Welcome to the FIDE newsletter

Welcome to the new FIDE Newsletter. In this issue, we include a brief report on the FIDE Chess.com Online Nations Cup, as well as an announcement for the upcoming Steinitz Online Memorial. We also present you with a success story: recently US Chess boasted the largest number of female members ever, and we look into the different initiatives that made this good news possible.



China wins the FIDE Chess.com Online Nations Cup

This week, all eyes were on the inaugural FIDE Chess.com Online Nations Cup, an event that saw yet another victory for the Chinese national team. After bulldozing through the round-robin stage, China held the USA to a 2-2 draw in the superfinal match. This result was enough to secure the title thanks to its superior performance in the previous stage: having won the first part of the competition by a four points margin, China had draw odds in its favor.

The USA players were forced to win the match, but their hopes vanished after Hikaru Nakamura drew against Ding Liren. The American had enjoyed the initiative earlier in the game, and in fact, the game came to a somewhat premature finish, since Ding Liren still had some problems to solve over the board. "He surprised me with a draw offer. My position is already slightly worse so I accepted his offer immediately", said the Chinese star in an interview right after the game.

Meantime, Yu Yangyi had Wesley So against the ropes, and shortly after he would score the decisive victory for Team China. “This is really a beautiful game… capping off a pretty spectacular tournament that he’s played,” said Magnus Carlsen about the Chinese player.

Irina Krush, playing with the white pieces, was never in trouble against the world's best woman chess player Hou Yifan, but she didn't have the chance to press for a victory either. Fabiano Caruana scored the only victory for team USA, but by the time he finished his game the title had already been decided in China's favor.
Yu Yangyi, China's third board, turned in a very strong performance, scoring a total of 7½ points out of 10 games (six victories, three draws, one loss). However, the symbolic "most valuable player" title goes to Fabiano Caruana of the USA. Playing on board two, Caruana went through the event undefeated and scored six wins and three draws.

The tournament took place May 5-10, 2020. The group stage run May 5-9, with two rounds per day, while the Superfinal was played today, May 10. The event was broadcast live across multiple outlets including FIDE's and Chess.com's own channels across Twitch, YouTube, Mixer, Twitter, and other international streaming platforms. With an estimated audience of several million worldwide, commentary by chess experts was conducted in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, Russian, Mandarin, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Turkish, and Polish.

FIDE would like to thank our general partners for this event, Chess.com and the Government of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Region - Ugra, for their support and organizational efforts.


Carlsen and Lagno to star in FIDE Steinitz Memorial

FIDE will pay tribute to the first world chess champion in history, organizing a new online event that will be held on Chess24. Taking place over the weekend of May 15-17, the new FIDE Steinitz Memorial consists of two 10-player tournaments, one open and one for women. Each player will play each other twice over 18 rounds of blitz (3+2), with live commentary in multiple languages.

The World Champion and 5-time World Blitz Champion Magnus Carlsen will top the open section. He’s joined by 3-time World Blitz Champion Alexander Grischuk, 2013 World Blitz Champion Le Quang Liem, and 2013 World Rapid Champion Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, among others.

2018 and 2019 Women’s World Blitz Champion Kateryna Lagno heads the women’s line-up, with former Women’s World Champions Alexandra Kosteniuk, Antoaneta Stefanova and Tan Zhongyi, and 2018 World Blitz silver medalist Sarasadat Khademalsharieh, all in action.


N Open section Blitz Rating Women section Blitz Rating
1 Carlsen 2887 Lagno 2608
2 Grischuk 2765 Lei Tingjie 2530
3 Bu Xiangzhi 2760 Kosteniuk 2521
4 Svidler 2754 Tan Zhongyi 2510
5 Xiong 2724 Stefanova 2485
6 Dubov 2720 Sebag 2482
7 Mamedyarov 2716 Matnadze 2438
8 Le Quang 2690 Khademalsharieh 2431
9 Korobov 2667 Abdumalik 2409
10 Anton Guijarro 2590 Cori D 2391

"Steinitz is the first official World Chess Champion, and with him began a long tradition lasting to our day", said the FIDE president, Arkady Dvorkovich"He was also a revolutionary, who created a whole new school of chess: 'positional play' was a concept that didn't exist before him. He was also a celebrated author and publicist. All this is his legacy, a legacy to which we pay tribute today. We are very proud to have Magnus Carlsen taking part in this event, as a worthy heir of this long lineage of champions. Probably Magnus understands better than anyone that the role of a World Champion implies certain responsibilities, and he has always been on the frontline when it comes to giving chess the role it deserves in our society. It is safe to say that Steinitz would have been proud of him."

