One Hour Chess Challenge

One Hour Chess Challenge

Most players complain that studying chess is hard and extremely time consuming. They say something among these lines: “I would study chess, but my life is too short for that, I have other responsibilities…” These players think that to study chess you need to give up everything else, and focus solely on the game.


That may be the case if you are aiming for 2800 elo. If 2200 is your goal, than you can easily divide your time between your regular life and the game of chess. Even a one hour training session repeated 3-4 times per week will give you the results you desire.

In today’s article I will show you what you can learn in one hour. Let the one hour chess challenge begin.

Where do we start?

Generally, I suggest including multiple elements in your training session. That way you won’t get too tired focusing on just a single thing. What’s important to understand, is that even if you have multiple elements in your session, you should still have the primary element that you want to spend your time on.

Let me give you an example. Let’s assume we have a training session that consists of 3 elements:

1. Tactics (5 problems to tackle)

2. Endgame (Learn to checkmate a lone King with Bishop and Knight)

3. Famous chess game analysis

The main objective of this training section is to learn how to checkmate a lone King with a Bishop and Knight. Given the right materials and sufficient practice it will probably take you about 30 minutes to master this skill.

Tactics and the famous game analysis are the secondary objectives. They won’t take you as much time as the primary objective to complete, but they are also important for keeping your tactical vision sharp and learning new ideas from the famous game.

You can arrange the remaining 30 minutes in the following way. In 20 minutes you can probably solve 5 tactics problems, assuming they are not extremely hard. If the problems are harder, you may need to spend the whole 20 minutes on a single problem. 10 minutes should be sufficient to quickly go over the famous game and to understand some of it (with good annotations).

It is time to begin our one hour challenge. Set your timer for 60 minutes.

Today’s training session will consist of 3 tasks.

Task 1:

You can pick what tactics set you want to complete (don’t spend more than 20 minutes on this task):

Tactics set #1

Tactics set #2

Tactics set #3

Task 2:

You can pick your primary objective that you want to study (don’t spend more than 30 minutes on this task):

1. The Pawn Triangle

2. Backward Pawns

3. Rook vs. Bishop

4. Triangulation

5. Attack on the king in the center

6. Hanging pawns and Bishop Pair

7. Zugzwang

Task 3:

You can pick the famous game to go over (don’t spend more than 10 minutes on this task, unless you have some time remaining from the two previous tasks):

Game set #1

Game set #2

Game set #3

Note: you want have time to go over multiple games, simply pick one game from any of the sets and try to understand what’s going on.

Let’s summarize what we have done today.

Today I have showed you a simplified version of the training day. It was reasonably short and efficient. What’s most important is that you have learned a new skill that can be used in your games to obtain an edge or to win a position. That’s what your training should be focused on: the skills, not concepts.

Note: You can complete these process on multiple days, since you have enough material for at least 3-5 training sessions.

In our Supercharge Your Chess training course we actually have 4 to 5 tasks per training session. In each of the training days you will start by getting familiar with the theoretical part. Then you will go over the thoroughly analyzed and annotated Grandmaster’s game to demonstrate how this concept works in real games. Next you will get assigned homework. And finally you will work through an endgame example, first by trying to tackle the problem by yourself and then by going over the complete explanation of the position. You will get to practice all of the practical positions against our sophisticated endgame trainer to make sure you can [not just think you can, there is a big difference] win or draw similar positions over-the-board.

Are your ready to stat serious training? Then let’s begin your chess transformation!

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Updated 01.07.2024