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The Masters Programme

Chess Improvement Course for FIDE Rated Players – 1 Year Program

This 1-year Chess Improvement Course is designed to cover various aspects of chess, from openings to endgames, and to prepare the student for competitive play at a higher level.

It’s essential to combine structured learning with regular practice and analysis to see significant improvement. Adjustments can be made to the schedule based on the individual’s progress and preferences.


Month 1: Building Strong Foundations

Week 1-2: Assessment and Goal Setting

Initial assessment of strengths and weaknesses.
Set clear and achievable rating improvement goals.


Week 3-4: Opening Principles

In-depth study of opening principles and common openings.
Create a personalized opening repertoire.

Month 2: Tactical Mastery

Week 1-2: Tactics and Calculation

Sharpen your tactical vision.
The students will be encouraged to do the tactics and calculation practice on a daily basis.


Week 3-4: The process of calculation

Learn how to calculate deeply and clearly in every positions irrespective of the complexities.

Month 3: Positional Understanding

Week 1-2: Pawn Structures

Explore different pawn structures.
Understand plans and strategies based on pawn structures.


Week 3-4: Piece Activity and Planning

Focus on piece placement and coordination.
Learn how to formulate and execute a plan.

Month 4: Endgame Mastery

Week 1-2: Basic Endgames

Master essential endgames. There will be about 150 endgames positions that should be learnt by heart.


Week 3-4: Complex Endgames

Study more complex endgames to develop calculation skills in the final phase of the game..
Practice endgame technique.

Month 5: Strategy and Game Analysis

Week 1-2: Strategic Principles

Study key strategic concepts like open files, outposts, and weak squares.
Analyze Classics for strategic insights.


Week 3-4: Game Analysis and Self-Assessment

Analysis of own games.
Identify recurring mistakes and areas for improvement.

Month 6: Opening Repertoire Refinement

Week 1-2: Opening Knowledge and repertoire building

Deepen your understanding of your chosen openings.
Study model games in your repertoire.


Week 3-4: Counter-Opening Knowledge

Learn how to handle opponent’s deviations from your openings.
Develop a response plan.

Month 7: Middle Game Planning

Week 1-2: Middle Game Planning

Study advanced middle game planning and strategy.
Analyze your games for improvements in the middle game.


Week 3-4: Decision-Making

Focus on time management and various decision making processes in games.
Learn psychological aspects.

Month 8: Advanced Endgames and Strategy

Week 1-4: History lessons

Learn the development of the game from Pre-Stenitz era to modern times.

Learn the importance of understanding the opponent’s style through analysis of matches played during the World Championships

Month 9: Opening Innovation

Week 1-2: Opening Innovations

Explore modern opening theory and innovations.
Adapt your repertoire as per the latest trends.


Week 3-4: Opening Preparation and Game Plan

Learn to prepare for specific opponents.
Create a game plan that aligns with your opening repertoire.

Month 10: Tournaments and Competitive Play

Week 1-2: Preparation

Prepare for local and online tournaments.
Work on maintaining composure in competitive settings.


Week 3-4: Deep Strategy

Delve deeper into positional understanding and strategy.
The importance of prophylaxis moves.

Month 11: Review and Intensive Practice

Week 1-2: Comprehensive Review

Review the entire course material.
Revisit your goals and assess your progress.


Week 3-4: Intensive Practice and Simulated Games

Simulate tournament conditions and play practice games.
Work on time management and decision-making under pressure.

Month 12: Final Push and Graduation

Week 1-2: Final Preparation

Fine-tune your skills.
Practice against various styles and opponents.


Week 3-4: Graduation and Future Plans

Graduation tournament or performance assessment.
Discuss future plans, whether it’s reaching a higher rating or competing in more challenging tournaments


GM Pravin Thipsay

India’s third Grandmaster after Anand and Dibyendu Barua, GM Thipsay is several times National Champion and an Arjuna Awardee. A comprehensive knowledge of the games makes him one of the most sought-after coaches in India. 

GM Abhijeet Gupta

Former World Junior (Under-20) Champion and five times Commonwealth Champion, Abhijeet Gupta is also an Arjuna Awardee who has won events across continents. He now loves to share his knowledge.

IM Vishal Sareen

Personal Trainer of three Arjuna Awardee Chess players, Vishal Sareen is the first professional Coach of the country. Sareen has trained several Indian teams and several GMs. He has worked across the world and is currently a Councilllor in the FIDE (World Chess Federation) Trainer’s Commission.

IM Sharad Tilak

A member of the Indian team on various occassions, IM Tilak is known for his passionate teaching style and deep understanding of problem solving in Chess. He trained many young talents who went on to win several medals.

IM N K Mishra

IM Mishra is a former India Junior Champion and has been a member of the Indian team on several occassions. IM Mishra is training several young talents of the country.

Other International trainers

We have on our panel several Internationally acclaimed Grand Master trainers who will be joining as periodically as our guest lecturers.

How to Apply

Interested students who meet the minimum rating requirement and are committed to elevating their chess skills are encouraged to apply for the Chess Improvement Course.

To begin the application process, please complete the application form at www.iichess.com/apply

Once the applications are received, the Indian Institute of Chess Excellence (IICE) will carefully review and shortlist candidates based on their qualifications and motivations.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview to assess their dedication, goals, and suitability for the course. The final selection of students who will be enrolled in the course will be determined based on the results of this interview process.

We look forward to welcoming passionate chess enthusiasts on their journey to becoming even stronger players.

Frequently Asked Questions

The course is designed for chess players having FIDE rating.. However, dedication and commitment are equally important, so applicants should also demonstrate their willingness to learn and improve.

To apply, please visit our official website at iichess.com/apply. You will find the application form there, which you need to complete with accurate information.

After receiving applications, IICE will review them and shortlist candidates based on their qualifications and motivations. Shortlisted candidates will then be invited for an interview to assess their dedication, goals, and suitability for the course. The final selection will be based on the results of the interview.

We encourage passionate chess players to apply, the elevation to this course is a matter of a few months as getting a FIDE rating is not a big deal. For this course, meeting the rating requirement is preferred.

The course is a 1-year program, and it follows a structured curriculum with various modules. The schedule includes a mix of theory, practical exercises, practice games, and tournaments, with specific details provided to enrolled students.

The course features a team of experienced International Masters and Grandmasters, along with specialized coaches and trainers. These experts will provide in-depth insights and personalized guidance.

Currently, the course is offered in an online format, allowing students from around the world to participate. This approach provides flexibility and accessibility.

IICE is committed to promoting chess education, and we offer scholarships to deserving candidates. Details on scholarship opportunities and financial aid can be found on our website.

Yes, enrolled students will have access to a variety of learning materials, including video lessons, databases, and practice games. These resources complement the course curriculum.We will be having a fixed schedule of five classes per week lasting from 1-2 hours everyday. The minimum commitment from our side is thirty hours per month of training. And about 70-100 hours of self work to be done by students.

We recommend regularly visiting our official website and following our social media channels for the latest updates, news, and announcements related to the Masters Course. Additionally, enrolled students will receive regular communication through our platform.

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Iconic Institute of Chess Excellence

Led by International Master Vishal Sareen, IICE has produced champions across India and pacific Asia. 

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