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Chess.com University's Prodigy Program - April 2015 Registration Open!

Chess.com University's Prodigy Program - April 2015 Registration Open!

Mar 31, 2015, 3:46 PM 6

This is a fully updated article regarding Chess.com University's Prodigy Program. Please read this post in its entirety if you are a new student or a prospective student wanting to join the program in April. Most importantly, registration for all three sections of the Prodigy Program is now open for the April, 2015 month of the program.

Want your child to become a chess prodigy? Yes? So do we! Or are you an adult and want to master chess yourself? Great, we will get you there! Read on to learn more about our program.

*Chess.com University's Prodigy Program*

Master Chess at Any Age, Within 5 Years

This online super-coaching program by Chess.com University is designed to create chess prodigies out of youth players and take them, or any chess player, to master-level within 5 years. By offering high-quality live lessons, detailed study plans, relevant homework, and unlimited guidance from our world-class team of coaches, we have created a program that can take any chess player from beginner to master within 5 years! The Chess.com University Prodigy Program is for kids as well as adults. It is open to chess players of all ages.


Important Information:

- Taught by Kairav Joshi, Chess.com's officially best-selling coach and President of Chess.com University, along with FM Dalton Perrine, NM Dane Mattson, and several GMs. Grandmasters involved, mostly as guest instructors, include former USCF (U.S. Chess Federation) President GM Maxim Dlugy, former Ukrainian National Champion GM Valeriy Aveskulov, famous American coach GM Ben Finegold, former U.S. National Champion GM Alex Yermolinsky, and many more! Note that most of the GMs will only be guest instructors during the earlier stages of the program. They will be actively involved once the program reaches advanced material.

- At least 12 hours of live online classes per month spread out over 8 to 10 sessions. The live lessons will also be recorded and uploaded online so students can review them.

- Detailed weekly study plan (an awesome 7-page PDF sent each week!)

- An online correspondence tournament each month.

- A simul with a chess master each month.

- Students' games analyzed.

- Full email support for all students. Unlimited guidance and tips!

- Tuition: $150/month per student.

- Live lessons will be taught mostly on weekends between 8:30 AM and 1:30 PM PST (Pacific Standard Time U.S./Canada). One lesson each month may be taught on a weekday, likely Monday, but this is still under consideration.

- The 900 ELO and 1200 ELO sections of the Prodigy Program launched with over 100 kids and adults in December, 2014. More students joined these sections in January. New students are able to join in during any month. Each month is designed to be a course it itself making it easy for new students to join. Key topics covered in the Prodigy Program in December include fundamental endgames such as K Q vs. K, K R vs. K, K B B vs. K, and other basic endgames involving edge pawns. Several lessons focused on tactics, forcing moves, basic planning, general principles of chess, and how to calculate and analyze.

During the January 2015 month of the Prodigy Program, the material in the 900 and 1200 sections continued to focus on tactics and endgames with some coverage of openings. More specifically, in the 900 section, endgame principles and basics of king and pawn endgames were covered including opposition, outflanking, how to win standard "won" king and pawn endgames and how to save objectively drawn king and pawn endgames. This section also received a thorough coverage of opening basics including principles, tactics, basic plans, and must-know positional imbalances in the opening. Basic openings were introduced to the students in January as well. Several lessons focused on helping students improve their general chess skills.

The 1200 section followed a curriculum similiar to the 900 section in January except that the level of material was more advanced. The 1200 section learned slightly more advanced endgame concepts such as triangulation. The coverage of opening basics was relatively brief; however, the 1200s learned much more about dynamic concepts such as attacking kings in positions with kings castled on opposite sides. The 1200s also learned more about middlegame tactics and strategy and how to play better dynamically.

In February, the 900 and 1200 sections further practiced tactics and improved at calculation and visualization. Basic 1.e4 opening theory was also covered. Students also learned more about chess technology and chess engines. We continued studying more openings, tactics, calculation, and visualization in March.

The third section of the Prodigy Program, the 1500+ ELO section, launched on January 10th, 2015. Topics covered in this section include rook endgames, forcing moves (at a more advanced level), the importance of development and initiative, and much much more. As this section is advanced, more emphasis is placed on training than content. Certainly, knowledge is useful, but becoming tactically proficient and better at calculating is very important too.

In February, the key topics for the 1500 section were visualization, calculation, chess technology, basics of positional chess, and information on how to study openings. February was essentially the second prerequisite month for the 1500 section.

In March, we started our opening repertoire for White based on 1.e4. We also provided lessons aimed at those who play 1.d4. Improving tactics, calculation, and visualization was another focus in March.

