27 October 2016


Before Fide.com, there was Worldfide.com. The earliest traces of that early FIDE web domain returned by Archive.com date to end-1999. An early example of the home page (see the screenshot on the left) is nearly complete except for a large ad near the top of the page.

The Worldfide domain was active until mid-2001, when it started linking to the Fide domain, eventually redirecting. A post on my World Championship blog, FIDE Internet Qualifiers 2001 (October 2014), uses archived Fide.com links starting 2001-07-02.

What was the FIDE news at the end of 1999? A list of newsworthy events is to the left of the photo of 'The World Champion'99 -- GM Alexander Khalifman', who won the 1999 FIDE Knockout Matches at Las Vegas in August of that year. The other news was:-

  • European Team Championship 1999, Batumi, Georgia
  • Celebration of the FIDE 75th anniversary (Paris, 19-20 November 1999)
  • Title applications
  • Welcome to Paris!
  • Grand Opening of the Children's Chess Olympiad
  • 70th FIDE Congress (1-7 October 1999. Doha, Qatar)
  • New Rating List (July 1999)
  • Lausanne, 24 June 1999 ('In line with the decision of the 69th FIDE Congress in Elista, we are presenting the first publication of Rapid Ratings.')

A link on the left sidebar -- 'FIDE Official Info: Press Releases, FIDE Officers, ...' -- mentions 'FIDE Commerce: Get To Know Us'. Following the link, we learn

FIDE Commerce PLC • At the initiative of FIDE and The World Chess Foundation a new commercial company known as FIDE COMMERCE PLC was registered in the United Kingdom in March 1999, with the World Chess Foundation as a major shareholder. For many years, the World Chess Federation (FIDE) had existed on the subsidies and donations of private investors, and the game of chess, being among the largest mass participation sport in the world at the moment, stayed at the lowest level of its commercial development and attraction of finances.

Of that organization there is more to be said.

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