With literally hundreds of courses now in the Chessable library, we couldn’t blame you if you were paralyzed by choice.
And with so many courses, it’s tough for us even to make a recommendation at times!
Of course, you could go by interest, finding a topic you’re curious to know more about – which, nowadays, is likely covered in some Chessable course or another.
Or we could recommend a course that focuses on refinding your fundamentals, like calculation or endgames – something that would help your game no matter what your openings or playing style.
Or we could recommend the most popular and well-reviewed courses.
But when we thought about this more, we realized something interesting: the most popular courses are the ones that focus on fundamentals!
Which goes to confirm something we knew for a long time – by far and away, building those fundamental skills are what improve your game more than anything else. And when players study those, they find them to be the most satisfying.
So without further ado, we present to you the five most popular Chessable courses of all time – not only the ones that have the most students, but the ones those students have been raving about as being the most help for improving their games.
And if you’re interested in them, now’s the perfect time to pick them up – all of them are on sale now until September 30 for up to 50% off.
1. 100 Endgames You Must Know
by Grandmaster Jesus de la Villa and presented by International Master John Bartholomew
The third World Chess Champion, Jose Raul Capablanca, once said “in order to improve your game, you must study the endgame before everything else, for whereas the endings can be studied and mastered by themselves, the middle game and opening must be studied in relation to the endgame.”
It makes a lot of sense. If you don’t know where you want to end up, how can you decide where you’re going?
The problem is that most players procrastinate studying endgames – whether because they don’t like them, are not comfortable with them, or if you’re like me, somehow “miss” clicking on “Learn” and end up clicking “3+0 Blitz.” (Oops).
100 Endgames You Must Know truly is a magic bullet to fix this problem. First off, most players will never encounter many of the obscure endgames taught in classical endgame manuals. So, narrowing down your studies to the 100 most critical is already streamlining your studies to what will get you the quickest results. You can literally learn one endgame a day, and after a little more in three months, you’ll know far more than the average chess player.
Second, the instruction is top-notch. As if GM de la Villa’s helpful tips for remembering the techniques weren’t enough, IM John Bartholomew proves why he’s one of the most respected chess coaches out there in the video course. His crystal-clear explanations make even the more complicated endgames seem so simple you’ll be asking yourself “Why did I struggle with this for so long?”
As one user puts it:
“This is a fantastic book. It makes the seemingly daunting task of learning the endgame easier by putting it into bite-sized bits of information and exercises. The author explains it to you like a coach or a friend beside the board would explain it to you, while also trying to establish some rules of thumb”
Sums it up pretty well!
Check out 100 Endgames You Must Know
2. The Woodpecker Method
by Grandmaster Axel Smith and Grandmaster Hans Tikkanen
Tactics win games – especially below master level. Even as high as the 1800-2000 rating band, 72% of games are won due to a tactic.
But the hardest part about tactics is spotting them in your games to begin with. We’ve all analyzed a game and found a missed tactic, thinking “how could I have missed that?” when you know you’d solve it easily on a tactics training app.
The Woodpecker Method fixes this by building your tactical pattern recognition with a tough but proven method: solving the same puzzles again and again, faster and faster each time.
The number of problems and difficulty is up to you – it could be a few hundred, or it could be the 1100+ given in the course. It’s the dedication and commitment that gets you results.
The method has had some amazing testimonials. Not only did author Hans Tikkanen achieve his grandmaster title with it, plenty of satisfied Chessable users made their own sizable rating gains. Here’s an excerpt from one review:
“During “The Woodpecker Method” 3 hr per day training, I did 4 chess.com blitz games per day on most days, more on some. I beat a GM within days of starting serious study of “The Woodpecker Method”, then started to peak on chess.com blitz almost every day. Fast forward to approximately 1 week later, after I succeeded in solving the book within 3 hrs (98% accuracy!), I gathered new data on chess.com blitz and chesstempo blitz tactics. My blitz peak went from 2279 to 2335! “
The best part is, you don’t have to study three hours a day like this user did. By varying your Chessable settings and the number of problems you solve, players at any level and any amount of free time can benefit.
Check out The Woodpecker Method
3. The Checkmate Patterns Manual
by CraftyRaf, and presented by International Master John Bartholomew
Speaking of tactical pattern recognition, let’s talk about the most important one: finding checkmate (it does win you the game, after all!).
