I have seen people get direct GM titles especially in Zonal tournaments.
Here for an example achieved the GM title after winning the 2016 African Chess Championship.

Wikipedia page for the Grandmaster title states

The Grandmaster title is also automatically conferred, without needing to fulfill the above criteria, when winning the Women's World Championship, the World Junior Championship, or the World Senior Championship, given that the player's peak FIDE rating is at least 2300. Current regulations can be found in the FIDE Handbook.

but this doesn't mention anything about Zonal events.

Is this still the case in 2022. Can someone achieve GM title directly in 2022 and if yes which events?

  • I don't understand your question. Haven't you already answered it with your quote? For instance, a player who wins the world junior championship would achieve the GM title directly. Zonal and interzonal events are no longer things since the 90s. Sep 28, 2022 at 15:42
  • I'm pretty sure zonal tournaments are a thing. That's how some players get into the world cup. For example Bangladesh players
    – cmgchess
    Sep 28, 2022 at 16:38

1 Answer 1


The current FIDE document defining how titles are earned is FIDE Title Regulations effective from 1 January 2022. This is what it says regarding "direct titles":

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.

There are separate tables for direct titles. These notes apply:

1.2.4 erms used in Tables for Direct Titles:

Gold = first after tiebreak

1st equal = best 3 players after tiebreak

norm = 9 games

Continental and Regional = Continental and a maximum 3 regional events per continent, and include Arab Youth.

As above, each Continent is allowed to designate a maximum of 3 regional youth events for direct titles. The Continent must inform QC of any change in the composition of these regions before the beginning of each year.

Sub-Continentals - include Zonals, Sub-Zonals and Arab adult.

Zonals and Sub-Zonals are accepted for direct titles only if they establish qualifiers to the World Cup or World Championship.

These tables are specified in Table for Direct Titles effective from 1 July 2017

In summary these achievements entitle you to a direct title of GM:

World Cup - Reaching last 16
Women's World Cup - winner
World Championships >65 >50, Individual World U20 - Gold (i.e.first after tie-break)
Continental Individual Championships - Gold

In other words, only results which pretty much require you to already be a strong GM.

  • So does the winner of say "Asian Zonal 3.2" gets direct GM title
    – cmgchess
    Sep 28, 2022 at 16:43
  • @cmgchess The system of zonal and then interzonal tournaments to select the candidates for the world championships died several decades ago. Now they are used to select qualifiers for the World Cup. Zonal /= Continental.
    – Brian Towers
    Sep 28, 2022 at 16:57
  • Yeah I was referring to the one where they select players for the world cup. Sorry for the confusion. My question is if an IM won it does he become GM directly
    – cmgchess
    Sep 28, 2022 at 16:58
  • 1
    No! He qualifies for the World Cup. Once he gets to the world cup he then needs to finish in the top 16 to get the title.
    – Brian Towers
    Sep 28, 2022 at 17:01
  • One more question. Will the winner at least get an IM title directly assuming he is untitled/FM
    – cmgchess
    Sep 28, 2022 at 17:04

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