World Women Chess Championship 2008

official rules, part 1

1. Organisation

1.1. The Women`s World Chess Championship cycle shall be organised bi-annually in 2008, 2010, 2012, etc. and will include the following events: National Championships, Zonal Tournaments, Continental Championships and the final stage, the Women?s World Chess Championship (64-player knock out system).

1.2. Governing Body: the World Chess Federation (FIDE). For the purpose of creating the regulations, communicating with the players and negotiating with the organisers, the President has nominated a committee, hereby called the World Chess Championship Committee (WCCC).

1.2. 1. With the exception of National Championships, Zonal Tournaments and also Continental Championships that do not serve as a qualifying event for the World Chess Championship cycle, FIDE retains all commercial and media rights, including internet.

2. Qualifying Events for the Women’s World Chess Championship

2. 1. National Chess Championships. National Chess Championships are the responsibility of the Federations who retain all rights in their events.

2. 2. Zonal Tournaments. Zonals can be organised by the Continents according to their regulations that have to be approved by the FIDE Presidential Board.

2. 3. Continental Chess Championships. The Continents, through their respective Boards and in co-operation with FIDE, shall organise Continental Chess Championships. The regulations for these events have to be approved by the FIDE Presidential Board if they are part of the qualification system of the World Chess Championship cycle.

2. 3. 1. FIDE shall guarantee a minimum total prize fund of USD 25,000 for the Continental Championships divided among the Continents, as follows:

1. Europe 10,000 USD

2. Americas 5,000 USD

3. Asia-Oceania 5,000 USD

4. Africa 5,000 USD

Total: 25,000 USD

To qualify for the grant of the prize money contributed by FIDE for each Continental Championship, each Continent must show proof of additional sponsorship money it has raised for the prize fund.

FIDE shall retain 20% of the prize fund. The Continent shall receive 20% from any additional prize fund at the Continental level.

2. 3. 2. Where a Continent decides to have zonal tournaments for qualification to the Women?s World Championship, the number of zonal qualifiers shall be restricted to the approved figure by zone; the extra qualification places for each Continent shall be given to the Continental Championship to determine the remaining qualifiers to the Women?s World Championship.

2. 3. 3. All the Zonal qualifiers, as well as the number of players eligible by country to participate in each zonal, can participate in their Continental Championship with their full board expenses covered by the host organiser. The extra players by country as determined by each Continent shall be responsible for their expenses. This applies only in those Continents that hold Zonals and Continental Championships.

2. 3. 4. The Continental and Zonal Championships shall be organized before the end of September of each year. The Continents, in co-operation with the WCCC, will decide on the format and the maximum number of participants per country including qualifiers per country. If the Continental Championship cannot be organized by the Continents, then FIDE shall organise the Championship using the prize fund allocated to the respective Continent, without necessarily distributing prizes to the players.

2. 3. 5. The number of qualifiers for each continent is:

Europe: 28

Americas: 8

Asia: 12

Africa: 3

2. 3. 6. FIDE will send one of its representatives, a member of the WCCC or a representative appointed by the committee, as an observer to ensure that the event is held in line with the Women?s World Championship regulations. He will present an independent report on the conduct of the Championship to the Presidential Board of FIDE. Traveling cost, board and lodge as well as stipend shall be paid by the organising committee of the Continental Championship.

3. Women’s World Chess Championship 2008

3. 1. Qualifiers. There are 64 qualifiers:

1. The Women’s World Champion, runner-up and semi-finalists of the previous Women’s World Championship (4 players)

2. The World Junior Girl Champions U-20 of 2006 & 2007. (2 players)

3. The five best rated players from the average of the FIDE rating lists of July 2006 and January 2007 (5 players).

4. Fifty-one qualifiers from the Women’s Continental Championships and Zones (51 players).

5. Two nominees of the FIDE President (2 players).

3. 1. 1. Replacements. Women’s World Champion, semi-finalists of the previous women’s world championship, World Junior Girl U-20 Champions and rated players can be replaced only from the rating list. Continental and Zonal qualifiers will be replaced from their respective events, except that in the Zonal Tournament the replacement must have scored at least 50% of the maximum possible score. Otherwise the place passes to the Continental Championship.

