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Chess is a popular game. Loved and played by many people in the world, some play it at leisure, some for fun and there are people who take it a notch above by playing at the professional level.

In the professional circuit, the most hallowed type is that of a grandmaster. Earning the title of a grandmaster is no walk in the park. Many people work very hard on their game, but their Elo ratings stagnate. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication in order to get a chess title.

If you are serious about becoming a professional chess player, do check out Square Off Pro, which is a tournament sized e-chessboard. You could carry it with you anywhere and it will also help to analyse your game and make it better.

How many grandmasters are there?

It is estimated that there are about 800 million chess players in the world and only a minuscule amount of them are grandmasters. There are 1773 grandmasters as per FIDE and most of them are from Russia, followed by the USA, China and India in that order.

The title of grandmaster is awarded to chess players by the world chess governing body, FIDE. Apart from becoming World Chess Champion, being a Grandmaster is the highest title a chess player can reach. Once a player becomes a grandmaster, the title is held for life. 

While both Women and Men can become Grandmasters, there are also exclusive titles designated only for Women.

The youngest chess grandmaster today is Abhimanyu Mishra from New Jersey. At 12 years and 4 months, he beat the record previously held by Sergey Karjakin for 19 years by a slender margin of 3 months.

What is Required to Become a Grandmaster

To achieve the title of a Grandmaster, players usually need to meet certain criteria in internationally rated tournaments. Here are a few of the criteria they need to meet:

  1. The player must have played at least 9 games in the tournament.
  2. The player has to play against at least two players from federations other than his own.
  3. At least 50% of the player’s opponents have to be titled players. On top of that, at least 1/3 (with a minimum of 3 opponents) of the opponents have to be Grandmasters.
  4. The minimum rating of the players’ opponents should be 2,380.
  5. The Performance Rating of the player who wants to achieve the grandmaster norm has to be at least 2600.


It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to become a grandmaster. You need to work on your opening by having numerous variations and also simultaneously working on ending a game.

Having a fighting attitude is the key to becoming a grandmaster. The ability to focus and develop psychological strength to deal with complex situations will go a long way in your journey to become one.

While it is not an easy path, you would need the right tools and guidance to boost your game. Look no further than Square Off Pro, a tournament sized e-chessboard, which is meant to help you train to be the best professional chess player you can be.