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I recently came across a GM who has a peak rating 2495 and has obtained the GM title after completing three norms.

From my understanding, in order to become a GM one must

  • Achieve a FIDE rating of 2500, and
  • Earn three GM norms.

Is this some kind of exception or has the player completed another special requirement that I'm unaware of?

2 Answers 2

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A couple different ways:

  1. Winning a tournament like the World Junior or World Senior, which automatically confers a GM title to the winner
  2. Having a rating over 2500 after any game. This is to encourage players to finish tournaments where they achieved 2500 rather than dropping out if it's not the last round yet. Without looking too deeply, I would guess that this is the case here.
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  • 3
    so basically a live rating of 2500 is enough for GM?
    – cmgchess
    Mar 9 at 4:23
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    Winning a world tournament while not already having a 2500 - how often does that happen? Seems pretty unlikely unless - just everybody else was having a really bad day? (Might be more likely in the Junior than the Senior just since many of the contestants haven't played enough games yet, but still...) Mar 9 at 14:20
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    A World Junior title does not confer the GM title, only one GM norm.
    – Brian Towers
    Mar 9 at 17:23
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    @DarrelHoffman: I'm sure it would be very unlikely, but I can just barely imagine, say, a financially independent person spending several years of their life studying chess without actually playing in many (FIDE-recognized) tournaments. I'm not sure why one would choose to do that, however.
    – Kevin
    Mar 9 at 17:27
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    i initially thought that 2500 published rating is needed. i checked this guys last event and the case here is definitely 2. he lost last round and lost some 4.5(approx 5) so he had reached 2500 live rating before that
    – cmgchess
    Mar 9 at 17:40
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The regulations for awarding titles are given in FIDE Title Regulations effective from 1 January 2022.

There are two routes to getting the GM title:

  1. norms and a minimum rating
  2. specific results in specific Championship events plus minimum rating

You correctly identify the minimum rating for a GM title via norms of 2500 however "specific results in specific Championship events" is also another route with a different minimum rating.

Here is what FIDE Title Regulations effective from 1 January 2022 has to say:

0.6 The Award of Titles

0.6.1 Titles may be awarded for specific results in specific Championship events, or are awarded on achieving a rating as laid down in these regulations. Such titles are confirmed by the QC Chairman on advice from the FIDE Office. They are then awarded by FIDE.

0.6.2 For a direct title to be awarded immediately an applicant has to have achieved at some time a minimum rating as follows:

GM 2300
WGM 2100
IM 2200 WIM 2000
FM 2100 WFM 1900
CM 2000 WCM 1800
If an applicant is rated lower the title is awarded conditionally and will be awarded finally on request by the respective federation as soon as the minimum rating is achieved. Any player with a conditional title may take a lower title when they reach the required rating for that lower title.

0.6.3 Titles are also awarded based on applications with norms with a sufficient number of games. These titles shall be awarded by the FIDE Council on recommendation by the QC.

The titles and titles in which they may be gained via "specific results in specific Championship events" are described in Table for Direct Titles effective from 1 July 2017.

The events and positions which can be used to gain the GM title are as follows:

  • World Cup - last 16
  • Women's world championship - winning the title
  • World over 65 championship - winning the title
  • World over 50 championship - winning the title
  • Continental championship - winning the title

Other events like World U20 and World U18 can give GM norms but not the title itself.

There is also a minimum rating requirement as noted earlier for these direct title awards. For GM that is 2300.

I recently came across a GM who has a peak rating 2495 and has obtained the GM title after completing 3 norms. ... Is this some kind of exception or has the player completed another special requirement that I'm unaware of?

According to FIDE Title Regulations effective from 1 January 2022:

1.5.3 To have achieved at some time a rating as follows:

GM ≥ 2500

So, the 2500 minimum rating required is a one-time rating which can be after a game in the middle of a tournament. It does not have to be maintained through to the end of the rating period.

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  • I interpret the rules differently than you do. The Table 1.24b describes than you get GM title if you reach the Gold place, and this is also for the World U20. And 1st equal - norm isn't the same as reaching gold. Mar 9 at 19:00

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