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Candidate Master (CM)
The most usual way for a player to qualify for the Candidate Master title is by achieving an Elo rating of 2200 or more. Candidate master ranks below other FIDE titles.
FIDE Master (FM)
FM ranks below the title of International Master but ahead of Candidate Master. The most usual way for a player to qualify for the FIDE Master title is by achieving an Elo ratingof 2300 or more.
FIDE Master titles are also awarded to composers and solvers of chess problems.
International Master (IM)
Normally three norms in international tournaments involving other IMs and Grandmasters are required before FIDE will confer the title on a player. IMs usually have an Elo rating between 2400 and 2500. Sometimes, though, there may be a very strong IM who has not yet become a Grandmaster but has a rating greater than 2500.
The IM title can also be awarded for a few specific performances. For example, under current rules, the runner up at the World Junior Championship will be awarded the IM title if he or she does not already have it.
International Master titles are also awarded to correspondence chessplayers by the International Correspondence Chess Federation (ICCF), and composers and solvers of chess problems.
An International Master is usually in the top 0.25% of all tournament players at the time he or she receives the title.
The title Grandmaster is awarded to outstanding chess players by FIDE. Apart from World Champion, Grandmaster is the highest title a chess player can attain. Once achieved, the title is held for life. In chess literature it is usually abbreviated to GM. The abbreviation IGM for International Grandmaster can also sometimes be found, particularly in older literature. This title can be awarded to the players with an Elo rating greater than 2500.
Players with an Elo rating greater than 2700 are often called Super-GMs. There were 40 players in the November 2010 FIDE ratings list with a rating of at least 2700.Viswanathan Anand, Garry Kasparov, Magnus Carlsen, and Vladimir Kramnik are a few examples of Super-GMs.
Woman Candidate Master (WCM)
Woman Candidate Master is the lowest-ranking title awarded by FIDE. The requirements for the WCM title are easier than those for the lowest-ranking unrestricted title, Candidate Master, as a rating of 2000 is sufficient for the title.
Woman FIDE Master (WFM)
The WFM title is just above Woman Candidate Master in the women-only titles given by FIDE. The minimum rating for receiving this title is 2100 and is lower than that of its unrestricted counterpart, FIDE Master.
Woman International Master (WIM)
Woman International Master is next to the highest ranking title given by FIDE exclusively to women. The WIM title has lower requirements than the unrestricted FIDE Master title.
Woman Grandmaster (WGM)
Woman Grandmaster is the highest-ranking chess title restricted to women aside from Women's World Champion. FIDE introduced the WGM title in 1977, joining the previously introduced lower-ranking title, Woman International Master.
The WGM title represents a level of chess skill significantly lower than that of the unrestricted Grandmaster (GM) title, and in fact WGM requirements are a little bit lower than the requirements for the unrestricted International Master (IM) title as well.