Unlocking Fide Titles: A Comprehensive Guide to Achieving Chess Mastery

Have you ever wondered what it takes to earn prestigious FIDE titles in chess?

From Grandmaster to Candidate Master, each title requires a combination of skill, dedication, and achievement.

In this article, we will explore the requirements needed to obtain FIDE titles, including rating, performance, and norm requirements.

Whether you aspire to become a Grandmaster or simply want to understand the path to achieving these titles, we will break down the steps needed to reach each level of chess mastery.

What Are Fide Titles In Chess?

FIDE titles in chess are permanent titles that can be awarded by the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE). FIDE titles in chess are similar to degrees in education or ranks in the military as they act as indifferent standards of comparison and measurement. FIDE titles are universally recognized, meaning chess players of all disciplines acknowledge someone’s rank, and they are respected titles that carry their own respective honors and responsibilities.

What Are The Requirements To Obtain Fide Titles?

The requirements to obtain FIDE titles in chess can vary quite a bit. Fide’s top official title is Grandmaster, and only requires a peak Elo rating of 2500 and three qualifying performances after becoming an International Master (IM). To obtain the IM title, one must have a peak Elo rating of at least 2400 instead of the 2300 that was needed in the early 21st century.

American FIDE Master Robby Adamson in an April 2021 Q+A with i’mchess.com explained his difficulty in reaching 2400 standard needed for IM. I was using the sort of European events such as Bundesliga in Germany to get my rating. But then covid hit and I couldn’t leave the country anymore. So it’s taken me some time to get enough FIDE rated tournaments to cross the 2400 mark.” Besides growing to more than half a million active members, bulk unemployed during COVID and seal lockup has made finding and joining these FIDE rated tournaments much more difficult.

A FIDE Direct Master title only requires a peak performance rating of their title norms at the IM level. To become a FIDE Master (FM), FIDE does accrediting based on peak performance in the 2200-2399 Elo range for at least two years.

Rating Requirements

To get FIDE titles in chess, besides winning grandmaster, international master, or other norms along with top finishes at international chess tournaments, players must achieve certain FIDE ratings. For example, to get the grandmaster title, players must achieve a FIDE rating of at least 2500. To get the international master title, players must achieve a rating of at least 2400, etc. The FIDE rating system is the most well-known and widely accepted measure of relative skill level, with newly titled players able to wear their ratings as a badge of honor during the process.

Performance Requirements

The performance requirements to get an official FIDE title consist of earning a performance rating of a certain level at the relevant tournament by having a score of certain points or percentage. Performance requirements for over-the-board (OTB) titles not including Candidate Master are listed below. Note that while the Winning Percentage is in percent, it is irrelevant to the calculation of Elo Performance because it is a comparison of the number of games scored compared to the theoretical number of games won.

  1. Women’s International Checker Grandmaster. 2400 Performance Rating. 9+ Points. 50+ PERCENT Winning Percentage.
  2. Men’s International Checker Grandmaster. 2510 Performance Rating. 10+ Points. 55+ PERCENT Winning Percentage.
  3. Women’s International Checker Master. 2300 Performance Rating. 8+ Points. 50+ PERCENT Winning Percentage.
  4. Men’s International Checker Master. 2300 Performance Rating. 8+ Points. 50+ PERCENT Winning Percentage.
  5. Correspondence Checker Grandmaster. 2400 Performance Rating. 7+ Points.
  6. Micro Checker Grandmaster. 2400 Performance Rating. 7+ Points.
  7. Blindfold Checker Grandmaster. 2400 Performance Rating. 7+ Points.
  8. Cross Checker Grandmaster. 2400 Performance Rating. 7+ Points.
  9. Problem Checker Grandmaster. 2400 Performance Rating. 7+ Points.
  10. Women’s Blindfold Checker Grandmaster. 2200 Performance Rating. 7+ Points.
  11. Women’s Cross Checker Grandmaster. 2200 Performance Rating. 7+ Points.
  12. Women’s Correspondence Checker Master. 2300 Performance Rating. 6+ Points.
  13. Women’s Problem Checker Master. 2300 Performance Rating. 6+ Points.
  14. Micro Checker Master. 2300 Performance Rating. 6+ Points.
  15. Blindfold Checker Master. 2300 Performance Rating. 6+ Points.
  16. Cross Checker Master. 2300 Performance Rating. 6+ Points.
  17. Problem Checker Master. 2300 Performance Rating. 6+ Points.