(all times are CEST)

Friday, May 15th Saturday, May 16th Sunday, May 17th

Rounds 1-6 Women:
15:00 – 18:15


Rounds 7-12 Women:
15:00 - 18:15


Rounds 13-18 Women:
15:00 – 18:15

Rounds 1-6 Open:
18:30 – 21:30
Rounds 7-12 Open:
18:30 – 21:30
Rounds 13-18 Open:
18:30 – 21:30

Chess24 has recently organized, with great success, the first Magnus Carlsen Invitational tournament, of which we have already published a report on our website.

Upcoming FIDE Trainer Seminars

The Trainers Commission has announced the details of the online seminars that will be held in the second half of May. 

May 22-24 May 29-31 May 29-31
FIDE Trainer Seminar
para las Américas
FIDE Trainer Seminar for
the Indian sub-continent
FIDE Trainer Seminar
for North America

GM Alonso Zapata

GM Alexander Motylev

GM Melikset Khachiyan
FST José Suárez GM Yu Shaoteng GM Jacob Aagard
  GM Thomas Luther GM Gregory Kaidanov
  GM Artur Yusupov IM John Donaldson
  GM Ivan Sokolov  
  GM Dejan Bojkov  

Announcing the FIDE Online Cup for Players with Disabilities

The First Online FIDE Cup for Players with Disabilities is an invitational individual tournament for chess players who belong to any of the three disability categories (visually impaired, hearing impaired and physically disabled), to be played on Thursday, May 21.

Organized by the FIDE Commission for the Disabled (DIS), thirty-two players registered with the DIS Commission will be invited to take part in this competition, to be played entirely online. The hosting internet platform for this event will be Playchess.com.

The event will be played online, as a closed Swiss system tournament of five (5) rounds, with a time control of 10 minutes plus 5 seconds.

Tournament regulations


Success story:
US Chess Women & "Isolated Queens"

US Chess is one of the leading national federations when it comes to activities specifically targeted at promoting and encouraging the participation of women in chess events. Their work has even caught the attention of the mainstream media, having been featured in publications like The New Yorker and Deadspin.

The Women’s Program at US Chess, led by the two-time United States Women's Champion Jennifer Shahade, has a dedicated landing page (www.uschesswomen.org), as well as its own social media accounts on Twitter and Instagram (@USchesswomen), and a specific calendar for women events

Their initiatives include hosting Girls Clubs, the WIM Ruth Haring National Tournament of Girls State Champions, and supporting other National events, such as the KCF All-Girls Nationals and the US Junior Girls Closed. But they also promote female participation at Open events, for instance, through initiatives like the Girls’ Clubs at Scholastic Championship and other national events. These clubs are a space where girls of all levels can relax and bond between games, learning from strong female role models. Since COVID-19, they've moved these girls clubs online to weekly motivational and educational sessions hosted by Shahade, with special guests such as IM Carissa Yip and WGMs Abrahamyan and Foisor.

One of their most recent initiatives has been the online tournament “Isolated Queens”. The first edition of this event, held on March 21, included the Grandmasters Alexandra Kosteniuk of Russia and Irina Krush, but also US Women’s Champ Jennifer Yu, IM Dorsa Derakhshani, WGM Tatev Abrahamyan, and famous commentator, YouTuber and IM Anna Rudolf. The second edition, on May 2, grew even stronger, with personalities like Marie Sebag, Natalia Zhukova, Anastasiya Karlovich, and the singer Juga joining the show.

As Jennifer Shahade explains, "Isolated Queens I and II were such powerful ways to connect women and girls all over the World using chess to help cope with this difficult time. After the first edition, I was so enamored of the atmosphere created by dozens of women streaming the event simultaneously, that I started my own channel, and I've learned so much since about the new and very promising direction of online chess. Huge thank you to our donors Ian "Maprail" Silverstone, Richard and Barbara Schiffrin, Open Field Media, and everyone on twitch who chipped in for anything from $1 to hundreds. Also grateful to Alexandra Botez for her leadership as the #1 female chess streamer, and a major advocate for female chessplayers and creators of all levels."

With Jennifer Shahade and Alexandra Botez as commentators, 60% of on stream donations went to US Chess Women Programs and Online Education, while 40% went to supporting future matches and events. They also offer a discount code (USWOMEN) that gives you a 15% off on any merchandise at US chess sales.


This week we will be paying tribute to the great Steinitz, but he is not the only World Champion to have been born in middle May. Max Euwe was born on May 20, 1901, while Anatoly Karpov will be celebrating his 69th anniversary on May, 23rd. 

May 11 is also an important date in chess history, for a different reason. On this day in 1997, Garry Kasparov resigned the sixth and last game of his rematch against Deep Blue in New York. It is often said that every time a new champion is crowned a new era begins, but this was never so true as when the reigning World Chess Champion was defeated for the first time in a match against a computer. 

Photo: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images
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