiter shall refrain from informing a player that his opponent has completed a move.
13.7 Spectators and players in other games are not to speak about or otherwise interfere in a game. If necessary, the arbiter may expel offenders from the playing venue.
Article 14: FIDE
14.1 Member federations may ask FIDE to give an official decision about problems relating to the Laws of Chess.
A. Adjourned games
A1. a. If a game is not finished at
the end of the time prescribed for play, the arbiter shall require the
player having the move to 'seal' that move. The player must write his
move in unambiguous notation on his scoresheet, put his scoresheet and
that of his opponent in an envelope, seal the envelope and only then
stop his clock without starting the opponent's clock. Until he has stopped
the clocks, the player retains the right to change his sealed move.
If, after being told by the arbiter to seal his move, the player makes
a move on the chessboard, he must write that same move on his scoresheet
as his sealed move.
A2. The following shall be indicated
upon the envelope:
A3. The arbiter shall check the accuracy of the information on the envelope and is responsible for the safe-keeping of it.
A4. If a player proposes a draw after his opponent has sealed his move, the offer is valid until the opponent has accepted it or rejected it as in Article 9.1.
A5. Before the game is to be resumed, the position immediately before the sealed move shall be set up on the chessboard, and the times used by each player when the game was adjourned shall be indicated on the clocks.
A6. If prior to the resumption the game is agreed drawn, or if one of the players notifies the arbiter that he resigns, the game is concluded.
A7. The envelope shall be opened only when the player who must reply to the sealed move is present.
A8. Except in the cases mentioned in
Article 6.10 and 9.6, the game is lost by a player whose recording of
his sealed move
A9. If, at the agreed resumption time
A10. The player shall lose the
game if he arrives at the chessboard more than one hour late for the
resumption of an adjourned game (unless the rules of the competition
or the arbiter decides otherwise).
A11. a. If the envelope containing the
sealed move is missing, the game shall continue from the position, with
the clock times recorded at the time of adjournment. If the time used
by each player cannot be re-established the arbiter shall set the clocks.
The player who sealed the move makes the move he states he sealed on
A12. If, upon resumption of the game, either player points out before making his first move that the time used has been incorrectly indicated on either clock, the error must be corrected. If the error is not then established the game continues without correction unless the arbiter feels that the consequences will be too severe.
A13. The duration of each resumption session shall be controlled by the arbiter's timepiece. The starting time and finishing time shall be announced in advance.
B1. A 'Rapidplay game' is one where all the moves must be made in a fixed time from 15 to 60 minutes for each player.
B2. Play shall be governed by the FIDE Laws of Chess, except where they are overridden by the following Laws of Rapidplay.
B3. Players do not need to record the moves.
B4. Once each player has completed three
moves, no claim can be made regarding incorrect piece placement, orientation
of the chessboard or clock setting.
B5. a. The arbiter shall make a ruling
according to Article 4 (The touched piece), only if requested to do
so by one or both players.
B6. The flag is considered to have fallen when a player has made a valid claim to that effect. The arbiter shall refrain from signalling a flag fall.
B7. To claim a win on time, the claimant must stop both clocks and notify the arbiter. For the claim to be successful the claimant's flag must remain up and his opponent's flag down after the clocks have been stopped.
B8. If both flags have fallen, the game
C1. A 'Blitz game' is one where all the moves must be made in a fixed time less than 15 minutes for each player.
C2. Play shall be governed by the Rapidplay Laws as in Appendix B except where they are overridden by the following Laws of Blitz.
C3. An illegal move is completed once the opponent's clock has been started. However, the opponent is entitled to claim a win before making his own move. If the opponent cannot checkmate the player's king by any possible series of legal moves with the most unskilled counterplay, then the player is entitled to claim a draw before making his own move. Once the opponent has made his own move, an illegal move cannot be corrected
C4. Article 10.2 does not apply.
D. Quickplay finishes where no arbiter is present in the venue.
D1. Where games are played as in Article
10, a player may claim a draw when he has less than two minutes left
on his clock and before his flag falls. This concludes the game.
In (a) the player must write down the
final position and his opponent verify it.
