How To Have A Chess Title

10/05/2023 - Actualizado: 21/06/2023

📋Read on and here you will find✍

In chess there are titles for the top players or rather professional players. These professional players are the best in their country and represent them in tournaments such as the Olympics or the FIDE World Cup.

Chess Titles in Order

Let's find out what are these chess titles ordered from highest to lowest.

Grandmaster (GM) - Woman Grandmaster (WGM)

The title of grandmaster is reserved for the best players of each country.

GM ELO of Rating 2500 or more - WGM ELO of Rating 2300 or more.

International Master (IM) - Woman International Master (WIM)

The title of international masters is for very high level players. They are the ones who represent their countries together with the Grandmasters.

IM ELO Rating of 2400 or more - WIM Elo Rating of 2200 or more.

FIDE Master (FM) - Woman FIDE Master (WFM)

The title of FIDE Master is for players who have demonstrated great skill and mastery in chess.

FM ELO Rating of 2300 or more - WFM ELO Rating of 2100 or more.

Candidate Master (CM) - Woman Candidate Master (WCM)

This title is for players who are close to being chess professionals.

CM ELO Rating of 2200 or more - WCM ELO Rating of 2000 or more.

Tournaments valid for chess titles

Now we will see how to obtain these titles and what requirements are necessary to claim the titles

chess title
Abhimanyu Mishra- At only 12 years of age, he earned the title of Grand Master.

Before seeing how these titles are obtained, let's see what kind of conditions a tournament has to fulfill to be valid for the chess titles:

  • The referee must have an international certification. The referee responsible for the tournament must be an international referee.
  • In the tournament the rounds cannot exceed two rounds per day, for example, if the tournament has a total of 6 rounds to be played, only 2 rounds per day at most, so the tournament would have a duration of 3 days.
  • There is also a minimum format for playing time, for each player the clock must have a minimum time of 90 minutes plus a 30 second increment after each move.

Ways to obtain chess titles

Now let's look at the ways in which chess titles can be obtained:


To qualify for the title in this way we must have a certain performance (we must have obtained at least 35% of the total points) and play against opponents from different federations.

In addition, it is necessary to have a minimum ELO score to obtain the different titles:

For the absolute category

GM 2300

IM 2200

FM 2100

CM 2000

For the women's category*

WGM 2100

WIM 2000

WFM 1900

WCM 1800

*Women can obtain an absolute category title if they have the necessary requirements to do so.

By ELO rating

There is also the possibility of obtaining a chess title by collecting a high ELO rating, but this is only valid after we complete 30 games in which ELO FIDE was disputed.


Fide Master (FM): 2300 or higher

Candidate Master (CM): 2200 or higher


Women's Fide Master (WFM): 2100 or higher

Female Candidate Master (WCM): 2000 or higher

By norms

The most standard way to achieve GM or WGM and IM or WIM titles is through rules in international tournaments.

chess title beth

(3 norms are required to access the titles)

  • The first requirement is that we play against two chess players from different federations (It is important that they are different FEDERATIONS, since many chess players change nationality and federation, for example, a chess player from Venezuela may be playing for the Spanish federation).
  • The tournament must have at least 9 rounds
  • There is a maximum of opponents that we can face from our federation and from foreign federations, this maximum is 60%.
  • At least half of the opponents against whom we play must have a chess title (excluding CM and WCM).
  • If we want the IM title, 30% of our opponents must have this title or GM, it is the same if we want the GM title with the difference that only opponents with this same title count, not an inferior one.
  • For the female category it is the same with the advantage that your opponents can also be IM or GM.

For more information, visit the rules of fide

Practical example

Let's imagine that we are a fide master (FM) who wants to have the title of IM (international master) and we only need one norm to be an international master, for this reason we start looking for a tournament that meets all the requirements to achieve our great dream.

We found two tournaments at a glance:

Tournament A

It has 10 rounds in total
It has participants from different Federations
The great majority of the players are Fide Master, only 1 is IM and 1 is GM.

Tournament B

It has 9 rounds
In this tournament do not participate from as many federations as the previous one, but it has enough to meet the requirement.
Unlike the previous one, in this tournament the great majority is GM and a few are IM and FM.

According to this simple example, which of the two tournaments should we sign up for? In order to achieve our final norm and finally get our precious IM title.

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