Cross titles can refer to various forms of checkers such as go-as-you-please or free-style games. Micro titles can refer to any game with a short time control. Note that despite these guidelines, the FIDE titles board ultimately decides who becomes a titled player and sometimes ex-post, title performance norms are revised downwards or upwards.

Norm Requirements

Chess norm requirements for each title type are as follows. A Grandmaster title is granted when a player has achieved 3 fide ratings of at least 2600 in at least one of classical/standard, rapid, or blitz time controls, and meets the norm requirements in three separate categories of tournaments. International master and FIDE master norms are similar with the only difference being that only two category norms are needed for success. Based on the number of rounds played, tournament categories are determined as follows.

What Are The Different Fide Titles?

FIDE provides 12 titles which are as follows. This is based on research at the time of creation of this document.

  1. Grandmaster (GM)
  2. International Master (IM)
  3. FIDE Master (FM)
  4. Candidate Master (CM)
  5. Women’s Grandmaster (WGM)
  6. Womens International Master (WIM)
  7. Women’s FIDE Master (WFM)
  8. Women’s Candidate Master (WCM)
  9. C
  10. CL/li>
  11. National Master (NM)
  12. Fide Instructor (FI)
  13. National Instructor (NI)
  14. Development Instructor (DI)
  15. Arbiters. The most common titles that people recognize are the GM and WGM.

Grandmaster (GM)

A Grandmaster (GM) is the highest title a person can achieve from FIDE. It is the highest title awarded by FIDE and it is awarded only to the very best. There are three GM titles Men’s Grandmaster (GM), Women’s Grandmaster (WGM), International Grandmaster for the blind (IGM).

The current requirements to get a GM title according to the FIDE Handbook article 8.2 are either to achieve a norm in a FIDE tournament with a minimum of 9 games against at least three non-teammates where the player has a performance rating of 2600 or above. This means they must achieve norms in at least three of these tournaments Masters eliminating other players without a draw. This is similar to the Master of chess title which no longer exists or would have to have a performance rating of 2700.

Alternatively, it can be won via the category norm or the Bidermeier norm from the old days. In qualified competitions, one for all players, male and female, eye disabilities without any gender discrimination. The time requirement is more than 365 days starting from the end date of the initial norm.

International Master (IM)

To get the IM title (stage 2 of the career of a professional chess player from a title standpoint) you must earn at minimum 2500 Elo points. You also must win two-thirds of the points possible in at least 9 games during a round-robin tournament that includes a minimum of three titled players and eight foreign players from at least three foreign federations.

An example of how this could be accomplished to obtain the International Master title would be to perform at a very high level in a relatively easy closed round-robin tournament. In this case, the tournament had a K factor of 10. However, averages of over fifty games for any given tournament scenario showed that it is statistically almost impossible to get the title except with very high Elo ratings.

FIDE Master (FM)

A FIDE Master is awarded titles to players who have a FIDE rating of at least 2100 and participate in a minimum number (usually five) of games in a single tournament. The percentage of all FIDE-registered players in the world in FIDE-CFR that were given the FM title in 2017 was approximately 2.7 percent.

FM is the second lowest of the 9 main FIDE titles. Players who hold the FM title will be referred to as such in all FIDE-rated tournaments, in international play, and in rankings.

Candidate Master (CM)

Similar to Elo ratings, the Candidate Master (CM) title is considered an international title that is awarded by FIDE based on the merit of the player’s performances in events against a minimum of FIDE 2000-rated opponents. The range of rating requirements are as follows:

  1. 5 approved tournament-achievements with average rating of 1800 – 1999
  2. 3 approved tournament-achievements with average rating of 2000 – 2199
  3. 1 approved tournament-achievements with average rating of 2200 – 2399

The cost of applying for a CM title is 150 euros.

