Tim Harding is now a FIDE Arbiter, following the ratification of title applications at last month's quarterly FIDE Council (held online). The Irish Chess Union has just been formally notified.
Tim's new title is now shown on his FIDE Profile and on the alphabetical list of arbiters on the FIDE ratings website, but is not yet showing on the list of arbiters by country posted by the ARbiters Commission. Presumably all the new titles will be added next time they update that list.
In September 2018 Tim became a FIDE-licensed National Arbiter, having completed his qualification in August 2018. He immediately began the process of earning norms for the much more important FIDE Arbiter title.
As a FIDE Arbiter Tim will be qualified to act as a chief arbiter or deputy arbiter in most classes of tournament in which international titles may be earned. National Arbiters are qualified to run FIDE-rated non-title tournaments and officiate as an assistant at more important events.
At present Tim is not in a position, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, to act as an arbiter. In the meantime he is studying the 2020 Arbiters Manual which was recently released on the FIDE website and which we recommend all arbiters and tournament organisers to read carefully.
Tim's final qualification was earned when the Irish Chess Union earlier this year organised a FIDE Arbiter Seminar, which was conducted by International Arbiter and FIDE lecturer Alex McFarlane from Scotland. Attending one of these and passing the exam with a score of at least 80 per cent is an essential requirement, and Tim passed top of the class with a score in the 90s.
Nine of the 16 the candidates attending the seminar passed the exam; one was an Italian IA doing the course as a referesher and one was a Norwegian arbiter. Two of the non-Irish arbiters who passed the exam are actually resident here.
At present Ireland has very few active and resident arbiters with the FA or higher IA titles and we need more active arbiters with these qualifications.
Tim intends to resume arbiting in 2021 in order to work towards the highest title of International Arbiter. This can only begin when over-the-board chess is able to return to something like normal.