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57 votes

Why wasn’t Rashid Nezhmetdinov a grandmaster?

Rashid Nezhmetdinov, aka “Super Nezh”, was clearly GM strength, having a plus score in the 20 games he played against World Champions, including a plus score against his friend, Tal. He was also a ...
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30 votes

Why is Jovanka Houska introduced as a WGM when she holds the more prestigious IM title?

I think an important aspect to consider is the audience of the show. For the Champions Chess Tour, chess24 has two English language shows; one with Houska and David Howell targeted to a more casual ...
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  • 5,646
28 votes
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What is the average age to become a grandmaster?

Brilliant little data mining project! I used the wiki list of GMs and wrote a quick and dirty script to extract the data. Feel free to use and expand/alter it, if you are interested. As it turns out,...
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  • 3,632
19 votes
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In the USA, if you achieve a USCF rating of 2200 and gain the National Master title, what happens if your rating then goes below 2200?

There are actually three different distinctions in the USCF system that have to do with a 2200 rating. First is the National Master title. It is awarded to anyone who has ever had an established (not ...
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  • 7,408
16 votes
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Which titled players (IM or GM) have also been successful politicians?

Dana Reizniece-Ozola holds the title of Woman Grandmaster (2001) and is a politician who served as Minister of Economics (2014–2016) and Minister of Finance (2016–2019) of the Republic of Latvia. In ...
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  • 5,468
16 votes
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Who were the first GMs, and how did they become GMs?

In order to qualify for the title of Grandmaster, a player must achieve three Grandmaster norms. That is not accurate. The regulations for the award of FIDE titles are given here. There are two ...
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  • 77.4k
15 votes

What stops me from pumping up my rating by playing a 200 game match against a much weaker (>400 point difference) player?

Yes, it is possible. And it has been done. At the highest level such practice would be frowned upon, to say the least, and would only be harmful for the grandmaster gaining valueless rating points ...
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  • 12.9k
14 votes
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What stops me from pumping up my rating by playing a 200 game match against a much weaker (>400 point difference) player?

Tournaments Not all games affect the rating. FIDE rating is about games in FIDE-sanctioned tournaments pre-registered by the federation in whose territory it is held. In addition, they (FIDE ...
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  • 310
14 votes
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Can a Chess Federation lower their NM title standard so people can get the benefits of it?

It is worth looking at what chess.com say on the subject. First, regarding free membership: First of all, if you hold a qualifying title (see list below), you get a lifetime Diamond membership for ...
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  • 77.4k
11 votes

How respectable is the CM title?

There are, of course, some players who have been given the title in perfectly "respectable" circumstances like reaching a certain rating or reaching 50% in an Olympiad. However, try this. Go to the ...
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  • 77.4k
11 votes
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Why are the requirements for becoming a GM so complicated?

If the aim is to award the title only to world class players, I can think of some much easier system to select them, e.g. you must have been rated in the top 100 of the world at one point. This would ...
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  • 77.4k
11 votes
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Difference between a grandmaster and an international master?

What are the criteria that differentiate a chess grandmaster from a chess international master? The current FIDE rules regarding the awarding of international titles are described in FIDE Title ...
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  • 77.4k
11 votes

What stops me from pumping up my rating by playing a 200 game match against a much weaker (>400 point difference) player?

This was done by Claude Bloodgood, a chess enthusiast who spent most of his life in prison. In the 90s he regularly played games against other prisoners; since he was a fairly good chess player and ...
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  • 211
10 votes

Have there been any titled North Korean players?

I tried searching for players by countries in ratings.fide.com's advanced search feature but i couldn't seem to find the north korea country there After some research, I found this player: Roza ...
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10 votes

What stops me from pumping up my rating by playing a 200 game match against a much weaker (>400 point difference) player?

FIDE ratings are governed by the FIDE Qualification Commission. It is their job to oversee and scrutinise matters relating to titles and ratings. Normally for ratings these things work in an automated,...
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  • 77.4k
9 votes

Which countries are easiest to gain rating points and earn FIDE titles in?

Rating is a lagging indicator. That is, it gives an estimate of playing strength in the past. Therefore by definition players who are improving are underrated and players who are declining in strength ...
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  • 77.4k
9 votes
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Is it possible to achieve a title in online games?

Is there any title it's possible to achieve partially or completely via online play? Yes, there are. FIDE has their own online platform and offer FIDE titles for achievements on their online Arena. ...
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  • 77.4k
9 votes

Is there such a thing as a criterion-based diploma or certification in chess skills?

The short answer is "No". The kind of certification you describe serves three purposes: It serves as a gate for a job. For instance in the UK police and nursing are graduate only ...
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  • 77.4k
8 votes
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Expert vs. Candidate Master?

The USCF has two independent systems for naming players' levels: 1) Rating-based: Senior Master (2400+), National Master (2200-2399), Expert (2000-2199), Class A (1800-1999), Class B (1600-1799), etc....
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  • 14.5k
8 votes

Which late starters have been able to become grandmasters?

Oscar Shapiro was the oldest player to become a master. He did it at the age of 74. Wilhelm Steinitz was the oldest world chess champion. He won the title from Zuckertort in 1886 at the age of 50 and ...
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  • 1,775
8 votes

Which countries are easiest to gain rating points and earn FIDE titles in?

In general, countries with many tournaments but not a super strong "chess culture". I think China and Iran tend to not have so many tournaments (if I recall correctly), which explains why their ...
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8 votes
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How many grandmasters have been stripped of their titles?

After doing some checking, it seems that this is a relatively new phenomenon. Before the advent of technology, and strong chess playing programs on smartphones, it does not appear that any GMs had ...
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  • 32.1k
8 votes
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Why do women have a lower Elo requirement to obtaining (women) FIDE titles?

I think WFM Rodrigo is correct when she says that the reasons are statistical and that having fewer female players means having far fewer players at the top. If you assume that males and females have ...
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  • 77.4k
8 votes

Why is Jovanka Houska introduced as a WGM when she holds the more prestigious IM title?

according to Wikipedia she also holds the more prestigious international master title It's perhaps worth starting by identifying the difference between an IM and WGM title. According to the latest ...
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  • 77.4k
7 votes
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Who is the oldest person to become a GM via norms and hitting 2500 in rating?

The oldest player for whom I can find supporting evidence is Nikolai Shalnev who was 57 when he got his third GM norm in the Spring 2001 tournament in Odessa at which point his FIDE rating was 2550. ...
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  • 77.4k
7 votes
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To earn a direct title for coming first in an official FIDE tournament, do we include players who already have that title?

Yes, we include all the players who participated in the event. If you finish second after WGM Ryjanova, you will receive a norm but not the title. If you finish fourth, you receive neither, regardless ...
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  • 12.9k
7 votes

Does FIDE give titles to chess composers?

They used to, but now the titling process is handled by the World Federation for Chess Composition. Here's a link to some of the titles: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
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7 votes

Why do women have a lower Elo requirement to obtaining (women) FIDE titles?

Note: This addresses the previous revision of the question w/c said 'Women need less ELO to obtain the same title than men.' It's not the same title. Women Grandmaster (WGM) for example is clearly ...
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  • 22k
7 votes
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Chess players with FM, IM or GM, starting career after 40?

Here are the list when they get their title after 40 years old. Download the fide rating file Get the player id Scrape fide website profile page using id to get the year the title was awarded. If ...
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  • 2,545
6 votes

Does FIDE give titles to chess composers?

The answer used to be Yes, via the Permanent Commission for Chess Compositions; in 2010 the Commission became the independent World Federation for Chess Composition, but "both organisations are ...
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