Really female GMs and not WGMs. I notice here there's a 'deceased' list for female IMs but none for female GMs.

Is it really the case that there are only 38 females awarded GM title in history and they're all alive today?

For both the list and even the list on FIDE, what I'm not quite seeing is a death date column with N/A for living players, so either they are lists for living female GMs or yes to what I asked.

  • 1
    It would take some digging to confirm whether they are all still alive, but it is plausible given that the first and oldest is 80 years old and the second one is 60. Women getting the GM title is a relatively recent phenomenon and most of them are young.
    – itub
    Sep 1, 2021 at 19:57
  • @itub yeah i was thinking that. (great minds think alike!) just found the lists kinda confusing. perhaps they could've even mentioned outright none have died so far. not just for feminism or whatever but to be clear. thanks for commenting!
    – BCLC
    Sep 1, 2021 at 19:59
  • 1
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_female_chess_players claims "There are currently 38 female players who hold the title of Grandmaster, the most prestigious title in chess: This list is complete and up to date as of June 2021." and then lists all 38 with links to pages. Somebody with more time than me currently can work through the list ...
    – Ian Bush
    Sep 2, 2021 at 13:58
  • @L.ScottJohnson edited thanks!
    – BCLC
    Sep 2, 2021 at 23:03
  • 1
    @BCLC Agreed, but directly below is a list of IM's, divided into living and deceased - it would be very strange to do this for one group and not the other.
    – Ian Bush
    Sep 3, 2021 at 6:14

2 Answers 2



With Lei securing her victory on Saturday, the biggest story of the day was Paehtz reaching her third GM norm. She had earlier norms from 2011 and 2016, which still need to be checked before it's certain that she will meet the requirements for the GM title. Chess.com has learned that there might be an issue with one of the norms, so perhaps the cheering for Paehtz was premature, but let's hope not.

If she does get the title, Paehtz will be only the 40th female player in history to achieve this (and all happen to be still alive). She had missed her chances for a norm in rounds nine and 10, but on Sunday she pulled it off with a win against IM Bibisara Assaubayeva.

  • finally something explicit. not really a primary source (neither is mine lol; Edit Oh wait ok so the chessdotcom article links to this, w/c is really the ideal primary source...but...right yeah this is what i linked in OP: there's no death date column) but still like what no one besides me ever really thought to make note of it until now? interesting. well whatever to those non-keepers of statistics. thanks Allure!
    – BCLC
    Nov 8, 2021 at 7:34

Update: Ah, see the list of all grandmasters. This has a death date column. Click on sex to get all the F's together and then see they're alive.

Wait wiki page for Zhansaya Abdumalik, the most recent female grandmaster and the most recent grandmaster, says (but it's unsourced)

She is the first Kazkakhstani woman, and the 38th woman overall, to earn the GM title.

So I guess they're all still alive since there are 38 female grandmasters in this list (i.e. this list is all female grandmasters and not just all living female grandmasters and thus all female grandmasters = all living female grandmasters). Then again the quote is unsourced.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.