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Disappearing Tournaments

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With the various recent cases of fictional tournaments being rated, what about rating tournaments that actually happened? American IM Stan Kriventsov is wondering why his recent US events aren't on the list of tournaments to be rated by FIDE. In fact, no US events are currently listed.

Do you know if the USCF sends tournaments to FIDE to be rated anymore? No FIDE tournaments that I played in starting in April have been rated yet, and the FIDE web page does not list any U.S. tournaments among the 294 submitted for the upcoming October rating list. If you go to the tournament archive on fide.com, there were a total of 4 tournaments (last dated 02-23, other 3 from early January) from USA rated for the July list. No tournaments after that made it so far. For the April list, there were 22 tournaments, of which 17 were submitted late and each charged a 100 (dollars? euros? something else?) fine.


If you take, say, Russia, they had plenty of tournaments in both rating lists, almost none of them late. I checked several other random countries, such as Argentina, Bulgaria, and England - the same story. Is it only USCF that doesn't care about late fees? Do they have plenty of money for that?

The reason I am personally worried is that I should get about 40 rating points from the tournaments I played in, and I don't know how late FIDE will allow these tournaments to be submitted. The submission deadline for the October list is August 31. It is, of course, possible that the information on the FIDE website about tournaments already submitted for the October list is not up-to-date and the USCF has already sent everything to them. But if not, does it mean that tournaments, including big ones such as Foxwoods, Minneapolis, Chicago, and the World Open are not going to be rated anytime soon? Maybe they don't have the money for the fees? — IM Stan Kriventsov

I suppose I could poke around the USCF site for a while or write a bunch of people at the USCF, but usually posting to the world is the fastest way to get an answer. I'm sure there's a lot about this process people will find interesting. Crazy about the late fees.


IIRC, the fine is 100 Swiss Francs.

And that would be around 80 dollars, 65 euros, 1250 dong.


I noticed this too. nothing is even pending. what is going on...

So I had a little chat with someone at the US Open and apparantly the story is the USCF normally sends all the ratings reports in at once right before the deadline (a foolproof system of course). During the last list Walter Browne was on leave for some reason or another (he is normally responsible for it apparantly) and apparantly the USCF didn't see this as important enough to have someone else do. They really better get in the tournaments for this supplement. With how low FIDE's ratings are planning on going, I hardly see why in a few years we'll even need USCF ratings, everything can just be FIDE rated and the USCF can give FIDE their instant rating madness. Although I will give some respect to the USCF for unnecessarily having my National Open G/10 championships (and the blitz and main event) that I finished monday afternoon rated by the time I got home that evening. Congrats USCF for the one thing you do right being too good for its own purpose and everything else broken altogether.

Well, I just looked and at least apparantly now the USCF is submitting title applications. Although I looked not too long ago and neither Friedel or Khachiyan were on the list, apparantly the USCF is taking care of something, maybe they'll waste the little money they have and get the tournaments rated with rediculous late fees.

Sorry for the consecutive posts, but on Friedel's norm the application says the US Championships was played 11/23/05-12/05/05, I guess that's what you get when you hold the "2005 US championships" in 2004.

Sending everything right before the deadline sounds like an interesting policy, considering that they have to pay extra $80/tournament because of that. Does USCF have that much money to spend?

As many of you know (and many do not) I JUST (yesterday) got my third and FINAL GM norm. But, the seond norm was in April, so, hopefully, these tournaments will all get sent in, and I won't have to write a million e-mails to make sure the norms are validated and sent in and titles are applied for expeditiously. Hopefully, the tournaments will be rated very soon, and the norms will be accepted.

Does anyone (like Mig) know when FIDE next looks at title applications?


I play chess in Illinois. I have written to uscf several times about tournaments not being sent in and I have been told that some guy is looking at it and he has never replied to me. I expect USCF to send in FIDE events I play in as part of the fee I pay the USCF for membership each year. I know only now the april fide event ben finegold played in in IL is I believe still with the uscf who knows when fide will get it......I am waiting for chicago open and national open vegas to go to fide and I am playing a fide only tournament at the moment and I know based on how the uscf are doing it won't probably be rated till 2010 ! Can't fide get the uscf to send the tournaments to them ?

Jon Burgess

Ben: Way to fulfill a life's ambition! Congratulations!

