New FIDE rules for Elo ratings and titles come into force

by clement

The new FIDE rules for rankings and titles were approved by the FIDE Council at its meeting on December 14, 2023.

A dedicated working group, consisting of Aleksandr Moiseenko (GM), Pavel Tregubov (General Strategy Commission), Nick Faulks (CQ), Vladimir Kukaev (Rankings Office) and Sabrina de San Vicente (CQ), worked with mathematician Jeff Sonas on reforming the existing ranking system. Sonas is a professional database consultant and owner of Sonas Consulting, which has been supporting the FIDE CQ on issues relating to the Elo ranking system since 2009.

The proposed concept was shared with the public in July 2023, to obtain comments and suggestions for improving the FIDE rankings. Over 150 comments were received, all of which were analyzed and reviewed by Jeff Sonas (see Compression and calculation improvements: Complementary report

by Jeff Sonas).

After a thorough review of the suggestions and proposals received, CQ has proposed a series of new rules concerning rankings.

The recommendations are as follows:

  1. A one-off change to standard ratings for players already rated: for players whose standard rating is below 2000 Elo, an increase will be applied according to the formula (0.40) x (2000 – Rating). Players whose standard ranking is equal to or higher than 2000 Elo will keep their current ranking.
  2. Modification of the grading floor: increase of the grading floor from 1000 to 1400.
  3. Modification of grading entry:a. Unranked players who achieve a positive score against ranked opponents will have their initial rating calculated on the basis of the performance rating derived from their percentage score, and not by simply multiplying the score plus by (K/2). The maximum initial rating that can be achieved by this method will not exceed 2200.

    b. Modification of the initial ranking formula for unranked players to include two hypothetical opponents ranked 1800, the result of these two games being considered as a draw.

  4. The 400-point rule: a ranking difference of more than 400 points will be counted for ranking purposes as if it were a difference of 400 Elo, with no restriction on the number of times it can be applied in a single tournament, returning it to its pre-2022 state.

The QC proposal recommended applying these same changes to the Standard and Rapid & Blitz ranking rules. The proposals were discussed and approved by the FIDE Council at its meeting on December 14, 2023. The new FIDE Titles Regulations come into force on January 1, 2024. The new FIDE Classification Regulations come into force on March 1, 2024.

FIDE Title Regulations

FIDE Title Regulations effective from 1 January 2024

Table for Direct Titles effective from 1 January 2024

FIDE ranking rules

FIDE Rating Regulations effective from 1 March 2024

FIDE Rapid and Blitz Rating Regulations effective from 1 March 2024

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