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ChessDojo Training Program

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the foundation of the program?

The Dojo Training Program is built around three simple ideas:

  1. That we need a structure to guide us and to which we are accountable

  2. That we need a cohort to spar with, a coach above us, and someone to teach

  3. That the most substantive form of chess improvement is the analysis of our own games

How does the program work?

We give you a training plan (list of tasks) and a cohort (in Discord) to support your journey. Most of the work is done on your own, or with a training partner. The most important task is to play long games and then analyze them. But the work is entirely self-paced. And you should definitely not try to rush it. Yes, you can quickly skim the required reading and check off a box. But you will find much more success if you spend time, by yourself and with your cohort, truly studying the material.

How often should I study?

You should put in "sweat work" at least three times a week. Sweat work is hard enough that you feel tired afterward. Examples include playing long games, game analysis, solving difficult exercises, etc. Watching videos, playing blitz, and doing lots of puzzle rush does not count as sweat work!

What happens if I go up a rating band but haven't checked all my boxes?

Congratulations! You have made it to the next level and can start in on the new requirements.

Do I have to do everything in the program?

The training plans are meant to offer a structured and clear path to long-term chess improvement. We believe most people will improve before completing everything in their individual plan. Most students start with the stuff that they know they can complete, before moving on to the harder stuff that will ultimately benefit more.

What are the classical game requirements?


A core task of the program core tasks is to play and annotate one's own games. The minimum accepted time controls for each rating are as follows:
 

  • U800: 30+15

  • 800-1200: 45+15

  • 1200-1600: 60+30

  • 1600+: 90+30


There is no minimum game requirement. Many students try to play one classical game per week, some try to play an OTB tournament every 1-2 months. You play the games, you mark them off. Are long games necessary? Yes--you need to have the competitive pressure of long thinking in a classical game to truly hone your skills and you need that long game to be able to review it after. It is not possible to review your own deep thinking in a blitz/rapid game.

Have other questions? Use the contact form on the bottom right.