University's Online Chess Camp with GM Boris Gelfand - Official Announcement

  • GeniusKJ
  • | May 31, 2014

Last week we revealed our plans to organize an online chess camp and included a tentative schedule. Today, we are officially announcing University's first online chess camp!

Note: There may be a few discrepancies regarding the schedule between the old post and today's post since we made a few modifications.

From July 7th, 2014 to July 11th, 2014, University will host its first online chess camp.

Our 5-day camp features tournaments, grandmaster simuls, puzzle-solving sessions, game analysis sessions, lectures from top chess instructors and fun prizes to provide a one-of-a-kind chess experience!


Detailed Schedule:

Camp starts on July 7th, 2014 at 9:30 AM PDT (Pacific Daylight Time U.S./Canada) and ends on July 11th, 2014 at approximately 4:00 PM PDT.

In general, camp activity will begin between 9:00-9:30 AM PDT each day and end by 4:30 PM PDT.

Each day will start with a short introduction from Kairav Joshi, the camp organizer. The first half hour of the camp will consist of free play or side activities such as puzzle-solving, trivia, etc. This is to ensure we have enough time to get ready!

There will be 90 minutes of lecture right before noon. Students will be split into two groups during these morning lectures. A lunch break is planned from noon to 1:00 PM PDT after which more lectures, simuls, and game analysis sessions will follow.


Target Audience:

Players at all rating levels may participate in our first chess camp. With that said, most lectures will be aimed at chess players in the 1300-2000 USCF/FIDE rating range. This camp is primarily for adults but teenagers are welcome to join. We plan on organizing a youth and novice (under 1300 USCF/FIDE) chess camp in August.


Camp Activities and Lectures:

Each camp student will receive about 14 to 15 hours of live instruction (lectures and game analysis sessions) from top chess instructors. Students will be split into groups by rating level for most of the game analysis sessions and lectures. However, there will also be lectures all students attend together such as our special lecture with GM Boris Gelfand!

Several grandmasters will give simultaneous exhibitions. Each student will have the chance to play in at least one GM simul. Similarly, each student will get one of his or her games analyzed live during a game analysis session.

Camp activities also involve an online blitz tournament and a regular tournament. Many of these games will be analyzed by masters during the game analysis sessions.

Side events such as puzzle-solving sessions and trivia (for prizes such as t-shirts) are planned as long as time permits!

There will be a special "Ask the Grandmaster" session with Kairav Joshi during which camp students may submit questions they want to ask a grandmaster. We will then forward these questions to GM Levan Aroshidze who will respond to us via email within a few days. All students will receive a PDF file containing all the questions and the grandmaster's answers.


Lecture Topics:

We haven't finalized our lecture topics yet. However, we do know that most lectures will focus on helping students improve their chess skills. Possible topics include: formulating plans, selecting candidate moves, using unexpected tactical resources, improving at positional play, converting technically won positions, using opening principles and structural knowledge to understand openings, methods for steering inferior endgames to drawish territory, etc.

Lectures will be interactive and will give students a chance to train their chess analysis skills during the lectures. We encourage active learning. Students may also ask questions during the lectures using a chat box.

To help students absorb the lessons and advice given by the instructors, PDF files with relevant puzzles will be occasionally provided.


Comparison to In-Person Chess Camps:

Unlike typical chess camps, which devote a majority of the camp time to tournaments and "free play," our focus is on chess instruction. We are not organizing a camp just to have you play each other; you can always play online for free at your leisure. We are providing world-class chess instruction for an affordable price.

Additionally, our camp gives you the chance to interact with 2012 World Championship Challenger Boris Gelfand as well as other masters and top instructors.

The two most important benefits of taking an online chess camp are that you avoid traveling and lodging expenses and receive video recordings of our live lectures! You can review the lectures whenever you want to. This means it's okay if you miss a lecture here and there! You will receive a video recording and won't miss out.


Meet the Team:

Camp Organizer: Kairav Joshi, President of University.

Honored Guest Instructor: GM Boris Gelfand, 2012 Vice World Chess Champion.

Instructor: GM Roman Dzindzichashvili, Two-Time U.S. National Champion.