Key Areas of Study in April, 2015:

900: Improving calculation and visualization, learning basic strategy and positional chess, and learning openings for Black.

1200: Improving calculation and visualization while starting an opening repertoire for Black. There will also be lessons devoted to strategy and positional chess.

1500: Finishing the opening repertoire for White while helping students take their tactical abilities to the next level. Calculation and visualization continue to be important topics too.

Prospective students who would like to join the 900, 1200, or 1500 section starting in April may do so but it may make sense to go through the recorded version of the program for the months prior to March. The recorded packages are available for purchase.

If you would like to purchase material from Dec 2014, Jan 2015, Feb 2015, and/or March 2015, please email kairavjoshi@chess.com. Note that due to high email volume, we may not be able to get back to you right away.

*The April lessons of the 900+, 1200+, and 1500+ USCF/FIDE sections begin on April 11th, 2015 at 10:00 AM PDT.

Note: While the sections have not been renamed, they are now covering material aimed at a slightly more advanced audience. For example, the 900 section can be thought of as a 1000+ section, and so on.

Note: Our ratings refers to the standard over-the-board rating system. Rating systems that are used by FIDE, USCF, CFC, etc., are ELO or similiar to ELO. Online ratings tend to be inflated, sometimes heavily at the lower rating levels. A 1500 correspondence rating on Chess.com may indicate an actual strength of near 1200.


Understand that what we are offering is indeed a beginner-to-master program. Adults who join the program have an excellent chance at achieving that elusive chess master distinction. Parents who sign up their kids can (and should) expect their children to improve at chess very quickly. I myself have sent an 8-year-old student to the world youth championships and have numerous student competing and winning at the state and national levels. Let me tell you that we can certainly make your child a chess prodigy too!


Our prodigy program will continue for a long time. Students can join in or opt out at any time. We expect that youth players who study in our program for a few years will end up being among the best players in their age group. But those who only study with us for a few months will still improve by leaps and bounds. Our rate of $150/month offers unbeatable value. With our detailed, guided study plan in addition to the live lessons, the amount students learn each month may be equivalent to about 25-30 one-on-one hourly lessons with coaches. If the typical skilled coach charges $30/hr, that would cost $900/month!


With Chess.com University, it is $150/month and that is paying for the highest-quality of chess instruction available anywhere. That is paying for neverending tips and guidance. That is paying for the opportunity to learn from the best chess coaches while also getting a chance to interact with top chess players. Certainly, we will have super-GMs, perhaps even former world chess champions, as guest instructors too! If you truly love chess and want to get better quickly, sign up for the world's best chess-learning program.


Here are comments from former USCF President and #1 blitz chess player GM Maxim Dlugy regarding the Prodigy Program:

"By designing the Prodigy Program, Chess.com University has created a brilliant solution for chess players around the world. By offering lectures, training sessions, game analysis sessions, homework, and guided study plans all in an organized manner, the Prodigy Program enables easy and efficient chess learning."

"Technology has made it easier than ever to learn and improve at chess. I wish such programs existed when I was a young and ambitious chess player!"

"If you want to make your chess study productive and want to become a strong chess player, I highly recommend joining Chess.com University's Prodigy Program."

Don't have an official over-the-board rating?

What about those who don't have an ELO rating and are not sure which group is best for them? We have written a placement exam for them. Individuals without official ratings who want to join the 1200+ or 1500+ sections should complete the placement exam and achieve a satisfactory score.

The placement exam has been posted in the Chess.com University group on Chess.com:


That link will only work for Chess.com University members. If you are not a member, click here to join and then follow the link given above.

April 2015 Registration:

Registration for April, 2015 is now open for all sections of the Prodigy Program. We accept payment via check, money order, Bitcoin, credit/debit card, and PayPal. If you would like to mail a check or money order, contact GeniusKJ on Chess.com or send an email to kairavjoshi@chess.com.


If you are a new student (current students, use the link that was already emailed to you) and would like to send payment for April, 2015 (any section) using credit/debit card or PayPal balance, please use the following link:



If you pay online, please message GeniusKJ on Chess.com AND email kairavjoshi@chess.com immediately after you send payment to confirm your PayPal email address. Also include your real name and the contact email address you would like us to use. Please indicate which section you want to join.


Discounts and Commissions:

We offer family discount. We also give 10% commission on valid, successful referrals. 

Sign up for the Prodigy Program today and start your journey of becoming a chess master!


Contact Chess.com University by sending a message on Chess.com to GeniusKJ or sending an email to kairavjoshi@chess.com.

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