2021 Chessable Awards – The Winners Are In!


Chessable Awards Blog
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The 2021 Chessable Awards not only recognizes the finest authors and chess courses from the past year — it’s also one of those much-awaited events where Chessablers virtually gather and share a piece of their mind.

We know how hectic and busy life can get, yet…

You — and thousands of amazing Chessablers around the world — carved out a time in your day to respond to the poll and support your favorite authors.

So thank you. For answering the call to rally our community together. For being generous with your time. For everything, really!

Now let’s celebrate the winners of the 2nd edition of the annual Chessable Awards.

Here they are.

The 2021 Chessable Awards Favorite Course

2021 Chessable Awards Winner, Keep It Simple For Black

Keep It Simple for Black by Christof Sielecki
Sielecki’s lean, mean and complete repertoire for Black takes 1.e4, 1.d4, 1.c4 and even 1.Nf3 by the horns. With a modernized Queen’s Gambit Declined and the Caro-Kann as his main recommendations, Sielecki simplifies your play in the opening and fights for the full point from a solid position.


  • Lifetime Repertoires: King’s Indian Defense by Gawain Jones
  • Thinking in Chess: A How to Guide by Vladimir Kramnik
  • Lifetime Repertoires: Wesley So’s 1. e4
  • Master Your Chess with Judit Polgar by Judit Polgar & Andras Toth
  • Lifetime Repertoires: Peter Svidler’s Grünfeld

Best New Author

Judit Polgar
If you want to get your hands on the secrets to successful attacking play, then Judit Polgar is the author to turn to. Over the board, the strongest female chess player ever plays with ruthless aggression… dismantling even world champions in short order. In front of the camera, however, Polgar is full of smiles as she treats students to crystal-clear instruction and demystifies how a top grandmaster thinks.

This Video is from Master Your Chess with Judit Polgar – Part 1


  • Peter Svidler
  • Surya Ganguly
  • Gawain Jones
  • Nils Grandelius
  • Pepe Cuenca

Best Peek Inside

Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual 5th Edition by Russell Enterprises & Erwin L’Ami
Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual is a timeless, must-see classic… and L’Ami’s “Peek Inside” video perfectly captured that. Watch L’Ami reminisce how the endgame bible upgraded his game, followed by an extended tour of the course.


  • Mastering Endgame Strategy by Johan Hellsten & Everyman Chess
  • Lifetime Repertoires: King’s Indian Attack by Kamil Plichta
  • Winning Chess Openings by Yasser Seirawan & Everyman Chess
  • King’s Kalashnikov Sicilian by Daniel King
  • Chess Principled Reloaded: King Safety by Andras Toth

Best FREE Course

Short & Sweet: Ruy Lopez by Nils Grandelius
Discover how to play the time-tested Ruy Lopez the “Grand” way: full of dynamism and always exciting. In just 20 variations, Grandelius shows you which “levers” to pull — from flank pawn pushes, central breakthroughs, to smart bishop maneuvers — and when to pull them so that the advantage sits firmly in your court.


  • Agadmator’s Anti-London System
  • Simon’s Tactics by Simon Williams
  • Short & Sweet: Accelerated Dragon by Kamil Plichta
  • Sicilian Defense Sidelines by Lord_Stronghold
  • Destroying the Dutch II: 2. Bg5! by chessforlife

Best Chess Opening Course

Keep It Simple for Black by Christof Sielecki
Unsurprisingly, the community’s favorite course is also the best chess opening course for 2021. While light and manageable — with only 345 streamlined variations — this complete course for Black comes with a heaping serving of game-changing instruction.

As one student puts it:

It’s like he (Sielecki) got inside the mind of the serious club player, and asked himself ‘what are their specific needs when it comes to choosing and studying an opening?’


  • Lifetime Repertoires: King’s Indian Defense by Gawain Jones
  • Lifetime Repertoires: Nimzo-Tarrasch by Surya Ganguly
  • Lifetime Repertoires: Wesley So’s 1. e4 by Wesley So
  • Lifetime Repertoires: Peter Svidler’s Grünfeld
  • Lifetime Repertoires: The Catalan by Srinath Narayanan

Best Tactics Course

The Best Chess Moves of All Time by Chessforlife & Simon Williams
This “art gallery” of brilliant chess moves sharpens your tactics — then takes you back in time with colorful stories which make lessons all the more memorable. Plus, you also get 15 hours of club player-friendly video instruction from GingerGM himself!


  • Calculation: A Complete Guide for Tournament Players by Azel Chua
  • Chess Principled Reloaded: King Safety by Andras Toth
  • Common Opening Traps and Blunders 1. e4 by CraftyRaf & Andras Toth
  • Survive & Thrive: How to Blunder Less and Defend Better by Dalton Perrine
  • Everyone’s First Chess Workbook by Peter Giannatos

Best Strategy Course

Thinking in Chess: A How to Guide by Vladimir Kramnik
If you struggle in positions without an obvious tactic or weakness to target, then this course is for you. Use the 14th World Champion’s “Three Questions Method” to unravel even the most puzzling middlegame positions, and master the art of winning… by doing nothing.


