Before the international establishment of the ELO system of evaluation, the main way in which checkers were graded was through the national and international titles. In Greece, someone starts from the basic grade and then moves on to the following categories (in order D, C, B and finally A). After the categories, a checker can acquire one of the following titles: Candidate Master (CM), Federal Master (FM) and National Master (NM – highest Greek title). The international titles awarded by the F.I.D.E. are Master FIDE (FM –FIDE Master), the International Master (IM –International Master) and the Grandmaster (GM –Grandmaster), which is also the highest international title.
Contrary to the ELO degree that fluctuates depending on the performance, chess titles are for life. Consequently, they describe the performance level at a certain time, but not necessarily the present capacity. Moreover, F.I.D.E. has established special titles for women: Master FIDE of women (WFM), International Master of Women (WIM) and Grandmaster of Women (WGM).