Submitting Foreign Tournaments for ICU Rating
by Mark Orr
created August 15, 2012; last updated September 16, 2019

The ICU normally only rates games played in Irish tournaments. However, individuals or teams who travel abroad to play in FIDE rated tournaments can elect to have their performances rated by the ICU if they follow the procedure outlined below.

Note: as of September 2019, only FIDE ratings will be accepted when submitting foreign tournaments, and only FIDE-rated tournaments can be rated as foreign tournaments. Prior to that, we accepted foreign ratings if FIDE ratings were not available or if another rating was reported more prominently by the tournament organiser.

This fee is waived for players who are selected/invited to represent Ireland at a foreign event. the results must still be submitted as outlined below

For all other tournaments, the procedure is as follows:

  1. Ensure you are currently subscribed to the ICU.
  2. Pay a €10 fee online.
  3. Play the tournament.
  4. Submit your results to the Rating Officer in an acceptable format (see below).

To be clear about this, please note the following:

  • You must pay the fee before you play the tournament.
  • Paying the fee commits you to reporting the results, irrespective of your performance. Players who refuse to report their results will be removed from the rating system.
  • The fee is per player, per tournament.
  • If more than one player wants the same tournament rated, the results can be submitted together in one file (see below).
  • If you have to withdraw from the tournament you may request a refund of your fee.

Results should be submitted as either a CSV file or a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. CSV (comma separated values) is the preferred format and can be produced directly with a text editor or exported from spreadsheet applications like Numbers or Excel.

Below is a complete CSV example based on an actual tournament (slightly modified for illustrative purposes) followed by a description of the format with illustrations from the example.

Event,"Isle of Man Masters, 2007"

1,0,B,Taylor,Peter P.,2209,,ENG
4,1,W,Spanton,Tim R.,1982,,ENG
7,=,W,Walton,Alan J.,2223,,ENG

1,0,W,Jackson,Oliver A.,2198,,ENG
2,0,B,Jeroen,Van Den Berssalaar,,,NED
4,=,B,Collins,Sam E.,2394,IM,IRL
6,=,B,Nelson,Jonathan P.,2282,,ENG

The file can contain as any number of blank rows. For readability include one blank row after the header information and before each block of player data, as in the example.

The first significant line in the file should be the event name.

Event,"Isle of Man Masters, 2007"

Note that if the event name contains commas, then it should be wrapped in double quotes in CSV format (not necessary in Excel). After the event name should come the start and end dates, both in yyyy-mm-dd format, the number of rounds and the tournament website address so the Rating Officer can verify the results.


After the 5-line header informaton about the tournament follows a block of data for each player who wants the tournament rated by the ICU. Each block starts with the player's ICU number, last name and first name(s). The last name should be given first and the name should be spelled the same way as in the ICU rating lists.


Following each player's name is their results, one line per round. Each round is divided into 8 fields:

6,0,W,Cox,John J.,2381,IM,ENG
  1. The round number.
  2. The player's score in the game: 1, 0 or =.
  3. The player's colour: W for white, B for black.
  4. The opponent's last name.
  5. The opponent's first name(s).
  6. The opponent's FIDE rating, if any (games against unrated players cannot be rated).
  7. The opponent's FIDE title, if any.
  8. The opponent's federation (three letter country code).

Please be careful to specify opponent names in the right order (last name first).

If an opponent is another Irish player, give the federation as IRL and be careful to spell their name as it appears in the ICU rating list. If they also elect to have the tournament rated, their ICU rating and not their FIDE rating will be used in the rating calculations, but give their FIDE rating anyway (or their ICU rating if they don't have one).


The opponent could be another Irish player who has not requested that their results in the tournament be rated by the ICU (and who therefore does not have a block of data in the file submitted to the ratings officer). In this case, they will be treated just like another foreign player and their FIDE rating will be used.

4,=,B,Collins,Sam E.,2394,IM,IRL

If the player has a bye, or a default, or the game is unrateable for any other reason, indicate this by replacing the player's colour with a dash (hyphen) instead of the normal W or B, give the score attributed to the player for that round and leave out any details about the opponent.


If an opponent is unrated leave their rating blank, as in the following line (but the result will not be rated).

2,0,B,Jeroen,Van Den Berssalaar,,,NED

At the end of a player block, after their last round result, add the player's total score.