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Best Courses Guides

10 Best Chess Courses for 2024

Learn the royal game and conquer every match with the best online courses taught by the masters.

Chess is one of the oldest and most popular board games in the world. If you’re a chess enthusiast or aspiring to be a world champion, online courses are a great way to improve your game. With the help of my friends @fabio and @suparn, I’ve come up with this Best Courses Guide (BCG).

This BCG has a selection of the best Chess online courses from 90 Chess courses in our catalog, including popular courses from Udemy, MasterClass, Chess.com, lichess.org, and YouTube. From beginner to more advanced techniques, you can elevate your chess skills by learning from experts.

Click on the shortcuts for more details:

Our Top Picks

Course Highlight Workload
Best Interactive Lessons Online Various
Best Chess Masterclass with Garry Kasparov (MasterClass) 7-8 hours
Best Chess Course for Complete Beginners (Udemy) 5 hours
Best Chess Course to Master Openings (Udemy) 3-4 hours
Best Chess Course to Master Tactics and Combinations (Udemy) 21 hours
Best Chess Course for Kids (Udemy) 2-3 hours
Best YouTube Courses Various

Best Courses Guides. Start Learning, Stop Procrastinating.

Chess Basic Rules

“Chess is a board game played between two players that simulates a war between two kingdoms. It is one of the most popular games in the world. Millions of people play it both recreationally and competitively.” – Chess.com.

There are two different armies: black (dark) and white (light). Each army contains eight pawns, two knights, two bishops, two rooks, a queen, and a king. The chessboard is an eight-by-eight grid, making 64 squares in total. The rows are called ranks and columns are called files. The different pieces can move in particular ways.

A chess board gif created in Chess.com

BCG Stats

  • Combined, these courses have accrued over 65.8K enrollments.
  • 7 courses are free and 3 courses are paid.
  • The most-represented course provider in the ranking is Udemy, with 4 courses.
  • The Chess subject is followed by over 4.3K learners on Class Central.

Best Interactive Lessons Online

Interactive Lessons from Chess.com

The learning environment of Chess.com

Chess.com is a leading chess platform. It lets you play online and also teaches you how to master chess. They have a rigorous collection of free lessons and resources, and you can even get personalized live video coaching. In short, Chess.com is your one-stop destination for all things chess.

If you’re a complete beginner, It’s best to start with the Guide tab which offers 19 lessons from beginner to advanced concepts in chess for newbies. There are over 350 lessons available, and the main topics are: openings, strategy, tactics, endgames, and master games. The lessons can be filtered by level, theme, and instructor.

The platform also provides over 500,000 puzzles, chess news, and you can play with other users and watch live matches.

Institution Chess.com
Level All levels
Certificate Not available

Interactive Lessons from lichess.org

The learning environment of lichess.org

Another leading chess platform, lichess.org, also teaches you how to play chess alongside practicing and playing online. It contains a wide variety of free chess learning resources from tactics to checkmates and endgames, ranging from beginner to advanced level. You’ll learn all this using interactive online chess boards by trying the tactics on your own.

There are 4 main resources in this course:

  • Basics (complete beginner): a series of short interactive puzzles
  • Practice (intermediate): more advanced interactive puzzles
  • Study (advanced): a series of tutorials that tracks each move in the board with instructions
  • Puzzles (all levels): snippets of games to practice new strategies
Institution lichess.org
Level Mixed
Certificate Not available

Best Chess Masterclass with Garry Kasparov (MasterClass)

Garry Kasparov, instructor

Are you an intermediate chess player looking to take your skills to the next level? Look no further than Garry Kasparov Teaches Chess on MasterClass. In this masterclass, six-time world champion Garry Kasparov will share his expertise, strategies, and advanced tactics to help you become a stronger player. Get ready to learn from a true chess master.

In this course, Garry will cover a wide range of topics to help you improve your chess game. Here are some of the key areas you’ll explore:

  • Garry’s Chess Fundamentals
  • Advanced Tactics
  • Endgame
  • Openings
  • Simul
  • Case Studies
  • Garry’s Journey
  • Computers and Chess
  • Mental Toughness
  • Closing
Provider MasterClass
Instructor Garry Kasparov
Level Intermediate
Workload 7-8 hours
Certificate Paid

Fun Facts

  • Kasparov is a chess grandmaster from Russia, former World Chess Champion, writer, political activist and commentator.
  • His peak rating of 2851, achieved in 1999, was the highest recorded until being surpassed by Magnus Carlsen in 2013.
  • He holds the record for being the most ranked player No. 1 for 255 months overall for his career.

Best Chess Course for Complete Beginners (Udemy)

Kairav Joshi, instructor, introducing the course

Chess University’s Intro To Chess Crash Course is a fantastic resource for beginners and first-time players looking to learn the fundamentals of chess. With a focus on players whose chess strength is below 900 Elo, this course is suitable for individuals of all ages. Best of all, it’s completely free!

