Students and Reviews


Foundation for Grandmaster

" About 10 years ago I bought this course for my son J. and I really liked the methodological approach - and it worked as my son is a strong GM by now :).
Most trainers unfortunately don't use books/courses. To my opinion it is very important to work through books/courses, so the student can prepare for the lesson, and to use the lesson for explanation/checking homework, I prefer lessons with the chessmaster course [Grandmaster Package], as the material is very good, it is well-organized, and it contains ample material for home study. [...] I think J. used the course to improve from 2000 to 2300.
" - S.T.

FIDE Master in One Year

"Hello, I have been following your course and wanted to tell you that I just had a huge chess success. I played in my first international tournament and finished with an even score of 4.5/9, FIDE performance of 2288, and local performance of 2344. I have used almost exclusively your materials to attain this level of performance and really appreciate your making them available.
The quality of the material throughout the course is very high and there is much material to work through. Good work guys your material was like a breath of fresh air. I am understanding and enjoying my chess better than ever before. My result is on the FIDE website now!
" - Matt Hassen

From 1250 to 1700 Rating at 55 Years Old

"At age 55 I was wondering if these lessons would help. I would like to tell you they do. My rating went from 1250 to over 1700." - Richard T.

From 1700 rating to Beat International Masters

"I just wanted to say that i found your program fantastic and it has helped me alot. When i started i just had recently began to play chess again after at least 10 year break, and my rating just about 1740, but in that one year i have been improving alot and played for example 2 very good games: a win against IM 2330 in Reykjavik open and against WGM with over 2300, and my interest in chess have never been so profound. I´m learning new things every week and feel that my understanding have improved alot, so thank you." - Atli A.

From 1700 to 2050 Rating at 11 Years Old

"My son has almost finished the 1-year course from the chessmasterschool. He really liked the course and improved a lot. His rating increased from 1700 to 2050 (he's 11 years old)." - Sheila V.


Neil Dietsch - President of Alabama Chess Federation:
"One of my students won the state championship for grades K-3 in March; he's just turned 9. This wouldn't have happened without the theoretical grounding ICS has provided which allows me to teach him with confidence."

"Over the past two years his [a boy of 11 years old now] rating has risen from just under 1000 to 1824. Initially I used what I learned from your course to teach my students. When the time came where it was clear his chess talent was exceeding my own, I was able to move him to mostly self-study of the Grandmaster course.
As my students have taken home more trophies recently at state tournament competitions where several more highly rated coaches compete, there have been questions about my "secret weapon". Of course I have been happy to share that it is the International Chess School.

"Im Daniel M. and Im nearly finishing the core chess course... I'm also chess teacher and I have never found better chess material for improving chess level. Thanks for all." - Daniel M.

Reviews from Strong, Experienced Chess Players

You would perhaps be interested to know that I raised my elo from 2164 to 2241 (and finnish elo from 2157 to 2257) during this summer much due to your programs." - Ralph R., Finland

"Just to let you know how good I think this course is. My thinking technique over my years of chess I thought was good when I concentrated but that was an illusion. Actually it was more like shooting in the dark a bow and arrow and hitting a bulls eye. I played some good games but not consistent. I just finished a tournament and this was the most consistent I have ever played. I have been playing in tournaments for nearly 30 years and for the first time I feel confident, and that I can play with most anyone. This course provided with true understanding. You have made it so clear... I feel Master is definitely not out of my reach." - Joseph C.

"My results have become excellent: 17 wins, 5 draws, 2 lost. Have given 2 x 1st price, 1 x 2nd price and 1 x 3rd price (among very strong competitors; was above 2300).
By the way, my results since the beginning of this course +20 =5 -2. Rating increasing! Club tournament is not inclued but is 8,5/9
" - Stefan H. - Denmark

"I have been very impressed by the quality of your chess lessons!! I wish I had this quality when I was younger. ...has helped me a lot which has reflected in a 78% performance in my 2009 season playing in the Bezirkliga in the German league and as a result, helping my team to promotion to the Verbandsklasse." - U.B.

"My rating's around 1900. This is the first detailed program I have seen on visualization so I am trying to do my best with it. Most books say how important it is but don't have a program for training it." - Lucas R.

"I must say that your lessons are very interesting and am looking really forward to study hard at my chess. As a 2080 elo FIDE rated player, your method and approach look like a revolution to me and I realise now how bad I was working on my chess by my own. Thanks very much for your good work." Ronald A.

