Who is a Chess Grandmaster?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Various titles in Sports

Mains level : NA

India’s teenage chess grandmaster Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa has won praise for a stunning victory over world number one Magnus Carlsen in an online championship.

Why are we reading this?

  • UPSC had asked three questions on sports in CSP 2021. They were based on Laureus World Sports Award, Summer Olympics, and ICC World Test Championship.
  • Try to ace uncertainties. No one can memorize such facts.

Grandmaster: Behind the Title

  • Grandmaster is the highest title or ranking that a chess player can achieve.
  • The Grandmaster title — and other chess titles — is awarded by the International Chess Federation, FIDE (acronym for its French name Fédération Internationale des Échecs).
  • It is the Lausanne-Switzerland-based governing body of the international game.
  • The title is the badge of the game’s super elite, a recognition of the greatest chess talent on the planet, which has been tested and proven against a peer group of other similarly talented players.

Other (lesser) titles

Besides Grandmaster, the Qualification Commission of FIDE recognises and awards seven other titles:

  1. International Master (IM)
  2. FIDE Master (FM)
  3. Candidate Master (CM)
  4. Woman Grandmaster (WGM), Woman International Master (WIM), Woman FIDE Master (WFM), and Woman Candidate Master (WCM) and so on .

Titles are for life

  • All the titles, including that of Grandmaster, are valid for life, unless a player is stripped of the title for a proven offence such as cheating.

Qualifications for Grandmaster

  • The qualifications for Grandmaster were changed several times, including in 1957, 1965, and 1970.
  • Currently, FIDE awards chess’s highest honour to a player who is able to achieve a FIDE Classical or Standard rating of 2,500, plus three Grandmaster norms.
  • Grandmaster norms are defined by a set of complex and rigorous rules regarding tournaments, games, and players, that are set out in the FIDE Title Regulations.
  • The current regulations were approved by the FIDE Council on October 27, 2021, and came into effect on January 1, 2022.
  • Each norm is very difficult to attain.
  • Broadly, a player must have a performance rating of 2,600 or higher in a FIDE tournament that has nine rounds.

Who holds maximum titles?

  • FIDE has so far recognized fewer than 2,000 Grandmasters out of the millions who play the game around the world.
  • A vast majority of Grandmasters have been male. Russia (and the erstwhile USSR) has produced the most Grandmasters in the world, followed by the United States and Germany.

Grandmasters in India

  • India became a chess powerhouse in the 2000s, and now has more than 70 Grandmasters.
  • In 2016, Praggnanandhaa had become the world’s youngest IM at age 10 years, 10 months, and 19 days.

Try this question from CSP 2021:

Q. Consider the following statements in respect of the Laureus World Sports Award which was instituted in the year 2000:

  1. American golfer Tiger Woods was the first winner of this award.
  2. The award was received mostly by ‘Formula One’ players so far.
  3. Roger Federer received this award maximum number of times compared to others.

Which of the above statements are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3


Post your answers here.
Please leave a feedback on thisx


UPSC 2022 countdown has begun! Get your personal guidance plan now! (Click here)

Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
7 months ago
Post your answers here." Read more »