How To Be A Chess Grandmaster

How To Be A Chess Grandmaster

The title of Grandmaster is the most coveted in the world of chess. To be a chess grandmaster, one must be ready to train with top equipment, devote several hours per day, and compete among the very best internationally.

Players who have achieved this feat are regarded as the best of the best. This is because becoming a grandmaster is no easy feat. There are over 600 million chess players worldwide; however, the total number of grandmasters is less than 2000. This statistic shows just how impressive becoming a chess grandmaster is.

Devote Time to Study Chess

How to be a chess grandmaster
How To Be A Chess Grandmaster: Devote Time To Study Chess

The first and most crucial step in learning how to become a grandmaster is to devote time to the study of chess. The only way a chess player will improve and get to the grandmaster level is by studying and studying hard. An excellent way to learn is to create a chess training plan that involves the study of chess books, videos, and other chess materials.

Develop Your Opening Arsenal

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How To Be A Chess Grandmaster: Develop Your Opening Arsenal

The game of chess is divided into 3 stages, the opening, middlegame, and endgame. The Opening is the first stage of every chess game. It usually begins with the development of chess pieces and ends after castling occurs.

In learning how to be a chess grandmaster, a chess player must have a strong arsenal of openings. This is because the opening is the first phase of a chess game, and when a player starts off the game on the wrong foot, they give their opponent the upper hand, have a hard time getting back into the game, and more often than not, will lose the game.

Therefore, developing a solid opening arsenal is crucial in learning how to be a chess grandmaster.

There is a famous quote by chess legend Rudolph Spielmann where he says, “Play the opening like a book..” This shows that to become a strong player; one must have an excellent understanding of openings.

Work on Your Middlegame Skills

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How To Be A Grandmaster: Work On Your Middlegame Skills

The Middlegame is where the brilliance of any chess player is known. The middlegame usually starts after both players have developed their pieces and put their kings to safety.

Tactics and strategy are crucial to success in the middlegame. Tactics are short-term plans which grant a player an edge over the opponent, while strategy is the long-term plan for how a chess game is going to be played.

After building your opening arsenal, the next step is to work on getting better at the middlegame. You can learn how to improve your middlegame by studying helpful chess materials. You can use useful tools like some AI-powered chess websites to train more effectively.

Improve Your Endgame Skills

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The Endgame

The Endgame is the final part of a chess game. It is usually where the outcome of a game is decided. In the endgame, there is very little margin for error, one wrong move can give an opponent the tempo needed to convert a drawn position into a win.

Therefore, a chess player who wants to be a grandmaster must work to constantly improve their endgame skills. You can improve your endgame skills by studying chess books that focus on endgame improvement.

Obtain a FIDE Membership

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How To Be A Chess Grandmaster: Obtain A FIDE Membership

FIDE (Fédération Internationale des Échecs) is the world governing chess body responsible for granting the grandmaster title.

To obtain a FIDE Membership, a player has to play at least a total of 5 FIDE- approved tournaments and score points against players who already have a FIDE rating.

Participate In Tournaments

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How To Be A Chess Grandmaster: Participate In Tournaments

Chess tournaments are the best avenue for chess players to try out their skills. This is because, in tournaments, you get to go against other chess players and improve your chess abilities. You should participate in both online and physical tournaments.

There, you will meet and play against strong chess players that will help you improve and prepare you for your journey to the summit of the chess world, which is the grandmaster title.

Mind you, it is not enough to simply play in tournaments against good players, but you must also analyze each chess game carefully for quicker improvement on your weaknesses.

Obtain 3 Grandmaster Norms and a 2500 FIDE Rating 

The most significant step to be taken regarding how to be a chess grandmaster is to have an elo rating of at least 2500 at any point in your chess playing career and a Grandmaster Norm.

The FIDE Elo rating is a metric for calculating the strength and skill level of chess players worldwide. The Elo rating is in a sort of leaderboard format. The player with the highest Elo rating is the strongest player in the world.

To obtain an Elo rating, you need to register with FIDE. After getting your Elo rating, you can then start your ascension up the rating ladder by playing and winning in FIDE-approved tournaments.

The rating requirement to become a grandmaster can be fulfilled even if the player starts a tournament rated below 2500 and then reaches or exceeds a 2500 rating during the tournament but eventually concludes the tournament with a rating lower than 2500.

The other primary requirement you must obtain in your grandmaster journey is the grandmaster Norm. A norm is a high level of performance in a chess tournament.

In many cases, a player needs to achieve 3 grandmaster Norms before they are granted the grandmaster title. The requirements before a norm can be received according to the FIDE handbook include:

  • The player’s rating performance at the end of the tournament must be at least 2600.
  • At least 33% of the player’s opponents must be Grandmasters.
  • At least 50% of the player’s opponents must hold a FIDE title.
  • The player’s opponents must have an average rating of at least 2380.
  • The player’s opponents must come from at least 3 different chess federations, which can include the player’s federation.
  • A maximum of 60% of a player’s opponents can come from the player’s federation.
  • A maximum of 66% of a player’s opponents can come from a single federation.

However, a player can still be granted the grandmaster title if they win the Women’s World Championship, the World Junior Championship, or the World Senior Championship.

And there you have it, and now you know how to be a chess grandmaster.

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