3. 1. 2. For the purpose of deciding the 5 rated players-qualifiers, as well as any replacements, the average from the following lists will be used: rating lists of July 2006 and January 2007 divided by 2. In case of equality two decimals will be taken into consideration. If the numbers are still equal then the number of games from the two periods shall be decisive. That means the player with the greater number of games shall qualify. If the numbers are still equal then the January 2006 list shall be decisive. If the Elo in this list is still the same, the player with the greater number of games in this list will qualify.

3. 1. 3. Players who appear in the inactive list in both July 2006 and January 2007 lists will not be able to qualify as a rated player. If the player is inactive in one list but appears in the other, then the rating that is published shall be taken as the average.

3. 1. 4. The list of qualified players and the reserves will be published on the FIDE web site.

3. 2. Tournament format

3. 2. 1 There shall be five (5) rounds of matches, comprising two (2) games per round, with the winners progressing to the next round. The 6th round (final round) shall be played over four (4) games and the winner will be declared Women’s World Champion.

Round 1: there shall be 64 players

Round 2: there shall be 32 players

Round 3: there shall be 16 players

Round 4: there shall be 8 players

Round 5: there shall be 4 players

Round 6: there shall be 2 players

3. 2. 2. Schedule of the Women’s World Championship

Opening Ceremony/Players` meeting 1 day

Round 1: 2 days play 2 days

+ tiebreaks 1 day

Round 2: 2 days play 2 days

+ tiebreaks 1 day

Round 3: 2 days play 2 days

+ tiebreaks 1 day

Round 4: 2 days play 2 days

+ tiebreaks 1 day

Round 5: 2 days play 2 days

+ tiebreaks 1 day

Free Day 1 day free 1 day

Round 6: 4 days play 4 days

+ tiebreaks 1 day

Closing Ceremony 1 day

TOTAL 23 days

3. 3. Confirmation of Participation/Conduct of Players

3. 3. 1. When FIDE has confirmed the name of organiser, venue and dates, the participants will be able to download the copy of the Player’s Undertaking (which contains the player’s obligations) from the FIDE web site and shall send their signed Undertaking to FIDE within two weeks. This is the player’s responsibility.

Any participant, specified in paragraph 3.1 who fails to return her Player’s Undertaking by the official deadline, may be replaced according to article 3. 1. 1. The WCCC may accept late undertakings received after the deadline within the period of 10 days. The final list shall then be published 10 days after the deadline on the FIDE web site. Players not previously qualified but who have the right to participate as replacements shall be notified through the FIDE web site and will have one further week to return their signed undertakings to FIDE.

3. 3. 2. All players mentioned in 3. 3. 1 shall confirm, by fax and registered mail to the FIDE Secretariat, their participation by returning the signed original copy of the Players` Undertaking published on the FIDE web site for participation in the Women’s World Championship. Players shall be fully responsible for the arrival on time to the FIDE Secretariat of their signed undertaking.

3. 3. 3. A player who returns her undertaking but withdraws before the pairings are announced will be replaced by a player as described in 3. 1. 1.

3. 3. 4. Any player that withdraws after the pairings are announced shall not be replaced.

3. 3. 5. Players that fail to provide a satisfactory reason for withdrawal, after they have signed the player’s undertaking, may be excluded from the next World Championship cycle.

3. 3. 6. If the World Cup and the Women’s World Championship are organised at the same period (even if the two events overlap by one day) then the player who has the right to participate in both championships shall decide per 3. 3. 2 in which tournament she will play.

3. 3. 7. For security and administrative reasons, all participants are expected to stay in the officially designated hotel(s).

3. 3. 8. All players shall pay their own cost of travel, accommodation and meals for the duration of their stay.

3. 4. Pairings.

3. 4. 1. All participants will start from Round 1.

