According to the following wiki link,

The unofficial title, "Super Grandmaster", is often used by players to refer to those with a 2700+ rating to distinguish the most serious world champion contenders

When was this term first used and by whom?

  • I can't say for sure, but the fact that it's an unofficial title makes me think you won't find a first usage of the term. There probably is no first usage, it probably began as a discussion point among players and built into a commonly used term.
    – Justin C
    Aug 30, 2012 at 16:46
  • 1
    I thought Super GM was 2600+, I guess they have increased it due to the number of GMs over 2600 now.
    – james82345
    Sep 1, 2012 at 11:41
  • @Justin C That may be so. I'm OK with even a rough idea of when it was first used. Sep 2, 2012 at 1:39
  • @JamesEldridge is correct - 2600 was the initial threshold, perhaps 20 years ago.
    – Tony Ennis
    Sep 3, 2012 at 14:31

1 Answer 1


As pointed out in the comments, it's nigh impossible to pin down the very first usage, but since you're after a rough idea, I'll get the ball rolling with an initial answer of the oldest definite use I'm aware of; it's from within the last 25 years, so maybe others can improve on this with better answers.

In 1990, there was a tournament held in New Delhi called the Triveni Super Grandmasters Tournament. The joint winners were Kamsky (#8 with a 2650 rating on the July 1990 rating list) and Anand (#19 with a 2610 rating on the same list). I tried to find a full crosstable or participant list for the tournament, but have so far come up empty on such details.

I do know that Judit Polgar (then "only" #108 in the world, though she would crack the top 20 three years later, and the top 10 three years after that) and former champion Mikhail Tal both played. Additionally, it seems this wasn't a tournament exclusively for GMs, but rather one offering lesser lights the chance to play with some "super grandmasters," as Kamsky mentioned in an interview after the tournament that no participants had achieved any grandmaster norms.



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