Yar, you beat me to it, Ben. Your title will get its very own item tonight. Nice write-up by Greg at the uschess.org. Btw, I just registered the address gmfinegold@yahoo.com and will sell it to you for the low, low price of four beers, payable in San Diego.

I believe titles are awarded at the quarterly presidential boards. I know they do them at the FIDE Congress as well. Ironically or not, you are probably as far away as possible considering the congress is underway right now in Dresden, with 21 GM title applications under consideration. Next is probably November or December.


I have also been wondering about the question of USCF submitting tournaments to FIDE. I'm actually losing a few rating points myself (sigh) but one of my students is due a new FIDE rating (from tournaments in Sept 2004, Oct 2004 and Feb 2005). I can almost guarantee that the USCF will fail to identify his three qualifying performances in the master/open sections of large swisses.

Unfortunately, this all seems to be a casualty of the move to Crossville and laying off much of the USCF staff. As someone noted already, Walter Browne (the TD, not the GM) used to do this task but not anymore. I was told recently that Ernie Schlich was brought in by the USCF to clear the backlog. It is unclear whether he can complete the task by the end of next week. Certainly if the USCF has to pay a large late fee, then that complicates matters greatly.

Congratulations, Ben!



Well, to the strongest IM in the world, congratulations on making GM!!! It is well-deserved, as you have been at GM strength for a while; maybe you can even get some positive games published in Chess Life now!;-)

Regarding title applications, I note that Lev Milman has already achieved three IM norms plus one GM norm (and a barely-missed one in Minnesota), and he even added another IM norm for good measure in the recent Continental Championships. Yet, he does not have the IM title. Interestingly enough, Alex Lenderman received his third norm only recently while in France, and yet it seems that he has the title before Milman. How is this so?



Congrats, Grandmaster Ben Finegold! Maybe it'll feel strange for awhile, but I'm sure you'll get used to it soon enough :) Maybe now I'll get to play my first "GM" otb, come the Michigan Open...see you in Flint!

P.S Congrats to wife Kelly, who will also be going to San Diego. I wish you both an early good luck.

P.S.S In case you don't remember me, I'm the stupid-looking teenager who always wears a U of M cap, and I've played you twice now. Cheers!

what the !@#$ is my $40 a year doing. who does not hate the USCF?


Ben, you crush that Seth guy the next time you play him! :-) Champions bleed scarlet and gray, baby! Go, Bucks, go!!! Seriously, though, I hope that your tournaments actually make it in with enough time to allow you to get the title in a couple of months. As for me, FIDE can hold onto my tournaments for a while, because my rating keeps dropping and dropping!



Congrats GM Ben Finegold! I moved away from MI three years ago but am a Michigander at heart who loves MI chess. I've been pulling for you ever since our family started our chess adventure in Flint. Way to go . . . If you and Kelly ever feel like coming to Alaska I may be able to help arrange financing for the trip!

By the way, at this point it's not "GM Finegold." It's "GM-Elect Finegold." He'll become GM Finegold after FIDE certifies the norms.

Why does it matter, you ask? Ah, but it is a critical distinction, because it means...TWO PARTIES!!! :)

Yes, all persons earning three GM norm are entitled to two full sets of congratulations, two celebrations, etc. One for becoming "GM Elect" when the third norm is accomplished. And one for becomoing "GM" when the title is certified.

So to make sure Ben gets his full share of celebration...right now it's GM-Elect.

Party on,


Ben, on the ICC the other night you asked when FIDE next met, and I just read at ChessBase.com that they met last week. Unfortunately, it looks like you might be waiting another 3 months for ratification.

Hi Ben, and congratulations! This is one time Ohio chessplayers will celebrate the victory of a Michigander. I'll be visiting friends in the Buckeye state this weekend, and we'll share a toast for ya.


Several different things can hold up the title process.

1. The tournament in which the norm was made must be submitted to FIDE, certified, and rated.

2. The arbiter of the event in which a norm was made must submit the certifying form (in quadruplicate). Note that this form is NOT submitted by the player's federation, as some people think.

3. The norm application must be certified by FIDE.

4. After all 3 norms are made, the player's federation must submit a title application.

5. The title application must be certified by FIDE. This includes checking each norm, the player's minimum rating requirement, the federation's current status, etc.