3. 4. 2. For purposes of pairings the players shall be ranked according to the most recent rating list. In case of equality of two or more players, the player with the greater number of games played during the period covered by the list shall be higher seeded. In case of equal number, the order will be decided by the drawing of lots. The Women’s World Champion will be seeded number one.

3. 4. 3. Pairings shall follow the principle of top half vs. lower half reversed (1-64, 2-63…). Thus the highest ranked player of the top half shall play the lowest ranked player of the bottom half. The second ranked player of the top half shall play the penultimate ranked player of the bottom half. And so on.

3. 4. 4. For rounds 2 to 5, pairings shall follow the same procedure as in 3. 4. 3, with the clarification that if the lower ranked player wins in any match, she shall automatically assume the position of the higher ranked player.

3. 4. 5. All the participants will start from round 1. No postponement shall be allowed except with permission of the FIDE President.

3. 5. Drawing of colours

3. 5. 1. The draw for colours shall be conducted as follows:

a) The top seeded player in Round 1 receives White or Black in the first game as decided by lot during the Opening Ceremony. In the second game of the same round, colours will be reversed. In match 2, the higher seeded player shall have the opposite colour to the top seeded player, and so alternating through the list.

b) In Round 2 the winner of match 1 shall have in the first game the colour opposite to the colour that the top seeded player had in the first gameof Round 1. The higher seeded player in the first game of match 2 shall have the same colour that the highest seeded player had in the first game of match 1 and thereafter with colours alternating through the list, with the clarification that if the lower ranked player wins in any match in the previous round, then she shall automatically assume the position of the higher ranked player.

c) For Rounds 3-6 the same procedure is applicable.

d) For the tie-break matches in article 3.8, there shall be a drawing of lots for each match. If these matches are also drawn, there shall be a drawing of lots to decide who shall receive White in the sudden-death game.

3.6. Time control.

3. 6. 1. The time control shall be 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move from move one.

3. 6. 2. The games shall be played using the electronic clocks and boards approved by FIDE.

3. 7. Conditions of victory

3. 7. 1. For rounds 1-5, each match shall be played over two (2) games and the winner of every match shall be the first player to score 1.5 or more points. The final match, or round 6, shall be played over four (4) games and the winner of the match shall be the first player to score 2.5 or more points. A tie shall be broken according to article 3.8. The winner of the final match will be declared Women’s World Champion.

3. 8. Tie-breaks

3. 8. 1. Rounds 1-5

3. 8. 1. 1 If the scores are level after the regular games, after a new drawing of colours, two (2) tie break games shall be played. The games shall be played using the electronic clock starting with 25 minutes on the clock for each player with an addition of 10 seconds after each move.

3. 8. 1. 2 If the scores are level after the games in paragraph 3. 8. 1. 1, then, after a new drawing of colours, 2 five-minute games shall be played with the addition of 10 seconds after each move.

3. 8. 1. 3. If the score is still level, the players shall play one decisive sudden death game. The player, who wins the drawing of lots, may choose the colour. White shall receive 6 minutes, Black shall receive 5 minutes, without any addition. The winner qualifies for the next round. In case of a draw the player with the black pieces qualifies for the next round.

3. 8. 2. Round 6 (Final Match)

3. 8. 2. 1 If the scores are level after the regular games, after a new drawing of colours, four (4) tie break games shall be played. The games shall be played using the electronic clock starting with 25 minutes on the clock for each player with an addition of 10 seconds after each move.

3. 8. 2. 2 If the scores are level after the games in paragraph 3. 8. 2. 1, then, after a new drawing of colours, 2 five-minute games shall be played with the addition of 10 seconds after each move.

3. 8. 2. 3. If the score is still level, the players shall play one decisive sudden death game. The player, who wins the drawing of lots, may choose the colour. White shall receive 6 minutes, Black shall receive 5 minutes, without any addition. The winner shall be declared Women’s World Champion. In case of a draw the player with the black pieces shall be declared Women’s World Champion.

