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International and national chess rules are not the same

Posted By: Daniel Murphy
Date: Thursday, 6 March 2014, at 6:50 p.m.

You may be surprised at how many differences there are between the rules of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) and the US Chess Federation (USCF).


The Wikipedia article on "Rules of chess" says:

"In 1924, Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE) was formed and in 1929 it took up the task of standardizing the rules. At first FIDE tried to establish a universal set of rules, but translations to various languages differed slightly. Although FIDE rules were used for international competition under their control, some countries continued to use their own rules internally.... In 1984 FIDE abandoned the idea of a universal set of laws, although FIDE rules are the standard for high-level play."

I gather, however, that although national federations are free to adopt rules inconsistent with FIDE rules (but not free to apply them in FIDE tournaments they may conduct), the rules of most national chess federations more closely follow FIDE rules than USCF's do. In "Official Rules of Chess" (Cardoza Publishing, 2003) Eric Schiller notes: "The first section of the book is devoted to the rules of play and basic tournament rules, including the correct method of recording moves. While there are still a few organizations that adopt their own set of rules, following the rules as presented here will almost always keep a player out of trouble. A few exceptions involving the unorthodox rules of the United States Chess Federation are discussed at the end of the book."

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