Chessable user Raf Mesotten, known by his username CraftyRaf, scoured the databases to look for the 30 statistically most common checkmate patterns that decided games in practice.
Then, based on those 30 themes, he put together the ultimate guide to training those checkmate patterns and ingraining them into your brain.
What’s particularly beautiful about this course – aside from the author’s amazing thoroughness – is that it, too, can help players of all levels.
For some advanced players, finding checkmates seems like a rudimentary task, not worth studying. But in practice, it has helped some seriously strong players refine their tactics. Here’s one such review:
“I love this course. I was reluctant to buy it, as I felt like checkmate patterns are not something I would be struggling with. However, I decided to give it a shot, expecting to return it after I try it and see how good at checkmates I am. Little did I know…
After scoring full marks from the basic test, everything was going according to my plans. Then I started looking at the theory behind all those checkmates and I found quite a few exercises I got wrong (some of them multiple times), even though I knew what kind of pattern I should be looking for.
Therefore, I can say I will definitely be keeping this course. And I would advise everyone below 2k to give it a shot.”
Even World Champion Magnus Carlsen took up the gauntlet! Check it out here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEvokEakSnw
And if you’re an improving player who might not know these checkmate themes, that’s where IM John Bartholomew comes in. His video presentation of the themes is simply spot on, with the same clarity and down-to-earth explanations he’s famous for.
Check out The Checkmate Patterns Manual
4. Keep It Simple: 1.e4
by International Master Christof Sielecki
Opening repertoires are tricky – especially below master level. On the one hand, most chess coaches will tell you that you should prioritize other aspects of the game – like calculation and endgames – ahead of openings.
But they’ll also tell you that at the intermediate level and above, you should definitely start developing an opening repertoire – a basic response to every opening your opponent can play.
International Master Christof Sielecki has the perfect answer to this rock-and-a-hard place predicament. His Keep It Simple opening series gives you a complete opening repertoire that’s simple, easy to learn, and low maintenance.
Now, as IM Sielecki will tell you, “simple does not mean boring!” And it doesn’t mean “weak” either. In fact, IM Sielecki uses these openings himself regularly in his online games. And many satisfied students are seeing their own results too:
“This course has given me a great base to start with and my play has dramatically gotten better. I used to pick the “best” but super complicated lines that I just am not ready for as a club level player. This course is getting me through the opening with interesting positions that are more easily understandable for beginner / intermediate player with a full time job. He also gives plenty of options and advice on other interesting lines you can invest time in if you’re more ambitious later!
Strongly recommend this course!”
Check out Keep It Simple: 1.e4 here, as well as Keep It Simple: 1.d4 and Keep It Simple for Black
5. The Art of Attack in Chess
by International Master Vladimir Vukovic and presented by Grandmaster Simon Williams
Attack is an art in chess. One unfortunate miscalculation and a spectacular mating attack can turn into an embarrassing, game-losing blunder.
So it’s not easy to engineer a successful attack to begin with. But after taking this course, it will come a lot easier!
That’s because you’ll learn how to hunt down the enemy king no matter where he is on the board. Castled kingside, castled queenside, fianchetto setups, uncastled in the middle of the board, you name it.
The Art of Attack in Chess has been a go-to classic for decades. But having one of today’s premier chess instructors and attacking players present it on Chessable really makes it come alive.
Not only do you get GM Simon Williams’ memorable and engaging explanations, you can also rest assured that the classic text is up to 21st-century standards with engine checks on all variations by FIDE Master Kamil Plichta.
Here’s what we mean, as explained by one satisfied student:
“I completed this course a year or so ago and very quickly saw a rating increase for my online blitz. However, I recently acquired the full video course by Simon Williams and this adds a totally new dimension to the learning of the course. His excellent and passionate teaching style really shines though. I would highly recommend this superb course with the video. Well done, Simon on a wonderful piece of work!”
Check out The Art of Attack in Chess here
Get These Chessable Courses on the Cheap Today
And there you have them – the 5 most popular Chessable courses of all time. We hope that at least one of them will transform your game in the way that they have for so many. And at the time of this writing, you can get them all on sale for up to 50% off – so there’s no better time to start.