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Chess Titles in Order – GM, IM, WGM, FM, WIM, CM, WFM, WCM

World Chess Federation (FIDE) has approved and granted various chess titles. There are four main categories. I.e., Titles for chess players, Titles for chess trainers, Titles for chess organizers, and Titles for chess arbiters. 

The title is sort of an award. When you get the title in chess, you get recognized as a titled player. However, the most prestigious title is Grandmaster. FIDE also created four titles for women to promote women’s chess. Currently, only 10-15% of women play chess compared to men. This number is even less in some countries. 

In this article, we will see chess titles in order. We will mostly focus on chess players’ titles, but we will also see all other titles briefly. 

Chess Titles in Order

Chess Titles in Order

Grandmaster (GM)

Grandmaster is the highest level chess title one can achieve. Players need to cross 2500 FIDE classical ratings to get the grandmaster title. There is also the term Super Grandmaster which many chess players and news often use. However, Super Grandmaster is not an official title. 

Usually, GMs get free entry and accommodation in almost every tournament in the world. Organizers are willing to offer money to play their tournaments. Grandmaster also charges a decent amount for chess coaching. 

Players can also win this title by winning tournaments, e.g., World Junior Chess Championship, etc. 

The requirement to become Grandmaster

  • Cross 2500 FIDE rating 
  • Achieve 3 Grandmaster Norms 

International Master (IM)

International Master is the 2nd highest title given by World Chess Federation. International Masters gets free entry in almost every tournament. In some tournaments, they also get free stay and meals. 

To become International Master, the following are the criteria to follow

  • Cross 2400 FIDE Classical Rating
  • Achieve 3 International Master norms

Women Grandmaster (WGM)

Women Grandmaster is the 3rd highest title given by FIDE. Women chess players can only achieve this title. Getting this title is far easier than the actual Grandmaster title, as a player just needs to cross the 2300 rating. 

Following are the requirements to become WGM

  • Cross 2300 FIDE Rating
  • Score 3 Women Grandmaster norms

FIDE Master (FM)

FIDE Master is a special title to recognize strong chess players. Those players who cross the 2300 FIDE rating can apply for the FIDE Master title. 

Organizers usually give a discount on entry fees to FIDE Masters. Also, the fide master is counted as a titled player in IM and GM norm regulation.

It is easy to get an FM title as it only requires a rating fulfillment. 

Women International Master (WIM)

Women International Master is, again, especially for women chess players. Getting this title is easy compared to the actual IM title. Here women players only need to cross the 2200 FIDE rating and 3 WIM norms.

WIM usually get similar benefits to IMs 

Candidate Master (CM)

Candidate Master is a special title created to spread more awareness about chess. This title is actually not very useful. Atleast FIDE Master is counted in norm calculations, but Candidate master doesn’t get counted anywhere. 

The player needs to cross the 2200 rating to get the CM title. Anyone can apply for this title by paying a few dollars to the there respective national federation.

Women Fide Master (WFM)

Women Fide Master is a title awarded to women chess players who crosses the 2100 FIDE rating. Any women player can apply to this once they cross this rating.

Women Candidate Master (WCM)

Women Candidate Master is a title awarded to women chess players who crosses the 2000 FIDE rating. Any women player can apply to this once they cross this rating.

There is also a National Master title which is granted by a few nations, e.g., the USA. National Masters usually need to cross the 2200 FIDE rating or National Rating. National Masters gets some country-level benefits. 

Chess Trainer Titles in Order

To recognize the work of chess coaches and trainers, FIDE has come up with a few chess trainee titles, which are as follows. 

FIDE Senior Trainer (FST)

FIDE Senior trainer is the highest level chess trainer title. This title can be achieved by only a few people who worked with elite-level tournaments and helped players win high-level chess championships. This title application process is manual, and very few people can get this title. 

All the below-mentioned titles can be achieved by any chess player who is fulfilling the rating criteria. Also, this title is dependent upon other chess aspects. You can read official FIDE guidelines by clicking here.

  • FIDE Trainer (FT)
  • FIDE Instructor (FI)
  • National Instructor (NI)
  • Instructor (DI)

Chess Arbiter Titles in Order

Chess Arbiter is an integral part of running any chess event. Two types of chess titles are awarded to arbiters: FIDE arbiter and International Arbiter. You can read FIDE’s official guidelines on this page.

International Arbiter (IA)

International Arbiter title can be achieved by doing arbitorship in many chess events. To become IA, you first have to become Fide Arbiter. Arbiters need to score 3 IA norms to get this title. Also, there are grades in the IA title. Grade A is the highest level arbiter. 

Grade A international arbiters work as chief arbiters in many official chess tournaments such as FIDE Olympiad, World Chess Championship, etc. 

FIDE Arbiter (FA)

This is a basic level title awarded by fide to arbiters. This title also requires scoring 3 FA norms. 

Chess Organizer Titles in Order

FIDE International Organizer (FIO)

To recognize fide organizers, FIDE introduced a special title for organizers. There are various requirements to achieve this title. One of the major requirements is that the organizer should have organized International Chess events. 

Is getting a chess title worth it?

Getting Grandmaster and International Master titles is totally worth it. Grandmaster gets next-level respect from all chess players and organizers. Players must spend thousands of hours practicing chess and in tournaments to achieve this success.

All titles get a few notable perks, like special titled accounts on chess.com and on lichess.org. Also, many organizers give discounts on entry fees and stay and food. 

Also, if you are a chess coach, it is easy to get more students if you have a title. 

Fide Trainer and International Arbitor is also great if you don’t want to play chess but do something in chess. To become a FIDE trainer, you need to have a FIDE rating of 2300, but to become IA, you don’t need to have any requirements. 

How to achieve chess norms?

This is a separate big topic. But let’s see the requirements to get IM and GM norms in simple words. There are a lot of factors to achieve norms depending on the number of titled players from different countries, number of chess players in tournaments, no of rounds, etc. 

IM Norm Requirments

  • Performance rating of 2450
  • Should be played atleast 3 IMs or above titles
  • Min average rating of players is 2230

GM Norm Requirments

  • Performance rating of 2600
  • Should be played atleast 3 GMs or above titles
  • Min average rating of players is 2380


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