What are IM and GM titles worth these days?

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Nigel ShortThis week Nigel Short expressed the opinion that we can do away with the IM and IGM titles. Today Susan Polgar asked questions about the FIDE titles too. It's good to have this discussion, because isn't it about time that FIDE does something about the serious devaluation of both its rating and its titel system?

"My personal opinion is to do away with these titles in chess. I know several instances of tournaments being fixed in order to help players attain the required norms and then get the GM titles. There have been instances of players throwing away matches for money to enable their opponents get these titles," Nigel Short said this week to the Indian newspaper The Financial Express. "To me rankings are sufficient to guage a player's worth. There are over 1000 players -- both past and present -- who are holding GM titles. The titles are not the same as they were twenty years ago. In olden days if a person had to get a norm after a 13-round tournament, he or she had to play extremely well throughout, but currently they can play well for nine rounds and play like fools in the last four but still get the norms."

Susan PolgarSusan Polgar also thinks it's too easy to become a grandmaster these days: "Once upon a time, it was very difficult to become a GM. Now, some do not even need to be 2500 or 3 norms to get the title. One does not even need a round robin norm either."

I'm of the opinion that the game of chess could use a new title, that expresses the special class of the players in the top 10. Super grandmaster, or whatever. Although it wouldn't make things more clear of course...

What do you think? Does it mean anything, if you score an IM-norm this week at the Cultural Village Tournament? Can you still be proud, when you become a IGM? And most important: what's the solution to this problem?
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