Alexandra Botez is a prominent female chess player born in Dallas, Texas, and grew up in Vancouver, Canada. Additionally, Alexandra secured the championship title for the Canadian National Girls Champion five times. At just fifteen years old, she also became victorious at the US Girls Nationals.
Alexandra’s peak rating was at 2092 last September 2016. To date, Alexandra Botez is not a GM, with her current FIDE rating being 2020 at 2021. Her current title is the Woman FIDE Master that she earned in 2013, given to her by FIDE. In addition, she is currently managing her Twitch and YouTube channels along with her sister, Andrea Botez, entitled BotezLive, where they stream and post chess-related content.
What You Need to Become a Grandmaster (GM)
Becoming a grandmaster or a GM is the highest attainment you can receive from the International Chess Federation. Once you’ve earned this title, it’s yours for life, though FIDE can revoke it on the grounds of cheating.
And of course, becoming a grandmaster in chess isn’t an easy feat. In order to earn this title, you must complete the following two requirements down below:
Earn a FIDE Rating over 2500
There are several other ratings included in the field of chess. But when we’re talking about grandmaster requirements, only the FIDE rating matters.
A FIDE rating is a rating you get as a chess player formulated on your performances in FIDE tournaments. Depending on your performance, you can get a rating of 100, the lowest rating, and 2800, which is the highest rating you can get. FIDE ratings increase in increments of 200 as you go up from Class J (those with a rating of 100 to 200) to Class A (those with a rating of 1800 to 2000).
Score three grandmaster norms
Other than earning yourself a FIDE rating of over 2500, you must also have to get a total of three grandmaster norms. This can be achieved by participating in norm tournaments that contain the following criteria:
- Must have at least three grandmasters coming from different countries
- Must have nine rounds per tournament
- Half of the opponents in the tournament should have titles
- The tournament must have at least 3 GMs
To put it all in a nutshell, you must play a minimum of 27 games and achieve a rating of 2600 throughout those games to become a GM. Overall, being a grandmaster means showing exemplary chess performance and being consistent.
The FIDE rating is based on the Elo rating system. In order to calculate your Elo rating, you can add your opponent’s rating and add 400 for every winning match. On the other hand, you will still add your opponent’s rating for every losing game, but this time, you will have to deduct 400.
Finally, divide your total amount by the total number of games you participated in. There you have it; you now know your Elo rating.
How to Train to Become a Grandmaster in Chess
Having started in chess at just the age of six, Alexandra Botez has gained a lot of achievements throughout her chess career. And if you want to achieve the same feats and go beyond to become a grandmaster, here’s everything you need to do to train yourself to become a chess grandmaster.
1. Stick to a routine
Just like Alexandra Botez, having trained at a young age made her reach the titles and achievements she has today. But this isn’t just because she started learning about chess at a young age. While starting young gives you an early headstart into the game, working hard is still essential in becoming a strong chess player.
For instance, sticking to a strict study routine can help you become better day by day. You can also get yourself a helpful mentor that will guide you throughout your learning process and point out your various strengths and weaknesses in the game.
2. Participate in several tournaments
Competing in several tournaments will help you improve your strategy. By frequently competing in chess tournaments, you can test your knowledge and skills and have the opportunity to compete with different kinds of players. By having access to all of those, you will gain the essential experience you’ll need to become a better player, mainly when you’re aiming for the title of grandmaster.
3. Compete with opponents with higher ratings
Of course, you’ll never improve if you don’t go out of your comfort zone and keep competing with lower-rated players. With that in mind, it’s highly recommended to compete with many higher-rated opponents so that you can continuously hone your chess skills and strategies.
You will definitely lose a lot when competing with these players, but don’t worry. As long as you analyze where you went wrong in the games where you lose, then you’ll come back stronger next time.
4. Study the games of the best chess players
Other than analyzing your own games in various tournaments you’ve been to, it’s also ideal to explore the strategies of the best chess players in history. Besides, learning from the best players themselves will readily give you a better understanding of achieving your goal of becoming a grandmaster.
5. Expand your knowledge in the game
As you get a higher Elo rating, you’ll want to expand your knowledge of the game further. Especially when you’re competing with high-rated opponents, any mistake will significantly cost you in the game. With that, it’s essential to study several theories and strategies that could help you get the upper hand and win your games.
For instance, you may want to gain more knowledge for the opening phase, especially since those in the higher rating are often already well-prepared, even during this phase. Of course, make sure that you don’t only heavily invest in this portion and not leave out other important areas of study.
So, Can Alexandra become a GM?
With Alexandra’s current rating and seeing her prioritizing her social media presence over her chess career, her chances of becoming a candidate for a GM stand close to none. Still, Alexandra Botez’s achievements have shown her expertise in the field of chess. After all, Alexandra Botez is included among the top ten best female Canadian chess players, and her Woman FIDE Master title isn’t an easy feat to achieve either.
In addition, as of writing, her Twitch channel has a total of 992,000 followers, while her YouTube channel has 621,000 subscribers. So, while Alexandra Botez may not have the potential to become a GM, her career as a content creator is undoubtedly on the rise, especially since BotezLive is one of the most popular online channels related to chess content out there.
And overall, earning your way to become a GM in chess is not an easy journey. We’re sure that the 1,948 grandmasters, as of writing, went through a lot of experiences before earning such a prestigious title in their chess careers.