About Natalia
Our Team
Chess Links
Play Chess
Pogonina's Chess Shop
Contact Us


 Follow Natalia on Twitter:

Please help Natalia promote chess by making a donation:


Link to

Play chess at ChessOk Biggest Online Chess Games Database

Check for Japanese bitcoin casinos.

Here you can find Swedish sites without license, Spelkonto utan licens.

Find new casinos at the brand new Online Casinos XYZ site with reviews and ratings of the best gambling sites for UK players.

Play the popular King Kong Cash slot machine at Slot Strike, the new slot site for UK players.

Grab the chance to win big with a high RTP on the goonies slot progressive jackpot. - made an easier way to find Skrill casinos lists the best online casinos for Finnish gamblers. For more information visit:  

Sweden is now a regulated market, which means that as a player you can only play at casinos with a license. See all regulated
casinos in Sweden by Mr casinova.

To find the best casino in Norway take look at
norske casino at CasinoPiloten.

Find the best Norwegian casinobonus at

Get exclusive access to a
huge range of free spins & no deposit casino offers with Spin Bonus.

Try the exhilarating new 20p Roulette game.
Play it online at thecasinodb and find casinos to play for real money.

Get the best casino bonus information with Casino Gorilla.

Chess games at Gametop For you that want to find online casino strategies, guides and a good casino bonus!


What's your FIDE rating?

What should Natalia do to make more interesting for you?

Who is your favorite active top player?

Poker or chess: what do you like more?

What's the largest monetary chess prize you ever won?

How much time per day do you spend on chess-related activities?

Do you have a special chess mascot (pen, badge, toy, etc.)?

Which time control do you prefer for over-the-board tournaments?

The strongest women's chess team in the world is

What is the strongest national chess team in the world?

Will Magnus Carlsen's rating reach FIDE 2900?

Do you think you can become a GM?

Should the grandmaster title be scrapped?

User Rating: / 15
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 07 October 2013
By GM Daniel Gormally

Bookmark and Share

Carlsen and Gormally- spot the difference?

Looking through the top of the FIDE rating list makes depressing reading when you're a lowly grandmaster like me.

But not if you're a Magnus Carlsen fan. He stands alone, supreme, at a staggering, scarcely believable 2870, which means he's an incredible 74 points above his nearest rival, Vladimir Kramnik, the world number two.

It's even more mind boggling perhaps, when you consider the gap between Carlsen to me, ranked a puny 886th in the world. I'm currently rated at 2504, which means there's a yawning, Himalayan 366 points between me and Carlsen.

If you look at it from another perspective, that means there's the same difference in strength between me and Carlsen, as there is between me and someone ranked 2138.

Now you might find this rather rude if you are indeed ranked in the 2100s, but I don't consider players of this level very strong. In fact most other players of my level tend to refer to these kind of players as "fish" and "patzers" (not that I would ever be so rude of course.) and complain wholeheartedly if any of our colleagues are lucky enough to paired against such opposition in tournaments when we are competing together.

Of course again I apologise if you are indeed ranked 2138 and you are offended by this. But the reality is, that although we might drop the odd draw to you every now and again and even the occasional loss, we see you as being a weak chess player.

So using the same logic, Carlsen must surely regard me as being an extremely weak chess player as well. If he was ever unfortunate enough to be paired with me in a tournament, he would no doubt think "easy day for me today, got some fish called Gormally." Which begs the question, why should I be ranked the same as Carlsen?

After all we both hold the same title, but are competing on completely different levels. I think the solution to this is rather simple- FIDE should scrap the Grandmaster title altogether. I would go even further, scrap all titles down to FM, and the same with the women's titles as well.

I think the problem is it's become too saturated, too watered down. There are simply far too many Grandmasters and people in general with titles. Most of which have as much in common chess-wise, with Carlsen, as the guy booting the football around in the local park has with Lionel Messi.

We already have a perfectly adequate rating system, which is in fact better than ranking systems in most sports, for reflecting the strength of players. The Elo system has been in place for many years, and despite it's faults, on the whole does a pretty good job. In fact ELO ratings for me are far more indicative of someone's strength than titles are.

The situation often exists in chess were you  have an International master ranked 2550 getting worse conditions than a Grandmaster who's day has gone and is down at 2400, or even lower. Is that fair? I don't think so. You could make the argument that Grandmasters have worked to gain their title, and had to do so in several tournaments. To gain the Grandmaster title you have to achieve three norms, not an easy task.

It certainly wasn't for me, in fact I struggled heroically for my Grandmaster title, after a notorious period where I missed several norms by half a point. But I got the title, did it really change much? ot really. I'd already been 2500 strength for years. If anything it destroyed my motivation as I had nothing to strive for anymore, other than the existential desire to gain rating points.

If sports like Golf and Tennis don't have titles, why should we? You don't call Rafael Nadal "Rafael Nadal, Grandmaster" because he doesn't need it. His name speaks for itself, just as it would (or already does) for Carlsen. So this begs the point of what the Grandmaster title is even for.

There was a time of course when the Grandmaster title stood for something, it was something worth gaining. Not anymore, and the situation will only get worse. I can see 10,000 grandmasters in the near future. That's far too many. (1417 as of now -

The other argument is to create something like a "Super Grandmaster title" with a cut-off point, of say 2700. The problem is that will only delay the inevitable, as with the march of time, this will surely become saturated as well, as we will be talking about far too many "Super Grandmasters"

And the dreary and self-contradicting words "Weak Super Grandmaster" will become commonplace.

No there's only one real solution- scrap the Grandmaster title, and all other titles with it.