How To Achieve The Grandmaster Title?

To achieve the Grandmaster title, GM norms must be scored in chess competitions each out of which at least 9 games must come from half-point scoring games against other GM titleholders. A player becomes a GM at the end of their third GM norm at the latest. Current FIDE GRANDMASTER requirements as of July 1, 19 are a FIDE 2500 rating which allows players to skip all three norm steps and apply directly for the title. They would still need to pay 1000 euros to submit their title application via an FIDE affiliated organization.

For example, many interrupter arbiters have gotten their FIDE titles through a procedure similar to this process. GM fees for titling include norm certificates 75 euros, direct title applications 150 euros, title changes 150 euros, player’s id issuance 50 euros, and each title revalidation 50 euros. The Grandmaster title stretches back to the 19th century. During the first ever official chess tournament in 1851, American master Paul Morphy was urged by the victorious Friedrich Amelung delegate of Czarist Russia to take the title form of Grandmaster.

Achieve A FIDE Rating Of At Least 2500

To obtain a FIDE title, a player must achieve a FIDE rating primarily through participation in rated tournaments. Chess federations in different countries will rate these tournaments, and the results are then processed by FIDE.

So how does one get a FIDE rating? The process officially starts when a country’s chess federation registers a player. After this occurs, a player can be rated after playing at least one tournament that is rated by the federation of their country or the international authority of chess known as FIDE. The player must first have a regular rating before they can dream of earning a FIDE title.

Chess ratings work on a system called the Elo system, which allows players’ scores to be assessed after each game using their current score and how well they performed against an opponent of a higher or lower score. The system is designed so that on average players will win half of their games against similar rated opponents. In case of an upset, a player can quickly seize the opportunity and climb the ranks.

To obtain the title of Delegate for Life, a rating of at least 2500 is required, among other things such as years of experience and engaged activity in the chess field. Less strict requirements are required for other titles from FIDE, and for some titles that are rated over 2300, the player must pass a norms tournament.

Obtain Three Grandmaster Norms

Grandmaster norms are similar to the requirements for international master norms with higher standards evaluated as 8-9 rated games. They are significantly more difficult and require that the player acquires games against grandmasters. 3 norm of which one must be from a round-robin tournament or another tournament of at least 9 games are necessary for the Grandmaster title. Unlike the FM and IM titles, GM norms do not need to be achieved alongside a specific rating requirement. Different types of regional and international events can offer the opportunity for these norms to be achieved.

How To Achieve The International Master Title?

The criteria for earning the International Master title in chess is to reach either a 2400 Elo FIDE rating or a 2350 Elo rating with three Grandmaster norms for norm-capable FIDE players. If you are in the decline phase of your career however, you still retain the IM title for life, you can qualify for the title with a 2350 rating without the norms if you are over the age of 60. The title of Senior International Master is awarded to male and female players of any age who achieve a 2400 rating without norms.

Achieve A FIDE Rating Of At Least 2400

The road towards a FIDE title in chess starts by getting a FIDE rating. FIDE sets minimum rating thresholds for the various chess titles. FIDE rating is an indication of a player’s performance over six months and is used to rank players worldwide. As of February 2022, a player needs a FIDE Classic rating of 2400 to become a National Master (NM). Фidе rating of 2200 is needed for the title of Woman Candidate Master (WCM) or Candidate Master (CM) national levels.

A FIDE rating can be achieved by participating in FIDE rated games. Required number of games for obtaining an NM is according to the following formula: X=Y*35/Z, where X is the total number of games needed to obtain the NM title, Y is the highest classic rating ever achieved by the player, and Z is the average rating of the player’s opponents. The average rating of the opponents is found by looking at the rating of the opponent named on the tournament ID card, not any database.

There are requirements on the minimum number of foreign players as well. According to the FIDE Handbook, your games for achieving norms must have at least three Federations represented, and at least one-third of the opponents (rounded to the nearest whole number) achieving at least 50% score should be from different Federations. It should be noted that new players need only complete 30 games, while established players who have proven their playing strength in a limited number of games must complete at least 24 games.

