Chess Training Program Outline (for up to 2100 ELO)

Today’s article is somewhat a continuation of the last week’s chess saga about finding strengths and weaknesses of your chess. We will talk about developing a chess study program that would suits individual needs for players it’s designed for.

What is the most important in the chess program? Of course it needs to be effective, meaning that after investing your time in it your chess strength should increase. It is very difficult to create a universal study plan that will suit all chess players.

The plan should be based on two main parameters: players overall chess ability (rating) and player’s individual strengths and weaknesses. In order to evaluate which positions you understand the best and what type of openings yield best performance I suggest reading finding strengths and weaknesses of your chess.

I will show you detailed chess training program that is designed for a players up to 2100 rating. If your rating is much below that you should not feel intimidated. Regardless of your current chess level you will greatly improve your chess by following the themes presented below.

Chess Training Program (up to 2100 ELO)

1. TACTICS BASICS [20 hours]

This a very or maybe even the most important part of chess training. Surprisingly enough most chess player don’t like working on chess tactics puzzles and get very surprised why the miss easy tactics and lose the game against those that do. Don’t make this mistake and spend enough time on it. Chess progress will come quick if you stick to daily tactics routine.

You can jump start your tactics training with simple exercises. For more serious training I would recommend getting a specially designed software like CT-ART. Chess Master and Chess King (review) have some solvable tactics problems as well.

The main idea of solving tactical problems is to improve your calculating ability, increase board visualization ability and overall chess awareness.

2. STRATEGY BASICS [30 hours]

This are very fundamental middle game themes that every chess player should know. You should find chess literature and study the following topics thoroughly. If you have an access to a chess database with the ability to search games by themes (like ChessBase) you should select some of these themes and study related masters/grandmaster games. If you have annotated game collection, it’s even more useful. After you read theory and study high level games, you should spend some time on analyzes of your own games on these themes and solving tactics problems related to these themes.

List of topics to study:

– Pawn advantage on one side of the board

– Pawn chain

– Better pawn structure

– Blockade

– Isolated pawn in the center

– Weak pawns

– Closed center

3. ENDGAME BASICS [30 hours]

Endgame is another extremely important area of the game that needs to be studied thoroughly in order to get consistently good results at chess. The method of studying endgames is similar to those of middle games. You should first read some theory about the endgame themes below. For that I would recommend using books such as Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual , Pandolfini’s Endgame Course or any other endgame resource you wish to use. Then, again if you have an access to a chess database with ability to search by themes, you can sort out high level games on the particular ending and go through it. You can practice playing certain endgame positions against the computer and then check it with Nalimov’s Tablebase.

List of topics to study:

– Bishop vs. pawns

– Opposite color bishops

– Same color bishops

– Knight vs. pawns

– Knight endgames

– Bishop vs. knight

– Rook vs. pawns

– Rook endgames

– Queen endgames


Good luck with training program. Remember if you stay dedicated to one thing, the results will come! If you have any comments please share them below.

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Updated 04.05.2023


Chess coach:
Very good article!
Hi Prasanna, we have send you an email with login instructions, please check your inbox. Happy training! :-)
prasanna kumar mohap:
Sir I have already paid the amount for 21 days course.but still I don't find any way how I will get access.
Alan W:
Hi,Great article, I just need an obvious clarification:Within each header you specify a certain number of hours [20 hours], but are we talking per week, per month, year?Thanks.
I want to improve my level in chess
Hello Bob and thanks for your comment, the only things that are available for sale are the 1. GM Smyrnov's Courses ( on various topics from openings to endgame and tactics, etc.and2. Online Chess Lessons Videos (even bigger variety of topics) ( prices of the videos and courses vary from 20$ to 300$ and more for the whole package. :-)
Bob Armstrong:
Yuri: Is there a set price or price list for optional packages? If so, could you post it on the homepage, so we know whether this might be financially out of reach of some visitors. Saves us clicking and then feeling sprung upon about pricing. Thanks.
Strategy is a very fundamental element of chess. It can be subdivided into a few main themes such as:1. Attacking castled king (same side)2. Opposite sides castles attacks3. Isolated pawn (playing with and against it)4. Transition into a favorable endgame5. Positional sacrificeEach of the elements should be studied separately and thoroughly. I will try to cover some of the material in future articles. As of materials, I recommend Nimzovitch "My System" book as the most fundamental positional work at chess.
koravi chandrashekha:
Very good article.2nd is study strategySir can you tell me how to study strategy??? Is there any website or any material to study it?
It all depends what chess software is for. If you want to do tactics training CT-ART is my favorite. If you need to play against it ChessMaster has most characters. If you want to analyze your games and do your own games databases ChessBase is the best.
Of course playing tournament chess is a requirement for reaching 2100 rating. Many people need a little 'warm up'before playing their best chess. Some even recommend solving 5-10 easy chess tactics puzzles for warm up before first round. You may give it a try as well.
Manindra Prashar:
cam you please suggest some computer program
M Psaila:
Thank you for a good article, but you are missing part 4 - play chess! Whenever I play in a tournament I notice that I only 'gear up' inthe 3rd or 4th round. When I play training games before an event, I find my chess to be much better inthe fiorst two rounds. The question is, how many games should one play? two, or three times a week (I am thinking og 30 or 45 min games)