FIDE Rated Open Section?

FIDE Rated Open Section?

Ever since the ECF introduced its membership system, we’ve regularly had questions asking if we would consider making the Open section of our event FIDE rated. There are several attractive aspects to this idea:

  • We’d regain our position as a qualifying event for the British Championships. The ECF changed the conditions of eligibility a few years back, and for a single event such as ours to be considered a qualifying event, it must now be FIDE rated.
  • It feels like it would give our event a “higher standing” in some sense.

However, the idea is not without problems:

  • While most entrants to our Open section are Gold members of the ECF, not all are, and it’s Gold membership which is required to enable FIDE rating.
  • While FIDE regulations remain as they are, unless we had a rating ceiling for the Open section (!?), we couldn’t meet their conditions without either removing a round or shifting round 1 to Friday evening. Lots of congresses have round 1 on the Friday evening, but it would significantly change the character of our event, and moreover we’d incur a large increase in our hire costs for the venue, which we would in turn have to pass on to our entrants. I’d expect the increases to be at least 50% and likely more than that.

I gather there is some talk of FIDE making the restrictions on rated tournaments less restrictive, and if that came to pass we’d certainly be revisiting this question as the second problem noted above would be circumvented entirely.

What do readers think about this issue? Is my attempted statement of the pros and cons accurate and complete, and have we drawn the right conclusion in not making any section of the event FIDE rated?

Comments from readers with a better understanding of the current and possible future FIDE regulations would be particularly appreciated.

Steve Lovell

Steve has been the organiser of the Bury St Edmunds Chess Congress since the 2015 event. He also helps run the Bury St Edmunds Chess Club and is Internet Officer for the Bury Area Chess League. Outside of chess, if there is such a thing, Steve works in IT at Greene King.

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