|The Fédération Internationale des Échecs or World Chess Federation is an international organization that connects the various national chess federations around the world. It is usually referred to as FIDE (pronounced "fee day"), its French acronym. FIDE was founded in Paris, France on July 24, 1924. Its motto is Gens una sumus, meaning "We are one people". Its current president (as of May 2004) is Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who also is president of Kalmykia, a small republic within Russia.|
As well as organising the World Chess Championship and Chess Olympiad, FIDE calculates Elo ratings of players, defines the rules of chess, periodically publishes albums of the best chess problems (the FIDE Albums), awards the titles of FIDE Master, International Master, International Grandmaster, women´s versions of those titles, a number of organisational titles including International Arbiter, and, via the Permanent Commission of the FIDE for Chess Composition (PCCC) Master and Grandmaster titles in problem and study composing and solving.
As well as the men´s world championship, FIDE organises championships for women and juniors, regional championships, and the Chess Olympiad. It oversees few other tournaments, although other top-level events, almost without exception, respect FIDE rules and regulations.
In its early years, FIDE had little power. This was largely because the Soviet Union refused to join, as it saw chess and politics as being inextricably bound up, and FIDE was a non-political organisation. This changed, however, when incumbent world champion Alexander Alekhine died in 1946. FIDE stepped up to organise a tournament to find a replacement, and the Soviet Union, aware that this was a process it had to be involved with, joined.
From that initial 1948 tournament (won by Mikhail Botvinnik) to 1993, FIDE was the only body organising world chess championships. They were involved in controversies, however: in 1975, Bobby Fischer defaulted his title after FIDE refused to meet all his demands for his match with Anatoly Karpov. In 1984, FIDE president Florencio Campomanes called off the match between Karpov and Garry Kasparov without result. In 1993 reigning champion Kasparov and challenger Nigel Short (who had qualified through the FIDE system) broke away from FIDE to play their 1993 match under the auspices of the newly-formed Professional Chess Association (PCA). Since that time there have been two world championships - one held under FIDE"s aegis, and the other under a variety of organisations". Lately, FIDE"s championships have consisted of a single knock-out tournament with games under quicker time controls, rather than the traditional series of long matches, a change which has also proved controversial.
The decision to hold the 2004 World Championship in Libya has proved controversial, as have aspects of FIDE"s handling of the so-called Prague Agreement (a plan to reunite the two world championships, masterminded by Yasser Seirawan). FIDE has been criticised by the Association of Chess Professionals (ACP) as well as individual players.
Ilyumzhinov has himself proved a controversial figure, with question marks over the sources of the money he has donated to FIDE, and accusations against him that he has not paid promised prize money among other things.
In 1999, FIDE was recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Two years later, it introduced the IOC´s anti-drugs rules to chess. FIDE has stated that it would like chess to become part of the Olympic Games.
Ineke Bakker (died July 6, 2003) was secretary-general from 1972 until 1982, under Euwe and Olafsson. When Campomanes became president, she resigned. She was appointed Honorary Member of FIDE by its general assembly.