ChessGoals study plans are designed for all players who would like to gain rating points. Our survey data is based on players rated between 400-2400, spending between 0-42 hours per week on chess, and covering all ages. For players who are already happy with their progress and not interested in rocking the boat, these plans aren’t for you. ChessGoals aims to help players are:
- Struggling with reaching their chess potential
- Trying to figure out which chess books or courses to buy
- Having trouble figuring out how to increase their rating
- Unsure about spending money on a personal coach
These study plans are also great for parents and teachers who would like to give their child a guided study plan.
Are These Plans Just For Blitz Chess?
We receive this question quite often, and it’s a valid one. In the ChessGoals survey we ask players this question:
The results of this question definitely skewed towards chess.com ratings, but there is a good mix of slow games (Chess.com Daily, USCF Regular, FIDE Standard, ECF Rating), rapid games and blitz games.
How Do The Study Plans Compare To Having A Coach?
Is the ChessGoals program as good as having a private chess coach? Most of my childhood I was fortunate to work with some chess coaches who I enjoyed immensely. Even with a coach though, it’s up to the chess player (you) to put in the focused effort and work between the lessons. 50% of ChessGoals survey respondents spend between 4 and 14 hours per week on chess. So even if you’re working with a coach for one hour per week, most of the motivation and drive to work on chess has to come from within. Many of our study plans recommend using the Yusupov 9 Course Training Series, which helps guide you as a coach would.
Here’s what our data says on chess coaches:
On average, players with coaches gained an extra 12 points per year. This is not quite an apples-to-apples comparison though because age, rating, and hours spent all are important (source). Based on the three factors above, the predicted annual gains were almost identical. So indeed a coach does help, by about 10-12 points annually over the expected.
We don’t have any firm data yet moving forward with ChessGoals, but we believe the combination of putting in the hours, following an efficient plan, and having books guide you will help. ChessGoals study plan users should be able to outperform their expected rating gain, and we hope by more than the 12 points gained annually by having a coach.
Tracking Chess Improvement
Chess improvement historically has been tracked by looking at chess ratings. Here are the current levels of the ChessGoals plans:
These plans are based on chess.com (chess.com affiliate link) blitz ratings, which we’ve found to be the most accurate chess ratings. As you work your way up the levels, each step becomes more difficult than the last. To get an idea of how many points ChessGoals members gain per year, we have published a free rating gain calculator.
For example, a player in their 20’s who spends 7 hours per week gained approximately the following points at each level: Novice (+348), Beginner (+316), Intermediate (+205), Intermediate 2 (+127), Advanced (+95), Expert (+95).
Next Steps For Improvement
- Sign-up for our email list. This gets you access to our free study plan worksheet. With this worksheet you can pick your rating category and hours spent, and the worksheet will automatically tell you how many hours we recommend spending on different activities.
2. Free ChessGoals study plan guides. Much of our content in one place, available for free.
3. ChessGoals 12-week Premium Study plans. These plans help guide you with exactly what to study and when, including daily checklists. These plans come with email support from myself, weekly check-in emails, and support from a community of learners on the ChessGoals chess.com club.