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The History of Chess in FISU

There will always be people who say chess is not a sport. Here at FISU, we never took this assertion seriously and we integrated the discipline into our programme. This mental gymnastics is held in high esteem in academic circles and the World University Chess Championships are always of a great success. This was the case during the first two editions staged in Odessa, Ukraine, in 1990 and in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1992. Nevertheless, these two contests suffered from the fact that they were not included in the calendar of the Federation Internationale des Echecs (FIDE), meaning that the performance in World University Chess Championships were not linked to the titles of International Master or Grand Master. During the 1994 edition in Sofia, Bulgaria, the FISU Chess World University Championship was recognised at its full value. This time, the results were recorded by the FIDE, meaning that the contest was officially recognised and became part of the events awarded by FIDE’s international titles. The FISU championships had reached such a high level that things could have hardly been otherwise. In line with the FISU regulations and given the specific nature of the contest, men’s and women’s championships were based on individual tournaments of nine rounds, in accordance with the Swiss system. Alongside the individual contest there was the inter-team rating determined by the adding up of the two best men’s and women’s results. At the end of the matches, three men and women were rewarded with International FIDE titles. The 1996 edition in Leon, Spain, also assigned the rank of International Master to two men and one woman. The high status of the World University Chess Championship was confirmed at the fifth edition in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in 1998, in which four Grand Masters, sixteen International Masters and fifteen FIDE Masters took part in the men’s competition. Among women, there were eight Grand Masters, three International Masters and six FIDE Masters. It was a dazzling success. After this excellent success and the high participation level, two more editions of the World University Chess Championships were held: first in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, in 2002 and then in Lagos, Nigeria, in 2006, in which only eight nations participated . New success of the World University Chess Championship was in Novokuznetsk ,Russia, in 2008, as well as in Zürich, Switzerland, in 2010. In 2011, chess entered the FISU history with a contest between the best university players of the world at the Summer Universiade in Shenzhen, China.  

FISU Regulations

The chess competition has its own FISU Regulations following the most recent rules of the Federation Internationale des Echecs (FIDE). The FISU Regulations are always set up on the recommendation of the FISU Technical Chair and the UCI Technical Delegate in close cooperation with the Committee for Sports Regulations, and approved by the FISU Executive Committee. In principle, the programme shall last seven (7) days and include the following events:

- one (1) men’s tournament
- one (1) women’s tournament
- Team classification shall be carried out jointly for men and women.

Each country is authorised to enter a maximum of thirteen (13) persons of which eight (8) may be competitors and five (5) officials.

Each country may enter a maximum of 8 competitors:
maximum five (5) men and three (3) women, or five (5) women and three (3) men, or four (4) women and four (4) men
Only the countries with three (3) competitors or more, of whom at least one (1) man and one (1) woman, will be taken into account for the team classification.

Minimum Requirements for Chess

With the chess CT approval, the Organising Committee must provide, for exclusive use, indoor sports facilities in all competition and training facilities for men's and women's chess events. The FIDE regulations must be followed.

Competition and Training Facilities

Type of Venue

Number of Venues

Changing Room Competitors

Changing Room TOJR*

Spectator Seating

Press and Media Seating







Audiance Hall






TOJR*: Technical officials, Judges and Referees


The audience hall must be equipped with a big screen or TV screen to follow the contests. The borderline between the competition hall and the audience hall must be provided.

Next Event

2016 - 14th WUC Chess - Abu Dhabi (UAE)


International Federation

World Chess Federation FIDE 


FISU Technical Delegates






Previous Events

2014 - 13th WUC Chess - Katowice (POL)

2013 - 27th Summer Universiade - Kazan (RUS) - Chess Optional Sport

2012 - 12th WUC Chess - Guimaraes (POR) 

2011 - 26th Summer Universiade - Shenzhen (CHN) - Chess Results

2010 - 11th WUC Chess - Zürich (SUI)

2008 - 10th WUC Chess - Novokutznetzk (RUS)

2006 - 9th WUC Chess - Lagos (NGR)

2004 - 8th WUC Chess - Istambul (TUR)

2002 - 7th WUC Chess - Ulaanbaatar (MGL)

2000 - 6th WUC Chess - Varna (BUL)

1998 - 5th WUC Chess - Rotterdam (NED)

1996 - 4th WUC Chess - Leon (ESP)

1994 - 3rd WUC Chess - Sofia (BUL)

1992 - 2nd WUC Chess - Antwerp (BEL)

1990 - 1st WUC Chess - Odessa (URS)

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