"Hello, first I'd like to really let you know how much I've enjoyed the first year of the lessons you sent me. It has been a wonderful year of learning many things about chess that I didn't know before. I particularly learned a lot about the center, about weaknesses of ponds in squares. I knew a lot of those things in a way as I am a 2000 player so I do have a grasp of some positional understanding. But the way you explained to me really helped open my eyes to new possibilities." - Roger M.

"I've been working with your materials for over a year now, and remain as impressed as ever. The ideas and analysis are insightful, clear and powerful. Thanks so much for creating the program. Keep up the good work!" - Chess Master Paul P.

"I wanted to say how impressed I am with the quality of the material provided. I have an ELO of around 2150 and have read hundreds of chess books. Rarely, if ever, have I encountered such a clear explanation of a model thought process." - John M.

"I like your chess school. I am at month 5. For the first time I was able to win against elo 2100 and draw against 2300." - Kyle B.

"First I would like to congratulate the staff of ICS for a very systematic and thorough program - it really is fantastic - I am already beating most masters more than half the games." - Eric J.

"First of all I'll like to thank you for the course that I think clears a lot of how the work to improve chess should be done... I wonder if I could have had these instruments when I was 14/15 years old and my chess passion started...(ca. 40 years ago)." - Michael D.

"I attained special benefit from your positional exercises in the last few lectures and your playing technique lessons. The way you break down the positional evaluation it's all so logical and easy to understand if you take the time. I have read many books on positional chess but none break it down the way you do". - Jeff K.

"Guys, this is a great product with a lot of great exercises. ...Thanks a lot for designing a real study program, which is the most difficult part of any discipline. This study, combined with reading less than 1/2 of Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual, gave a 200 point increase (after 3 months) in my chess rating (and a larger increase in my online rating).
Thanks for making a wonderful product. It's rare to find lessons so instructive without the presence of a teacher.... but dollar for dollar, this is some of the best money I've ever spent. I've improved more in the last year than I have in the five years prior." - Evan B.

"Thank you for such a great web service, I have taken lessons from a GM before and this is much more affordable and just as good. My rating is 2151 now and I can't thank you enough for the great information you have to offer. - Cody W. 2151 rating, USA

Reviews From Chess Players of Intermediate Level

"It is obvious that much time, hard work, and thought went into the lessons you have created. This isn’t just a “pot boiler” like so many courses and books, but a serious, well thought out course of instruction. I believe, from what I have seen so far, that if one truly masters the material and “makes it one’s own”, the result will be a great increase in chess ability. This material is not watered down, but difficult and demanding, as it should be to get results. It will take a LOT of hard work, but mastering the material coupled with time, play, and perseverance will surely suffice to create a player of master strength. Well done!" - Dr. Edward B., USA

"I know I am in my 30s now and have some stumbling bad habits to get past, but with your original chess master school it looks like all the tools necessary to reach master level are being provided and now it is simply up to me to absorb them, now success or failure is purely based on my own willingness to work hard and persevere.
Thank you for continuing to be on the innovative road of chess training with the approach to training that I always thought was possible but never knew where to find it.
" - Andrew P., Canada

"Signed up for the course 1 month ago and want to say I am very pleasantly shocked by the quality and depth of your instruction and all the related material. I'm a weak club player (1400 on, but for 3 years I've been reading/studying everything I could find (Dvoretsky, Sokolov, Silman, Aagaard, Alburt, Watson, etc....) and nothing compares to your method/approach and the clarity. ...Only 3 weeks and already I look at the board with new and fresh perspective that promises to LEAD SOMEWHERE!!" - Michael C.

"I am excited about this course. This has helped my chess tremendously. The Thinking Technique makes things so clear.
The course is awesome. I am playing again in tournaments and with the knowledge I have now I am gaining more confidence each game. I just won a tournament in the U2000 section in Atlanta this past weekend scoring 3 wins and 2 draws. It was my first good tournament but each game got better. It is due to the course I believe. ...I appreciate the time you guys put into making sense of what confuses me in chess. Thank you." - Joseph C.

"First of all, I’d like to tell that your chess course has an extraordinary effect on my latest results. ...but now, as more and more pieces of the puzzle start to fall in place, I’m playing with a lot more confidence, I have won almost all of my latest games and will be gaining at this moment already approx. 130 ELO-rating points in 3 months." - Bart C.

