I came across this lady from Japan: https://ratings.fide.com/profile/7001800

She holds the WCM title, which according to the FIDE handbook requires that you have at one point in time reached 1800 elo rating.

However, her highest ever published rating is 1739 which doesn't even come close, so I doubt her live rating ever went above 1800.

The title was awarded in 2019. How is it possible for her to have this title?

Note: Nothing personal against this player, I'm just using her as an example to try and understand FIDE title regulations better.

  • 2
    Related, possibly a duplicate: chess.stackexchange.com/questions/39435/… May 10, 2022 at 5:21
  • 1
    @BrianMcCutchon that answer does not apply here. In that question the player has achieved the minimum of 2300 Elo for a direct GM title. For WCM titles you normally get it by achieving 2000 Elo, or receive it conditionally by tournament result, finalised once you have reached 1800 Elo for the first time, which the person in this question did not do.
    – Anonymous
    May 10, 2022 at 6:41

2 Answers 2


The rules for titles changed on 1 July 2017. Previously, there was no minimum rating needed.

FIDE charges a fee for titles. It's possible that a direct title was earned before that date, but the fee was not paid until 2019.

  • This seems like the most likely scenario I can imagine. She could have won it in a tournament before the rule change, and then just applied for it in 2019. Sep 23, 2022 at 16:23

For candidate masters titles (CM and WCM) there are two ways of getting the title:

  1. Achieve a certain rating (2200 for CM, 2000 for WCM)
  2. Achieve a certain position in an international event (World, intercontinental, continental, Olympiad, etc.). These include events for age categories as low as U7 (under 7), so you can be very weak and still qualify for the title. After a rule change in 2017, for this scenario you must also achieve a certain lower rating (2000 for CM, 1800 for WCM).

You do not need both.

Try this - go to the FIDE rating advanced search page and select

  1. Title = WCandidate Master
  2. Sort by = Rating, ascending

You will get this page which currently shows two WCMs with no rating and the next player, who received the WCM title in 2017, with a rating of 1015. Due to the 2017 rule change, these WCMs must have won their title in a tournament prior to July 1, 2017.

There are currently 796 WCMs and the advanced search spreads them out over 8 pages, so 100 players per page. The highest rated player on the first page is rated 1396.


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