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Learn what it takes to become a master of chess. Here’s our take on the chess grandmaster training.

The ‘grandmaster’ or ‘GM’ title is the highest ground a professional chess player can step up to. This, along with other chess titles such as ‘International Master’ or ‘IM’ and ‘Candidate Master’, is conferred by the international chess governing body named the Federation Internationale des Echecs (FIDE).

Per the September 2020 official chess rating list released by FIDE on its website, 1721 grandmasters have made the cut in the sport’s history. Like in any other sport, reaching the highest level of chess takes years of practice and dedication. The game’s grandmasters invest a humongous amount of time, energy and resources to get to that coveted title of the ‘GM’.

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This blog will give you an exact idea of how a chess grandmaster, active in the playing circuit, spends their week polishing their craft. Although not absolute, this exercise will illuminate the intense regimen that any grandmaster must imbibe into their system to stay on top.

Without further delay, let us find out how you can train like a grandmaster for a week. 

Begin by Loving the Game

First and foremost, playing like a grandmaster will require you to genuinely love the game. By loving the daily grind, grandmasters keep learning and improving their game. Since there is no end to learning new tricks and moves, you, too, will practice new techniques every day.

Most grandmasters active today started their chess journey at a very young age. Take, for example, GM Abhimanyu Mishra. He made headlines in 2021 by becoming the youngest chess grandmaster in history, and he achieved this incredible feat at just twelve. In his case, Abhimanyu Mishra began learning to play chess at the tender age of 2 years and eight months.

On a typical day, GM Mishra trains for at least eight hours, and this includes playing lots of chess games and seeking the help of coaches and mentors to sharpen existing skills. In case you are aiming to become the next chess grandmaster, you will also need to adhere to strict disciplinary standards every day.

It is estimated that a chess grandmaster has the knowledge of a minimum of a million chess patterns at their fingertips. Therefore, you will have to train yourself in those same patterns in order to get closer to the GM title.

Create a Proper Plan

It is said that more than working ceaselessly, it is more important to know how to work hard intelligently. The same goes for your chess training; you must chalk out a plan of how your training will take shape.

Playing chess like a grandmaster involves thoughtful planning and implementation. Chess is a game of wits, so it is imperative that you understand how the human brain functions. By inculcating this basic concept into your training, you will find yourself scaling new heights sooner than later.

The various techniques and patterns which all grandmasters memorise can be learnt by beholding the power of repetition. By going through a chess lesson a number of times, you would most definitely internalise the formula once and for all. This is precisely what chess grandmasters have done for a long time. Naturally, when they compete on the floor, the well-memorised moves come forth effortlessly.

By following this process of learning and relearning every new chess approach, you would mimic what every chess grandmaster does in a week. And with the help of AI-powered chess engines, it will undoubtedly become seamless for anyone to train like a grandmaster.

Get Strong with Chess Openings

Once you have set your plans straight, the next step will be to understand why chess openings are crucial in a game. One element connects them all: world champion Magnus Carlsen, the young French-Iranian chess sensation Alireza Firouzja, or Indian chess prodigy. They all vigorously practice chess openings whenever they sit for their training sessions.

You, too, shall get busy with this aspect of the game if you want to see your game develop. Having the knowledge of a plethora of chess openings will arm you with that edge. In competitive chess, good openings can make or break your chances of a win. Hence, a considerable amount of time every day should be spent engaging with this particular area of the game.

Analyse Games Played by Grandmasters

As is often said, if you want to train like a grandmaster, you have to think from their standpoint. It is essential to include sessions in your weeklong training regimen where you will study first-hand the famous games that grandmasters past and present have played.

You will develop your positional strategy, imagination, and tactical brilliance by getting an in-depth knowledge of the celebrated grandmaster games. This is what most grandmasters do on a regular basis during their training periods. Careful analysis of not only the game you have played but also those played by the masters of the game will raise your chess standards convincingly.

So, without further delay, get started on your week of training regimen. Keep in mind that a week’s work will give you an excellent idea of the intense work that grandmasters around the world put into on a day-to-day basis.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How are Chess Titles Awarded?

Chess titles are special awards that chess governing bodies confer upon players for significant achievements in the sport. A chess title is given to a professional when they fulfil specific benchmarks.

Chess titles, once granted, stay with the players for a lifetime, and only under the rarest of rare circumstances can they be revoked.

2. How to Become a Chess Grandmaster?

Many young chess players enter the big league each year to battle for the GM title. From the official standpoint, any budding chess player willing to grab the title of GM must prove their worthiness at the highest level.

FIDE states that a would-be grandmaster should have at least three GM norms under their belt. Next, an Elo chess rating of 2500 is the bare minimum before FIDE considers a candidate for the GM award. To fulfil the GM norm criterion, a prospective candidate should produce an Elo rating of 2600 worth of performance in a FIDE-certified chess tournament. 

Also, the candidate should do the same after competing in at least nine rounds. Finally, half of all the participants in a competition of this kind should be titled, players. Apart from these set standards, any player who wins a world championship is immediately awarded the GM title.  

3. How to Become a Chess Master?

A ‘Chess Master’ title is one of the highest levels a professional chess player can go. To get to the level of a ‘FIDE Master’ or ‘FM’, one has to reach the Elo chess rating of 2300. The title below FM is the ‘Candidate Master’ or ‘CM’.

For this title, a rating of 2200 or above becomes mandatory. FIDE Master and Candidate Master titles are open to both male and female chess players. To attain any of these levels, you must follow the instructions shared in this article and train like a grandmaster.

4. Who is the Most Outstanding Chess Grandmaster of All Time? 

In a discussion involving the most outstanding chess grandmaster, it is difficult to zero in on one particular name. There have been several great chess grandmasters in the game’s modern era. Perhaps the first name that comes to the mind when talking about ‘greatest chess grandmasters’ is that of the American chess legend Bobby Fischer.

Bobby Fischer became the undisputed world chess champion in 1972 after defeating Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union. Fischer’s greatness lies in the fact that he was able to bring down a massively robust Soviet chess juggernaut that was bullying and dominating the world chess circuit in the early and middle decades of the twentieth century.

The second name that comes into the picture is Soviet/Russian GM Garry Kasparov. Kasparov is the youngest undisputed world chess champion in history, and he dominated the chess world for twenty years before retiring in 2005. He was the holder of the highest-ever chess rating of 2851 until future star Magnus Carlsen overtook him.

No discussion about the ‘greatest chess player of all time’ will be complete without mention of the current world chess champion Magnus Carlsen. Carlsen has displayed his superiority in all versions of chess by winning world championships in classical, rapid, as well as blitz chess.

Carlsen is the only man who has surpassed Garry Kasparov’s long-held Elo rating score of 2851. With a rating of 2882, it will not come as a surprise if he goes on to become the first person ever to cross the 2900 threshold.