Back to the blog

How to become a Grandmaster? – 7 essential qualities for a chess player

Developed chess intuition

All Grandmasters have well developed chess intuition. Sometimes even without analysing a position in depth. A Grandmaster already knows what is happening on the board, which side is winning, and which move each player should make.

Of course, it’s not a 100% reliable analysis that you get if you calculate all variations or plug the position into an engine. Nevertheless, it is an accurate enough estimate that you can use it to make decisions during the game.

One sign that you have good chess intuition is the ability to guess the GM’s moves during a game. This quality is very easy to test. Start watching any high-level chess game and try to guess which moves a particular player will make. If your guessing moves percentage is high, congratulations, you may already have well-developed chess intuition!

Excellent memory for chess positions and patterns

Another important quality is an excellent memory for chess positions and patterns. Many Grandmasters have hundreds – if not thousands, of classical games stored in their head.

The ability to remember positions and games is extremely useful when it comes to preparing an opening, endgame or a typical middle game. Grandmasters remember many classic games where pawn structures, chess endings, tactical motives, weaknesses, attacking schemes all kinds were used.

If you have a good chess memory, you can put yourself one more plus on the “must-have qualities checklist for potential Grandmasters”.

How to become a Grandmaster? - 7 essential qualities for a chess player

The ability to work for hours on chess

Even if you have all the prerequisites to become a Grandmaster, you won’t become one if you don’t spend enough time honing your game. After all, even the most gifted chess players take years to develop their talent.

That is why the ability to work on the quality of your game consistently, without boredom or fatigue, is crucial on the way to becoming a Grandmaster.

A strong competitive spirit

Without competition and the ambition to be the best chess player in a developed sense, there can be no progress. This is the quality that Bobby Fischer and Garry Kasparov, possessed – and they became the most successful players in chess history.

If you want to become a Grandmaster, you will have to compete vigorously. You have to try to win every position against every opponent you encounter. In addition, you must see every defeat as an opportunity to patch up the holes in your preparation, so that you can come back and win.

The ability to stay focused for time long periods

Chess matches can be very long. Any grandmaster has played games that last for 6-7 hours without a break. Such encounters tire us out and exhaust us both mentally and physically. In order to win them you need to keep up your energy and stay focused throughout the game. Any mistake can result in defeat.

If you want to become a grandmaster, you must learn to make the best moves, even when you are tired or completely exhausted. Only then will you start winning against stronger opponents and be able to break the 2500 “barrier”.

The ability to work well under pressure

Fact: Defending in chess is sometimes much harder than attacking. After all, there’s a lot more at stake when it’s your king that’s under pressure. At any moment, you can be mated, and then the game is instantly over. Every chess player, eventually, finds himself in such a terrible position. In addition, it takes real talent and courage not to give up and pull yourself a losing position out.

It is impossible to become a grandmaster without the talent to save seemingly already lost games. You have to learn how to play well under pressure, even when you have bad stuff or are under serious attack. This will eventually earn you many rating points.

Are these qualities enough to become a Grandmaster? It’s impossible to know 100%. Nevertheless, if you have them, and are constantly striving towards your big goal in chess, there is a good chance that you will one day try on the GM title after all.

NOTICE: If you are aiming for a dramatic increase in chess level, you need to work systematically on the game all elements:


  • Positional play
  • Attacking skills
  • Endgame mechanics
  • Classical games analysis
  • Psychological preparation
  • and More

At first glance, it seems like a lot of work. Nevertheless, with my training course, your learning will be easy, efficient and time-efficient.

Read more about my Distance Learning programme:


Do you have questions?
Contact me: