Besides awarding FIDE Master, International Master and Grandmaster titles, the World Chess Federation (FIDE – Federation Internationale des Echecs) also awards titles called FIDE Senior Trainer (FST), FIDE Trainer (FT), FIDE Instructor (FI), National Instructor (NI), and Developmental Instructor. They are essentially people certified by the federation to teach and train chess players.
In 2009, a FIDE Trainers’ Commission (TRG) succeeded the FIDE Trainers’ Committee (formed in 1998) to bring a higher level of worldwide promotion and the certification of chess trainers for the education of chess players. It was an attempt to license trainers similar to trainers licensed by the International Olympic Committee. The main idea was to boost the importance of chess trainers in the world.
The FIDE Senior Trainer helps train players above FIDE Elo rating 2450. They also act as a national examiner and usually lecture in seminars. To be a FIDE Senior Trainer, you must be an International Master (IM) or Grandmaster (GM) with a rating of 2450 or higher at one point in your career. You must be first a FIDE trainer or have at least 10 years experience as a trainer in general. You must have knowledge of at least two languages. Besides your native language, you must also have knowledge in one of the FIDE approved languages (Arabic, English, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, or Spanish). You must have published a series of chess articles, or chess books. You must prove that you have World/Internationals successes as a trainer of a world champion or a challenger, or winning chess Olympic medal team, or national team gold medal winner, or national champion, or more than three world champions in Youth and Junior categories, or a founder of chess schools that have developed at least 3 grandmasters or 6 titled players (GM, IM, WGM), or originated and developed educational systems and/or programs.
There are 100 FIDE Senior Trainers, including Garry Kasparov, Anatoly Karpov, Boris Gulko, Lev Albert, Susan Polgar, Yasser Seirawan, and Artu Yusupov.
The FIDE Trainer helps train players up to FIDE Elo rating of 2450. To be a FIDE Trainer, you must have been rated 2300 or higher at one point in your career. You must prove that you have been a trainer for at least five years. There are over 300 FIDE Trainers.
A FIDE Instructor helps train players below 2000. Their job is to raise the competitive standard of national youth players to an international level. To be a FIDE Instructor, you must have been rated 2000 or higher at one point in your career. You must prove that you have been a trainer for at least two years. You must successfully participate in a FIDE Trainers’ Commission (TRG) Seminar. There are over 400 FIDE Instructors.
A National Instructor helps train players up to 1700. Their job is to raise the level of competitive chess players to a national level standard. They are usually school teachers. They must have at least two years experience as a Developmental Instructor and have been rated at least 1700. Trainees must have a minimum of top-10 placing in recognized national level competitions. You must successfully participate in a TRG Seminar.
A Developmental Instructor is an instructor for beginners, elementary, intermediate and recreational level players. Their job is to spread the love of chess among children and methodically bring them to a competitive level. They must be rated at least 1400 and know the FIDE laws of chess.
The cost of these titles is from 50 to 300 euros. Trainers who wish to maintain their titles must also pay and additional licensing fee every four years of 30 to 180 euros. An estimated cost for organizing TRG seminars is 7,000 euros. A co-organizer can charge an extra ‘participation fee’ up to 450 euros. From that amount, 100 euros is the FIDE fee.
I have been training and teaching and coaching chess for over 40 years for free, but not at the FIDE level. My peak USCF rating is over 2200. I was the chess coach of a North Carolina high school team that won the state championship three times in a row. I’ve taught chess to over a hundred students in several schools. I was the early chess coach of Jordy Mont-Reynaud, who became America’s youngest master at the time, at age 10 and a bronze medal winner in the world youth championship in 1992. I trained Air Force chess teams that won military championships overseas and stateside. I am currently coaching a young 8-year-old player who has won dozens of scholastic events. And I have written numerous chess books and articles over the years. I understand English, French, and some Russian. I think I qualify for something. I think I will call myself Bona Fide Experienced Senior Trainer (BEST). I am the BEST trainer.