I have been following professional chess for a while and often come across terms like "grandmaster" and "super grandmaster." While I understand that both are titles indicating a high level of skill in chess, I am curious about the specific differences between these two titles.

What are the criteria or achievements that separate a super grandmaster from a grandmaster? Is this distinction official or more informal within the chess community?

  • For context: when FIDE created the title of Grandmaster in 1950, 27 people were awarded Grandmaster. Now there are over 2000 people with the title. Here's a neat chart en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – qwr
    Jan 22 at 1:14

1 Answer 1


"Grandmaster" (GM) is an official FIDE title; "super grandmaster" is not, and is an informal term. It is often used to denote players with FIDE ratings of 2700+ (with this definition, you can view a list of super grandmasters at 2700chess.com), but this is not a hard-and-fast rule. The term seems to have arisen because there are now over two thousand grandmasters worldwide, and many people have a desire to distinguish the "best of the best" from "mere" grandmasters.

For women, there is a separate woman grandmaster (WGM) title available, with different requirements. Generally speaking, it is easier (for a woman) to attain a WGM title than a GM title.

Interestingly, in backgammon, the (relatively recently formed) Backgammon Masters Awarding Body (BMAB) does have an official "super grandmaster" title. When the BMAB was initially formed, "Grandmaster 1" was the highest possible title, but as more and more players achieved that title, they decided to add more titles at the upper end.

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