Frequently Asked Questions

FIDE Ratings

Author: Ken Ballou - USCF NTD


 How do I get a FIDE rating?


You play nine games against opponents who already have a FIDE rating.

Do the nine games have to be in the same tournament?

  No. They can be spread across several tournaments.

How do I start working on my FIDE rating?

  There are two steps to getting a FIDE rating, "getting started" and "finishing."

What do I need to do to "get started"?

  In any one tournament, play against at least three opponents who already have a FIDE rating and score at least one point against those FIDE rated opponents. It doesn't matter whether that's a win or two draws, but the three games must be in one tournament. You can not combine results from several tournaments in this step.

What do I need to do to "finish" getting my rating?

  Once you've made it past the "three opponents/one point" hurdle, all your games against FIDE rated opponents will count toward your rating. It doesn't matter how many FIDE rated opponents you have in a tournament or how you do. Games before you clear the "three opponents/one point" hurdle do not count.

Doesn't FIDE have provisional ratings like USCF?

  No. Until you have at least nine games, you are treated as a completely unrated player. That means games you play against FIDE rated opponents will not count for the opponent's rating. Until you have nine games, you will have "partial results" toward your rating listed on the FIDE web site.

Is there a time limit for getting a FIDE rating?

  Yes. After you finish the "getting started" step, you need to finish getting the rest of your nine games in two years.

How often are FIDE ratings published?

  Currently, the FIDE rating list (FRL) is published six times a year: January 1, March 1, May 1, July 1, September 1, and November 1. Starting July, 2012, it is expected that the FRL will be published monthly. (However, that is not guaranteed. The FRL was supposed to be published monthly starting July, 2011, but that decision was rolled back at the last minute.)

What is the lowest possible FIDE rating?

  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.

Where can I look up my FIDE rating?

  Go to

Do I lose my FIDE rating if I am inactive?

  No, as long as you have a published FIDE rating. As with USCF ratings, "once rated, always rated."