Study Plans – A Complete List Of Reasons To Use Them

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Last week we started a contest to win a free ChessGoals premium study plan. So far we have 25 responses and the feedback has been incredible. The contest ends on January 31st, so if you haven’t replied please check your email.

We are going to take a look at the top reasons to use a study plan based on the replies received so far, and with resources for each. Even if you aren’t using a premium study plan, we can help you set up a plan to reach your chess goals! Here’s a fun word cloud of responses to the contest:

Word Cloud of Responses

#1) Structure!

The most common reason for a study plan is the structure a plan can provide. We will present bulleted lists of some of the responses received.

  • I need to know what to focus on while studying chess
  • A study plan will organize my daily chess routine
  • I have tons of study materials at home and on the net but I do not know WHAT to work on
  • According to my friend who has a premium he says that you give very good suggestions about time controls and when to play them

Our premium study plans provide 12 weeks of tasks, with day by day activities to check off. This takes allows your mental energy to be focused on the studying itself and not the planning. A large portion of the battle is getting the ball rolling and that’s what our plans can help with.

Study plan example
Excerpt from Intermediate Rapid & Classical Plan

As a free alternative, check out the study plan worksheet on the Free Resources page. This worksheet allows you to pick a rating level, select a number of hours per week, and get a list of how long to work on various activities.

#2) Improvement & Rating Gains

The second most important reason is… seeing the results! This comes from the improvement in your game as well as the rating increase that will be coming along for the ride.

  • I have been stuck for 3 years on FIDE 1800 level
  • It will help me reach my chess goal
  • I am really interested in becoming better at playing chess

#3) Motivation & Community

With free and premium study plans, we encourage players to join the Chess.com ChessGoals Club (affiliate link) and posting in the forums. I try to help out in the forums whenever I see questions arise.

For premium study plan users, you’ll receive weekly email check-ins from me and answers to all of your questions. We also have a Discord server for all premium members where we discuss all things chess and chess improvement. We have 355 members in the Chess.com club and just passed 40 in our new Discord server.

  • I don’t find time to practice since I don’t have a study plan
  • It will help me be more disciplined about my goal
  • I think it would be very helpful if I had some structure where I had to check-in and report on my progress, get advice, get some feedback, get some direction on what to try next

#4) Value

It’s hard to measure the value of a free study plan. Infinite? 🙂 We also think our premium study plans offer value to players looking to improve.

Compared to the cost of a chess coach, we try to help you improve as efficiently as possible. Online memberships and chess books can be very helpful, and we give recommendations on which ones to purchase. We also try to give free alternatives when available.

  • The plans look amazing and the books that you suggest are just too good
  • I’d like to spend less than a chess coach, but still receive tailored advice
  • Making the most of my premium Chess.com subscription

#5) Professional Teacher

Yes, I have been a chess teacher for over 20 years. Many players are looking for advice from someone who has been in the trenches working with players just like themselves. It’s also a passion of mine to analyze chess improvement data and trying to unlock the chess improvement puzzle. I became a national master at age 29 and would like to help you reach your goals. Premium study plans come with guaranteed support from myself and the extra support in our Discord server.

  • I think it would be really great if there was a strong player who could explain and review where I could improve, suggest things to try, read, watch, etc.
  • A titled person who is willing to inspire and instruct each time I have a relevant question arising from my studies would be very valuable
  • Lessons from a professional teacher

#6) Focus & Community

Coming in at number six is ‘focus’, and it’s related to some of the others above. To keep players focused, premium study plan members will receive check-in emails from me for twelve weeks, or longer if they’d like! The plans themselves have daily activities to check off as they are completed. This builds habits and momentum that help keep players on track.

The community aspect makes it easy to stay focused. For premium members, we have the Discord server with other active improvers. For both free and premium members, we have the Chess.com ChessGoals Club (affiliate link).

  • I need to know what to focus on while studying chess
  • It will keep me focused. I know my goal this year is to really improve my chess, but whenever I commit to something like this I never focus my energy to do it. If everything is planned out, I can focus on just doing and this will give me the confidence to keep going and working hard
  • I have a broad knowledge of chess but I could use help focusing on what is important

#7) Something Fresh

Just like anything, chess studying can start to become stale or repetitive. It’s important to keep chess fun and try new things. Try to switch up your study plan every 12 weeks or so to do something a bit different than the last 12 weeks. But don’t switch so often that you aren’t allowing a plan ample time to work.

  • To learn new things about chess, I never get tired of continuing to learn
  • Suggesting resources that I may have overlooked -or just simply did not know exist
  • I’m a chess teacher for high schoolers and I’m always interested in the way other chess players suggest improving the overall level of chess play

Next Steps

Looking to build a new chess habit slowly? 30 Day Challenge

Looking to build your own study plan for free? Free Resources

Looking to receive all the features? Premium Study Plans