E. Algebraic notation
FIDE recognizes for its own tournaments and matches only one system of notation, the Algebraic System, and recommends the use of this uniform chess notation also for chess literature and periodicals. Scoresheets using a notation system other than algebraic may not be used as evidence in cases where normally the scoresheet of a player is used for that purpose. An arbiter who observes that a player is using a notation system other than the algebraic should warn the player about this requirement.
Description of the Algebraic System
E1. Each piece is indicated by the first letter, a capital letter, of its name. Example: K = king, Q = queen, R = rook, B = bishop, N = knight. (In the case of the knight, for the sake of convenience, N is used.)
E2. For the first letter of the name of a piece, each player is free to use the first letter of the name which is commonly used in his country. Examples: F = fou (French for bishop), L = loper (Dutch for bishop). In printed periodicals, the use of figurines for the pieces is recommended.
E3. Pawns are not indicated by their first letter, but are recognised by the absence of such a letter. Examples: e5, d4, a5.
E4. The eight files (from left to right for White and from right to left for Black) are indicated by the small letters, a, b, c, d, e, f, g and h, respectively.
E5. The eight ranks (from bottom to top for White and from top to bottom for Black) are numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8, respectively. Consequently, in the initial position the white pieces and pawns are placed on the first and second ranks; the black pieces and pawns on the eighth and seventh ranks.
E6. As a consequence of the previous rules, each of the sixty-four squares is invariably indicated by a unique combination of a letter and a number.
E7. Each move of a piece is indicated
by (a) the first letter of the name of the piece in question and (b)
the square of arrival. There is no hyphen between (a) and (b). Examples:
Be5, Nf3, Rd1.
E8. When a piece makes a capture, an
x is inserted between (a) the first letter of the name of the piece
in question and (b) the square of arrival. Examples: Bxe5, Nxf3, Rxd1.
E9. If two identical pieces can move
to the same square, the piece that is moved is indicated as follows:
E10. If two pawns can capture the same piece or pawn of the opponent, the pawn that is moved is indicated by (a) the letter of the file of departure, (b) an x, (c) the square of arrival. Example: If there are white pawns on squares c4 and e4 and a black pawn or piece on the square d5, the notation for White's move is either cxd5 or exd5, as the case may be.
E11. In the case of the promotion of a pawn, the actual pawn move is indicated, followed immediately by the first letter of the new piece. Examples: d8Q, f8N, b1B, g1R.
E12. The offer of a draw shall be marked
Sample game: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Bd2 0-0 5.e4 d5 6.exd5 exd5 7.cxd5 Bxc3 8.Bxc3 Nxd5 9.Nf3 b6 10.Qb3 Nxc3 11.bxc3 c5 12.Be2 cxd4 13.Nxd4 Re8 14.0-0 Nd7 15.a4 Nc5 16.Qb4 Bb7 17.a5 ... etc.
F. Rules for play with Blind and Visually Handicapped
F1. Tournament directors shall have
the power to adapt the following rules according to local circumstances.
In competitive chess between sighted and visually handicapped players
(legally blind) either player may demand the use of two boards, the
sighted players using a normal board, the visually handicapped player
using one specially constructed. The specially constructed board must
meet the following requirements:
F2 The following regulations shall govern
2. On the visually handicapped player's board a piece shall be considered "touched" when it has been taken out of the securing aperture.
3. A move shall be considered "executed"
4. A specially constructed chess clock
for the visually handicapped shall be admissible. It shall incorporate
the following features:
5. The visually handicapped player must keep score of the game in Braille or longhand or record the moves on a tape recorder.
6. A slip of the tongue in the announcement of a move must be corrected immediately and before the clock of the opponent is started.
7. If during a game different positions should arise on the two boards, they must be corrected with the assistance of the controller and by consulting both players' game scores. If the two game scores correspond with each other, the player who has written the correct move but executed the wrong one must adjust his position to correspond with the move on the game scores.
8. If, when such differences occur and the two game scores are found to differ, the moves shall be retraced to the point where the two scores agree and the controller shall readjust the clock accordingly.
9. The visually handicapped player shall
have the right to make use of an assistant who shall have any or al
of the following duties: