FIDE Seminars - Online vs In-person

FIDE seminars are educational events organized by the Federation Internationale des Echecs (FIDE), the international governing body for the sport of chess.

These seminars aim to help aspiring chess trainers, arbiters and organizers improve their respective capabilities.

Skilled chess trainers can not just teach chess but also spread the game to the common masses.
Competent arbiters and organizers are key to run chess tournaments smoothly.

All of this helps promote chess.

These seminars are hosted online or as in-person events.

Both have their pros and cons, which we'll discuss here.

Also, by the end of this article, you'll become aware of the different seminars FIDE conducts: for trainers and arbiters.

So keep reading!

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Online seminars

The pandemic brought a halt to chess tournaments. The entire chess world was affected by it.

Real tournaments moved to online events. And with that, they bought a host of challenges for different parties.

How could arbiters officiate online events?
How to check if players are playing the game fairly without external help?
How can chess trainers utilize good training techniques to teach players?

The travel restrictions meant it was impossible to organize in-person seminars.

So how should the community of arbiters and chess players learn about the best practices for online chess?

That's where the role of online seminars became extremely important.

Benefits of online seminars

Can be taken from the comfort of your home.
Saves time and cost for both - event organizer as well as the attendees.
A great way to stay updated despite travel restrictions.
People from different parts of the globe can participate.

Downsides

Lacks live interaction.
Can be subject to network issues and interruptions.
Limited scope for the attendees to network.

Regular in-person seminars

Regular seminars are hosted in different cities of the world. These events involve real meet-ups at a physical venue - it could be a hotel, a community hall, etc.

There's a good chance that such events might be hosted in your city or one nearby.

Benefits of regular seminars

Face-to-face interaction with senior lecturers.
Easier to network with other attendees.
Immersive learning experience

Downsides of online seminars

More expensive than the online model.
Subject to travel and geogprahical restrictions.

Are there any hybrid seminars, combining online and offline modes?

There have been a few such hybrid seminars.

One FIDE Arbiter Seminar in Strasbourg, France was held in this fashion. It spanned over 1 month (from October to November 2021) and included:

5 online sessions, from October 20, 27 to November 3, 10, 17.
2 regular sessions, from November 20, 21

Online FIDE Seminars or in-person FIDE Seminar? Which one's better?

It depends.

For a more immersive learning experience and better networking opportunities, a real in-person seminar is more helpful.

On the other hand, online seminars are more cost and time effective.

In the future, both these models will continue as each has its own merit.

Now you might wonder what exactly one learns from these seminars? That's what we'll cover below.

2 Main FIDE Seminars You Should Know Of

The main objective of the central body in chess is to promote the game. And for that, they need to empower the different individuals regularly.

FIDE Seminars for Arbiters

Seminars for chess arbiters help them improve:

Their knowledge of the rules of chess
Their ability to officiate chess competitions.

At these seminars, you learn from some of the most experienced chess arbiters in the world. At the same time, you also have the opportunity to network with other arbiters from the region.

The FIDE Arbiter Seminar covers the different topics required to ensure the smooth conduct of tournaments. It includes:

The Role of the Arbiter
Tournament rules
Pairings
Using chess clocks
Basic chess etiquettes
Dealing with illegal moves and cheating
Handling protests and appeals

Generally speaking, these seminars are conducted over a period of 3 days. On the last day, you can take a written exam that tests your knowledge of different chess rules.

The test is not just all theory, however. They also test your practical skills - what decisions you'd take based on your knowledge of chess rules.

If you pass with a score of 80% and above you'll earn a norm for the title of a FIDE arbiter.

To participate in these seminars, you need to pay a fee.

Useful resource: For more information, check out the official FIDE Arbiters' Commision site.

FIDE Trainer's Seminar

Imagine you're a chess coach who wants to improve your teaching skills. You struggle to teach some concepts to your students.

In this case, you have 3 options:

Continue struggling.
Get help from a more experienced coach.
Learn from the best chess trainers.

Which option would you go for? 2nd one might be great, but the 3rd one would expose you to the techniques used by the best chess trainers.

This is where attending FIDE Trainer Seminars can be of great help. These seminars are organized by the Trainers' Commission (also known as TRG).

Here, you learn from some of the world's most experienced chess trainers, including trainers of former world champions and former top players.

These seminars cover different topics related to teaching openings, middlegames, and endgames.

On the final day of the seminar, you can give a test based on what you've learned during the seminar. And if you successfully pass that test, you achieve a FIDE-certified title for chess teaching. It adds a lot more credibility to you as a coach.

As per the official requirements to participate in such an event, one must:

Have a FIDE ID.
Be at least 18 years of age.

At the same time, you have to pay a registration fee, charged by the organizer.

However, this requirement might change from time to time, so we stay updated with the latest changes from FIDE.

Useful resource: For more information, check out the official FIDE Trainers' Commission site.

Conclusion

It doesn't matter if the event is conducted online or in-person as long as you learn new things.

And with FIDE changing the rule book regularly, it's even more important for chess arbiters to stay updated with the latest happenings.

ChessManager's simple and intuitive interface makes it easy for arbiters to pair the players.

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Ranveer Mohite is a professional chess player from India with an impressive ELO rating of 2277. He's also a contributing author here at ChessManager where he expresses his passion for the game.

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