The wikipedia article is a good starting point, but I'm also interested in how the specific regulations have changed over the years.

Currently, 3 norms must be achieved1 in tournaments that adhere to specific guidelines including foreign players, titled players, and a certain performance rating must be attained.

What was the origin of the current rules, and what were the earlier rules?

1. Usually... there are exceptions to this however.

  • I answered but deleted it - I expressed my opinions, only to find they were mirrored in the link you posted. The link's pretty much a full answer.
    – Tony Ennis
    Jun 16, 2012 at 13:29
  • @TonyEnnis I thought your answer was a good summary and added information, you didn't need to delete it!
    – Andrew
    Jun 16, 2012 at 14:50
  • Ok, I put it back; SO retains deleted posts for a while.
    – Tony Ennis
    Jun 16, 2012 at 19:26

1 Answer 1


One way it is evolving is with the informal 'super-GM' title. At one time, there weren't many GMs. Being a GM was being in an elite club. Now there are a lot of GMs and the differences in their strengths are beginning to show. (I'm not talking about a GM's performance degrading due to age...)

From the wiki linked below:

In 1972 there were only 88 GMs with 33 representing the USSR. The current FIDE ratings list includes over 1000 grandmasters.

Perhaps 20 years ago, a GM rated 2600 was a 'super GM'. Now 2700 could well be that mark, with some GMs peaking at 2850 or so.

Also from the article:

December 2008 saw a record number of GMs (1,192) and IMs (2,916) causing some FIDE officials to suggest that FIDE should consider an "elite grandmaster" title.[17] The unofficial title, "Super Grandmaster", is often used by players to refer to those with a 2700+ rating to distinguish the most serious world champion contenders.

Read more here. This article also includes a synopsis of how GM and IM norms are earned, including rules changes by year. It's very interesting.


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