May 14, 2013 16:34

FIDE dress code: no more beach slips, torn pants or sport caps

FIDE dress code: no more beach-wear slips, torn pants or sport caps

Earlier today FIDE published a proposal of one of its Vice Presidents, Ms. Beatriz Marinello, regarding a dress code for FIDE events. At the recent Presidential Board meeting in Baku, it was decided that this proposal would be published online so that federations could comment on it. We decided to publish it here as well, because FIDE might also be interested in the opinion of the average chess fan. (And if not, we certainly are.)



It is important to promote a good and positive image of chess. Attire worn during all phases of the championships and events should be in good taste and appropriate to such a prestigious chess event.


1 Events regulated by the Dress Code

1a World Events for Adult Players (over 21 years old)
      World Championship Match
      Candidates Tournament
      Women's World Championship Match
      Chess Olympiad
      World Team Championship
      Women's World Team Championship
      World Cup
      FIDE Grand Prix Series
      Women's FIDE Grand Prix Series
      World Amateur Championships
      World Rapid and Blitz Championships
      Women's World Rapid and Blitz Championships

1b World Events for Junior and Youth Players (under 21 years old)
      World Junior U20 Chess Championships
      World Youth Championships
      World Youth U-16 Chess Olympiad
      World School Individual Championship

1c Presidential Board Meetings and FIDE Congresses

1d Other Official Events. (Regulations only affects FIDE representatives)
      SportAccord Convention
      IPCA World Individual Chess Championship
      FISU University Olympiad
      World Congress of Chess Composition
      World Chess Solving Championship
      World Chess Championship for Disabled
      South East Asia (SEA) Games
      SportAccord Mind Games

1e Continental events are regulated by each continent

1f In regard of this Dress Code, other tournaments sanctioned by the FIDE rules and ratings are under the regulations of Nationals Federations.

1g Exception can be made on the basis of health and religion.

2 Who are affected by the Code of Dress?

2a Players participating in the events, captains, Head of Delegations.

2b Tournament Organizer and Staff. This includes arbiters, and other people working at the event.

3 Dress Code for players during games in progress.

3a The following is acceptable for men players, captains, head of delegation.

Suits, ties, dressy pants, trousers, jeans, long-sleeve or shirt-sleeve dress shirt, dress shirt, alternatively T-shirts or polo, dress shoes, loafers or dressy slip-ons, socks, shoes or sneakers, sport coat, blazer, Bermuda shorts, turtleneck, jacket, vest or sweater. Team uniforms and national costumes clothing.

3b The following is NOT acceptable for men players, captains, head of delegation.

Beach-wear slips, profanity and nude or semi-nude pictures printed on shirts, torn pants or jeans. holes, denim shorts, short-shorts, cut-off shorts, gym shorts, unclean clothing, sun glasses, sport caps.

3c The following is acceptable for women players

Women's suits, dresses. skirts, blouses, turtleneck, T-shirts or poloʼs, trousers, jeans or slacks, footwear (boots, flats, mid-heel or high- heel shoes, sneakers with sock), jacket, vest or sweater, a scarf, as well as jewelry (earrings, necklace, etc.) coordinated to the outfit may be worn. Team uniforms, national costumes clothing.

3d The following is NOT acceptable for women players

Beach-wear slips, profanity and nude or semi-nude pictures printed on shirts, torn pants or jeans. holes, noticeable unclean clothing, sun glasses, sport caps. Revealing attire. Clothes such as denim shorts, short-shorts, cut-off shorts, gym shorts, crop tops, tank tops, and clothes made of see-through materials or clothes that expose areas of the body usually covered in the location where the event is taking place.

FIDE officials and representatives attending the event.

4 Dress Code for winning teams and players (Includes players, captains, head of delegations) for awards ceremonies.

Business casual (European standards), which means long trousers or pants, shirt, jacket, with or without tie (no t-shirts, no polo, no jeans, no sports shoes or sneakers or slippers, no hats or caps (except for religious reasons) and the equivalent style of dress for women players.

National costumes and team uniforms are allowed.

5 Dress Code for arbiters, organizers, FIDE official and representatives at FIDE events including Presidential Board meetings, Executive Meetings and Congresses.

Business casual (European standards), which means long trousers or pants, shirt, jacket, with or without tie (no t-shirts, no polo, no jeans, no sports shoes or sneakers or slippers, no hats or caps (except for religious reasons) and the equivalent style of dress for women.

6 Handling Dress Code Violations

The dress code will be enforced at all FIDE events. people in the position to enforce the dress code:

Chief Arbiter or Tournament Director
Event Organizer
Organizing Committee
Members of the Presidential Board attending the event.

A player not in proper dress code will not be allowed to play, until she or he comply with the FIDE Dress Code. Tournament staff and FIDE officials/ representatives not in proper dress code will be asked to remove him or herself from the event or meeting until complying with the FIDE Dress Code.