3. 8. 3. Rules for rapid and blitz games

Play shall be governed by the FIDE Laws of Chess for Rapid and Blitz Games (Appendices B and C of the Laws of Chess), except where they are overridden by the specific provisions of these regulations:

a. Players need not record their moves. An Arbiter will record the moves (Article B3).

b. Once a player has completed ten (10) moves, no claim can be made regarding incorrect piece placement, orientation of chessboard or clock setting. In case of reverse King and Queen placement, castling with the King is not allowed (Article B4).

c. The player whose turn it is to move, may consult the Arbiter’s score sheet, and, if her next move will produce a threefold repetition of position (according to Article 9.2a of the Laws of Chess), or the 50 moves rule (according to Article 9.3a of the Laws of Chess), she herself must write the intended move on the score sheet and claim the draw, if she wants. If the claim is found to be correct, the game is immediately ended as a draw. If the claim is found to be incorrect, the Arbiter shall add three (3) minutes to the opponent’s remaining time and additionally shall deduct half of the claimant’s remaining time up to a maximum of three (3) minutes.

d. The Arbiter shall call the flag fall (Article B6).

e. Article C3 does not apply.

f. In the case of an illegal move the Arbiter shall interfere with the game only after a claim by the opponent and shall reinstate the position immediately before the irregularity. For the first illegal move made by a player the arbiter shall give two (2) extra minutes to the opponent. For the second illegal move by the same player the arbiter shall declare the game lost by this player.

3. 8. 4. Between the tiebreak games as well as before the start of the sudden death game there shall be a pause of at least 10 minutes, unless the Chief Arbiter decides otherwise.

3. 9. Prizes for the Women’s World Championship

3. 9. 1. Prize list

1st round 32 losers x 3.750 = 120.000

2nd round 16 losers x 5.500 = 88.000

3rd round 8 losers x 8.000 = 64.000

4th round 4 losers x 12.000 = 48.000

5th round 2 losers x 20.000 = 40.000

6th round 1 loser x 30.000 = 30.000

Women’s World Champion = 60.000

TOTAL: 450.000 USD

3. 9. 2. A payment of 20% from the above prize fund shall be made to FI?DE.

3. 9. 3. If a player withdraws due to ill health or any other good reason accepted by the Appeals Committee, she shall receive the full prize money to which he was entitled at that time.

3. 9. 4. If a player withdraws after the start of the first round without having a satisfactory reason for doing so, she shall receive no prize money.

3. 10. Playing Conditions.

3. 10. 1. Only the players, principals and steward (-es)s shall be allowed in the actual playing area except with the permission of the Chief Arbiter.

3. 10. 2. During the playing session the following additional regulations shall be in force:

a) The players are not permitted to bring into the playing area technical and other equipment extraneous to play, which may in any way disturb or upset the opponent. The Chief Arbiter shall decide what constitutes extraneous equipment liable to offend the opponent.

b) A player may talk only to an arbiter or communicate with a steward, or with his opponent as permitted by the Laws of Chess.

c) During the playing session, players are not allowed to leave the playing area without the permission of the Chief Arbiter.

3. 11. Score sheets.

3. 11. 1. The Organisers shall provide score sheets according to the specifications provided by the WCCC.

a) At the end of each game the players` original score sheets shall be given to the Arbiter, who shall hand them to FIDE .

b) Refusal of either player to sign the score sheets shall be penalised according to Article 13.4 of the Laws of Chess. After the players have signed the score sheets, the Arbiter shall countersign to confirm the results.

c) In tiebreak games, the players and the Arbiter shall sign a result sheet.

3. 12. Players` Meeting.

3. 12. 1. Players are required to attend the Players` Meeting on the day of the Opening Ceremony at a time to be decided by the Chief Arbiter and the Organisers. If necessary, the Chief Arbiter may call other Players` Meetings.

3. 12. 2. If a player fails to appear at the Players` Meeting, the Opening or Closing Ceremony or any approved function of the Championship such as official receptions and press conferences, or conducts herself in a manner contrary to the spirit of sportsmanship or the FIDE Code of Ethics, then she shall suffer the following penalty: 5% of her prize money shall be forfeited to the Organisers and a further 5% to FIDE for each breach. In cases of serious misconduct the player may be disqualified from the tournament and the World Chess Championship cycle.

