But maybe not for long. The English Chess Federation have just announced the details of their new Master Points System - I believe previously that a similar but different scheme existed which was then stopped - and more or less anyone can qualify for at least one of their five titles:
Chess Maestro: A player must achieve a grade of at least 70 on any ECF official grading list.The details are here, as well as a list of current title holders, where you can spot a few members of our club and some other familiar names from the London chess scene. So are you tempted, Maestro?
Team Master: A player must achieve a grade of at least 100 on any ECF official grading list.
Club Master: A player must achieve a standard-play A or B grade of at least 130 on an ECF official grading list.
County Master: A player must achieve a standard-play A grade of at least 160 on an ECF official grading list.
Regional Master: A player must achieve a standard play A grade of at least 180 in two successive seasons on ECF official grading lists.