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FIDE Senior Championships: doubts about 2023 venues and dates

For more information about chess for over-50s, please see our Seniors calendar and our Seniors news page.


This is our Seniors introductory page, chiefly intended for readers who are new to chess competition for the over-50s.

Prior to 2014 most senior tournaments were for players aged 60 or over but FIDE then replaced that age limit with two new age categories: 50+ and 65+. For qualifying dates, see further on.

FIDE organises four international championships for senior players annually - two World events (individual and team in various categories) and two European events which are under the auspices of the ECU. Many countries now also organise national championships for seniors.

The good news is that all four have beenheld this year. In 2020, because of the Covid pandemic, the World Senior Team Championships had to be halted after seven rounds and the other three events were cancelled. Last year the World events could not be held but the European Chess Union succeeded in finding replacement organisers for its events after the original Polish venues became impossible.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine at first cast doubt on whether this year's senior championships and other senior events would take place, but World Senior Team Championships was succesfully completed in June, followed in July the European Individual Senior Championships in Lublin, Poland.

The European Senior Team Championships finished earlier this month in Dresden, Germany and the individual Senior World championships, are now under way in Assisi, Italy, on the 15th of November. For more details see our news page.

Not such good news is that only one of the four events for 2023 is firmed up.

All FIDE senior events (and most others) are organised in two age categories, based on your age at 31 December in the year concerned. Many national and independent organisers (at least outside Germany) follow the same eligibility rules.

For tournaments played in 2022 the qualifying dates for the two FIDE age groups have been 31 December 1972 (for the 50+ Open and Women's tournaments) and 31 December 1957 for the 65+ championships. For 2023 the relevant years become 1973 and 1958.

In other words, if you reach your 50th birthday any time next year, you will become eligible for 50+ events run on FIDE age rules from 1 January 2023. If your 65th birthday has already occurred or will be not later than 31 December 2023 then you can play 65+ tournaments next year (or indeed 50+ tournaments if you wish).

We are pleased to see that some tournaments now offer 75+ prizes for which the qualifying year is of course ten years earlier than for the 65+.

A few senior tournaments (especially in Austria and Germany) are still run on the 60+ age group rule (sometimes 45+ and 55+ for women) or have idiosyncratic age rules as the listings in our calendar shows.

We are watching the situation closely but this introductory page is only updated if there are significant changes. Our senior news and calendar pages are usually updated weekly.


So please check our Seniors news and Seniors calendar pages regularly for updates.