At the recent FIDE Congress, delegates from the 103 countries represented made some rule changes that had been debated for the past few years. Here are the highlights-
1. Changes for title requriements:
a. By a margin of 100-4, it was voted for the introduction of a new title-TM (Traveling Master). To earn his TM title, a player must achieve a FIDE rating of 2000 and play in tournaments on all 8 continents.
b. The GM title was modified as well. FIDE abolished the necessity of "norms," saying that it is "unfair to the players not skilled enough to achieve them."
2. Anand's FIDE rating was raised by 50 points so he can get enough sponsors for the upcoming world championship match.
3. The insufficient material rule was abolished. In a case of K+B vs K, K+N vs K, etc, players must play the game out until one player loses on time. If there is increment or delay, the game is decided like this-
The biggest story was that a player must automatically lose the game should they ever be down more than 5 points for 2 full turns. The evidence is that players sometimes resign to Carlsen when they are only down one pawn, and Carlsen is the best player in the world, so we should be following his example.
5. When Carlsen plays chess, he must play either left handed or underhanded.
6. Anthems - Just as closers in baseball walk in to a song, so must chess players. Anand has already chosen "Underdog" by Imagine Dragons for the first game of the world championship match. Carlsen has chosen "I'm Winning" by Santana to automatically play after 4 hours of play.
7. Due to the Ivanov scandal, players must not wear shoes to games. They are also forbidden to put their feet on the table at any time during the game.
The Congress was ended with an inspirational quote.
"Success is 80% inspiration, 15% determination, and 10% attention to detail."
Finally, some pictures of the Congress-