Announcing the 2nd Annual Chessable Awards

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Chessable Awards Blog
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Dozens of courses, thousands of trainable variations, and who knows how many moves later, 2021 is in the books. It certainly was a whirlwind of new courses – more than 200 new ones, in fact!

And while all these courses are quality, some of them really set themselves apart. For that reason, we pause to honor some of the most talented authors and amazing chess courses of 2021 with the 2nd Annual Chessable Awards

And what a year 2021 was. Legendary players like Judit Polgar and Vladimir Kramnik made their debut as authors. Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual became a video course. And there’s finally a Lifetime Repertoire on 1.b3!

But they certainly aren’t the only ones worthy of mention. Chessable is very fortunate to have a host of capable authors who really make this the best site for learning chess. Young and old, professional and amateur, and from all parts of the world – their contributions to the chess world have gone a long way in elevating our game to the remarkably high level it’s at today.

So to help give these authors and courses the recognition they deserve, we’re asking you to help elect the best of the best – the Chessable Award winners. 

Highlighted course

Thinking In Chess: A How To Guide

How the Awards Work

From January 19 to 25, we’ll be collecting your votes for the best pick in a number of categories, including:

  • Course of the Year
  • Best New Author
  • Best Opening Course
  • Best Strategy Course
  • Best Tactics Course 
  • Best Endgame Course
  • Best Peek Inside
  • Best Free Course

Each category will have a list of nominees – all you have to do is choose the one you think is best using this form. Come January 25, we’ll tally the votes and announce the winners of each category by e-mail and in a subsequent post. 

So who’s nominated this year? Well, without further ado, let’s introduce each category and its nominees.

Course of the Year

This one probably needs little explanation, however! Simply put, we’re talking about what you think is the absolute best course that came out this year. Whether it be on openings, tactics, strategy, or anything else, if it’s the best, vote for it here!

This year’s nominees are: 

  • Lifetime Repertoires: Wesley So’s 1.e4
  • by Grandmaster Wesley So
  • Lifetime Repertoires: Berlin Defense
  • by Grandmaster Sam Shankland
  • Lifetime Repertoires: King’s Indian Defense
  • by Grandmaster Gawain Jones
  • Lifetime Repertoires: The Catalan
  • by Grandmaster Srinath Narayanan
  • Lifetime Repertoires: Peter Svidler’s Grunfeld
  • by Grandmaster Peter Svidler
  • Lifetime Repertoires: 1.b3 by Grandmaster
  • Adhiban Baskaran
  • Lifetime Repertoires: Dragon Sicilian
  • by Grandmaster Anish Giri
  • Lifetime Repertoires: Nimzo/Semi-Tarrasch
  • by Grandmaster Surya Ganguly
  • Master Your Chess with Judit Polgar
  • by Grandmaster Judit Polgar and International Master Andras Toth
  • Thinking in Chess: A How To Guide
  • by Grandmaster Vladimir Kramnik
  • Keep It Simple for Black
  • by International Master Christof Sielecki

Best New Author

2021 saw a wave of new authors making their Chessable debut. With names like these, nobody can say that Chessable publishing is lacking chess talent! Choose from one of these find minds for the best new author of 2021: 

  • Grandmaster Surya Ganguly
  • (author of Lifetime Repertoires: Nimzo/Semi-Tarrasch)
  • Grandmaster Swapnil Dhopade
  • (author of Lifetime Repertoires: Benko Gambit and Micro-Plans: Mastering Weak Pawns)
  • Grandmaster Judit Polgar
  • (author of Mastering Your Chess with Judit Polgar)
  • Grandmaster Gawain Jones
  • (author of Lifetime Repertoires: King’s Indian Defense)
  • Grandmaster Nils Grandelius
  • (author of The Grand Ruy Lopez)
  • Grandmaster Peter Svidler
  • (author of Lifetime Repertoires: Grunfeld Defense)
  • Grandmaster Jonathan Rowson
  • (author of the Seven Deadly Chess Sins and Chess for Zebras) 
  • Grandmaster Pepe Cuenca
  • (author of Lifetime Repertoires: Philidor Defense)
  • International Master Lawrence Trent
  • (author of 1…b6 Against Everything)
  • FIDE Master Michiel Abeln 
  • (author of Leningrad Dutch – An Uncompromising, Attacking Opening)

Best Opening Course

A hotly contested category! It’s no secret in the chess world that there are loads of quality opening books, and Chessable is no exception. Here are the nominees for the best opening course of 2021:

  • Lifetime Repertoires: Wesley So’s 1.e4
  • by Grandmaster Wesley So
  • Grandmaster Gambits: 1.e4
  • by Grandmaster Simon Williams and International Master Richard Palliser
  • Lifetime Repertoires: Grunfeld Defense
  • by Grandmaster Peter Svidler
  • Lifetime Repertoires: Sethuraman’s 1.e4
  • by Grandmaster S.P. Sethuraman
  • Lifetime Repertoires: King’s Indian Attack
  • by FIDE Master Kamil Plichta
  • Lifetime Repertoires: Dragon Sicilian
  • by Grandmaster Anish Giri
  • Lifetime Repertoires: Nimzo/Semi-Tarrasch
  • by Grandmaster Surya Ganguly
  • Lifetime Repertoires: Queen’s Gambit Janowski Variation
  • by Grandmaster Max Warmerdam
  • Lifetime Repertoires: King’s Indian Defense
  • by Grandmaster Gawain Jones
  • Butcher 1…e5: The Bishop’s Opening
  • by International Master Miodrag Perunovic
  • Understanding Chess Openings: 1.e4
  • by Grandmaster Vladimir Kramnik
  • The King’s Indian: Simplified
  • by Grandmaster Alex Colovic
  • Lifetime Repertoires: Berlin Defense
  • by Grandmaster Sam Shankland
  • Keep It Simple for Black by
  • International Master Christof Sielecki
  • Lifetime Repertoires: Accelerated Dragon
  • by FIDE Master Kamil Plichta
  • Long Live the King’s Gambit
  • by Grandmaster Ian Nepomniachtchi
  • 1…b6 Against Everything
  • by International Master Lawrence Trent
  • The Grand Ruy Lopez
  • by Grandmaster Nils Grandelius
  • The Leningrad Dutch: An Uncompromising, Attacking Opening
  • by FIDE Master Michiel Abeln

