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USCF Rating & Norm Calculator

By: Nathaniel_Fernandes | Posted: July 7, 2021 | Updated: 7/16/2021

I created this tool to estimate your rating! I used the formulas from here for ratings and here for norms. More information coming soon!

What are Titles & Norms?

The US Chess Federation awards players permanent titles to recognize a player for outstanding performances at tournaments. There are 7 official titles you can achieve, as shown in the following table. In order to be awarded a title, you need to earn 5 “norms” for that rating level – norms are basically certification of “a high level of performance in a chess tournament” (as per Wikipedia). In addition to getting 5 norms, you also have to be above the respective rating level to become a Candidate Master, Life Master, or Senior Life Master. (Note: titles are permanent. Even if your rating falls below the threshold, once a “master” you’re always a master.)

For example, say you are working towards becoming a candidate master. You would need to play in 5 tournaments where your game results are sufficiently impressive for a 2000 rated player (i.e. 5 norms) and your rating must be above 2000 (read the official documentation for more details on how “sufficiently impressive” is calculated).

Rating LevelTitleRating Requirement?
12004th CategoryNo
14003rd CategoryNo
16002nd CategoryNo
18001st CategoryNo
2000Candidate MasterYes
2200Life MasterYes
2400Senior Life MasterYes
USCF Titles

Notes about Norms

What tournaments can I earn norms at?

The tournament must be an in-person USCF regular rated event and at least 4 rounds. Moreover, you can’t play the same opponent more than twice. In other words, you cannot earn a norm at an online Blitz, Quick-rated-only, or Correspondence chess event.

Can I earn a norm if I’m unrated?

Yes! You can earn norms even if you are unrated or provisionally rated. However, you must have an established rating in order to earn a title.

Cover Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels


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