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Elisabeth Paehtz has her GM title finally confirmed by FIDE

On the 5th of December at the 4th FIDE Council Meeting, FIDE decided to finally approve the GM title of Elisabeth Paehtz, which she had achieved since last November.

Image: Jens Gyarmaty [FAZ-Recht:2]

As described at the letter of the German Chess Federation to the FIDE General Assembly on June 5th, 2022, “In November 2021 Ms. Paehtz achieved her third norm at the Women’s Grand Swiss in Riga. FIDE reported the norm and the upcoming GM title widely on its website and social media. As a result, Ms. Paehtz was celebrated in the German media as the country’s first female Grandmaster and gave numerous interviews on national TV, radio and in the national press.”

This didn’t happen though. On March 7, 2022 the German Chess Federation applied to award the Grandmaster title to Elisabeth Paehtz, but he Qualification Commission questioned the validity of Ms. Paehtz’ second norm and the FIDE Council postponed the decision.

The norm in question was achieved at the 2016 European Individual Women’s Championship as a “Performance Norm” under the FIDE Title Regulations in effect from 2014 to 2017; a norm certificate was issued by Chief Arbiter IA Ashot Vardapetyan on June 6, 2016 and posted on the FIDE website. On June 11 2016 the German Chess Federation contacted then QC Chairman IA Werner Stubenvoll with the request to confirm the validity of the GM norm, and Mr. Stubenvoll replied on the same date stating that the norm was fully valid as a performance norm since it was achieved at a continental championship.

More than a year later, FIDE decided to approve Elisabeth’s second norm and therefore the GM title. But the public debate about the validity of the norm and her status as Grandmaster-elect for such a long time has caused Elisabeth significant emotional distress and threatened to damage her reputation and credibility, as confirmed by the German Federation.

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