In 2024, the International Chess Federation (FIDE) celebrates its centenary anniversary. FIDE was formed on July 20, 1924, in Paris, France, at the Town Hall of the IX Arrondissement of Paris (6 Rue Drouot) during the first unofficial Chess Olympiad. Fifteen delegates from all over the world signed the Proclamation Act, and our organization was born.
"A beginning has been made, the foundation laid, and the prospects are fairly good that we shall soon have a working organization, the aim of which will be, in a measure, to bring order out of chaos and to have a central authority, one of the chief aims of which will be the bringing together in international congresses lovers of the game from far distant points of the earth," wrote the American Chess Bulletin in November 1924.
As part of the celebrations throughout the year 2024, FIDE is planning numerous activities, including chess festivals, exhibitions displaying historical archives, documents and chess memorabilia, FIDE 100-year Jubilee Book by Willy Iclicki, Chair of the FIDE Historical Committee, tournaments organized all around the world, online chess museum with rare chess photos, unique publications about FIDE, posters from major events of the past, and many others.
In February 2024, the Chess Torch Relay will start with the grand opening in India, the birth country of chess and the host of the 44th Chess Olympiad. It will cross the continents and finish in Budapest, Hungary, the city of the 45th FIDE Chess Olympiad. On July 20, 2024, the International Chess Day, FIDE will also attempt to set a World Guinness Record with the biggest number of chess games played in a day. The events organized to celebrate FIDE Centenary Year will culminate with a special gala in Paris, the city of FIDE's birth.
"Founded in 1924 under the motto "Gens una Sumus", FIDE is one of the very first International Sports Federations. It is a consequence and driving force of the worldwide popularity of chess, and we want to share the brightest moments of our history and the history of our beloved game with people all around the world. The Chess Torch Relay will start in India, the country where chess was born and from where it has spread around the world and become a global game the whole world plays with enthusiasm. Chess Olympiad in Budapest that will bring together all the chess nations will also be used as the highlight spot for celebrations with anniversary awards, seminars and exhibitions," says FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich.
The first of a series of events to mark this historic occasion will start on September 23. The countdown will begin 100 days before 1924 on FIDE social media. One hundred posts, one per day, will be published. Each post, marked with the #FIDE100 hashtag, will tell about a significant event in the history of FIDE that happened that year, starting from 1924.
Our social media followers will learn when the first Chess Olympiad was organized (1927), FIDE started overseeing the World Chess Championship (1948), the first Grandmaster titles were awarded (1950), the official FIDE rating list came out (1971), FIDE was recognized by the International Olympic Committee (1999), and many other major milestones in the organization's history.
"The International Chess Federation has come a long way since its first steps a century ago. Throughout its history, FIDE has been instrumental in shaping the world of chess, and we never stop aiming for new heights, serving the game and chess community," says Dana Reizniece-Ozola, Deputy Chair of the FIDE Management Board.
We encourage all the organizers and federations to plan their regular and special events under the umbrella of #FIDE100.
We are also seeking support from the chess community to rebuild the FIDE historical archive by sending us photographs, documents, videos, memorabilia, bulletins, and other chess items related to the history of FIDE and the development of chess. Please feel free to contact Willy Iclicki and send photos of your chess memorabilia to firstname.lastname@example.org. All contributors will receive proper recognition, while FIDE would also consider offering retribution for especially valuable items.
Let us make the FIDE centenary celebrations really big! The game is just beginning!