In this course, you will:

  • Learn the basic rules and fundamentals of chess: understanding the board and the roles of each piece.
  • Tackle more advanced topics: tactics, strategy, logical thinking, and chess vocabulary.
  • Explore special rules, chess notations, winning and drawing techniques, and different types of advantages in the game.
Provider Udemy
Level Beginner
Workload 5 hours
Enrollments 20K
Rating 4.8/5.0 (500)
Certificate Not available

Fun Facts

  • Five-time World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand is a coach at Chess University.
  • Kairav Joshi, one of the instructors, is the CEO of Chess University.
  • Their courses are also taught by FIDE-Master Dalton Perrine, FIDE-Master Arne Jochens, and International Master Kostya Kavutskiy.

Best Chess Course to Master Openings (Udemy)

Mykhaylo Oleksiyenko, instructor

Understanding chess openings | How to play ANY opening well teaches you different kinds of chess openings. Openings consist of roughly the first ten moves, and you’ll know exactly what (and why) to do in those moves to secure your game. What’s more – you’ll also see how world champions have won against their opponents.

In this course, you will:

  • Learn the three main rules of playing the opening and their crucial details, use your pawns, pieces and the king, and good places for your pieces.
  • Get a detailed analysis of four famous games, and learn ways to use the mistakes of your opponent as well as avoid them yourself.
  • Analyze four more famous games, learn the value of the rule, and explore ways to exploit your opponents’ failure to follow rules.
  • Get professional opinion about most common openings, know your first ten moves against any opening, and practice what will strengthen your understanding of opening principles.
Provider Udemy
Instructor Mykhaylo Oleksiyenko
Level Beginner
Workload 3-4 hours
Enrollments 5K
Rating 4.7/5.0 (1.2K)
Certificate Paid

Fun Facts

  • Oleksiyenko started playing chess at the age of four.
  • He has a Ph.D. in mathematics, and wants to implement his scientific background into chess.
  • He is an international grandmaster and a chess champion of Ukraine, and has been teaching chess since 2012.

Best Chess Course to Master Tactics and Combinations (Udemy)

Tryfon Gavriel, instructor

The Complete Guide to Chess Tactics aims to make you a strong chess tactician. Once you’ve completed this course, you’ll be in a much better position to create better chess combinations through the use of a wide range of patterns, and show your calculation ability in any game you play.

In this course, you will:

  • Get a fundamental understanding of chess tactics and combinations
  • Learn to identify and exploit weaknesses in the opponent’s position
  • Familiarize yourself with important tactical motifs such as fork, deflection, decoy, pins, and discovered checks
  • Utilize tactical means to exploit passed pawn potential and the opponent’s loose piece liabilities
  • Develop strategies to exploit king safety issues and detect and celebrate tactical opportunities
  • Understand the fundamentals of forcing moves, checks, captures, and threats of mate
  • Maximize the differential between your position’s strengths and the opponent’s weaknesses
  • Learn to play brilliant and beautiful chess combinations
  • Recognize key mating patterns and practice tactical instruments with multiple examples
Provider Udemy
Instructor Tryfon Gavriel
Level Intermediate
Workload 21 hours
Enrollments 8.8K
Rating 4.5/5.0 (1K)
Certificate Paid

Fun Facts

  • Gavriel is a FIDE Candidate Master and British Regional Chess Master.
  • He is popularly known as “Kingscrusher” on the internet, and runs a YouTube channel by the same name where he analyzes and teaches chess.
  • Check out his website for more chess courses from him.

Best Chess Course for Kids (Udemy)

Animated chess pieces

Even though Kids Learn Chess the Fun & Easy Way! is made for kids, it can be taken by anyone – including you. The uniqueness of the course is that it teaches chess through animated videos. After taking this fun course, you’ll get up and running with chess and be able to play and beat most people who have no chess training. And it’s completely free!

In course, you’ll learn the following:

  • Play a legal game of chess
  • Recognize checkmate
  • Know some opening basics
  • Spot the most common tactical tricks
Provider Udemy
Instructor Mike Klein
Level Beginner
Workload 2-3 hours
Enrollments 32K
Rating 4.6/5.0 (2.2K)
Certificate Not available

Fun Facts

  • Klein began playing chess at the age of four, and eventually became North Carolina’s youngest-ever master.
  • He is a FIDE Master, and has taught chess full-time for 16 years.
  • He works at ChessKid as the Director of Content.

Best YouTube Courses

Beginner to Chess Master (ChessNetwork)

Different types of checkmates

Learn all you need to know about chess to become a chess master from a beginner in Beginner to Chess Master. It is recommended that you already know the rules of chess before taking this course.

