Chess Terms
Woman Grandmaster (WGM)

Woman Grandmaster (WGM)

We have all heard the term "grandmaster," but do you know that there is more than one grandmaster title? If you are a woman and an extremely strong player, you can try to earn the woman grandmaster title!

Here is what you need to know about this title:

Who Is A Woman Grandmaster?

The woman grandmaster (abbreviated as WGM) is one of the official titles awarded by the International Chess Federation (FIDE) exclusively to women chess players. It is the highest-ranking title that is exclusive to women, above the woman international master, woman FIDE master, and woman candidate master titles. Like other official FIDE titles, once a player is awarded the WGM title, it is held for life. 

WGMs are highly skilled players who perform at a very high level, and many play on daily! You can watch them play live by going to Live Chess and clicking the "Events" option.

woman grandmaster
Watch WGMs play live on

WGMs also play in many strong tournaments, including online competitions like Titled Tuesday and other special events. In March 2020, WGM Jennifer Shahade played in the Femme Batale event on to raise money for the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

How Do You Attain A Woman Grandmaster Title?

As the name implies, the WGM title is attainable by only women players. They can attain it by achieving a FIDE classical rating of at least 2300 with at least 30 rated games as well as three norms. The title was created in 1976, and it is worth noting that woman players may attain any FIDE title—not woman titles solely.

As of 2020 there are only 458 active WGMs—an incredibly small fraction of the millions of chess players worldwide.woman grandmaster

WGM Jennifer Shahade is a well-known commentator and chess personality. Photo: David Llada.

How To Identify Woman Grandmasters On

It is easy to identify WGMs and other titled players on If a player is titled, then their title is displayed next to their username. You can identify WGMs specifically by a red tag with the initials WGM next to their names.

woman grandmaster
It is easy to identify WGMs on


You now know what the woman grandmaster title is, how to attain it, and how to identify these titled players on Head over to the Live Chess section and watch WGMs play live!

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