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How Many Chess Grandmasters Are There? (Detailed Guide!)

If you want to know how many chess grandmasters are there, then you are in the right place. I have done complete research to share with you all the information. And without any further delay, let’s start!

How many chess grandmasters are there? The grandmaster title is awarded to the chess players by the International Chess Federation FIDE. As of 14th July 2021, as per the FIDE, there are 1732 chess grandmasters whereas the number of active chess grandmasters is 1357.

I have a detailed guide on How To Become A Chess Grandmaster. So if interested, I highly recommend you to check that out.

How many female grandmasters are there?

As of 14th July 2021, as per the FIDE, there are 38 female grandmasters. However, the number of active female chess grandmasters is 29. Also, there are 319 chess players with the Women Chess Grandmaster Title which is different from the Grandmaster Title. The number of active chess players with the Women Chess Grandmaster Title is 202.

Yes, I know you might be confused. Don’t worry, I’m going to explain the difference between the grandmaster title (GM) and the Woman Grandmaster Title (WGM).

So here’s the thing.

Apart from World Champion, Grandmaster (GM) is the highest title a player can achieve in chess.

Whereas, Women Chess Grandmaster is a title that is only restricted to women. As per Wikipedia, the requirements for achieving the Woman Grandmaster Title (WGM) is less than those International Master (IM) but higher than those for FIDE Master (FM).

How I collected the data of number of grandmasters?

Here’s how I collected the data of the number of grandmasters:

Firstly, I went to the FIDE website on this link, then I filtered the results to show only the grandmaster titled players. In the sort by section, I selected the Rating (FIDE rated only) and the ascending option and did the search. And I got the result 1732.

Also, there is an option to exclude inactive (fide rated only). So I selected it and did the search.

FIDE Advanced Players Search Screenshot

I got the result 1357.

After that, I did a search for the grandmaster titled player filtering only the female chess players and got the result 38. Then, I selected the exclude inactive option and I got the result 29.

Whereas, filtering the search to only show the women chess grandmaster (WGM) I got the result 319. Excluding the inactive players I got the result 202

But do note that all this data is based on the date I’m writing this article which is 14th July 2021. So the data may change later on. Therefore check the official FIDE website for the latest updates.

Numberof GMs1732
Number of Active GMs1357
Number of Female GMs38
Number of Active Female GMs29
Number of WGMs319
Number of Active WGMs202
Based on the data from FIDE website collected on 14th July 2021

Which country has the most grandmasters?

Russia is the country with the most chess grandmasters. As of 14th July 2021, according to FIDE, Russia has a total of 256 grandmasters. After Russia, United States comes second with 101 grandmasters and Germany third with 96 grandmasters.

1.Russia256 GMs
2.United States101 GMs
3.Germany96 GMs

Note: The numbers may change so make sure to check out the latest updates on the FIDE Website here.

Who is the youngest chess grandmaster?

Abhimanyu Mishra is the youngest chess grandmaster in the world as of 14th July 2021. He achieved this title at 12 years 4 months and 25 days.

So until now, I talked with you about the Grandmaster. But do you know about Supergrandmasters! 🙂

What is Super Grandmaster?

As the name itself suggests super grandmasters refer to the world’s top-level chess players. Although this is an informal term, it refers to the chess players with an Elo rating of over 2700.

Super grandmasters are serious contenders for the World Championship.

How many Super Grandmasters are there?

As per the July 2021 Top 100 Players FIDE Rating list, there is a total of 38 chess players with rating of over 2700. So as of July 2021, there is a total of 38 Super Grandmasters.

One thing to note that the number of super grandmasters may change as it depends on how many chess players have over 2700 rating. So make sure you keep an eye on the latest FIDE Ratings here.

Can you lose Grandmaster Title?

Yes, a player can lose the Grandmaster title if found using the FIDE Title and rating to subvert the ethical principles of the Title and the rating system. Also, if the player is found violating the anti-cheating regulations in a tournament on which the title application was based.

Generally, the Grandmaster title is valid for life but in the above cases, FIDE regulations allow a title to be revoked.

Here are some of the examples of chess players whose titles have been revoked.

Chess players whose grandmaster title has been revoked

Gaioz Nigalidze 

Gaioz Nigalidze is a chess player from Georgia. In 2009, he was awarded the International Master Title by the FIDE. And in 2014, he was also awarded the Grandmaster title.

However, in 2015 his Grandmaster title was revoked for cheating using the electronic devices hidden in a bathroom.

Igors Rausis

Igors Rausis is another chess player whose Grandmaster title is revoked. He was awarded the GM title in 1992 by the FIDE.

However, in July 2019, in a Strasbourg tournament, he was caught cheating. The FIDE Ethics Commission stripped him of his GM Title and also gave him a 6-year ban.


So I hope now you know how many chess grandmasters are there. Please do share this article if you found it helpful. Thanks!

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