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Club of the Month: Road to GM

Club of the Month: Road to GM

Mick
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Welcome to the second Chess.com Club of the Month article! This series gives our readers the chance to know a few of the incredible communities we have on Chess.com and learn more about what they do and who they are. It might even give you the inspiration to start your very own club or tips to take your current club to the next level.

We're pleased to announce that April's Club of the Month is Road to GM. With 2,788 members at the time of this article, this club has been brimming with positive energy for over two years now:

Name another chess club that's been referred to as "a community which transformed me from an inert mass into a Herculean and supernatural being."


Chess.com: What is your name and what is your role at your chess club?

Nightly-Knight: I'm Nightly-Knight, the organizer/overseer of events for Road to GM. 

How would you describe your chess club?

"GM" in our case actually stands for "Great Mindset." We believe that when you're in possession of a truly great mindset, you're unbeatable. In our club we try to mingle learning, fun, and mindset into one big massive ball. The Great Mindset also includes the skill and self-belief you need to win, and the fun you have doing it.

Screenshot of a post praising Road to GM, a club on Chess.com.
Road to GM has a healthy culture of positivity and support, reflected in messages like these.

Can you share the history of your club with our readers?

Road to GM began November 12, 2019, but its roots date back even further.

Back in 2019, you couldn't create a club without a membership. Since the creator of the club (joseph7505) was not an upgraded member, the club could not be formed. However, both myself and joseph7505 had staff roles in clubs and were gaining experience administrating them.

In August 2019, a friend of joseph7505's let him take control of a club he had made. This club, which was called Variant Pros, is considered the forefather of R2GM because it really taught us a lot about how to manage a club.

In November 2019, another friend gifted joseph7505 a membership, and Road to GM was soon founded. We've been running the club together ever since, and now—on the verge of finally reaching 3,000 members—we have an awesome team to help us!

Tournaments and regular games between members are a big part of the culture at Road to GM.

What inspired you to take a leadership role in your chess club?

Creating live tournaments was the true reason that we wished to create a club in the first place back in 2019. Being able to host chess events was a glorious dream for us, and it has now become a reality with us hosting an average of 60 live tournaments each month.

Each tournament is diligently analyzed by staff, and points towards our all-star event, the Membership Race, are granted as a result.

The club features chess fans of all levels, including titled players.

Does your club meet in person? If so, where and when can prospective members find you? If not, when do you typically have events online?

Since Road to GM's members are spread out all over the world, we don't meet in person, but we do regularly host tournaments every day of the week at many different times each day.

We are also regularly holding our Mentor-Mentee Program, hosted by jg777chess. This is a free coaching program, and members get experience as they coach (and are coached by) other members at completely no cost.

What separates your chess club from other clubs?

We've been singled out in the past and noted as being one of the most positive clubs on the site, due to our constant support of our members.

The Road to GM community has been proud of being such a positive club. The admins are cheerful people who are dedicated to bringing chess to you. We have constant Daily Matches, frequent Vote Chess where the discussion level is awesome, and Multi-Club Arenas once or twice a week. On top of that, we host a plethora of live tournaments weekly. I don't know another club that has more tournaments than us.

The commitment to making chess accessible for everyone is reflected in Road to GM's generous gifting culture.

What Chess.com tools do your members use the most? 

Analyzing games plays an integral part of our culture at R2GM. We offer memberships to winners of our events, and through this we give them the ability to analyze even more.

We also play a lot of daily matches. At the beginning of the year, we made a goal of reaching number 500 on the leaderboard for daily matches by March 22, 2022. We were at number 763 at the time, so had to make up 263 places. Although we did not make the goal, we did manage to be number 583, which was almost a 200-place jump in only three months.

What advice would you give to clubs on Chess.com that are just starting out and would like to grow?

Don't start out by messaging every username you get your hands on. Start with 20 or so members you could get in your first week; 20 members are plenty to start. You can organize a star feature of your club, and you will be surprised how much it grows when you have fun things to do. The biggest tip in growing a club is to retain your members.


Thanks to Nightly-Knight and his fellow Road to GM members for providing us with their answers for this month's article. Make sure you check out their page on Chess.com!

If you'd like to nominate a Chess.com club for our next Club of the Month article, fill out the nomination form here.

Mick
Mick Murray

Mick is a writer and editor for Chess.com and ChessKid. He enjoys playing the Caro-Kann and Italian Game to varying degrees of success. Before joining Chess.com, Mick worked as a writer, editor, and content manager in Japan, New Zealand, and the Netherlands.

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