Chess Terms
Candidate Master (CM)

Candidate Master (CM)

We have all heard the term "grandmaster," but what does candidate master (CM) mean? How does someone attain this title? Who awards it? Let's answer all of these questions and more.

Here is what you need to know about the CM title: 

Who Is A Candidate Master?

Ranking below the titles of grandmaster, international master, and FIDE master is the CM title. As it suggests, the CM title is awarded to players who are strong candidates for becoming masters. In many ways, the CM title is considered the precursor to the previously mentioned titles—once earned, the title is held for life. It is awarded by the International Chess Federation, FIDE.

CMs are very strong chess players and are usually rated between 2200 and 2299 for classical FIDE ratings. Lots of CMs play on daily, and you can find them playing in Live Chess

CMs compete in many events such as open tournaments, closed norm tournaments, as well as online tournaments like Titled Tuesday

candidate master CM
CMs and other titled players compete in Titled Tuesday tournaments on

How Do You Earn The Candidate Master Title?

The CM title was created in 2002 and, similar to the FIDE master title, does not require norms. The CM title is awarded to players who achieve an established classical FIDE rating of 2200, although the title is also given to players who perform well at continental or national events. As of 2020 there are roughly 1,700 active candidate masters—a small percentage of the millions of chess players worldwide. 

candidate master
CM Gabor Horvath was the February 2020 coach of the month.

How To Identify And Locate Candidate Masters On

It is easy to identify CMs and other titled players on If a player is titled, then their title is displayed next to their username.

As mentioned, you can often find CMs playing in Live Chess and in events like Titled Tuesday. Once in Live Chess, select "Events" below the game console to observe CMs.

Candidate master
Watch CMs play live on!
You can choose a CM you want to watch or follow from the list above. You can find tournament reports that some CMs participate in at


You now know what the CM title is, what it means, and how to attain it. Head over to Live Chess and observe CMs playing right now. Enjoy this new knowledge, and may it be your first step towards a chess title of your own!

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