FIDE Trainers Commission Report 2019-2020

1. The FIDE Trainer System – Titles & Licences

TRG evaluates trainers for the award and licensing of FIDE Trainer titles through FIDE Trainer Seminars, TRG Professional Education & Development Workshops, Direct Applications, and the passing of a recognized Sports Chess Diploma, by recommending the same for approval by the FIDE Council.

FIDE Trainer Titles are awarded for life while a Trainer License is a certification by FIDE and TRG of current proficiency to train at the indicated level of the awarded FIDE Trainer title.

There are five (5) FIDE Trainer titles: four (4) titles which are awarded through seminars, and one (1) title a recognition of a lifelong contribution or extraordinary achievements as a trainer.

  1. Developmental Instructor (DI)
  2. National Instructor (NI)
  3. FIDE Instructor (FI)
  4. FIDE Trainer (FT)
  5. FIDE Senior Trainer (FST)

An independent evaluation process now determines the title recommended to be awarded using the following five (5) evaluation criteria:

  1. FIDE Rating or Equivalent (20%)
  2. Overall Student Results (30%)
  3. Experience / Special Achievements (20%)
  4. Trainer & Related Professional Skills (10%)
  5. Written Exam (20%)

2. New Teaching Curriculum

1FIDE, TRG & Trainer System1
2Talent, The Role & Challenges of Trainers1
3Psychological & Training Issues2
4Use of Technology1
5Ways of Improvement/Different Training Methods1
5Opening Repertoire/Preparation2
6Basic Endgame Principles, Endgame Training2
7Analyzing Own Games2
8Study of Classical Games, Strategic Patterns2
9Training of Calculation, Advanced Tactics2

Our focus now is on teaching how and helping trainers to do their work better through having expert lecturers and panellists at seminars and workshops sharing their own experience and methods, and what they understand to be the best practices.

3. Organising of FIDE Trainer Seminars

Despite a slow start in 2019 due to most of the first half having to review the work of TRG of the last decade to understand the challenges so as to be able to look to build on it for the future, we still organised total of 38 seminars (close to what was done in an election year), and with many in places that had never supported our work before.

2201907.02-10.02Spain – Online23
6201922.03-24.03Chess Evolution14
15201902.08-05.08Bratislava 21
17201906.08-09.08Paris 20
21201915.09-22.09FIDE – Online12
25201916.10-20.10Spain – Online18
28201913.11-17.11FIDE – Online20
29201914.16-17.11Johor Baru18
37201926.12-28.12Ho Chi Minh 52

Continent breakdown was 13 in Asia, 11 in Europe, eight (8) in Africa, one (1) in Americas and five (5) Online.

In 2020, seeing early the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic, we moved quickly to organising seminars online, starting in April.

This was already a direction planned in 2019 as organising online seminars means training is more accessible, reaching out to every region and in all languages, lowering fees and costs, and experts from anywhere in the world can contribute while we ensure consistency and quality of delivery.

NoDatesTargeted RegionLanguage
110-14 FebMontevideo, UruguaySpanish
214-16 FebDurban, South AfricaEnglish
33-5 AprilReplacement EuropeEnglish
424-26 AprilEast Asia & OceaniaEnglish
51-3 MayGerman SpeakingGerman
622-24 MaySpanish AmericasSpanish
729-31 MayNorth AmericanEnglish
829-31 MayIndian Sub-ContinentEnglish
95-7 JuneEuropeEnglish
1026-30 JuneRussian SpeakingRussian
1110-12 SeptemberMiddle EastArabic
1222-24 SeptemberBelaya Ladya Russian
1325-27 SeptemberEast Asia & OceaniaEnglish
1428-30 OctoberKiev, UkraineUkraine
1519-21 NovemberMiddle EastArabic
1627-29 NovemberRussian SpeakingRussian
1711-13 DecemberIndian Sub-ContinentEnglish
1811-13 DecemberUSAEnglish
1913-15 DecemberCaribbeanEnglish

From just 13 seminars in 2020 we have had 362 participants, averaging 45, the 38 seminars in 2019 averaging less than 24.

Official Lecturers

In 2021 with the Teaching Curriculum in place, we will be inviting existing lecturers, Commission members, and leading licenced trainers to become official lecturers after undergoing an orientation program. 

Exam Panel

The Council has been taking on this role and will continue to provide the final endorsement and to handle appeals but in 2021 we will expand the current list of examiners to have a larger pool and to also ensure being able to cover all major languages.

Qualification to be an examiner will require both training and to assist an existing examiner till he or she is able to directly take the role.

