Alberto Chueca, FIDE Trainer & International Master 
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How important is it to be in a chess academy?

Studying in a chess academy is one of the most important experiences of the chess player. Being in a chess club, which is almost the same, can be pretty beneficial to your chess.

Let us state the difference between a chess academy and a chess club before we dive into the topic.

A chess academy is a place where you go to learn everything related to chess, take lessons and assist in classes, like the school. On the other hand, a chess club is a place where you go to play, and have fun, it’s also good for learning but is not its main purpose.

Of course, a chess club can also be a chess academy, but not every chess schools and academies are the same. Some of them are just for learning and some just for playing.

There are different types of chess academies, or better yet, ways to take chess classes online. When it’s about improving in chess through the internet there are many options.

All you need to improve it’s already on the internet, but you have to know how to organize it. Depending on your preferences, you can have the best option for you.

There are three types of “chess academies”, which we are going to organize in study methods, that you can use.

Chess academies online

chess academy tournament

You can choose to have online chess classes, it is a good option because of its wide reach. You have a vast amount of chess courses you can choose from, including mine, where you can be sure you will improve your chess.

Usually, chess coaches on the internet have tools to teach like lectures and webpages like Everything is digitalized, which is good because the internet has an incredible amount of information that chess coaches like me, know how to exploit.

The advantage is that you can have different strategies and there are thousands of masters with amazing courses. The problem with these is that they are usually a little expensive.

Also, there is no physical interaction, which as a chess coach I can say, has its impact on the student’s learning. Having a coach physically with you can motivate you more, and feeling the presence of your mates always improves the environment for learning.

You also need to consider that in every class, lecture, game, or anything you do, you have to do it through a screen. Playing chess is an exhausting activity for your brain, and looking at the screen for several hours can also have an impact.

You have to look forward to your sanity and health before anything else, you don’t want to end up needing a pair of glasses to read!

Face to face chess academies

chess academy
chess academy

Here is where the beautiful part about learning comes, finding a chess academy can completely change your life. Surely, some of the best experiences of your life you had in college, and it is not a surprise.

First of all, when you are in a chess club you can feel yourself as part of a team, or at least, a community. This can improve dramatically your results, and sets up a comfortable environment for learning.

The face to face communication will always be better, than through social media for several reasons.

Your coaches at the chess club you are going to will have a better idea of what is going to be best for you. The reason is simple; they can monitor their students more than they would in an online course.

Chess coaches can also have a close look at their performance in tournaments or practice games. Not only the playstyle but the feelings and energy of their students in the chess academy.

That exchange of energy and presence is something that the online course will never have.

The problem is that you probably live a little far and is difficult to assist, or you don’t like different environments. Just as in chess, everything has its pros and cons.

How to study chess by yourself?

chess academy pieces

There is another good option, and probably one of the best is not easy but is incredibly effective. Who said you needed a coach? You can study chess by yourself!

Of course, You usually get to a point where you need some kind of orientation by someone with more knowledge than you in a chess academy. And of course, there is nothing wrong with recognizing you need a master to guide you and keep improving.

But as I said earlier, all the information you need is on the internet, so you will never lack the material to study. But you have to know how to organize it and study it the correct way (studying the correct way is easier said than done and is a deep concept)

You can watch videos about the topic and look for answers, at this time, looking for new information on the internet isn’t bad as some people think.

Usually, one chess academy or two use this method, or look up their strategies on the internet, why can’t you do that by yourself!?

Also, websites like and can help you a lot improving. Even more, if you are willing to spend a little money on their subscriptions and accessing all of the content they have, which is excellent.

What is the best option?

chess academy improvement

There is not a concrete answer to this question, you have to conclude what works best for you. Depending on your situation and your circumstances, choosing one type of learning over another can be good or bad.

You can even choose all of them! You can combine all of these methods into one and have different ways to learn!

Diversification of the learning process is also necessary for your effort to make a real effect on your chess level. Just remember chess learning always has to be fun.

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Alberto is giving me step by step guidance on how to progress in chess. Because of his strong repertoire and game analysis support I was able to get an initial rating of 2148. My sincere thanks to my mentor Alberto who constantly supports me in my game analysis and helps me strengthen my game before going to the next rounds. He has a huge database of knowledge that caters to the beginner up to the master level. Thank you, Alberto, for being there throughout my chess journey.
Vyom and Omya have been learning from Coach Alberto since they were USCF rated ~1500 & ~1000 respectively. Coach Alberto played a critical role in understanding Vyom’s weaknesses and helped him overcome them. He has been an exceptional chess coach with a lot of patience with my kids. He played an instrumental role in teaching them different openings for both black and white. He is always available to help/guide them. He helps to analyze the games and suggest good moves. Our kids are very comfortable with the teaching style of Coach Alberto. He being an active player also helps as he shares what he learns from his games and experience as well.