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History of FIDE

International Chess Federation – FIDE

Fédération Internationale des Échecs – FIDE

Created in July 1924 during the 8th Olympic Games in Paris at the initiative of P. Vincent (France), L. Rees (Great Britain), A. Rueb (Netherlands) and a group of Russian emigrant chess players headed by Alexander Alekhine.

Since 1927, FIDE has regularly conducted the World Chess Olympiads and in 1948 took over the World Chess Championship.

Today FIDE is an international organization representing 179 national chess federations. In 1999, the International Olympic Committee recognized chess as a sport and FIDE as its international sports federation, representing the interests of chess players in sport and Olympic movements.

Presidents of FIDE:

  1. Alexander Rueb, Netherlands (1924 – 1949) An attorney from The Hague and chess bibliophile, friend of Max Euwe. One of the co-founders who helped register FIDE legally and for a quarter-century headed the federation.
  2. Folke Rogard, Sweden (1949 – 1970) An attorney and chess arbiter. Together with Botvinnik and Euwe made an enormous contribution to the creation of the World Championship system.
  3. Max Euwe, Netherlands (1970 – 1978) Former world chess champion. Notable chess literary figure, doctor of mathematics, professor, computer specialist. Oversaw the controversies of the Spassky – Fischer match of 1972.
  4. Friðrik Ólafsson, Iceland (1978 – 1982) Top Grandmaster, took part in the 1959 Candidates Tournament. An attorney, later the Speaker of Iceland’s parliament.
  5. Florencio Campomanes, Philippines (1982 – 1995) National chess master and chess official. One of the most controversial decisions during his tenure as president was the termination of the Karpov – Kasparov world championship match of 1984 –1985.
  6. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, Russia (1995 – 2014) Former president of Kalmykia, businessman. Rewrote chess tradition from scratch by replacing the match for the chess crown with a huge knockout tournament system.