3. 13. Interviews, functions and mode of dressing.

3. 13. 1. The players are expected to co-operate reasonably with the media. General interviews with them can be arranged through the Press Officer.

3. 13. 2. The players are required to make themselves available for short interviews, of not more than 10 minutes duration, immediately after the game. In general, the winner, or in the event of a draw both players, shall be available for the daily press conference.

3. 13. 3. Players are required to be present at all official functions approved by FIDE President or his Deputy during the Championship including official receptions and the opening and closing ceremonies.

3. 13. 4. Players are requested to note the requirements of FIDE Regulations C.01 (Article 8.1) in respect of their dignified appearance at all times during the event.

3. 14.Payment of Prize Money and Stipends

3. 14. 1. The prize fund shall be paid by bank cheque or direct banker’s order drawn in United States Dollars on UBS, Lausanne or any other official FIDE bank.

3. 14. 2.Upon completion of the Women’s World Chess Championship, FIDE shall pay these sums collectible in the player’s home country within 2 weeks.

3. 14. 3.;Although FIDE will endeavour to sign an agreement with the organiser stating that the prize funds are net and free of all tax, FIDE will not be responsible for any national or local tax deducted from the prize money. FIDE will give all necessary assistance to the players if the organiser acts to the contrary.

3. 15. Principals

3. 15. 1. The Principals are:

1. President and Deputy President, one of them being the Chairman of the Appeals Committee;

2. Treasurer, Elected Vice President, General Secretary

3. Four members of the Appeals Committee;

4. Arbiters;

5. Press Officer;

6. Chairman of FIDE Medical Commission;

7. WCCC members;

3. 16. Arbiters

3. 16. 1. There will be a Chief Arbiter, a Deputy Chief Arbiter, three Deputy Arbiters and local assistance according to the tournament needs. FIDE President, in consultation with the World Chess Championship Committee, shall appoint the arbiters who must have the title of International Arbiter.

3. 16. 2. In each match, no arbiter may belong to the same federation as either of the players. Exception: if both players are members of the same federation, an arbiter may also belong to this federation.

3. 16. 3. During play either the Chief Arbiter or the Deputy Chief Arbiter must be present in the playing area.

3. 16. 4. Immediately after the end of the Women’s World Chess Championship, the Chief Arbiter shall write a report and send it without delay to the FIDE Secretariat.

3. 16. 5. The report shall be written in the English language.

3. 16. 6. The report shall contain the result of each individual game as well as the final result of each match. In addition, the report shall contain a general description of the course of the event. If there were any difficulties, conflicts or incidents during the tournament, they shall be described together with the measures taken to deal with them.

3. 16. 7. The report shall be supplemented by adding two copies of the bulletins of the event and the score sheets of the games.

3. 16. 8. The Chief Arbiter may, in consultation with the WCCC, and with the approval of the FIDE President, issue additional written regulations to inform the exact playing hours and take care of other details not covered by these regulations.

3.17. Appeals Committee.

3. 17. 1. The President or his Deputy shall be Chairman of the Appeals Committee. There shall be three other members all from different Federations. No member of the Appeals Committee shall sit in judgement in a dispute involving a player or party from his Federation except where the dispute is between two players or two parties from his Federation.

All protests must be submitted in writing to the Appeals Committee not more than two hours after the relevant playing session, or the particular infringement complained against.

The Committee may decide on the following matters:

a) an appeal against a decision by an arbiter,

b) a protest against a player’s behaviour,

c) a complaint alleging false interpretation of the regulations,

d) a request for the interpretation of specific regulations,

e) a protest or complaint against any participant, or

f) all other matters which the Committee considers important.

If possible, the Committee shall reach a decision not more than two hours after the submission of a protest. The appeals process shall include written representations and a written decision. The Committee shall endeavour to find binding solutions that are within the true spirit of the FIDE motto, Gens Una Sumus. Each protest must be accompanied by a deposit fee of USD 500 (five hundred US Dollars) or the equivalent in local currency. If the protest is accepted, the fee shall be returned. If the protest is rejected, the fee may be forfeited to FIDE.