4. FIDE Endorsed Academies

001Asean Chess AcademySingapore
002German Chess AcademyGermany
003American Chess UniversityUSA
004Russian Chess AcademyRussia
005Grivas Chess International AcademyGreece
006Asian Chess Federation AcademyUnited Arab Emirates
007Chess Academy of Ptolemais ‘Skakistakos’Greece
008Marshall Chess AcademyUSA
009Susan Polgar Institute of Chess ExcellenceUSA
010Bahrain Chess AcademyBahrain
011Belarus FIDE Chess AcademyBelarus
012Mongolian International Chess AcademyMongolia
013Kwazulu Natal Chess AcademySouth Africa
014Stefanova Chess International AcademyBulgaria
015Tbilisi International Chess AcademyGeorgia
016Academia Brazileira de XadrezBrazil
017Culture EchecsFrance
018Sabah Chess AcademyMalaysia
019Dubai Chess AcademyUnited Arab Emirates
020Schachzwerge Magdeburg e.V.Germany
021Academia Internacional “Martha Fierro”Ecuador
022Asia Chess AcademyJordan
023Young Chess MastersZimbabwe
024Mastermind FIDE Chess Academy of PakistanPakistan
025Wadi Degla Adly Chess AcademyEgypt
026Project Chess ZambiaZambia
027Myanmar Chess AcademyMyanmar
028Let’s Learn TogetherCyprus
029World of Chess – Kazakhstan – Anton FlilipovKazakhstan
030Jussupow SchachschuleGermany
031Chess Queen AcademyGeorgia
032Philippine Academy for Chess ExcellencePhilippine
033FIDE International Academy BulchessBulgaria
034OMSE Chess AcademyAlgeria
035iChess AcademySouth Korea
036Vugar Gashimov Chess AcademyAzerbaijan
037Mechanics InstituteUSA
038Bouhjar International Chess AcademyTunisia

A FIDE Endorsed Academy may use on its official documents and promotional materials, the FIDE logo as approved by TRG.

FIDE Endorsed Academies have the right to enter one non official player in each age group category of a FIDE event that is not part of the FIDE World Championship cycle and also in that of the Continent and region where the Federation it is registered with is a member.

A FIDE Endorsed Academy also has the right to organize FIDE rated and titled tournaments, providing it can meet all tournament requirements and pay the fees, and is allowed to submit the application and report directly to FIDE with copy to TRG and local Federation.

TRG organizes and runs the FIDE Endorsed Academy Program with membership as follows:

  1. Regional – Having the capacity to support TRG/FIDE work in a designated region
  2. Elite – Works with top players/young talent
  3. Club – Training section of chess club or academy that organizes major events
  4. National – Owned/managed or given mandate by National Chess Federation
  5. Scholastics – For profit for grassroots and school children.

Regional Academies

To date we have appointed, with Continental agreement, four regional academies, and these are:

  1. Asia Chess Academy – West Asia & North Africa
  2. Philippine Academy for Chess Excellence – East Asia & Oceania
  3. Academia Brazileira de Xadrez – Americas
  4. Mechanics Institute – North America

Next planned will be in Africa with Europe to follow when ready.

We expect to work with regional academies to organise FIDE Trainer Seminars and workshops, and to run development programs such as young talent camps.

TRG has also offered these academies as channels for EDU, ARB and EVE.


In 2018, a complete review of existing academies addressed many longstanding issues, in particular:

  1. Long term arrears, resulting in suspension and termination
  2. No annual reports together with generally very poor communications

Several academies have misrepresented their relationship with FIDE, one resulting in an Ethics Complaint by EDU, and at least one continued to call themselves a FIDE Academy after leaving the membership.

Membership Applications

Too many who apply either see it as a right with payment, while others do not have Federation support, and all these try to circumvent the rules.

Therefore, the key rules in place for administrative purposes are now as follows:

  1. FIDE Endorsed Academy applications need to be underwritten by a FIDE licensed trainer and must be supported by the respective National Chess Federation and/or Continental or FIDE Affiliated Organization in its jurisdiction, with a 10 working days period for any objections. In exceptional cases, however, TRG may accept other written confirmations of the applicant’s good reputation, provided that such confirmations are exhaustive, reliable and confirm the reputation without any reasonable doubt.
  2. FIDE Endorsed Academies are required to provide an annual report by the end of January of the following year, and are also required to respond to any requests for information by TRG within 10 working days.
  3. A FIDE Endorsed Academy is held to the highest standards of care regarding its association with FIDE, and misrepresentation, even non-compliance in either administrative or financial matters will result in suspension by decision of TRG Council or termination after review by FIDE Council.

5. Development Projects

In 2019 we had a very successful FIDE Trainer & Books Awards, restoring credibility by having independent expert judges, and resulting with leading trainers finally being nominated and winning, and in 2020, due to COVID-19, we postponed the FIDE Trainer Awards but continued with the FIDE Book Awards.

We partnered with Forward Chess to give an exclusive 20 percent discounts on e-Books from all major publishers to licensed trainers, and they have also agreed sponsorship as a platform for putting our Teaching Curriculum Online.

We have been working to create a foundation course to support both FIDE Endorsed Academies and Licensed Trainers in their teaching of their 1200-1700 students.

This is in recognition that not everyone has easy access to materials and even when they do they may not know how to choose from the abundance available in the most cost effective way.

In 2021, this will be offered as part of our Level 1 FIDE Trainer Seminars and we also plan to have pilot programs with interested Continents for Federations with a low chess development index.

We also started the first of our Trainer Professional and Education Workshops, beginning with Analysis Engines and we plan this to be a monthly activity in 2021.

Finally, the process has begun for the identification and negotiations with universities and institutes that offer chess programs for education partnerships offering Diploma programs for trainers to increase their recognition and have a more universal recognition of FIDE Trainer titles and licenses.

Although we designed a special seminar for disabled for the Olympiad in partnership with DIS, EVE and MED, unfortunately was, as with many activities due to COVID-19, was not possible this year. This included testing the same the ASEAN Para Games which was also postponed.

In terms of other cooperation with other Commissions, in particular we would mention facilitating an academies championship with EDU and trying our best to accommodate WOM requests. Several commissions are also contributors to our Teaching Curriculum, and we thank them all.

We have endorsed training programs submitted by Continents using FIDE Development Funds but not all have included FIDE Trainer Seminars which we feel must be a component of any training capacity building and will want to agree guidelines with PDC for 2021.

To date ACF has agreed four (4) seminars, CCA one (1) seminar, and ACC five (5) seminars using FIDE Development Funds. None to date with ECU.

We however organised one (1) seminar with ECU on a marketing commission basis without using FIDE Development Funds.

6. Operational & Administrative Challenges

We are mindful that in the same way we struggled in the first one to two quarters of 2019, that the new FIDE Leadership and Management would have faced much bigger transition challenges.

Of course, some shortcomings took much too long to be addressed, from only having a website after a year, to finding that many systems, even critical operational processes are simply yet not in place in FIDE, and definitely internal communications could have been better.

We have however found the staff generally helpful, especially the accountants, who try to do their best despite having a high volume of manual work for collections.

We thank FIDE Management for the many improvements in 2020 but respectfully remind that TRG generates revenue from titles, licenses, memberships and from seminars, workshops and camps, and have been proposing the following to ensure collection:

  1. Title fees when made universal, to be collected at the seminar, and until then, to be separately invoiced to Federations for payment before certificates are issued.
  2. Licenses to be invoiced separately to Federations with a direct payment option (now multiple ways including credit card is available) given to trainers in case of refusal to make payment or to only pay for some.

TRG is a Commission of FIDE having a technical and advisory role but we also organise events, regulate licensing, manage academies, and support development activities, and so are a direct interface without always being fully informed of FIDE policy and priorities.

We would therefore propose to FIDE Management to set direction and to ensure alignment with its objectives as follows:

  1. Management and Commissions to meet quarterly to align programs and to update on activities.
  2. Management to have regular formal communications with individual Commissions and/or attend the Commission Council Meetings as observer and to provide clarity on issues and raise concerns as needed.

7. Proposed New Regulations

We acknowledge the leadership of Jacob Aagaard, our former TRG Chairman, who for health and other reasons, could not continue after June 2020.

His vision was for TRG to become a rules-based organisation and this required a revamp of the current FIDE Trainers System and a complete rewrite of the regulations, and while this was agreed to at PB in June 2019, there was opposition in FC June 2020 due to what was seen to be radical proposals.

TRG especially thanks the FIDE President who has personally looked into facilitating approval while keeping the substance needed for us to not only mitigate a system in crisis and move the title-licencing system forward, but to ensure its very relevance and existence in the future.

Prepared/Approved by TRG Council:

  1. Meikset Khachiyan
  2. Sami Khader
  3. Peter Long (Secretary)
  4. Alexander Motylev
  5. Susan Polgar
  6. Yu Shaoteng