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What distinguishes IMs and GMs?

  • #21

    It wasn't a good idea to use Carlsen's name to explain some truth. My mistake. I take back the name. And I'm not in a position to tell who could/should be at the top of the chess world. But still I support my claim about IM's and GM's playing power can't be comparable by current conditions.

  • #22

    According to something I read many many moons ago (source?) IMs tend to have full-time jobs or careers away from the chessboard and are, by and large, not full-time chess professionals. Some GMs also have other "jobs" or careers for instance Vidmar and Botvinnik were electrical engineers, and  Tarrasach was a medical doctor but by and large GMs more often tend to be full-time chess professionals with fewer "distractions" to keep them from reaching their full potential.

    See IM Silman's remarks about Deep Thinking and the Differences Between Titled Players for more details by someone who probably has a little more expertise on this subject than most of us


  • #23


    Good post, thanks for the link.

  • #24
    Maradonna wrote:

    I thnk what Miriska is saying is total mince and there seems to be a large degree of attention seeking which I won't feed into.

    But the idea of there being Ims that are better than GMs is interesting.

    I know that Nezmetdinov was considered an amazing tactition and some argued better than Tal. Luckily the two have played games against each other. Here is one where Super Nez gets the better of Tal who he had a life time plus score against. See 3.4 on his wiki page: link below.


    Plenty more in the database if you look.


    "His games reveal the beauty of chess and make you love in chess not so much the points and high placings, but the wonderful harmony and elegance of this particular world." Mikhail Tal

    Sure there and have been outstanding I.M.s ....here we are talking about 24/2500 vs, 27/2800 and that is another level of chess.

  • #25

    While the statement that there's IM's Carlsen can't beat is completely garbage, Miriskra's initial point (titles are awarded based on tournament play, so a very strong player who isn't very active may be stronger than his title or rating would suggest) is true.

    In fact, I can think of a couple of circumstances where you'd expect an IM to beat a GM consistently.

    1:  The IM is an up and coming player who will soon earn the GM title.  Hardly a shock that a future GM might be a better player than a current GM.

    2:  The IM won't EVER earn the GM title because he's a recreational player who doesn't go to enough tournaments to qualify.  But his playing strength is high enough that he COULD be a GM, if he decided to play more.

    3:  IM and GM titles are both for life.  I can't name any off the top of my head, but surely there's a few retired GMs who haven't played serious chess in 30+ years and would get their butts kicked by a modern IM, even if the guy isn't good enough to ever achieve the GM rating himself.

    As for the original question:   Suppose you take 10,000 chess positions, show them to an IM and a GM, and ask both players to break down each position, and ask you to explain everything that's going on.   For around 9950 of them, both player's analysis is going be damned near identical. 

    The real difference comes when you ask them what move they reccomend.  I'm not going to make up numbers here (like I did above).  But even two strong GMs with different styles of play (say Tal and Petrosian) looking at the same position are likely to come up with completely different moves a good portion of the time.

    But once you compare a statistically significant number of moves, a GM will (on average) find moves that are more challenging for his opponent to deal with than an IM will.  Even though they both break down the position the same way and are in agreement with what's going on over the board.

  • #26

    Let's make it happen!

  • #27

    @sisu: Salov quit, because he wanted to play real chess as Fischer wanted also. The story about Salov's quit is long and doesn't fit to this thread. English version of this story almost removed from the net, you can find it in Russian language.

  • #28

    Im going to make a wild guess...hmmm... was it IM Pfren who defeated Carlsen?

  • #29
    miriskra wrote:

    OTB titles are all depend on entering tournaments over and over. GM's are stronger than all IM's is a false conception. I know some IM's even Carlsen can't win a single game. Don't ask me who are these IM's? But if you have spent enough time on this area, you'll verify my claim.


  • #30
    sisu wrote:

    miriskra, so do tell us why Salov quit 

    Salov quit simply because his was too ambitious to accept being just a very good player, and his health too troublesome to allow him the severe stress of top competitive chess. This is the only truth about Salov, the rest is FUD.

  • #31

    I thought he went crazy............

    There is no right answer as to why a GM is better than a IM, it could be done to talent, work ethic or even something like bad nerves.

  • #32

    No, Salov didn't have some sort of pathological madness. He just had/has a pathological murmur (probably from his birthday) which isn't a reason to quit chess completely, but on the other hand does not allow severe stress without your life being endangered. This is known since Salov was a teenager.

  • #33

    I think the differences might be due to many reasons, such as some IMs are (relatively speaking of course) poor with time management (and by "poor" I mean maybe expert or FM level at time management, so their so-called "poor" time management is still better than yours or mine), endgames, converting hard to win won positions, and other knowledge gaps that if fixed will help them make GM.  

    Also, GMs probably chunk far more information.  That is, they remember far more positions (not necessarily exact positions but their individual units such as weak color complex, more active minor piece, etc.) and this is on top of their understanding. 

  • #34
  • #35

    GM Kevin Spraggett once told me that there are many IMs that are GM strength but simply dont put in the work necessary ( for various reasons )  to get the GM title . The late IM Boris Kogan was one IM he mentioned by name that was GM strength but never got the title and I knew Kogan well and played him many times .... 

  • #36
    miriskra wrote:

    Why these angry replies? I can understand your love to Carlsen. Maybe, I shouldn't put his name on my reply. Remove the name and read again. Also this topic can't be understood without chess politics knowledge. The following question is a good start: Why Valery Salov quit?

    I know some people here can understand what I say about the true value of OTB or CC titles. If we are talking about CC titles, we're talking about centaurs, cloud computing power and money. You won't get a CC GM title without a good supercomputer or cloud computing. If we're talking about OTB titles, we should focus on tourney organizers and some match selling frauds. Should I continue?

    What about Salov? He was a Grandmaster.

  • #37

    [COMMENT DELETED] - NimzoRoy already posted the link Embarassed

  • #38

    mhchess13 there are IMs with more than 2400 elo.

    About why some strong IMs never become GMs, you have to remember that in some countries there are no big tournaments, so you can´t get the norms that you need. And if you are poor, you are not going to travel to play to another country.

  • #39
    socialista wrote:

    mhchess13 there are IMs with more than 2400 elo.

    About why some strong IMs never become GMs, you have to remember that in some countries there are no big tournaments, so you can´t get the norms that you need. And if you are poor, you are not going to travel to play to another country.

    You are correct money has a lot to do with it if you can't afford to play in the big tournaments that offer norms you may be as strong as an IM or GM but it will be very hard for you to get the title

  • #40

    Plus you have a lot of "has been" GMs like Bisguire, Benko and Denker who were long past their peaks and struggled to even beat real IMs.  There has been huge inflation in the number of GMs.  There is the super GM category where you have people who have attained true mastery of the game and routinely play high end chess with minimal errors.  I would also think the amount of brain-numbing work necessary to be a GM, large parts of human potential in other areas are lost or compromised, people ask, "...do you really want to be a quantum nerd like that since the pay is pretty paltry in most cases?" 


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