All You Need To Know About Chess Titles


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When you research the different types of chess strategies, opening moves, and other variants, you may have often come across terms like Grandmaster, International Master, World Champion, etc. These are titles given to those who demonstrated extreme talent and skills in the game and earned very commendable Elo and FIDE ratings.

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Chess titles, FIDE titles, all matter a lot when you address your level of proficiency in the game. Today, let us discuss the chess titles in order that you need to achieve with time to get to the highest rank in chess.

What are chess titles?

A chess title is like an awarded designation for those who display expressive chess skills. There are different levels of FIDE titles that you need to earn in order to be referred to as a ‘Titled player.’

People who demonstrate good skills, star strategies, achieve good Elo and FIDE ratings, and win major tournaments often find themselves on the path to becoming a ‘Titled Player.’ These people are even referred to with their chess titles as predecessors to their moniker.

You may have come across the chess title ‘Grandmaster’ a lot. It refers to the highest rank in chess according to the FIDE online arena titles. The chess titles have very little to do with age and experience as evidenced by young titled chess players who are barely 16-24 years old. All you need is dedication and passion for the gameplay to rise through the chess title rankings to achieve the highest title for chess players.

Why are chess titles important?

Chess titles are important because they express your level of expertise even before you start the gameplay. The chess titles don’t really affect the gameplay particularly but it does indicate who is a favorite to win in a chess game. This is especially useful information for those who indulge in sports betting.

Let’s consider this: When there is a match conducted between a FIDE Master and International Master, you can tell from the titles themselves that the latter is a favorite to win in this particular match. So, the stakes will be higher for the FIDE Master who is the underdog in the game.

As we have mentioned, the chess titles and FIDE Titles don’t really affect your gameplay. The FIDE Master could very well win the game, which would bring them closer to earning their International Master norms if the game is a part of the FIDE tournaments.

What are the different chess titles in order?

Chess titles are earned one at a time when you display great talent during gameplay in the renowned tournaments held around the globe. You can start earning your chess titles from a very young age starting with the World Junior Championship games. Often, the youngest players earn the highest title for chess players even before they reach 18 years of age.

Here are the chess titles in order from lowest to highest. You have to earn your way through the chess title rankings to achieve the highest rank in chess:

1. Candidate Master

This is the first among the chess title rankings ad that requires no norms as such. You have to compete in international tournaments and achieve a FIDE rating of 2200 or higher to get the title of Candidate Master.

Many young chess players have successfully acquired this title through Junior Championship games held by the International Federation of Chess. It is referred to as CM among FIDE titles.

2. FIDE Master

The next chess title among the FIDE titles is the FIDE Master. There are no norms required for these chess title rankings either. All you need to do is achieve a standard or classic FIDE rating of 2300 or higher in an internationally held tournament or championship.

It is most commonly referred to as FM which signifies FIDE online arena titles.

3. International Master

Now we come to the chess title that is more difficult to achieve than the prior ones on this list. The International Master chess title requires you to fulfill a few necessary conditions such as:

  • You have to acquire a standard or classical FIDE rating of 2400 or higher.
  • You have to achieve 3 International Master norms in International championships and tournaments to reach the ultimate chess title of International Master.

The International Master is the second-highest rank in chess, which is why you need to prove your mettle to achieve it. This chess title is often referred to as IM inches circles.

4. Grandmaster

The Grandmaster is the highest title for chess players who demonstrate the best skills when playing the game. Much like the International Master chess title, the Grandmaster title also has a few requirements that you need to meet in order to earn it, such as:

  • You need to have a FIDE rating of 2500 or higher, which is really hard to achieve and takes intense skills.
  • You need to achieve 3 distinct Grandmaster title norms in international tournaments and championships to ultimately achieve the highest rank in chess.

The Grandmaster title demands respect and demonstrates such skills that all the apps and sites refer to their gameplay to develop training programs for amateur chess players. This particular chess title awards GM in front of the title holders’ names to signify their brilliance.

There are also exclusive titles for women too. You can climb through the Chess title rankings as a woman too if you have the dedication for the game. These are not sexist segregations, they were, in fact, created to welcome more women players in the world of chess.

Here are the exclusive Women chess titles:

1. Woman Candidate Master

Much like the traditional Candidate Master, the Woman Candidate Master chess title has very limited requirements except the bars are set a little lower. You need to only achieve a FIDE rating of 2000 in classical and standard FIDE online arena titles to achieve this rank.

There are no norms required and the usual term of usage is WCM.

2. Woman FIDE Master

The next chess title for women also has the bars set low and has similar requirements as the traditional FIDE Master FIDE title. You need a standard or classical FIDE rating of 2100 with no extra norms to achieve this chess title when competing in International tournaments and championship events.

The commonly used term for Woman FIDE Master is WFM and there are no additional requirements for norms to achieve this title.

3. Woman International Master

Just like the traditional chess title of International Master, the Woman International Master is the second-highest rank in chess and calls for certain requirements to achieve it. They are:

  • You must acquire a standard or classic FIDE rating of 2200 or higher in international tournaments and championships.
  • You need to achieve 3 consecutive norms for International master before you can actually achieve the coveted chess title of Woman International Master.

In chess circles, the title is often used as WIM before the title holder’s name.

4. Woman Grandmaster

Very similar to the actual Grandmaster title, the Woman Grandmaster chess titles are reserved exclusively for women players with innate chess skills. Of course, you need to meet the set requirements to attain this title, which are:

  • You have to achieve a standard or classic FIDE rating of 2300 or higher in international championship games and tournaments.
  • You must achieve 3 Grandmaster norms to qualify for the Woman Grandmaster title.

The Woman Grandmaster title is the highest title for chess players that women can achieve. It usually goes by the abbreviation WGM when used in front of the title holder’s name.

Chess titles are really important if you want to gain recognition for your extensive skills and passion. If you are a chess aficionado, it may be time for you to start entering professional tournaments and start acquiring these FIDE titles and chess titles in order to achieve the highest rank in chess of Grandmaster.

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