It’s one of the most exciting times of the year at Chessable.
That’s right, it’s time to unveil the winners of the 2023 Chessable Awards.
Thousands of Chessablers like you voted on what you thought were the best courses and authors to enter our catalog last year.
In 2023, we had some of the biggest names in chess debut on Chessable. The likes of Levy Rozman, a.k.a Gotham Chess, and Fabiano Caruana published their first-ever courses for the platform, which were highly anticipated.
Chessable is always looking to keep things fresh and engaging for the community by trying to make learning chess as accessible as possible, both for creators and learners. As such, in this edition of the Chessable Awards, we introduced some new categories, such as Best Community Course and Best Beginner Course.
Here’s who and what you thought were deserving of the top prizes this year:
2023 was a year packed with some of the top names in the Chess community making their debut on Chessable.
This made the Best New Author category a hotly contested one, with many household names making their first appearance on the platform.
Among the top streamers and instructors who launched their first course were Ben Finegold, James Canty, Fiona Steil-Antoni, Levy Rozman (a.k.a. Gotham Chess), and Jesse Kraai from the ChessDojo.
The fan favorite though was none other than who Magnus Carlsen claims to have given him the most trouble over the board in his career, Grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
Fabi made his debut on Chessable in 2023 with Caruana’s Ruy Lopez: Dark Archangel, his personal recommendation for getting an advantage against the hard-to-break Ruy Lopez as Black.
What’s a Chessable course without an enthusiastic and engaging presenter?
While Chessable is fortunate to have so many entertaining personalities making courses, users came out in force to show their support for one of the most beloved instructors on the platform, International Master Alex Banzea.
Banzea is a standout author who goes above and beyond to get his followers involved in his Chessable courses. On his streams, he plays through his recommendations from his courses to show their strength, and it’s been a big hit.
His innovative recommendations and on-camera charisma make him a shoo-in for Best Presenter. He’s no stranger to awards either, having taken home the 2022 Course of the Year and Best Opening Course for White with Alex Banzea’s London System.
In 2023, he built upon his reputation as a world-class presenter with The Caro-Kann: Simplified.
One way Chessable sets itself apart from other learning material is that courses are ever-evolving and users can get directly involved with authors by way of participating in the course forums.
In addition to making instructive content and having good presentation skills, what makes an outstanding course creator is their willingness to interact with the community.
The best authors take a hands-on approach and listen to what Chessablers need, and this is exemplified no better than by author and FIDE Master Kamil Plichta.
You only need to look at the forum discussions for his 2023 course, Lifetime Repertoires: Plitchta’s Trompowsky: Part 1 to see his proactive engagement with students.
The Caro-Kann: Simplified by Alex Banzea
Banzea’s done it again. If there were any doubts about his skills as a Chessable creator, then this year’s results should put them to bed.
The best course according to voting was Banzea’s simple, lightweight, yet attacking and fun Caro-Kann repertoire.
It’s easy to learn, but by no means is lacking in depth. Banzea gives you his personal recommendations against 1.e4 for Black (it’s the opening he credits with achieving his most important career milestone).
Whether you’re a die-hard Caro-Kann player or have a passing interest, this is a course everyone should check out. His recommendation against the Fantasy Variation is particularly fun.
What’s even more impressive is not only did Banzea take home the prize for Best Course, but his presentation of IM Jeremy ‘s Complete Endgame Course took home third place in the voting. Way to go Alex!
Caruana’s Ruy Lopez: Dark Archangel by Fabiano Caruana
Silman’s Complete Endgame Course: From Beginner to Master by Jeremy Silman and presented by Alex Banzea
The GothamChess 1.e4 Repertoire by Levy Rozman
It’s kind of crazy to think that you had to scroll this far to find the internet’s chess teacher among the list of awardees. But it just goes to show how much excellent content authors are putting out on Chessable these days.
International Master Levy Rozman, perhaps better known as GothamChess, is undisputably the most recognizable online chess persona.
With over 4.5 million followers on YouTube, his quick-witted banter and fun analysis are enjoyed by seasoned masters, casual fans of the game, and even people who don’t even play.
So he was naturally a fit to make a Chessable course.
His debut course for the platform consisted of an attacking, offbeat, and fun full 1.e4 repertoire for the White pieces. The course is infused with Rozman’s trademark presentation and presents lines that will make any opponent think about what to do, all while maintaining solid play.