Instructor: GM Valeriy Aveskulov, 2007 Ukrainian National Champion.

Instructor: IM Valeri Lilov, Renowned Coach and Lecturer on

Special Contributor: GM Levan Aroshidze, 1995 World Under-10 Champion.

Assistant Instructor: NM Dane Mattson.

Assistant Instructor: FM Dalton Perrine.

Commentary Team: Kairav Joshi and Staff.

Technical Support Team: Kairav Joshi and Ralf MacGrady.


Tuition and Registration:

Tuition for University's Online Chess Camp is $300/person but a $25 discount is given to pre-registered individuals. Pre-registration is open until midnight PDT on June 8th, 2014.

Payment methods include:

- Money Order, Check, or Electronic Check (preferred method).

- Credit or Debit Card.

- PayPal.

- Bitcoin.


Regardless of the payment method you plan on using, message GeniusKJ on and indicate your real name and email address if you are going to sign up! This is vital step that students tend to forget.

*Also message GeniusKJ after you pay to confirm your registration.*


Sending Payment:

If you would like to use your credit/debit card or PayPal balance to pay for the camp, use this link:

However, because PayPal processing fees are rather high, we prefer payments sent using the other payment options. Fees add up, especially when the chess camp is priced so low. If you live in the United States, we would love to receive payment via check (or e-check if you don't use checks). Money orders are great too.

We understand that PayPal and credit/debit card may be the only convenient payment methods for some students, especially those outside the United States, so we will gladly accept payment this way.

Checks and money orders should be paid to the order of Kairav Joshi. Message GeniusKJ to get the address for sending the check or money order.

If you would like to pay using a different method like Bitcoin, simply indicate that in a message to GeniusKJ.


Other Information:

This camp requires a minimum of 30 students. Please register and send payment as soon as possible. Remember that payments sent by June 8th receive a $25 discount making the total cost $275 instead of $300.

If we don't have at least 25 registered students by end of June, we will cancel the chess camp and refund everybody. Based on the overwhelmingly positive response we have received over the past few days, it is likely that the camp will have 30 students registered within two or three weeks. Please register as soon as possible to prove us right!


Refund Policy:

Only purchase the online chess camp if you truly want to! We understand that your schedule may change but as long as the change isn't significant, it won't matter. Everything is recorded so it is acceptable to miss some of the live lectures and other events. Refunds shouldn't be necessary in most cases.

We realize that health problems, injury, work, or other issues may prevent you from participating in the camp. In this case, we will accept refund requests made prior to June 20th, 2014. A $30 service fee will be deducted from any refund.

Refund requests submitted after June 20th will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. We may grant last-minute refund requests as long as the number of registered students remains over 30.


Summary of University's Online Chess Camp Offering:

Each student:

- Receives between 14 and 15 hours of live instruction (lectures, analysis sessions, etc.)

- Gets one of his or her games analyzed live by a master.

- Gets to play in at least one grandmaster simul.

- Is able to participate in the "Ask the Grandmaster" session to ask questions.

- Gets to "meet" GM Boris Gelfand online. Gelfand will stay online for 10 minutes after his lecture is over in order to answer YOUR questions!

- Has a chance to win fun prizes such as t-shirts, chess DVDs, and much more!

- Receives video recordings of all lectures, relevant analysis sessions, simul commentary, etc. so he or she can review the material in the future!


Want to help us promote the camp? Here's how you can help:

- Blog on and post links to University.

- Post links to this news post in your groups.

- Tell other chess players about our camp! Feel free to print out this news post and distribute at chess clubs.

- Post about University and our upcoming online camp on other chess sites!

- Post news on other sites that Gelfand is going to teach in University's first camp!

- We would LOVE to have our camp promoted on chess sites such as ChessBase, USCF, FIDE, and Chessdom. Please message GeniusKJ if you are a staff member on such sites or have good contacts that can help us tell the world what we are offering this July!

- Be a sponsor (especially useful if we don't meet the minimum requirement of 30 students).

- Other ideas? Message GeniusKJ!


Not a member of University? Click HERE to join today!

If you have any questions or suggestions, please message camp organizer Kairav Joshi, or comment on this news post.