Obtain Three International Master Norms

Once the candidate master title is received, the next step toward getting to the IM chess title is to obtain three international master norms. To obtain an international master norm (for all chess titles Funny memes creators that meet the fide requirements to become a chess arbiter – chess arbiters, World Chess Federation, FIDE, must organize tournaments at which international players can participate. The player then has to perform particularly well at the event, along with other guidelines created by FIDE. The exact regulations can be found in the international arbiter manual on the FIDE website.

These are the minimum requirements which must all be met, they can be raised if deemed necessary by the arbiters, organizers of the tournament, the regulation council of FIDE, but they cannot be lower. The dates of such future meetings will be communicated by FIDE to all FIDE member organizations. In brief, a player must achieve a particular FIDE scores in the tournament against a minimum of 2 players with IM titles, a minimum of 21 moves per game, and a minimum of 9 rated games.

Every label comes with an age cap. According to the FIDE regulation system for titles, norms are only valid for a specific period of time In case a titled player does not reach another norm within 2 years from the earlier norm, the earlier norm shall be canceled.

How To Achieve The FIDE Master Title?

The FIDE Master (FM) title is given to players who earn a FIDE standard rating of at least 2300 in at least 24 cumulative standard games over a period of 3 years. To achieve the FM title, there are no other technical restrictions like for a Candidate Master or a Woman Candidate Master, just the requirement that the games be against at least 50% titled players. Note that the phrasing of at least 50% titled players is subject to technical interpretation which can vary from federation to federation.

Achieve A FIDE Rating Of At Least 2300

Attaining a FIDE rating of at least 2300 in regular games is required to receive both the International Master (IM) and the Grandmaster (GM) titles. This may sound relatively simple, as a rating of 2300 places you only in the 75th percentile of all rated FIDE players. but this is deceptive. Less than 2% of all titled players have a sub-2300 rating in current FIDE statistics. In many countries, obtaining a rating of around 2300 means the individual is one of the top players in the country, if not the top.

The GM, FM, and WFM titles all require that more than two-thirds of an arbitrator’s norms for obtaining the title come from round-robin tournaments. The International Master (IM) and the Woman International Master (WIM) only require one arbiter norm. However, the ability to accumulate tournament arbiters Norms depends only partially on a player’s level of skill. It also greatly depends on their affiliations with tournament directors and the number of playing opportunities they have throughout the year. For example, players with more knowledge of and connections in the world of chess may be able to find tournaments in which norms are easier to come by, such as nominally weaker fields that bolster their performance in the tournament.

Obtain Three FIDE Master Norms

After seeing a rating boost and earning a FIDE candidate master title, players can pursue the expert-level title of FIDE Master (FM). To obtain an FM title in chess, players must achieve the following requirements in every FIDE tournament:

  1. An average tournament performance minimum of 50 percent.

    The key metric is not the percentage of moves made at the optimal ply, but the percentage of decisions made at the optimal move, write Rolf Skaara and Hal Terlektsi.

  2. Performances at least 50 move indicators.

    This is where play is such that moves are frequently retracted back which show an opportunity missed. As the player weakens, the number of opportunities grows.

  3. 100 moves of a 10 move time control.

    Optimal play is optimal play-because the best play isn’t always the most direct path to mate. Ideal play also means learning through hapes, whether that be by maintaining entwined pieces, using what seems like an esoteric formation of pawns, or keeping a tricky knight in play that brings the queen into play under less threatening circumstances. Focus only on the end result without having to worry about theoretical roadmaps.

  4. Score at least 50 percent

    Along with achieving an average of at least 50 percent, a player must score at least 50% in their last two games.

  5. Playing at least 7 games

    Playing at least 7 games with default times between and including 7 and 20 minutes per player plus a 10-second increment per move starting from move number 1, or a single time control of 20 minutes plus a 10-second increment per move starting from move number 1. The games must be played against opponents whose ratings average 100 or higher. It is possible to submit multiple combinations of shorter time limit games to meet the minimum of 200 moves. Players must finish all matches with all opponents within 2 days if using commercially available keyboards.

  6. Playing against opponents from at least 2 different countries
  7. If playing outside of the player’s home country, all games must be played in one and the same federation

Once these norms are met, players must apply and pay a derived fee to FIDE to be awarded with the FIDE Master title. By obtaining the FM title and maintaining performance for one year, players may then consider pursuing the Candidate Master title (CM).

How To Achieve The Candidate Master Title?

The Candidate Master title may be achieved by scoring twenty or more FIDE-rated games within a 27-month period. Of these 27 games, a minimum of 50% must be in tournaments against other titled and rated players. For children to gain this title according to their age, the following criteria by FIDE apply. Candidates for the candidate master title for the usual route (twenty or more games in 27 months) must meet three criteria. First, five of the twenty games must be against foreign players, with at least two adults. Second, all the games must be rated. Third, the games must be played in at least two different tournaments.

The most important differences with other titles are that one does not have to play more games than for a national master title or expert title, and it takes a shorter period to achieve. The most critical advantage is that a player qualifying for the World Championship can use a candidate master title to register for a fide title tournament. If one’s standard rating point is around this level, they are considered a candidate master. However, this title is the initial step in the chess system and should be used to achieve higher grades in the future. To use these rules to find out if you meet the requirement, ensure you have realized the potential.

Achieve A FIDE Rating Of At Least 2200

The first chess title by FIDE anyone can achieve is the Master title.

To be awarded the FIDE Master titles (FM, IM, GM) and certain CM titles, a player must achieve certain performance standards as defined by FIDE’s Title Regulations. These standards are defined with respect to the FIDE Rating System, a version of the Elo Rating System, named after its inventor, the physicist Dr Arpad Elo, based on performance against other players in rated tournaments.

The relationship of the titles to the ratings can get a bit complex. Every player may play 350 games per year (effectively 450 games per two years). A player’s title can change when the playing rights are renewed at the beginning of January of that year only.

To be awarded the non-arbitrone corporate CM or WCM titles, a player must achieve certain minimum ratings. They do not get to keep them nor do they self renew in the same way as the FIDE or CM titles.

Obtain Three Candidate Master Norms

After obtaining the National Master title, a player’s goal is to earn the Candidate Master title as the next step in the journey to becoming an international master or grandmaster. A Candidate Master (CM) is a player who has shown sufficient skill to play in international competitions. The requirements for obtaining the Candidate Master (CM) title are somewhat more complex and varied locally, but they are basically similar all over the world. The only official requirement set by FIDE, established in 2012, is to achieve a 2000 National Rating grequirement and earn 2 out of 3 norms, at least one of which is in a FIDE-rated tournament. The norms required for the Candidate Master title vary from country to country, but in almost all cases it is three similar to the minimum standards for the National Master (NM) title. In this article, it is assumed the requirements for obtaining a Candidate Master (CM) title are to achieve an ELO rating of 2000 and earn three similar norms to NM. These norms include participating in larger and more important national tournaments and securing victories.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Fide title in chess?

A Fide title in chess refers to a recognized title given by the World Chess Federation (FIDE) to players who have achieved a certain level of skill and performance in the game.

How can I get a Fide title in chess?

To obtain a Fide title, you must participate in Fide-rated tournaments and earn a certain number of rating points based on your performance. The exact requirements vary depending on the title you are aiming for.

What are the different Fide titles in chess?

Fide titles are divided into two categories: titles for amateur players and titles for professional players. Amateur titles include Fide Master (FM), Candidate Master (CM), and Woman Fide Master (WFM), while professional titles include International Master (IM), Grandmaster (GM), and Woman Grandmaster (WGM).

Is there an age limit for obtaining a Fide title in chess?

No, there is no age limit for obtaining a Fide title. However, younger players may have an advantage in earning titles as they have more time to participate in tournaments and improve their ratings.

Do I need to be a member of a national chess federation to get a Fide title?

Yes, you must be a member of a national chess federation recognized by FIDE in order to obtain a Fide title. Your federation will also be responsible for submitting your tournament results and rating information to FIDE.

Can I apply for a Fide title on my own?

No, your Fide title must be awarded to you by FIDE through your national federation. You cannot apply for a Fide title on your own.

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