Best Tactics Course

“Chess is 99% tactics,” they say. Here are the nominees for the best course on the nuts and bolts of chess in 2021: 

  • Chess Principles Reloaded: King Safety
  • by International Master Andras Toth
  • Survive and Thrive: How to Blunder Less and Defend Better
  • by FIDE Master Dalton Perrine
  • Common Opening Traps and Blunders: 1.e4
  • by CraftyRaf and International Master Andras Toth
  • Blunder Busters
  • by Benedictine
  • World Champions Blunder
  • by Grandmaster Mykhaylo Oleksiyenko
  • Everyone’s First Chess Workbook
  • by FIDE Master Peter Giannatos
  • The Best Chess Moves of All Time
  • by chessforlife, presented by Grandmaster Simon Williams
  • The Psychology of Chess Tactics
  • by mn79
  • Beyond Material by
  • Grandmaster Davorin Kuljasevic
  • Calculation: A Complete Guide for Tournament Players
  • by Candidate Master Azel Chua

Best Strategy Course

Wait, if chess is 99% tactics, is the other 1% strategy? Okay, maybe that expression doesn’t make any sense! After all, as Bobby Fischer once said, “tactics flow from a superior position!” So who were the most instructive strategic players in 2021? Here are the nominees: 

  • Grandmaster Thinking
  • by Grandmaster Boris Avrukh
  • Master Your Chess with Judit Polgar
  • by Grandmaster Judit Polgar and International Master Andras Toth
  • Thinking in Chess: A How To Guide
  • by Grandmaster Vladimir Kramnik
  • Mastering Chess Strategy
  • by Grandmaster Johan Hellsten
  • The Seven Deadly Chess Sins
  • by Grandmaster Jonathan Rowson
  • Micro-Plans: Mastering Weak Pawns
  • by Grandmaster Swapnil Dhopade
  • Game Changer
  • by Grandmaster Matthew Sadler and International Master Natasha Regan
  • Best of British
  • by Grandmaster Simon Williams and International Master Richard Palliser, featuring Grandmasters Michael Adams, Nigel Short, and Matthew Sadler

Best Endgame Course

While tactics and strategy may be important, it has to be the endgame where the majority of points (or half points) are won and lost! Here are the nominees for the best endgame course of 2021: 

  • Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual: 5th Edition
  • by International Master Mark Dvoretsky and presented by Grandmaster Erwin L’Ami
  • Harikrishna’s Endgame Magic
  • by Grandmaster Pentala Harikrishna
  • Mastering Endgame Strategy
  • by Grandmaster Johan Hellsten
  • Yermolinsky’s Practical Endgames
  • by Grandmaster Alex Yermolinsky
  • Endgame Studies 101
  • by International Master Kostya Kavutskiy

Best Peek Inside

Even if you don’t own the course, you may have peeked inside with the ever-engaging Peek Inside video on the course description page. And some of our authors really do an outstanding job of explaining the content and ‘pique’ing your interest 😉. Some of them are even better than us at making puns, if you can believe that. Here are the nominees for Best Peek Inside video:

  • Chess for Zebras
  • by Grandmaster Jonathan Rowson
  • The Leningrad Dutch: An Uncompromising, Attacking Opening
  • by FIDE Master Michiel Abeln
  • Lifetime Repertoires: King’s Indian Attack
  • by FIDE Master Kamil Plichta
  • Ambush 1.e4: Fighting Sidelines
  • by International Master Alexandru Banzea
  • Mastering Endgame Strategy
  • by Grandmaster Johan Hellsten
  • Lifetime Repertoires: Queen’s Gambit Janowski Variation
  • by Grandmaster Max Warmerdam
  • Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual – 5th Edition
  • by Grandmaster Erwin L’Ami
  • Winning Chess Openings
  • by Grandmaster Yasser Seirawan
  • Chess Principles Reloaded: King Safety
  • by International Master Andras Toth
  • King’s Kalashnikov Sicilian
  • by Grandmaster Daniel King
Keep It Simple for Black

Highlighted course

Keep It Simple For Black

Best Free Course:

Sometimes, it’s hard to believe such a great course can be free. But you better believe these awesome courses were nominated for Free Course of the Year: 

  • Agadmator’s Anti-London System
  • by Chessable
  • Short & Sweet: Ruy Lopez
  • by Grandmaster Nils Grandelius
  • Sicilian Defense Sidelines
  • by Lord_Stronghold
  • Telegraph Tuesday
  • by International Master Malcolm Pein
  • Destroying the Dutch II: 2.Bg5!
  • by chessforlife
  • Short & Sweet: Accelerated Dragon
  • by FIDE Master Kamil Plichta
  • Simon’s Tactics
  • by Grandmaster Simon Williams

And now the hard part begins…voting. We’re definitely spoiled for choice this year, so we know we don’t leave you with an easy task! 

But hey, at least you get a week to decide. Make sure you cast your vote by Wednesday, January 25 – happy voting!

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