  • 2 years ago


    300 bucks? Ok, now it is no way possible for me to join! That's alot, especially for only 4 days. Sorry, but I can't join. I wish I could, but I can't, it's too much.

  • 2 years ago


    Is there a list to see how many people signed up for this?

  • 2 years ago


    I am not a millionaire to pay $300 for the 5-daysWink camp..

  • 2 years ago


    Kairav, There are too many coaches who want to make money. There are few administrators who want to make the players' to make money. = Imbalance.Active administrators like you should also conduct competitions to make players's some money, so the competition will rise. Coaches don't lose in such situation either. It will be a win: win situation. Right now, it is lose:lose situation for the players.

    If playing chess makes my brain strong and there are other uses, I don't refute all this "chess is good" theory. But, I don't have to attend a coaching lesson or coaching camp to make my brain strong.I can do 1000s of puzzles that are readily available for free, at all strengths and levels and still make my brain strong.

    For those who wish to join the camp: I hope you enjoy the lessons. If you wish to have a rich "hobby", that is completely fine. Good luck!

  • 2 years ago


    @ Atakattu

    There is lots of return of investment in chess, especially when considering that the return is not limited to money. Playing chess is mentally and academically beneficial. It keeps the brain strong. Several studies suggest that playing chess helps prevent alzheimers and dementia.

    Also, managing chess sites, teaching chess, etc., can also give a great "return on investment." Though honestly, this camp is for chess lovers who want to meet and learn from top coaches. It is for those who want to improve at chess.

    I don't think "investment" is even relevant to such a camp. It's for fun, learning, and improving at a hobby! Though, a key point I want to make here is that working in chess professionally is not for "peanuts."

    When someone pays for a piano lesson, is it for investment? I know many parents who take their children to chess and piano lessons. It is for learning, personal development, and fun.

    I've paid for chess lessons because I love the game and want to get better. I would be happy to gain 100 points this year even though it wouldn't affect me financially.

    So, while this camp is not for everybody, it honestly is a great deal for those who love the game and want to improve!

  • 2 years ago


    If return on investment only means finding a way to recoup the camp fee, then fine.  Return on investment on pasttime or hobby can have lots of other meanings, such as improving one's play and enjoyment of the game, as I expect.  I'm in for the $275.

  • 2 years ago


    $300 is a steal.  (Early sign up) $275 is even better.  As was previously mentioned when you factor in all the other costs that are eliminated with this type of chess camp (travel $ 50 + room and board for 5 days is $250 + at $50 a day for a hotel room)  That's already more than $300 and that's excluding the cost of the camp, food, and any other unforseen expenditures...

  • 2 years ago


    I'm not sure why you two are going back and forth about finances. Obviously, not everybody can afford the camp.

    With that said, those who love chess, want to improve, and want to learn from the world's best instructors will find the camp very useful. Most students who have signed up so far believe the price is actually low! Compare this with other camps that offer less instruction but charge twice or more!

  • 2 years ago


    I'm signing up!

  • 2 years ago


    I live in the US and $300 is not cheap by my standards nor is it affordable. The camp,if your willing too pay for it,does seem very useful

  • 2 years ago


    @ Attakatu Well, maybe not really a cheapo... but affordable for a chess enthusiast.

  • 2 years ago


    @ Kingsraider, This is NOT cheap for USA citizens either.

    There is no prize money in chess tournaments (in or outside USA), it is peanuts. So, when the prize money is itself non-existent, why pay so much for the coaching?

    There is no Return of Investment!!!

  • 2 years ago


    The camp is priced generously low. Most camps are far more expensive and offer less instruction that our camp does.

    With that said, we understand that the camp may not be affordable for everybody. Thankfully, offers free articles, several free chess videos, and free sample chess mentor courses for those who cannot afford premium content.

  • 2 years ago


    300$?? For USA citizens this is a cheapo, but it's a fortune for east european countries like Romania. A lot of people don't even earn that money in a month around here. I'd better watch free videos on youtube and read books. No offense but it seems a lot considering that the masters will teach groups. I mean, ok... you have Boris Gelfand but I don't know how many people are willing to spend 300$ on this.

Back to Top

Post your reply: