Bhutan Chess Federation organizes first FIDE-rated tournament

The Bhutan Chess Federation has organized its first FIDE-rated tournament. FIDE stands for the International Chess Federation and FIDE tournaments are crucial for rating players. 27-year-old Karma Sonam won the first FIDE-rated tournament in the country. The three-day competition organized in Thimphu ended today (8th January).

12 players took part in the first-ever FIDE-rated tournament in the country. Of these, five are rated players while seven are non-rated. The competition was played on a round-robin system meaning each player faced the other players at least once.

According to the Bhutan Chess Federation, the tournament is expected to help two or three non-rated players get ratings. A chess rating is the estimate of a player’s strength based on their results.

Ratings are important not just for the player, but for the Federation as well to become eligible to organize international tournaments.

‘‘Once non-rated players get the ratings, they will further enhance their ratings and participate in international tournaments. The federation’s target is to increase the number of rated players in the country,” said Ugyen Wangchuk, the General Secretary of the Bhutan Chess Federation. “Currently, we have 15 rated players in the country.”

Ugyen says the country needs at least 50 FIDE-rated players for the federation to be eligible to organize an international tournament.

‘‘We wanted to increase 50 to 60 players, where we will be able to host international tournaments, as well as more competitive (players) for international tournaments,” said Ugyen. “Even if we want to go to an international tournament, we are limited in terms of players.’’

He added international rules require each non-rated player to play against a minimum of five rated players in a tournament to get rated.

The Bhutan Chess Federation will henceforth organize such tournaments every month.

However, it is expected to take at least three years for the federation to have enough rated players to be eligible to hold international tournaments.

Karma Wangdi

Edited by Yeshi Gyaltshen

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