There is no !dress code !at any function that is away from the playing hall, provided that the host facility for that function does not have a dress code.

This dress code topic has a bit of history. The European Chess Union introduced a dress country one and a half years ago, which we posted here. It led to a big debate and the news even reached some mainstream media.

In general we get the impression that now, a year after the ECU introduced their dress code in their first tournament, it's less of a controversial topic. Players seem to be trying to follow them more or less, while organizers don't seem to be applying them too strictly.

That might be different for FIDE events. With topics like this one, the problem is always that it's hard to enforce the same rules both at events where professionals play, and at tournaments with mostly amateurs. For example, at the World Championship match or at Grand Prix tournaments everyone seems to agree that players should be wearing at least a shirt and jacket, and if they want, a tie.

However, players like Vassily Ivanchuk and Hikaru Nakamura occasionally wear a sport cap as well, which would be impossible if the above proposal gets accepted. And would it really be necessary to ban beach-wear slips, torn pants and sport caps from all other events listed above,  e.g. the World U16 or the World Chess Solving Championship?

Hikaru Nakamura at the start of round 6 of the Norway Chess tournament | Photo courtesy of Norway Chess

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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


bluto's picture

proper order FIDE! that naka fella is a disgrace to top events, though there are much scruffier and smellier plays about without naming...

Pal Gore's picture

Why name Nakamura but no one else?

Lobster's picture

Excellent point. Carlsen wanders around with his shirt out much of the time, looking like a schlub. The impression he makes is far worse than Nakamura's.

Boiling water's picture

What nonsense, but I guess crustacea are not into etiquette. Shirts are routinely worn 'out' but wearing a sports cap with a suit coat is plain bad taste.

TheMostInterestingManInTheWorld's picture

Fans want to know who is the most unkempt chess GM in the world

schama's picture

First rule: Ban hideous and tasteless fake leopard skin blouses. (I kid you not:
) Yet another case of people in glass houses…..

Barry's picture

Is everyone at FIDE a joke? So it seems.

Llama charmer's picture

C'mon show some cultural sensitivity. The lady is wearing a standard blouse - and has a right to FLS if that's what she prefers. (And look out! In my culture at least, when chauvinists like you go about generally criticising women's taste in clothes, life becomes a lot less comfortable for them).

larryk's picture

Time to wake up, engage your mental faculties, and read this in context: Who exactly started critiquing clothes? Who made it an issue? As noted, this is a proper case of people in glass houses.... Or do you think that she alone has the right to pass judgment on clothes? Why exactly is that so?

Even setting principles aside, however, the blouse in fact shows no taste whatsoever. (Low-brow fashion -- in any cultrue.)

Larryk's picture

and by the way, this clown is currently running for a position at U.S.C.F. again. Association with FIDE should be an automatic disqualification in itself. She is either a party to its scandalous acts or is being played or is so oblivious she is getting played. Either way speaks for itself.

Anonymous's picture

...clothes that expose areas of the body usually covered in the location where the event is taking place...

So if women play in an islamic environment, then they should all wear Bhurka's?

Anonymous's picture

which "islamic environment"? I guess you are talking about Iran.

Anonymous's picture

Because burqas are very popular in Iran? Facepalm.

Harry_Flashman's picture

Not only Iran.. Islam stretches from Morocco to Indonesia..

Xenyatta's picture

Women can't even play chess in Saudi Arabia.

But that seems to be the gist of these silly rule. Remember when Kirsan tried to get everybody to wear those bizarre chess uniforms?

What are "Beach Slips", anyhow?

Do they mean "Flip Flops"? Plastic sandals? Zoris? It's pretty perverse of FIDE to use the obscure terms for items--something that might have been coined by some Uzbekistani bureacrat....

Daaim Shabazz's picture

Not sure why people refer to Muslim attire at "burqas". They are mostly worn in Afghanistan (and parts of Pakistan), not Iran or other Muslim countries. Many Muslim women do wear the hijab and body coverings such as jilbaab, galibbaya, abaya, etc.

Axel's picture

One might think that getting their act together and figure out how to organize world championships properly would have been a priority ...

Born's picture

This was triggered by the distasteful cap nakamura likes to wear.

Thomas Oliver's picture

This probably isn't about "the average chess fan" (who may or may not care about how players dress), but rather about sponsors and maybe (mainstream) media - they care about the image of chess, or rather FIDE does care? As for the ECU rules, I would assume that these rules aren't too strictly applied all the time - not for table128 of the Olympiad, not for competitions with "young young players" (for the World Chess Solving Championship, the rules explicitly refer to FIDE representatives only).

AngeloPardi's picture

As far as sponsor are concerned, in today's world, they would probably be more interested in chess if the dress code for, say, female player was "clothes that expose areas of the body usually covered"

bondegnasker's picture

Wonder what happens if the tournament winner shows up in jeans at the award ceremony. Does he forfeit the prize?

