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Tyler1 breaks his chess Elo record, can he become a grandmaster?

Tyler1 and Magnus Carlsen headshots

Tyler “Tyler1” Steinkamp has crossed the threshold into 1900 Elo in only 10 months, but can he officially become a chess grandmaster?

Most people recognize Tyler1 for his over-the-top reactions during League of Legends streams. However, the controversial streamer found a new passion; chess. In 2023, Tyler1 started to take chess seriously, and many expressed doubts about his ceiling. Twitch streamer and chess grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura once claimed Tyler1 would hit a wall at 1700.

In March 2024, Tyler1 obtained a 1700 Elo ranking and has proven Nakamura wrong by moving well past that threshold. Tyler1 broke the barrier again and reached 1800 on April 2024, a month after his supposed 1700 ceiling. In May, he cleared 1900 and now the question is whether Tyler1 has it in him to become a bona fide chess grandmaster.

Tyler1 just reached an Elo ranking of 1900, can he hit 2000?

Tyler1 achieved an Elo ranking of 1900 on chess.com, ranking him in the top 0.5% of global players.

This meteoric rise is only 10 months in the making, which has seen Tyler1 go from from complete newbie to knocking on the 2000 Elo door. Of course, people familiar with Tyler1 know those 10 months were non-stop grinding for games, with Tyler famously taking 13 hours to reach the Elo ranking of 1700. 

Since his chess debut, he has played nearly 6,000 games of chess. Of those 6,000 games, he boasts a 49% win rate. Despite being ranked in the high 1700s in late April, Tyler1 stole a victory from a player with an Elo ranking of 2139, rocketing him closer to 2000. Many doubted him, but Tyler1’s chances at becoming grandmaster may not be as ridiculous as they seemed a few months ago.

What Tyler1 would need to do to become a chess grandmaster

Tyler1 must achieve an Elo chess rating of 2500 once and garner three favorable results in tournaments with other grandmasters before becoming a grandmaster himself.

Although what he has accomplished is undoubtedly impressive, there’s still a long road ahead to reaching the top rank. Tyler1 needs to break through the ceiling of 2000 Elo and then go several steps further, and he’ll need to do so by defeating established grandmasters along the way.

Additionally, Tyler1 will need to compete in FIDE-sanctioned tournaments, something he has yet to do. With Tyler1 busy being a father, the streamer may not have as much time for tourneys and chess grinding in the coming months. Still, if there’s one thing Tyler1 excels at, it’s surprising people, so critics shouldn’t write him off just yet. 

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Written by Gab Hernandez

Gab Hernandez has a particular love for video games that give players control over the narrative direction, such as Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Disco Elysium. Gab spends just as much time playing games as they do gushing about them online to anyone who will listen. Their work has also been seen on TheGamer, Gfinity, and Wargamer, and you can follow them on Twitter / X at @HardlyWorkinGab.

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