To become a FIDE Master (FM), a player must achieve a FIDE rating of at least 2300 Elo points in an official FIDE tournament. The player must have also played at least 30 games to qualify.
The FM title is one of the official titles a chess player can receive from the International Chess Federation (FIDE).
It is the third-highest title a player can achieve, coming only after the grandmaster and international master titles.
Once a player gains FM status, they hold it for life unless FIDE revokes it for disciplinary reasons.
However, there are other ways to obtain the FM title for players with a rating of at least 2100 but less than 2300.
Some of these ways include:
- Winning the World Youth Championship in the U14 or U12 category.
- Finishing second or third in the World Youth Championship in the U18 and U16 categories.
- Finishing second or third in a Continental over 50, over 65, under 20, or under 18 championship.
- Scoring 65% or more over at least 9 games at an Olympiad.
- Winning a Continental under 12, under 14, or under 16 championship.
Achieving this title is no small feat. For most casual players, that can take years of competitive play and focused study.
The road is long, but here are the basic steps:
- Play in FIDE-rated tournaments. Only games against other FIDE-rated opponents will count toward your official rating.
- Win more than you lose. Aim for at least a 60% win rate against opponents within 200 points of your rating.
- Beat higher-rated players. Scoring wins against opponents with higher ratings is the fastest way to gain points.
- Draw rarely. While draws don’t hurt your rating, they don’t help either. Play for wins whenever possible.
- Get coaching and study theory. Work with a chess coach and study opening theory, strategy, and game analysis. Stronger skills equal better results.
With enough dedication and persistence, you can achieve the FIDE Master title.
Keep practicing, be patient through losses, and never stop learning.
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