The written decision of the Appeals Committee arising from any dispute in respect of these regulations shall be final.

Rules according to D.01.07 of FIDE, read part 2 here

Anna Rudolf’s case update

a look at FIDE ethics code

Vandoeuvre open – report with photos

The story of Anna Rudolf – as told by Marie Boyarchenko

Interview with Anna Rudolf – emotional interview with Anna after Vandoeuvre open

chessdom logo

Anna Rudolf’s case that Chessdom published several days ago has risen several important questions.

1. The shaking hands problem has been described in . Has there been anyone punished
for not shaking hands until now? What is the standart procedure to
file a complaint to the ethics commision?

2. Can false accusations be punished and in what way according to the FIDE laws?

3. If a player is at the place of Anna, where should he look for his
rights during the tournament?

4. If the player who did not shake hands is forfeited according to
FIDE laws, will the standings change?

5. What is more dangerous today, cheating or cheating paranoya?

With the kind help of our friend Mr. Geoffrey Borg, CEO of Global Chess, we finally got in touch with the FIDE office. From there came a fast reply to our questions.

FIDE letter

With reference to your email to Geoffrey Borg regarding the above event, I attach the link to the FIDE Code of Ethics.

If any party believes that they have a complaint under this code, then it should be forwarded to the FIDE Secretariat at who will then forward it to the Ethics Commission.

The laws of chess have not been amended for the refusal of players to shake hands. The matter was discussed in Antalya at the Ethics Commission and the Arbiter’s Council but no final decision was taken. Further consideration will be given to the matter.


David Jarrett

Executive Director

chessdom logo

Simple and clear. The answer to some of the questions above do not leave any doubt. There are serious violations of the FIDE ethics code in the Anna Rudolf’s case. First, she was deprived of the “fair play and good sportsmanships” stated in the Introduction point 1.1. and point 1.2 continues, “In most cases common sense will tell the participants the standards of behavior that are required.” General and not specific one would say, but this is only the introduction. Point 2.2.4 specifies a breach as, “Failure to comply with normally accepted standards of courtesy and chess etiquette. Misbehavior of a personal nature which is generally unacceptable by normal social standards.”

Now if there is an active FIDE ethics commision this should not leave any question. The rules even resolves the non shaking hands problem, that “was discussed in Antalya but no final decision was taken”. Point 2.2.4 says it is a violation and no further addition to the Ethics code is necessary. Adding to these events the possibilyty of “3.6 intimidating conduct” should leave to a fast decision.

Stay tuned for updates as letters are expected from the tournament director, the chief arbiter, GM Bauer, and several more players.

Sofia rule comments

What other media and players think about the Sofia rule

Mtel mobile operator

Sofia rule is one of the most discussed topics these days in chess media. Every day the comments support more and more the innovation brought by Mtel Masters. It is very probable that it becomes a Grand Slam event and set standarts in many other tournaments.

In respect to the change in rules several websites launched polls. On Chessvibes, a site ran by Peter Doggers, the readers vowed for a change in the current system. The results were similar in the poll launched by ACP. Susan Polgar’s readers also agreed that the change is positive.

Here is what Chess ninja said on March 25 regarding the upcoming Mtel Masters:

“Of course the “Sofia Rules” are in effect (at Mtel Masters 07), with no draw offers. It’s an easier life with the occasional (or frequent) non-game draw, but if we’re to build sponsorship and professionalism, in theory eventually bringing more money to the players, the draw offer has to go. It’s great to have an event as strong as the Mtel leading the way in this regard. I hope this also becomes a founding principle of the Grand Slam that Mtel organizer Danailov is working on.”

Mig’s words about Sofia rules as part of the Grand Slam may become soon true. In the news section on the official site of Mtel Masters we can find the following text:

“During the meetings in Linares there was a serious discussion of the idea all the tournaments in the Grand Slam be using the so called “Sofia rule” of M-Tel Masters.”

Veselin Topalov’s fan site expressed a worry about short draws in an article in November 2006.

