A New Year's Resolution: Improve Your Chess With New Lessons
Use our new Lessons feature to take your chess to new heights in 2019.

A New Year's Resolution: Improve Your Chess With New Lessons

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We are excited to share with you the new Lessons feature.

We took a step back and looked at what would be the most effective way to help new and improving players get better at chess. We had videos, but they lacked an interactive component. And we had lessons, but they had too much reading. And none of it was structured in a linear, step-by-step plan.

We have combined these to make the best possible learning experience: short instructional videos with 5-10 challenges to help you apply what you have learned. 

new lessons

These new Lessons are available now at (or under "Lessons" in the nav bar).

Our Lessons are designed for all levels of chess players—including those who don't know how to move the pieces yet—to help improve their game. 

Today we are launching our first set of courses, aimed at beginning and improving players: 

  • New to Chess: 2 courses, 20 lessons. Skill level: Unrated-400
  • Beginner: 4 courses, 25 lessons. Skill level: 400-1000
  • Intermediate: 5 courses, 36 lessons. Sill level: 800-1200
  • Advanced: 7 courses, 50 lessons. Skill level: 1000-1600
  • Mastery: No courses yet - coming soon! Skill level: 1200-2400

We believe that any player who works through those first 131 lessons will arrive at a high level of chess understanding, which will serve as a foundation for the rest of their chess education and set them on a path to mastery.

We plan to continue releasing new courses regularly! Most courses in the future will be put in the upcoming "mastery" section, which will be divided into different sections, similar to our old lessons. 

Speaking of "old lessons," yes, that's what we decided to call them.  It was the easiest term. And all of our old lessons will continue to be available (from links on Lessons, and at Eventually we will bring over the old lessons into our new "mastery" section, along with a lot more content. 

chess lessons

What is happening to videos? 

Our videos section will continue to be there. A lot of the content will come over to the mastery section of Lessons, along with new challenges to accompany the videos. New content will also come to videos, but with less emphasis on learning, as that will happen primarily in Lessons. 

What is happening to the old lessons (aka "Chess Mentor")? 

Old lessons will exist as they do now until we can bring that content over to Lessons. In many cases that will mean adding videos, or updating the content. Some old courses will eventually go away. 

Where did these Lessons come from? 

All new Lessons are composed and narrated by NM Dane Mattson, your new personal chess coach! Each lesson includes a preliminary video in which Dane will illustrate key concepts, followed by 5-10 challenges, with questions and positions to test and expand your learning! You'll get Dane's feedback on every move so you're never in the dark, with most moves (right or wrong) getting focused commentary and advice.

How does scoring work?

Scoring is light and focused on fun. You will earn one to three crowns for each attempt. Try to avoid wrong moves (and to a lesser extent, getting hints) to maximize your score. No pressure though. You can retry whenever you like, and only your highest score matters in the end.

Are the new Lessons coming to mobile? 

The new Lesson experience is landing on web today, on iOS in January, and on Android in March.

In what languages are these Lessons available?

Today we are launching in English, but members around the world will also be happy to know that the Lessons will be translated into a number of additional languages, starting with Spanish, French, Portuguese and Russian soon! We plan on eventually adding dozens of languages. 

Happy new year, and good luck with your chess in 2019.

Get started improving your chess—try the new Lessons now.


[Please Note: Don't send me Tech Support, Abuse Reports, or other "Site" issues. Please contact Support for those things. But I do love thank you notes and personal messages! Thank you!]

Yes, I am the guy who started (along with Jay, Igor, Piotr, and many others). I have 3 amazing daughters, one wild son, and a wonderful, patient wife! I learned chess when I was 8 years old. Since then I have been playing, studying, and enjoying it regularly. I prefer semi-open and closed positions that blow up tactically (like the Closed Sicilian, King's Indian, Glek etc). 

Want to know more about how got started? Read about it here!

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