Chess players are given a chess rating to gauge how strong they are at chess. The standard rating system used in chess is called Elo ratings named after Arpad Elo. A related system is used in tennis, football and many other sports.

Elo ratings are based on the results of games and ratings of opponents played. The Elo rating system ranges from 1000 Elo (a complete novice) to 2800 Elo and beyond for the strongest players of all time.

Were a player A to score two points for every one point of player B, then player A would be expected from this performance to have an Elo rating about 120 Elo points more than player B. As you can see there is a great difference in chess strength as you go up the ratings.

The ratings can be split into the following broad classes:

Class of Player

Rating Range

World Champion

2800+ Elo

World Championship contender

2700-2800 Elo

Super Grandmaster

2600-2700 Elo


2500-2600 Elo

International Master

2400-2500 Elo


2200-2400 Elo


2000-2200 Elo

Class A - Strong club player

1800-2000 Elo

Class B - Club team player

1600-1800 Elo

Class C - Club player

1400-1600 Elo

Class D - Hobby player

1200-1400 Elo

Class E - Beginner/Novice

1000-1200 Elo

Class F - Complete beginner

750-1000 Elo

HIARCS Chess Explorer allows you to set any of these strengths in the play game mode.