FIDE Titles for the Lower Rating Band
FIDE's decision to introduce titles for the amateur and lower rated players is a big innovation for the global chess community. There is notable local chess activity around the world, but the top players of local chess clubs do not reach the traditional FIDE title level. FIDE provides a challenge to these players, as well as those players who enjoy chess from their living room, to become eligible for one of the official titles designated for them by playing chess in the FIDE Online Arena. It is important to remind that an official FIDE title is noted on the player's profile card on the FIDE website and precedes a player's name in online and over the board competitions as well.
The Arena titles address men and women alike. There is no need to create separate titles for the women. Historically, the women titles were developed so that there is a comparable number of women titled players reflecting the competition level of women championships. And this is still the case today, even if the top women players have earned their place in open section as well. In a lower level of competition distinguishing women from men serves no purpose.
The Arena titles are automatic titles. The Arena server monitors players' activity and informs a player for his/her eligibility for a title. It the player accepts the title, it is awarded after the paypal payment is completed. Within the next couple of hours, the title is also mentioned on the player's profile card on FIDE website.
Acquiring an Arena title requires a continuous rating over the title's rating threshold for a number of games. The Arena Grand Master (to-become) has to remain continuously for a certain number of games over 2000 Elo points, the Arena International Master over 1700, the Arena FIDE Master over 1400 and the Arena Candidate Master must remain over 1100 Elo points. The number of games vary according to the time control. 50 games for rapid play, 100 games for Blitz and 150 games for Bullet time control. There are separate counters for each time control category and the titles can be achieved in any of the three time controls. When a player drops under the threshold (Elo points mentioned above are permitted) his/her counter for the specified title, for the specified time control turns to zero.
The FIDE Online Arena server monitors players' activity for all 4 titles, for all 3 different time control categories. A player eligible for a title receives an automated message by the server informing him/her for his/her achievement. A player may become eligible for more than one titles and it is possible to obtain either the higher or the lower title. The pricing policy is designed in such a way so that a title's full fee is paid at once by previously untitled players. An 'upgrade' from a lower to a higher title requires the payment of the difference of the titles' full fee.
The FIDE titles for the lower rating band regulations can be found here, and the titles' pricing policy is very well explained. Take a look.
All FIDE Online Arena members are eligible for a title of the lower rating band including players with FM/WFM and CM/WCM titles. Already awarded Arena titles are valid for life, even if the player's membership has expired, or he/she decides to abandon online gaming and focus to over the board chess exclusively.
Players who receive a message that they are eligible for an Arena title are prompted to acquire their title. A title's eligibility is lost when the player remains under the title's threshold for more than 30 days in the specified time control that he earned his/her title right. Needless to mention that title seekers are prompted to renew their membership before the expiration date and remember that rating alignment counts as one game only. Beware that rating alignment may drop a player under the threshold as over the board games are sometimes reported and rated with a month's delay.