"I would just like to say that the chess school so far has improved my game tremendously. I play regularly on a site called (...) and before the chess school i was battling to consistently beat 100 - 150 (UK scale) rated players. I probably won one in every 3-4 games and now i am winning 7 out of every 10. I have put it down to making less silly mistakes because of looking for consequences as well as recognizing real threats from smoke screens so to say. So basically if after one month you have helped my game this much i can only imagine how it will help after a year." - David L., UK

"I completed about 90% of the 13 months of chess school. I would like to thank you and the staff for providing a high level of instruction at a low price. I won my first A-section tournament 1600-1900 section, with a score of 3 wins and one draw thanks to the chess school." - William M.

"Let me thank you for putting together this 13-month program. Speaking as someone who has over 500 chess books (I am somewhat of a collector) I have found this program to be HIGHLY instructive and easy to assimilate. After playing chess off and on for about 15-years I finally feel like I have a systematic approach that can help me stay on track and meet my goals. The problems are very challenging and insightful.
...The experience so far has definitely exceeded my expectations; kudos and thanks for the constant improvement of the program." - Roland W.

"I am delighted with the lessons which are superb and by far the best instructional material I have ever read." - Laurence D.

"I think the materials are wonderful. Definitely they are not something you can read in a book, and they are also very practical for your play. I'm am very pleased with everything. I believe that after a year my play will have improved dramatically." - Eric E.

Reviews from Beginners

"I have played a number of tournaments and have applied my learning very well. I have been able to move my ratings from 1300 to 1614 (USCF). Your course is very well organized and I really enjoy it. I do spend about 3 hours a day on your materials. My goal is to hit 2000 (USCF) by Summer." - Aron K.

"I'm really very very very happy about these lessons. I'm 52 years old and began 2 years ago playing in Internet. I have a lot of books, DVD, and, believe me, no one explain chess like your Chess School. Now I begin to understand really HOW TO PLAY CHESS! To qualify these lessons there are only three words...1. EXCELLENT...2. EXCELLENT...3 EXCELLENT." - Balduino L., Spain

I have been looking for almost 2 years for someone like you to teach me chess. Believe me, when I say, I know how difficult it is to get good realistic and truly practical chess instruction. Your program is by far the best I have been able to find. My search is over. I feel I am certainly getting my money's worth and it is up to me now to work hard and get the most from what you are offering." - Robert C., USA

"First of all I'd like to thank you one more time for the wonderful course you have provided me. I'm in the 10th month and feel I now have a chess knowledge i'd never get anywhere else. And more important, thanks to your method I'm now more and more able to use this knowledge to actually make difference in my play." - I.S.

"This is definitely not going to be easy, but the material IS VERY understandable and I am confident that I will improve...even if it takes me a little longer that is fine. I am already thinking more and trying to be more logical in the way I approach chess. Thanks to all of you that made this course possible." - James H.

"Hi, I would like to thank you for the amazing study material! I am only been a member for a month and my online rating went from 1305 to 1470, big improvement, thanks! I'm looking forward to the rest of the course!" - C.M.

"Just want to thank you for the great program. It is helping me to develop chess thinking skills that I have never had. The time constraints that I have do not allow me to get through the lessons monthly as they are laid out, but I study at my own rate and am very pleased with your program. My game is improving, a lot. Thank you very much." - Alden I.

"The ICS is AMAZING stuff, my rating went from 1300 online to 1612 in 2 months, thanks very much for all the effort." - S.G.

"Your product is superb. I really appreciate the "no-shortcut approach". I've learned a ton and can't wait to keep practicing and learning. Thank you for providing this service at such a good price as well. - Jared L.

Reviews from Parents

"Samir (child) has religiously completed 10 months of the course and plans to finish. His ratings has moved from 1300 to 1774 (USCF) since he started the course. Thank you for your very good material." - Mustafa P.

"My son has almost finished the 1-year course from the chessmasterschool. He really liked the course and improved a lot. His rating increased from 1700 to 2050 (he's 11 years old)." - Sheila V.

"My son does like your lessons which are very clear and instructional. I have worked with chess coaches before so I know how systematic and thoughtful you are! I am very grateful for the solid foundation you have given my son. He thinks of you as the coach who taught him how to play GOOD CHESS." - K.L.A., Hong Kong

"Your student did really well today. He is now the newly crowned under 13 champion of Hong Kong Junior Chess Open! I had a long conversation with his father and we both agree that you have a very good chess program and excellent teachers!!!" - K.L.A.

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