How to Become a Chess Grandmaster


There are millions of chess players in the world, but only a little over 1,900 chess players have earned the title of Grandmaster.

The title of Grandmaster is awarded by the FIDE (International Chess Federation).

The FIDE gives players their titles based on their achievements, and includes a combination of players reaching specific Elo ratings (above 2500), and achieving three norms at norm tournaments that meet FIDE requirements.


FIDE levels include:

Grandmaster/Woman Grandmaster

International Master/Woman International Master

FIDE Master/Woman FIDE Master

Candidate Master/Woman Candidate Master


Grandmaster Fun Facts:

  •          Most active Grandmasters are currently living in Russia (256 registered Grandmasters).
  •          101 active Grandmasters are in the USA.
  •          88 different countries have at least 1 Grandmaster.
  •          There are only 38 female Grandmasters (more men play chess than women worldwide).
  •          At just 12 years old, Abhimanyu Mishra of New Jersey recently became the youngest chess grandmaster in history.
  •          Hou Yifran from China, is the youngest woman to ever become a Grandmaster. She earned the title at 14 years old.
  •          Once a title is achieved, it is kept for life.


Looking to add yourself to the Grandmaster list?

Here are some tips to get you on your way to Grandmaster status.


Start Young

Since people develop the majority of their skills during their childhood years, it only makes sense to have your child take chess classes at a young age. While it’s never too late to learn something new, young minds are more flexible and learn faster. Young children can be sponges when it comes to learning tactics and fundamental skills that help them become a stronger player as they get older. Our after school and online classes are a great place to start!


Focus on the Process

Getting to the title of Grandmaster is no quick or easy task. You need to focus on all the steps you make along the way on your journey towards your bigger goal. Celebrate each success, and learn from each defeat – the process is much more important than immediate results.


Practice Consistently

You are going to have to work hard to gain an FIDE title – dedicating time each day to studying the opening, middle-game, and endgame, and improving your skills. If becoming a Grandmaster was easy, more people would have the title, so you are definitely going to need to consistently spend time learning and practicing.


Play Lots of Tournaments

Whether you win or lose, every game is going to challenge you and teach you something. Studying your losses and learning from them will only make you a stronger player, and playing in tournaments helps you gain experience while giving yourself opportunities to put your hard work to the test.


Have Fun

If you aren’t enjoying what you’re doing, the goal will not make it worth it. Make sure chess is something that you thoroughly enjoy doing. It’s normal to have moments where you want to walk away, but your overall feelings towards the game should be positive.