In this course, you will learn:

  • How to checkmate with king and queen, and king and rook
  • Chess terminology and opening strategies
  • Checkmate in four moves (scholar’s mate)
  • Concepts such as chess holes, the power of the pin, and target practice
  • Endgame strategies including queen vs. pawn and wrong colored bishop
  • Special positions: the Lucena position and Philidor position
  • Defense strategies: the Vančura defense with 7th and 6th rank pawns
  • Basic checkmate patterns and tactical awareness
Channel ChessNetwork
Provider YouTube
Level Beginner
Workload 16 hours
Certificate Not available

Fun Facts

  • The instructor is a self-taught National Master in chess from Pennsylvania.
  • He learned to play from his father in 1988 at the age of eight.

Chess course from beginner to master level (NM Robert Ramirez)

Chess demonstration

Chess course from beginner to master level is the most comprehensive chess course on this list for beginners with 104 videos. You’ll learn every chess concept in detail, from openings and endgames to chess theory and puzzles, and become a better chess player with every lesson. And you get all of this for free. So get ready for some serious chess lessons!

This course covers:

  • Fundamentals: how to organize your board, understand how the pieces move and capture, perform a checkmate, and end with a practical example.
  • Chess Tactics: how to perform forks with your knight, pins and skewers, and understand decoy vs. deflection techniques by solving exercises.
  • Special moves: promotion, castling, and en-passant.
  • Checkmates: checkmates in one move, one rook and king checkmate, and four move checkmates.
  • Openings: the three principles of openings, the Ruy Lopez Opening, the Petrov Defense (Russian Defense), the Queen’s Gambit, the Czech Pirc Defense, King’s Indian Attack, and much more.
  • Chess openings in practice: take a look at various games analyses of different openings in practice and how to defend against each.
Channel NM Robert Ramirez
Provider YouTube
Instructor Robert Ramirez
Level Beginner
Workload 34 hours
Certificate Not available

Fun Facts

  • Ramirez is a professional chess player with over 8 years of teaching experience.
  • He was introduced to the world of chess at the age of five, and has earned his National Master title from the United States Chess Federation.
  • He teaches chess on his website, and also at several private schools.

Everything You Need to Know About Chess (Chess.com)

Chess demonstration

Created first in 2011, this free old school playlist is still pretty much as helpful to learn chess today as it was a decade back. Consisting of only five videos, Everything You Need to Know About Chess is enough to get you started and learn all about chess openings, tactics and strategies, and endgames. This is indeed the “one chess lesson of their life”, as Chess.com puts it.

In course, you’ll learn the following:

  • The opening
  • Tactics and strategy
  • The endgame
Channel Chess.com
Provider YouTube
Level Beginner
Workload 1-2 hours
Certificate Not available

Why You Should Trust Us

Class Central, a Tripadvisor for online education, has helped 60 million learners find their next course. We’ve been combing through online education for more than a decade to aggregate a catalog of 200,000 online courses and 200,000 reviews written by our users. And we’re online learners ourselves: combined, the Class Central team has completed over 400 online courses, including online degrees.

How We Made Our Picks and Tested Them

Trying to find “the best” can be daunting, even for those of us who live and breathe online courses. Here’s how we approached this task.

First, we combed through Class Central’s Catalog and the internet to find a variety of free and paid courses.

Second, when choosing courses, we considered the following factors:

  • Renowned Institutions: we picked the most recognized institutions in Chess.
  • Instructor experience: we looked for instructors with extensive experience in Chess.
  • Course content: we looked for courses that covered a wide range of topics, from the basics to more advanced techniques.
  • Student reviews: we read student reviews (when available) to get a sense of the quality of each course.

To evaluate each course, we watched some of the course videos and read the course syllabus. We also looked at the course’s rating and reviews on Class Central.

Ultimately, we used a combination of data and our own judgment to make these picks. We’re confident these recommendations will provide you with the knowledge to play chess confidently.

Fabio has revised the research and the latest version of this article.

Best Courses Guides. Start Learning, Stop Procrastinating.

Archisha Bhar Profile Image

Archisha Bhar

I am a Civil Engineer from India. Other than engineering, I take interest in art, music, computer, psychology and creative writing.
Fabio Dantas Profile Image

Fabio Dantas

Content writer with a degree in chemical engineering. I'm passionate about creative writing, process improvement, productivity, and mindfulness. I aim to empower learners through my articles by providing practical tips, inspiration, and a deeper understanding of learning.

Comments 3

  1. Satish Nair

    Hi Archisha,

    I see great value in all the chess courses you have listed but I also like chessbase’s game database and it is has lots of annotated games.

    Another one that I do feel is missing is Chessmaster School.

    Satish Nair.

  2. Jim

    Cool, learn to play a game! How about games to learn (i.e. gamification)?

    • Fabio Dantas

      Great suggestion Jim!

      We usually include games for specific subjects (Elham does a great job in his articles). Most of the gamified learning I can think of are related to programming. For example, here is an article from freeCodeCamp: https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/12-free-coding-games-to-learn-programming-for-beginners/

      Other tool that I’ve used is Quizlet, that allow us to create custom flashcards and play some simple games with it. Is there any resource you would recommend?


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