FIDE Handbook C. General Rules and Technical Recommendations for Tournaments / 02. Chess Equipment / 01. Standards of Chess Equipment /
International Chess Federation
FIDE Handbook
C. General Rules and Technical Recommendations for Tournaments / 02. Chess Equipment / 01. Standards of Chess Equipment /

01. Standards of Chess Equipment


Approved by FIDE Council on 04/08/2022

Applied from 1st September, 2022


1.       Chess Equipment

1.1     FIDE Compliant Equipment should be used in all competitions organised under the aegis of the Events Commission (EVE) and Global Strategy Commission (GSC).

1.2     The manufacturers of FIDE Compliant Equipment may write to the FIDE Management Board requesting FIDE Endorsed Equipment status. Upon signing a contract, this status will confer on the manufacturer the right to display the FIDE logo and state that their product is “FIDE Endorsed Equipment”.

2.       Chess Pieces

2.1     Chess pieces should be in the Staunton style; and made of wood, plastic, or an imitation of these materials.

2.2     The size of the pieces should be proportionate to their height and form; other elements such as stability and aesthetic considerations may also be taken into account. The weight of the pieces should be suitable for comfortable moving and stability.

2.3     The height of the pieces, in descending height order, is as follows: King – 9.5 cm, Queen – 8.5 cm, Bishop – 7 cm, Knight – 6 cm, Rook – 5.5 cm and Pawn – 5 cm. These dimensions may differ by up to 10%, but the pieces must remain in descending height order.

2.4     The diameter of a piece's base should measure 40-50% of its height.

2.5     The pieces should be shaped so as to be clearly distinguishable from one another. In particular, the top of the King should distinctly differ from that of the Queen. The top of the Bishop may bear a notch or be of a special colour clearly distinguishing it from a Pawn.

2.6     The “white” pieces may be white or cream, or other light shades of these colours. The “black” pieces should be brown or black, or other dark shades of these colours. The natural colour of wood (walnut, maple, etc.) may also be used. The pieces should not be shiny and should be pleasing to the eye.

3.       Chess Boards

3.1     For competitions organised under the aegis of GSC, wooden boards should be used. In all cases boards should be rigid. Natural wood with sufficient contrast, such as birch, maple or European ash against walnut, teak, beech, may also be used for boards. The boards must not be shiny, and have a dull or neutral finish. A combination of colours, such as brown, or very light tan and white, cream, off-white ivory or buff may be used for the chess squares in addition to natural colours.

3.2     For competitions under the aegis of EVE and GSC, if electronic chess boards are used, they must be FIDE Compliant electronic chess boards.

3.3     The side of the square should measure 5-6 cm. Four pawns should fit on one square.

4.       Chess Tables & Chairs

4.1     For all competitions organised under the aegis of EVE and GSC:

4.1.1         The length of the table is 110 cm +- 15%

4.1.2         The width of the table is 85 cm +- 15%

4.1.3         The height of the table is 74 cm

4.2     For all Junior, Youth, Cadet and Schools competitions organised under the aegis of EVE, the length, width and height of the tables may be varied as applicable to the age of the participants by agreement with EVE.

4.3     The chairs should be comfortable for the players. Any noise when moving the chairs must be minimised.

5.       Chess Clocks

5.1     For competitions under the aegis of EVE and GSC, FIDE Compliant electronic chess clocks must be used.

5.2     For FIDE-rated tournaments, either electronic or mechanical chess clocks may be used. Mechanical clocks should have a device (a “flag”) signalling precisely when the hour hand indicates full hours. The flag must be arranged so that its fall can be clearly seen, helping the arbiters and players to check time. The clock should not be reflective, as that may make it difficult to see. It should run as silently as possible in order not to disturb the players during play.

5.3     The same type of chess clocks should be used throughout the tournament, except:

5.3.1      Visually impaired players who are using chess clocks specially designed for them.

5.3.2      Where electronic boards are being used and require a different type of chess clocks from the standard boards.

6.       Chess Scoresheets

6.1     For competitions under the aegis of EVE and GSC, either paper scoresheets or FIDE Compliant electronic scoresheets may be used.

6.2     Paper scoresheets should include:

6.2.1      The name of the competition

6.2.2      Number of the round

6.2.3      Number of table (board)

6.2.4      Date of the round         

6.2.5      White – name of player

6.2.6      Black – name of player

6.2.7      Result of the game

6.2.8      The signatures of both players and the arbiter

6.2.9      Number of moves, and place to register white and black moves.