6. FIDE’s ruling must be posted on its Website for 60 days, to allow for any objections to be lodged. If there is an objection, there’s another whole process you have to go through.

I believe they have to send in a tournament to be rated in 30 days from the end of the event, but the arbiter has up to six months to send in the norm certifications. (I could be wrong on that, though.)



So, one player might complete a norm in December, but maybe the TD takes awhile to submit it for rating. Or the arbiter submits the rating forms, but takes awhile to submit the certifying forms for norms made (this is particularly common in big events like the Continental or the Olympiad). Or FIDE has some question about certifying the event, and it gets put on hold for awhile. Or the player’s country federation takes awhile to get around to submitting title applications. Or the tournament that bumped the player up to the minimum rating hasn't been certified yet, etc.

This is why two players who make their final norm in the same month may end up getting their titles at different times.


By the way, one of the most annoying things that can happen is if there is a question about one of the players in an event. This can hold up either rating or norm certification for all the other participants, if games against that person are required for certifying the norm, the rating, or the event.

Oh, and the reason why it is the event's Arbiter (rather than the player's country federation) that has to send in the norm applications is because the arbiter has to certify all the stuff that doesn't show on a crosstable: that the correct time control was used, that there were no more than 12 hours of play in one day, that the FIDE Laws of Chess and FIDE Tournament Rules were followed, etc. All things that have to be certified by an official who was actually there for the event.

The title application submitted after the norms are accomplished, on the other hand, comes from the country federation for other historical reasons. (Remember that it is not individual players who are members of FIDE, but rather country federations, just as in the Olympics.)

Hey fluffy,

The word on the street you have qualified for the US Championship. (The AF4C web site is dead for years and the US Championship Web site is still not updated). If it is true, congratualations! You are da man! Other qualifiers are GMs Christensen, Serper and Jen Shahade. Congrats to all of them!

thanks xyz. it was actually Greg Shahde who qualified. The World Open left with with female-bias, because there Christiansen (Natasha) qualified. Larry did qualify in Phoenix.

Another thing that can hold up a title is FIDE not keeping track of peak ratings. I was also told they lost 1998(!). Mikko saved me. Fins rule!

I hope no one has to go through what Norman "Pete" Rogers went through. It took more than 10 years for USCF to file for his FM title. He almost skipped over the FM title because of it (two IM norms and another near miss). There was some issue about who was supposed to pay the application fee.

Oh... the TD's name is spelled "Walter Brown," not "Walter Browne."

This is what I have on the U.S. Open:

Are you sure about the spelling? http://www.uschess.org/msa/MbrDtlMain.php?10488192
seems to be the right person, spelled with an 'e' as I thought it was. I have also heard tragic stories of titles being severely delayed due to the laziness of the USCF combined with some corrupt aspects of FIDE.

Walter S. Browne (with an e) of California, rated over 2500, is Grandmaster Walter Browne.

If you lobok at the page that tells people where to send tournament reports, you'll see that the name given there (who would also, I believe, be the person formerly responsible for submitting tournament reports FROM the USCF to FIDE) is Walter Brown(no e), who had an address of wbrown@uschess.org


"Later this year TDs will be able to make corrections to their rated events using a new online editing form. Until such time that the online correction process is ready, corrections can be sent to Walter Brown, wbrown@uschess.org. In order to enter those changes quickly (or if sending corrections to the USCF office), here's a checklist of the information that will be needed: "

So no "e" for the tournament director who worked for the USCF.

I was asked privately why, given the 6-step sequence I listed above, the USCF was involved in sending in tournament information.

The answer lies in section 1.93 of the FIDE handbook: "For a tournament that was not registered in advance with FIDE only the Federation of the country where the tournament was held shall send in the result."

So in step 1 of the process, it is up to the USCF to send in the tournament reports for US tournaments to be rated. The IA still has to send in the norm application for step 2.

GM-Elect Khachiyan's GM title was NOT confirmed by FIDE at the Dresden conference, apparently because they are waiting for something from the USCF.


I've heard third hand that the problem is one of the missing tournaments, but haven't seen anything official on that.

Must be frustrating for Khachiyan, though!


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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on August 24, 2005 12:17 PM.

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