  • Mastering Chess Strategy by Johan Hellsten & Everyman
  • Master Your Chess with Judit Polgar by Judit Polgar & Andras Toth
  • The Seven Deadly Chess Sins by Jonathan Rowson
  • Grandmaster Thinking by Boris Avrukh
  • Micro-Plans: Mastering Weak Pawns by Swapnil Dhopade

Best Endgame Course

Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual 5th Edition by Russell Enterprises & Erwin L’Ami
Be your own endgame tablebase and play endings to perfection with the late Mark Dvoretsky’s magnum opus. The Chessable edition packs the same game-changing instruction as the earlier editions plus more — including 24 hours of video and 840 trainable variations that make the lessons stick.


  • Endgame Studies 101 by Kostya Kavutskiy
  • Mastering Endgame Strategy by Johan Hellsten
  • Harikrishna’s Endgame Magic
  • Yermolinsky’s Practical Endgames by Alex Yermolinsky

Apart from these categories, which required your votes, your trusty Chessable team also had a bit of fun. Our team deliberated and were in unison in recognizing the sharing spirit and work ethic of these amazing people.

Author of the Year

Andras Toth
Finding an author as well-rounded and instructive as Toth is near-impossible! Toth’s courses target the biggest drivers of chess improvement for club players – from time-tested chess principles, must-know opening tactics, to aggressive positional play.

This year alone, he published no less than six courses — making him the most prolific author in Chessable for 2021. Toth is a master at simplifying complex concepts into memorable “rules of thumb,” while his energetic presentation keeps you glued on the screen. It’s an excellent combination that makes chess training a wholesome pleasure.

Community Author of the Year

Elijah Logozar
Known as the “Mozart of Chessable,” Logozar’s on-point analysis and course design skills are legendary in the Chessable community. Whether you’re studying his refutation of a popular opening or one of the idea-based repertoires he helped create, you can’t help but get that all-together feeling which makes for a smoother learning experience.

Energizer Award

Sebastian Mihajlov
When the renowned streamer and speed chess specialist released his 1.e4 repertoire, we knew we stumbled upon someone special. In the course, Mihajlov just kept going and going… leaving no stone unturned as he deconstructed the must-know ideas and plans behind every variation. The result was over 100 hours of A+ chess instruction from Mihajlov, which enable you to play the openings as well as the best.

Showman Of The Year

Baskaran Adhiban
During the launch of his Lifetime Repertoire for #1b3cowboys, Adhiban went on a tagging rampage, tagging as many people as possible within Twitter’s 140-character limit.

His ever-supportive buddy, Anish Giri, and the rest of the b-pawn-slinging cowboys joined in on the fun, taking names like @TheEllenShow, @Cristiano Ronaldo, @KimKardashian, @ElonMusk and even @God!

It’s no secret that Adhiban loves plugging his course… even on Christmas.

And why not? Adhiban’s courses are chock full of insider stories and soundbites, which drive his point home while making you chuckle. Best part? His avante-garde opening recommendations and knack for the attack will make you unpredictable and lethal over the chess board.

Above and Beyond Award

Kamil Plichta
“The Polish Powerhouse” has amassed over 1700 four-to-five-star reviews from fans and for good reason. Not only are Plichta’s opening repertoires heaven-sent for ambitious chess mavericks, he also updates his courses regularly… multiple times a year even! If you want an author who will keep up with the ever-changing opening theory for you, then Plichta is the man!

Legend Of The Year

Alex Colovic
“Legend of the year” doesn’t even do Colovic justice. He saw Chessable’s potential for self-training and coaching in its early ragtag state. And he soon became the first grandmaster to create complete repertoires on the platform. His repertoire on the Queen’s Gambit Declined was an instant hit. Since then, Colovic has published 17 pro-level repertoires and answered countless user questions in the forums. A true legend!

Surprise Category For Chessable Users

In ending this post, we want to give you a gift which will make 2021 even more memorable for you. Presenting Chessable’s Year In Review!

If doubling your chess improvement ranks high on your list of priorities for 2022, then Year In Review can help you channel your time and effort in the right direction.

It shows how well you’ve done in your Chessable training last year. It shows you your favorite courses… the number of XP points and days you’ve studied… the total number of hours you’ve trained… as well as your streak and accuracy.

With Year In Review, you can tell at a glance where and how to step up your training this year.

Here are the stats of the entire Chessable community:

  • Total hours studied: 2,035,268.6
  • Total variations studied with double counting: 24,428,029
  • Total unique variations studied: 1,094,192
  • Total XP earned: 29,373,736,549

With the help of Year In Review, we also tracked some of the top users in our platform. Kudos to these consistent and hard-working students of the game, who come to Chessable every day to train like a champ.

Top Users With The Maximum Number Of Badges Earned For 2021

  • Marco700: 95 badges
  • igaines: 92 badges
  • Eller: 85 badges
  • MakkaPakka: 79 badges

We’d love to see your name here next year. And if you’re up for the challenge, then let Year In Review help you plan your chess improvement journey for the coming months.

You can access Year In Review using any of the links or by typing in https://www.chessable.com/year-in-review/ in your browser. Check it out and share your review with us.

Again, thank you for making the 2021 Chessable Awards possible. Let’s do this again next year!

Highlighted course

The Woodpecker Method

Highlighted course

The Checkmate Patterns Manual

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