Founded in Paris on 20 July 1924, the World Chess Federation (Federation Internationale des Echecs, known as FIDE from its French acronym) is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the supreme body, responsible for the organization of chess and its championships at global and continental levels. Following its recognition as an International Organization in 1989, FIDE was recognized by the IOC in June 1999 as an International Sports Federation.
Prior to the founding of FIDE, chess had existed as a sport played at competitive level for centuries. In its over 2000 years history from its origins in India and outlying countries in Asia, the game had undergone a series of changes and metamorphosed into its present day from by the 15th century. In those days, there was no common code governing the Laws of Chess or uniform regulations for international competitions, the only binding forces were that it was a gentleman`s sport in which the players were expected to act in a certain form of decorum and the enduring beauty of the game to its practitioners.
Today, FIDE with a membership of 161 countries, is one of the most dynamic sports organizations in the world. It brings together men and women of different races, creeds and political persuasion as it carries out its main task of developing the activities of millions of chess players around the world.
The purpose and aim of FIDE are the diffusion and development of chess among all nations of the world, as well as the raising of the level of chess culture and knowledge on a sporting, scientific, creative and cultural basis.
FIDE supports a close international cooperation of the chess devotees in all fields of chess activity, thereby also aiming to improve friendly harmony among peoples.
FIDE issues the rules of chess and the provisions pertaining to the organization of the Chess Olympiad, World Championships and all other FIDE competitions. It awards the international chess titles of Grandmaster, International Master, FIDE Master, Woman Grandmaster, Woman International Master, FIDE Woman Master, International Arbiter and other titles.