What does chess ELO ratings mean?

What does chess ELO ratings mean?

FIDE Chess Ratings

According to Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE, World Chess Federation), the chess ratings are given as:

 2600+ World Championship contenders

 2400–2600 Most Grandmasters (GM) and International Masters (IM)

 2300–2400 FIDE Masters (FM)

 2200–2300 FIDE Candidate Masters (CM), most national masters

 2000–2200 Candidate masters, experts (USA)

 1800–2000 Class A, category 1

 1600–1800 Class B, category 2

 1400–1600 Class C, category 3

 1200–1400 Class D, category 4

 below 1200 Novices

The distribution of FIDE chess ratings

Distribution of FIDE Chess Ratings

USCF Chess Ratings

According to the United States Chess Federation (USCF), the descriptions of the chess ELO ratings are went like this:

Chess Amateur Rankings

 1200-1399 ('D' player): usually a beginner;

 1400-1599 ('C' player): average club or tournament player, most people can achieve this level if they work at it;

 1600-1799 ('B' player): consistently above average;

 1800-1999 ('A' player): strong club player, takes the game far too seriously!, has lots of opening knowledge;

 2000-2199 (Expert): extremely strong, consistent player with the possibility of achieving Master rating, may have real talent;

 2200-2399 (Master): strongest amateur rank, hasn't quite got the hang of things yet but maybe one day he/she will wake up.

Chess International Professional Players Rankings

 2400-2499 (International Master): weakest professional rank; strong, experienced international player, easily wins against master players;

 2500+ (Grandmaster): eats IMs for breakfast, lunch and dinner, a star in the firmament of Caissa, a chess genius who thinks nothing of playing 20 and 30 board simuls against Experts and Masters and is disappointed if he/she doesn't win every game, capable of playing 10-20 blindfold games at the same time, and winning, etc. etc, in short, an all around bricks and mortar, brass bound b*st*rd of a player, but they do lose on occasion, sometimes to players with a much lower rating and computers are better than that these days.

The distribution of USCF chess ratings

Distribution of USCF Chess Ratings

added a year ago

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