Mindhunter's picture

This all seems pretty reasonable imo. It's definitely important to maintain a certain image for the top events, but players seem to do this anyway, by and large. Interesting that sunglasses and caps are banned... no more hiding those eyes! :D

LogikEngine's picture
Unanimous's picture

FIDE does its "work".... how about doing something useful?

Theo's picture

Making Chess even more unsexy

Anonymous's picture

+1, what's the harm in wearing a cap?

vlam's picture

Exactly, I really don't get this.

Axel's picture

I also wonder why fans of some deities are allowed to wear their preferred head gear and why fans of some sport clubs or people that just like hats are not permitted to do so.
In my opinion it would have sufficed to remind people that they represent chess to a wider audience and should dress and act accordingly.

Anonymous's picture

"Exception can be made on the basis of health and religion."

I hereby announce the founding of the Church of Indecent Clothing.

"The following is NOT acceptable for women players"

That list is guaranteed to annoy some people :-)

Mart Smeets's picture


Mountebank's picture

I'm surprised FIDE do not require a top hat, a waistcoat, and a cravat. Patent leather shoes worn with spats should also be strictly enforced.

ll's picture

Bikini chess is the future.

Barry's picture

so long as we do not have to see Ms. Beatriz M in a bikini

Kronsteen's picture

I wear a cap to shield my eyes from the glare of overhead fluorescent lighting - same reason I wear one outdoors. Ridiculous to ban functional clothing. Last thing we need is more irrelevant rules.

Barry's picture

Agreed, but why even get into the merits? This is a proposal from the current illigitimate FIDE leadership -- enough said. It is axiomatic that it will be half-baked, ass-backwards and counter-productive.

Xenyatta's picture

That's OK! Get a doctor's note to say that you wear a cap for "health" reasons.

Actually, they only ban caps, but evidently visors are permitted. That would serve the same functional purpose of shielding your eyes from the glare of the lights. that was the attire chosen by Bobby Fischer in his 1992 match with Spassky.

Brecht's picture

Nazism is over!! Please...NO MORE UNIFORMS please! Let people have a freedom to be themselves, in clothes...

Stigma's picture

Sunglasses is supposed to be a good remedy for opponents who use the annoying "strategy" of staring into your face when you're trying to think! So if they ban sunglasses, they should explicitly ban staring too.

Another thought: With such a strict division into male and female dress codes, which code should transgendered people and transvestites be following?

Septimus's picture

Stupid and unnecessary. I strongly object to women not being allowed to wear revealing attire!

Feuertrunken's picture

I always loved about chess that it is a game of the mind and not a game of appearances. Young, old, male, female... and also clothing obviously: all of that becomes irrelevant at the board, it is the skill that counts. Too bad that the people that are currently in charge of chess have no idea about the essence of the game. Ridiculous rule-suggestion.

RdC's picture

In many sports it is easy to control players because organisers are older than the participants, Chess is different and attractive to dissidents for that reason. Unfortunately the only way to get FIDE officials to see sense is to threaten boycotts of their events. Even that might not work if the event is sufficiently attractive that annoying rules will be shrugged off.

SierraSunset's picture

So much for my dream of FIDE-rated strip-chess tournaments.

AAR's picture

How about cut cleavage? I guess women wear it to distract non-gay men opponent and lesbian opponents.

AAR's picture

Also men should comb their hair properly. Most of the events Carlsen is faking to appear as a ruffled, devil may care model.

Bartleby's picture

I'm intrigued by the little details.

Why the Bermuda shorts? Why are they acceptable, and why only for men?

"Revealing attire, [...] see-through materials or [...] expose areas of the body usually covered" is "NOT acceptable" only if the player is a woman.

"Unclean" versus "noticeable unclean". What's the point in making this difference?

An organizing committee member may remove the chief arbiter from the event for wearing a hat or ...

...wait a second. Arbiters are not allowed to wear jeans. Really?

All power to the Members of the Presidential Board!

inky's picture

I think the whole idea of a dress code is ridiculous. In high level tournaments, players tend to dress nicely anyway. In the US, some tournaments are FIDE rated but the players tend to dress casually. Wearing a hat is often important to a player, who will not do his/her best without it.

I do agree that the World Championship Match should have a dress code since that is covered more widely and shows the face of chess to the World.

I think the officers of FIDE are out of touch with the world and don't realize that most chess players don't pay any attention to FIDE tournaments even where they live. Certainly the rest of the world is not at all interested.

The purpose of FIDE should be to get more people playing chess, not getting professional chess players to dress up like monkeys.

Rocky G's picture

Let Naka wear his hat... :)

Anon's picture

I don't know which post first NOT to read, FIDE's or this one.

Optimus Prime's picture

Don't you guys at chessvibes understand that allowing posts with trolls commenting you lose money on sales??

Optimus Prime's picture

I also think the officers of FIDE are out of touch with the world and don't realize that most chess players don't pay any attention to FIDE tournaments even where they live.


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