GM Daniel Gormally is open for chess lessons. You can contact him using this This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Other posts by GM Danny Gormally:

ECF Book of the Year?
Is being a chess pro worth it - continued?
Is being a chess pro worth it?
An Elitist Game?
Does hard work in chess pay off?
World Cup Final preview
World Chess Cup Semi-Final preview
World Chess Cup Quarter-Final preview
World Chess Cup 1/8-final preview
Why are Russians so good at chess?
British Champs-2013
Ghent and now the British
I'll never be fat again!
Lessons learnt!
The sad case of Borislav Ivanov: Part II
Does Anyone Have a Cure for Anger Problems?
The Depth of Chess
Fundraising in chess
Nurturing a Chess Prodigy
The Sad Case of Borislav Ivanov
4NCL Impressions: no country for old men - Part II
4NCL Impressions: no country for old men
One move, one line - Part II
One move, one line
Candidates Final Review & Preview of Upcoming World Championship Match
Would Carlsen have beaten Capablanca?

Bookmark and Share

Comments (7)
1. Written by Old GM on 12:43 07 2013 .
You are a young man, so you obviously have no idea what it feels like to see your playing strength decline. Let's see what you will be saying when you drop to 2400 yourself and some 20-year old no-name bloke (with no international experience) rated 2550 will be getting better conditions than you. Also more offers to release DVDs & books and so on. Will you still be hanging on to this idea then?
2. Written by Natalia on 12:52 07 2013 .
No problem
I don't think there is a problem. There are three ascending levels of recognition (for living players): 
a) title-holders (including GMs) 
b) winners of prestigious international tournaments 
c) players who are distinguished and popular enough to be recognized by their last names. 
Carlsen belongs to the third group, so I don't see why he would be concerned about someone from group A having the same chess title as him. It doesn't diminish his status in any way, but it does give you certain benefits in the eyes of the general public ("wow, he's a GM!").
3. Written by Peter on 13:15 07 2013 .
Serious or not?
Thanks a lot for this post. It's a popular discussion topic on any chess message board. A few remarks: 
1) There are millions of PhDs and professors in the world. Having such a degree is only an indication of having achieved a certain respectable qualification at one point of ones life. It has nothing to do with being one of the best scientists in the world.  
As the level of play increases, more and more players gain the GM title. However, the ratio of GMs/entire player base is shrinking, so there is nothing menacing about it.  
2) Amateurs often define GM as "world championship candidate". Meanwhile, if we forget about that concept and use the term GM in the meaning of "highly proficient chess player", then it works just fine. 
3) Re weak super GM agree. Btw, this term exists already. Super GM typically stands for someone rated over 2700. GMs in their low 2700s dont get invited to the elite round robins. Hence, a new term is being coined elite GM. Kramnik, for example, uses it to refer to people in the top-10 whom he gets to play on a regular basis. I doubt there is any sense in introducing new titles.  
4) Ratings (calculated automatically) are easier to falsify than titles (awarded by FIDE title commission). Of course, there were many cases of people purchasing both ratings and titles on the black market, but some of those misdoings got exposed after the guys applied for their titles. If all they wanted was a rating, they probably wouldnt get caught. Who cares if another 2300/2400/2500 player appears on the rating list? Ok, at least I am talking about Russia. In some less prominent chess countries having a 2400 rating IS a big deal.
4. Written by Carlsen #1 Fan on 14:26 07 2013 .
Daniel has a secret affection for Magnus. He mentions him in vritually every post! :grin
5. Written by This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it on 15:05 07 2013 .
I think that the title of GM or even IM is important to give honour to the players who contributed to the chess world, even when they are old, weaker and above all even if they haven't played for the world chess championship; Carlsen and Kasparov would have been nobody without millions of chess amateur players
6. Written by This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it on 13:06 19 2013 .
i don't know much about what happens when you are at the top but for us, the kids.. we don't dream of one day being world champion(I'm 16 so I'm fairly reasonable).. We dream of rising through the ranks step by step and possibly one day to GM. if we become GM, then may be we'll think about increasing our rating to 2600, then 2700 and finally world championship contender.. The titles are what keeps us, the kids, the future of the game motivated! 
Everyone knows Nadal,Federer and the elite but when we look at their opponents in the early rounds, we go like "Dude, that guy's ranked 160!", ignoring the fact how great a personal achievement it is for them to be among a few of the world's finest. Carlsen or Anand vs You we might go as "Ok his rating is substantially low but he's still a GM. May be he will get a draw.." GM is a title and this title gives you respect. Ratings can sometimes be depressing especially when you lose to a lowly rated prodigy or something and your rating slumps. With titles, it gives a sense of stability! 
And in case of aged GMs, I like to make a case that titles do not reflect your instataneous strenght as of now but your achievement and contributions to the game! May be an old legend will not be able to go through a thousand possible lines upto the zillionth move, but considering the ideas, I beleive a 2400 rated veteran is much better a strategist and a tactician than someone with a stable 2500 rating. May be it does not reflect in his games anymore, but it still deserves to be respected!
7. Written by This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it on 07:57 06 2013 .
i love chess but i have not played a single tournament. i played against program rated 2700 or even 3100 (i want to beat these programs to prove my self but i could not)but not against a human being in a real tournament. i also dream of becoming a grand master not for pride but for simply the love of the game, but most of all to see that i can get my self that far.

Write Comment
BBCode:Web AddressEmail AddressBold TextItalic TextUnderlined TextQuoteCodeOpen ListList ItemClose List

Code:* Code

Last Updated ( Monday, 07 October 2013 )
< Prev   Next >