How to get a chess rating?

Most of the parents who enquire about our online Chess classes also enquire about competing in chess tournaments and acquiring the chess rating. Chess rating tracks the performance of the players. Chess rating is used as one of the eligibility criteria to attend various chess tournaments. Chess players are given ratings by organizations such as FIDE (International Chess Federation), the US Chess Federation (USCF or US Chess), International Correspondence Chess Federation, and the English Chess Federation (ECF). Ratings are recalculated after a tournament, match, or individual games. There are also rating systems from online chess sites such as chess.com. A higher rating number indicates a stronger player. The FIDE titles such as the Grandmaster (GM) and International Master (IM) are awarded after the player reaches a specific rating score. The most commonly used rating system is called the Elo rating system 1. You can use the online calculators on the FIDE site to compute the potential rating you can achieve.

The steps below broadly describe the path to become a rated player. Refer FAQ section for answers to commonly asked questions.

  1. Learn beginner chess rules and strategies
    There are various ways to learn the basic rules of the game. You can buy a chessboard and start learning yourself by referring to a book or youtube videos. However, a faster and effective method is to learn from an expert chess coach through interactive sessions. Classvio has chess beginner classes, and you can signup for a free trial classhere. We also have group chess classes for kids in small groups of 2-3 students. We also have one-to-one online chess classes for kids and adults customized to cater to individual needs. In the beginner classes, the chess rules and basic strategies are taught with practice.
  2. Learn tournaments rules
    Once you learn the basic rules of the game, the next step is to understand the rules related to playing tournaments. The rule like “touch move” is to be strictly followed, unlike the friendly matches. There are various types of tournaments formats such as Round-robin, Swiss system, Elimination, etc. Similarly, there are also different types of time control systems, such as blitz, standard, and compensation. Tournaments are usually conducted separately for boys, girls, different age groups, etc. in each rating category.
  3. Attend online chess matches and tournaments
    It will be easier to find a tournament online than finding a tournament to attend in your locality. Platforms such as chess.com, ”Arena” have tournaments targeting a specific group or specific strategies. “Arena” has a rating system based on online matches only. Classvio conducts U9 & U12 tournament in November/ December. You can signupon the platform to enroll your child in the tournament. A chess coach will brief the tournament rules a few days before the actual tournament.
  4. Compete in local tournaments with non-rated players
    Once you learn the basic game rules and tournament rules, you can search for the beginner level tournaments conducted at your locality. These are tournaments held for players without any rating. Usually, there will be a small registration fee to help to cover the cost of the tournament though sponsorships cover part of the cost.
  5. Compete in tournaments with rated players
    Once you get some experience in playing in local tournaments and online tournaments, the next step is to play in tournaments with rated players. The tournaments are usually conducted in different ranges of rating (Elo points) categories. Usually, trophies and prize money is given for winners in the tournament, especially open category tournaments. You can check the list of rated tournaments on FIDE site.

FAQs.

  1. How long it takes to get rating a for a beginner player ?
    It varies for different age groups, hours spent to practice, skills acquired, etc. Usually, it takes a couple of years to progress from an absolute beginner to a FIDE rated player.
  2. When will the performance be counted towards the FIDE rating?
    After a player score at least 0.5 points (a draw or stalemate) playing against a rated player, the performance is counted towards rating. A walkover is not counted for the rating.
  3. When will the FIDE rating be published ?
    Rating is published after the player plays with a minimum of five rated players and scoring a rating of 1000 and above.
  4. How long the performance is counted towards FIDE rating?
    The score gained in a tournament is counted towards rating for 26 months.
  5. How many tournaments you have to participate in to get the FIDE rating?
    It depends on how many games the player played against a rated player in each tournament. If the player plays five or more games in a single tournament and scores 0.5 points, the performance is counted towards rating. And the rating is published if the rating awarded is above 1000.
  6. How many games should you play to receive USCF (US Chess Federation) rating?
    For the first 26 rated games you play, your rating will be considered as a provisional rating.
  7. Do they use the same FIDE rating computation for USCF and ECF rating?
    No, there are differences in computing the rating. However, it is possible to compute the equivalent FIDE rating using the recommended formula.


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess_rating_system

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