New Fide Rating System and Calculations

The Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE), the governing body for international chess, implemented some key changes to its rating system effective March 1st, 2024. Whether you’re a seasoned chess player or a curious newcomer, understanding these adjustments can significantly impact your competitive journey.

This comprehensive blog delves into the new FIDE rating rules and calculations, equipping you with the knowledge to navigate the updated system effectively.

The new FIDE rating system modifications aim to:

  • Address Rating Deflation: The one-time increase and reinstated 400-point rule aim to counteract the observed trend of declining ratings, particularly at lower levels.
  • Enhance Accuracy: The adjustments to the initial rating system and expected score calculations strive to provide a more accurate representation of player skill across the spectrum.
  • Promote Participation: By raising the rating floor and potentially fostering quicker rating gains for lower-rated players, the system aims to encourage continued participation and competitive spirit.

What is the New FIDE Rating Rules and Changes?

One of the most significant changes is a one-time rating increase for players with standard ratings below 2000. This adjustment aims to encourage participation and acknowledge improvement in the lower echelons of competitive chess. The formula for this increase is simple:

For instance, a player with a rating of 1500 would receive an increase of (0.40) x (2000 – 1500) = 200 points, bringing their new rating to 1700. This adjustment applies only to standard ratings and does not affect rapid or blitz ratings.

Higher Rating Floor: A New Starting Point

The minimum rating for a player to be considered “rated” has been raised from 1000 to 1400. This change aims to create a clearer distinction between new and experienced players. If a player’s rating falls below 1400, they will be listed as “unrated” in the next official rating list. However, they can regain their rated status by participating in and performing well in rated tournaments.

Fresh Start for Unrated Players: A Modified Initial Rating System

The initial rating assigned to new (unrated) players has also been modified. Previously, the initial rating was based on the performance against a single hypothetical opponent rated 1500. Now, the system considers two hypothetical opponents, both rated 1800. The player’s performance in these imaginary games (assumed to be drawn) determines their initial rating. This adjustment aims to provide a more accurate starting point for new players, particularly those with strong playing abilities.

Important Note: The maximum initial rating attainable through this method remains at 2200.

Return of the 400-Point Rule

The “400-point rule” has been reinstated. This rule states that for rating purposes, a difference in rating exceeding 400 points between players will be treated as if it were only 400 points. This change allows for more significant rating gains or losses when a lower-rated player upsets a higher-rated opponent, potentially reflecting their true playing strength more accurately. However, unlike the previous implementation, there are no restrictions on how many times this rule can be applied within a single tournament.

Understanding Rating Calculation: The Core Remains the Same

While the rating floor and initial rating system have been adjusted, the core calculation method for FIDE ratings remains unchanged. The system relies on a statistical model that considers the expected score (based on the rating difference between players) and the actual score achieved in a game. The difference between these two values translates into a rating change for the players involved.

Here’s a simplified breakdown of the calculation process:

  1. Expected Score (PD): Using tables provided by FIDE, the expected score (PD) for each player is determined based on the opponent’s rating.
  2. Score Difference (Delta R): The actual score achieved in the game (1 for win, 0.5 for draw, 0 for loss) is subtracted from the expected score (PD) to arrive at the score difference (Delta R).
  3. Rating Change (Sigma Delta R): The sum of Delta R for all games played in a tournament or rating period determines the overall rating change for the player.

For a more in-depth understanding of the FIDE rating system and the intricacies of the calculation process, we recommend exploring the following resources:


In conclusion, the updated FIDE rating system introduces significant changes aimed at addressing key concerns, enhancing accuracy, and promoting participation within the global chess community. The main attraction is with the new FIDE rule the rating starts from 1400.

With the introduction of a one-time rating increase for lower-rated players, a higher rating floor, and a modified initial rating system for unrated players, FIDE strives to foster a more inclusive and dynamic chess environment. Additionally, the reinstatement of the 400-point rule allows for more substantial rating adjustments, reflecting true playing strengths more accurately.

About Harikrishnan A

I am an International Fide Rated player with 10+ years of experience. Played many International Chess Tournaments and Commonwealth games.
View all posts by Harikrishnan A →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *