Thursday, September 27, 2012

Chess titles explained (GM, IM, FM)



What about those chess titles? GM stands for Grand Master and is the highest possible title. Lower down the scale is the IM title, International Master. Then comes FM, Fide Master. How are these titles awarded and what kind of strength do they symbolise? The FM title requires that a player reaches 2300 or more ELO points. Since this is the only requirement, it is the simplest title to explain.

Moving on to the IM and GM titles. They are awarded according to the same principle but with different requirements. The idea is that a player has to perform very well in e.g. three tournaments with 9 games in each tournament. A player who performs very well in a tournament is awarded a so called "IM norm" or "GM norm". There are requirements as to which players that one has to face in the tournament, how many points one has to score, what performance rating one has to score. Also, the player has to reach a certain ELO rating, ELO2400 for IM and ELO2500 for GM.

One has to score 3 IM norms in 27 or more games with classical time controls to be awarded the IM title. Equivalently, one has to score 3 GM norms in 27 or more games with classical time controls to be awarded the GM title. Once awarded, the title has a permanent validity.