In Chess, a Woman Grandmaster (WGM) is the title awarded by FIDE to female players that achieve a greater than 2400 Elo performance against opponents with average rating greater than a 2180 Elo.
Women have always been fighting to be accepted and recognized in society. Before, women are expected to stay at home, give birth, and take care of the children and the house. As time passed, women proved they could do many things other than stay at home. They can do what men are capable of and perform better in some aspects. Slowly, they started streamlining until they conquered society’s negative view. Women continue to excel in different fields, whether education, science, business, or even sport.
One of the famous sports where women can participate in chess. In context, chess is a board game played initially by royalty. As it spread throughout the times, more and more people were given access to the game and grew to be one of the greatest games ever played by man, or woman. It can be played by two opposing players or through exhibitions like one player versus multiple players or adding another element like blindfolds and time.
If you’re a female and aim to play chess professionally, you can do so. Suppose your goal is to become the real-life Beth Harmon, a woman chess prodigy from the famous show “The Queen’s Gambit“. In that case, you can participate in professional chess games and become the next Chess Woman Grandmaster.
If you wish to be a woman grandmaster, this guide will help you.
What is the Chess Woman Grandmaster (WGM) title?
A woman grandmaster (WGM) is a title created by the International Chess Federation (FIDE) and given to women with extreme skills and knowledge in playing chess. As the name implies, it is solely awarded to women and is the highest chest ranking in the world. This title is awarded and will remain for the rest of your life.
History of Woman Grandmaster (WGM) title
In 1927, the first-ever Women’s Chess Tournament was organized by International Chess Federation. From then on, almost winners came from countries part of the Soviet Union until the 1990s were participants from China proved that they could be worthy opponents too. In 2010, the federation made some changes and decided to conduct the game yearly.
Woman Grandmaster (WGM) Title Qualifications
To become a woman grandmaster, the International Chess Federation has set some rules, which can be found in the FIDE handbook. There, it is stated that such a title can only be given to a woman if she achieved a rating score of 2300 in 30 games. Furthermore, she must also achieve three international grandmaster norms.
How To Become a Woman Grandmaster
Of course, to become a WGM, you must become a master at chess and then further develop your skills to become even better, reaching higher levels of mastery.
First, you must familiarize the chessboard and its pieces like it’s in the back of your hand. The first step is memorizing the chessboard position, the chess piece names, roles, and moves. Second, learn how to learn. Learning chess is one thing but learning how to learn chess is another. It’s not about simply memorizing the steps but putting yourself in the chess piece’s position and creating the best possible way to win this battle. The third is to become disciplined.
You are disciplined in learning different ways, opening, offense and defense, and tactical strategies in playing. If you genuinely want to be a grandmaster, you do not need only to think of your next move but also the next move of that next move. In short, you must be five or ten steps ahead of your opponent. Fourth is to train and apply what you’ve learned.
Training and participating in mock battles can help you become familiar with your strategies and learn to adapt and adjust. Fifth is to observe other players, especially grandmasters. By observing skillful experts, you can take a lot of learnings from them. Learn to think. As a wannabe grandmaster, you must not think about what you should do but instead think about what a grandmaster should do to win this.
Compete in FIDE Rated Tournaments
The only way to become a grandmaster by joining a tournament is for you to keep winning and reach the qualification point. This may not be easy as you may face more vigorous opponents, but this will help you improve.
Tips to Become a Woman Grandmaster
To say that becoming a grandmaster takes a lot of time and effort would be a massive understatement. If you wish to become one, here are some helpful tips you can use to become a step closer to the pinnacle of chess.
Start Young… Really Young
The first is to start Young. Playing chess takes time, let alone becoming an expert. It is good to start at an early age and incorporate the use of chess during playtime. Although whatever age you are right now, you can still play chess. The only difference is that if you start playing chess at a young age, it’s easy for you to learn as your brain is still developing and a child’s brain during this time is so creative that they can easily create their strategies.
Focus For The Next Decade
The second is focus. Becoming a grandmaster is not like snapping a finger. It takes a long time. Being focused every step of the way and ensuring that your journey in the chess game leans towards your goal. Always remember that focusing on the right process can lead you to achieve the right goal: becoming a grand master.
The third is Practice. Never stop learning. In every practice you do, you face different opponents; thus, this is a learning opportunity to pick up some skills and create a meaningful learning experience. Fourth is to participate in different competitions. Chess competitions are your gate to achieving your goal. During this time, you will be able to face different opponents with different skills and experiences. Having the opportunity to have fun and learn from them can help you shape your skills. Also, many chess experts or recruiters are watching and observing skilled players during these times. Make sure to show your skills as they will also help you achieve your ultimate goal.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long does it need to become a Woman Grandmaster?
Typically, it takes twelve years to fourteen years to become a grandmaster. Time spent will depend on your chess game journey. The more you work with it and improve your skills, the chances you become grandmasters shorter than those years.
2. Do you really need to start young to become excellent at playing chess?
There’s a greater chance for you if you start playing young. Just like Elena Sedina, she started playing at the age of seven. Most of the players she knew started from a young age.
3. How often do you train to become a Woman Grandmaster?
It would be best if you spent a lot of time working and learning chess. It needs a lot of training for you to become excellent at it.