Lifetime Repertoires: Giri’1s 1.e4 – Part 3 by Anish Giri
The Meanest Jobava London by James Canty
The Caro-Kann: Simplified by Alex Banzea
No. You’re not seeing double. Banzea is on this list with the same course twice, just like he did last year, taking home prizes for Best Course and the best opening course for its respective color.
Simply amazing. Go check it out for some of the best Caro-Kann recommendations you’ll find.
Caruana’s Ruy Lopez: Dark Archangel by Fabiano Caruana
Lifetime Repertoires: Jones’ 1. e4 e5 by Gawain Jones
Fundamental Chess Calculation Skills by Can Kabadayi
Tactics are the backbone of good chess, but it can be hard to make a tactics course that differentiates itself from the rest.
Fortunately, there is no shortage of talented authors coming up with unique tactics trainers.
One of them being Candidate Master and cognitive scientist Can Kabadayi, who won Community Author of the Year last year.
The premise for the course is simple. It focuses on 3-ply calculation; calculating simple lines composed of one move from you, one move from your opponent, and another from you.
Students expand their calculation ability by considering all moves involved in such calculation, thereby strengthening their calculation ability.
Dark Forest Vol. 1: The Rampaging Rooks by Maurice Ashley
Beginner’s Guide to Chess Tactics by Midas Ratsma and Mees van Osch
How to Reassess Your Chess by Jeremy Silman and Maurice Ashley
Chessable is not only looking to publish new content, but we’re also dedicated to bringing some classics to the platform so you can train some of the greatest chess books ever written with MoveTrainer®.
One example is this year’s strategy course winner, How to Reassess Your Chess by the late International Master Jeremy Silman.
Long considered one of the most influential chess books ever written, it has been brought to Chessable along with video presentation by none other than Grandmaster Maurice Ashley.
Techniques of Positional Play by New In Chess and Peter Heine Nielsen
Mastering Chess Defense by Johan Hellsten
Silman’s Complete Endgame Course by Jeremy Silman and Alex Banzea
A quintessential book as far as endgames go, Silman’s Complete Endgame course takes an approach based on where you are in terms of rating, rather than rigid theoretical endgames.
Adding to this classic being given the Chessable treatment is none other than Alex Banzea providing an additional 10 hours of video instruction.
Endgame Expertise: Rook Endgames by Ivan Sokolov and Efstratios Grivas
Pawn Endgames for Beginners by Adriana Nikolova
My First Opening Repertoire: 1. e4 by Christof Sielecki
Chessable is a platform for all those looking to improve their game or even to just learn the basics. That’s why we’re committed to releasing content for all levels.
The winner of Best Beginner Course from 2023 is a perfect example of this. International Master Christof Sielecki provides an excellent King’s Pawn repertoire for those ready to start preparing some opening lines, without ever making beginners feel they’re in too deep.
Counterblow: A Complete Fighting Repertoire for Beginners by Robert Ramirez
It’s About Time: A Beginner’s Guide to Time in Chess by Jesse Kraai
30 Common Chess Mistakes: and How to Avoid Them by Improverino
Another great thing about Chessable is that making courses is not reserved for grandmasters and popular streamers. Anyone from the Chessable community is free to create a course and submit it for publishing.
There have been several great community courses over the years, with some even having been made into full-fledged video courses.
The winner of the Best Community Course from 2023 comes from user Impoverino, whose course is a guide on how to correctly identify your mistakes and create a self-regulated training plan to improve your chess.
Chess Basics: Positional Play and Attacks for Beginners by IceBreaker
Learn the Classical Slav by LundiHakarlsson
In contrast to the previous categories, the Chessable Author of the Year is one not voted on by users, rather they are chosen by a panel of experts at Chessable based on dedication to their work and the broader Chessable community.
Chessable believes Alex Banzea has demonstrated the qualities of Author of the Year due to his dedication to not only creating quality content but also to his outreach to users and dedication to Chessable outside the platform.
One only needs to see the 4 other categories Banzea has won in the 2023 Chessable Awards to see how he goes above and beyond as an author on the platform.
We sincerely congratulate Alex and all other authors who helped contribute to Chessable in 2023. We also thank Chessablers like you, as without your voice and vote, the 2023 Chessable Awards would not have been possible. So thank you, dear Chessabler.
We look forward to many releases in 2024 and hearing what you have to say about them.