Titles of chess players in China
Chess in China is governed by Chinese Chess Association (CCA, 中国国际象棋协会), which is under the supervision and management of General Administration of Sport, People's Republic of China (GAS, 国家体育总局). CCA joined FIDE in 1975, is now a member federation of FIDE. FIDE Zone 3.5 is composed only by China.
CCA issues titles for chess players in China, while all chess players could apply for FIDE titles such as GMs, IMs, FMs, CMs and all women titles. CCA issues 16 titles and 1 honorary title (CCA Honorary Master, 荣誉棋协大师), 5 in the 16 titles (Class 11 to 15) are informal titles with no certificates, these low level titles are awarded to students by their coach. Other titles are formal (amateur) titles for Chinese chess players, while GAS issues titles for "professional" chess players.
Formal (amateur) titles from CCA includes CCA Master (棋协大师), Candidate CCA Master (候补棋协大师), CCA Class A to J (一级——十级棋士). CCA regularly holds titles tournaments around China, all registered players are divided into different groups according to their titles. Those who got enough points in the group will be awarded a highter title, e.g. a Class A player got 7 points in a 9-round tournament will be awarded Candidate CCA Master (65% points needed), if he/she got 8 points in the same tournament, he/she will be a new CCA Master (80% points needed). Most youth matches in China are also awarded with CCA titles, best players in youth tournaments older than 12 could be awarded CCA Master, and those younger will be awarded with lower titles.
Theoretically, all CCA titles are awarded to amateur players, those who represents China in international matches are all professional players registered in GAS. They have another system of titles, same as most of Chinese athletes.
GAS titles include, International Master of Sport(国际级运动健将), Master of Sport(运动健将), Class 1 Athlete(一级运动员), Class 2 Athlete(二级运动员), Class 3 Athlete(三级运动员). All Class 1 Athletes would be awarded the title of CCA Master if they applies, and all Class 2 Athletes would be awarded Candidate CCA Master. However, all GAS titles are awarded in national events or international events (including World Championship, World Cup, Chess Olympiad, World University Games, Asian Games, Asian Indoor Games, National Intellectual Games, National Championship, National Junior Championship), while regular CCA events only award CCA titles. CCA events are not FIDE-rated.
So a young chess player in China always plays in CCA amateur matches first, after he/she got the title of CCA Master or Candidate CCA Master. At this time, he/she will be selected to be a member of Municipal Chess Team, and participate in provincial professional matches (and get Class 3 title if had good performance). The best players will be selected to Provincial Chess Team, and participate in National Championship or National Junior Championship (Team Championship included). The best 24 players in National Championship, the members of best 6 teams (only those who took part in at least 40% matches of the team) in National Team Championship, the best 3 in National Junior Championship, the members of winner and runner-up teams in National Junior Team Championship (only those who took part in at least 40% matches of the team) will be awarded Master of Sport. Others will be awarded lower titles.
The National Chess Team (Team One, Team Two and Junior Team, Women's Team also included) will select best players based on performance in national tournaments, almost all players representing China in international matches are selected from the national team. After a player is chosen by national team, he will fight for FIDE titles instead of domestic titles.