“A draw is a normal score in a chess game. There are numerous positions that result in a theoretical draw. So a game finishing 1/2-1/2 is not strange at all. However, it is disappointing to see a game finishing in 12 moves or less in some cases. It is offensive to the audience, the organizers, the sponsors, the other participants, and chess in general.”

Veselin Topalov himself said in an interview for the Mtel Masters 07 website that he supports the Sofia rules. “Undoubtedly the using of the “Sofia rules” will spread. It is happening already,” Veselin Topalov shared.

Sofia rule

Should it be obligatory?

Mtel Masters Logo

Sofia rule started at Mtel Masters

There are only a few days left to the start of Mtel Masters 2007. Besides being the strongest tournament of the last several years, Mtel Masters brought an important debate into the chess world. It includes a simple rule that pretends to make the chess games more attractive to the general audience. The rule states:

“The players should not offer draws directly to their opponents. Draw-offers will be allowed only through the Chief-Arbiter in three cases: a triple-repetition of the position, a perpetual check and in theoretically drawn positions.”

The rule functioned well and made Mtel Masters 2005 and Mtel Masters 2006 very exciting. We saw fighting chess and all fans were pleased with the level of the games. It is clear, Sofia rule directly eliminates the possibility for fast (less than 15 moves draws). However, skeptics still debate if the Mtel Masters rule is the key to making games exciting. Here are some alternative suggestions and their effects:

1. Draw offer can be made after a certain number of moves have been completed.

Positive: This is a logical alternative of the Sofia rule since it will eliminate short draws as well.

Negative: It does not prevent draws in unbalanced equal endgame positions. Exactly there is the moment where chess gets exciting for the majority of the audience.

2. Every win is encouraged by financial incentive. The players receive parts of the prize fund not according to their final standing, but according to the number of games won.

Positive: Encourages the fighting spirit and makes the games exciting in unbalanced positions.

Negative: It is not fair for a player that drew all his games to take as much money as somebody who lost all his games.

3. A change the pointing system. For a win are rewarded 3 points, one point for a draw, and 0 points for a loss.

Positive: Encourages fighting chess, eliminates short draws, and increases importance of endgames.

Negative: Requires solid organization by FIDE and major tournaments to apply a global change. It will also be difficult to adjust to for experienced players.

4. Give different points for games drawn with black and white (0.45 to 0.55 for example).

Positive: Statistically it will bring down the number of draws by reducing the strive for draws with blacks.

Negative: This rule will make many last round games a draw for securing a certain place in the table.

There are many more interpretations of the need for change in rules. Obviously none of them is perfect. We would love to hear more options from you, the readers. Also, we want to hear your opinion on the pros and cons of Sofia rule. We are looking forward to your mails.

More on the topic:

Chess media about Sofia rule


the rule, not the joke

Topalov adjusts

GM Topalov adjusts

“Jadoube” is a key word in chess. It is used to inform your opponent that you do not want to move your piece and overrides the rule that touched piece should be moved.

J’adoube is a French word and stands for “I adjust”. It is internationally recognized and used in all tournaments. Many funny anecdotes can be found about “Jadoube”, as the one about GM Milan Matulovic. There is also the classical chess joke about jadoube that every chess player loves.

En passant

a rule that applies to pawns… and kings

En passant is one of the last move innovations introduced in chess. It was first applied in the 14th-15th century, a bit after the two-square first move for pawns was implemented.

The idea of the move is the following. When a pawn tries to make a two square move it is considered that it goes square by square. If it falls under attack by another pawn while it passes the first square, the pawn can be captured “in passing”. Here is what FIDE rule 3.7 d. states:

“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 is only legal on the move following this advance and is called an `en passant` capture. This move must be made in the event that no other legal move is possible.”

En passant idea exists in other elements of the game. For example a king cannot castle through check (FIDE rule 3.8 ii.). Since the king can move one square at a time, it cannot cross a square under attack. That means the castle move is prevented by “in passing”, although the term is not used in that case.

If you are looking for alternative definitions of en-passant do not forget to check out our dictionary.