You are currently viewing Chess, Coaching, and Life: The Praful Zaveri Interview Part 2

Chess, Coaching, and Life: The Praful Zaveri Interview Part 2

In part 2 (the final part) of our interview with Praful sir, we delve deeper into the details of chess and chess coaching. 

In this blog, we talked to Praful sir about getting better at chess, some of the fundamental tips that every beginner or intermediate level player must follow. We also talked a lot about the bestselling book “The Chess Course.”

It’s an interview from which you can learn a lot, and even though you might not agree with everything that Praful says, it’s food for thought.

What tips would you like to give to intermediate (1000-1500 Elo) players to improve their game faster?

Okay, so for, say, a 1200 rated player, the ideal way to improve the game would be to find the right mix of everything! Players at this level cannot afford to focus on just tactics or openings. To improve, intermediate players should combine tactical play with a basic understanding of the critical openings of chess. 

The best way would be to balance tactics, openings, endgames, and lessons from the classic chess games.

(According to Praful sir, the best way for intermediate level players to improve at chess is by combining tactics, openings, endgames, and understanding the classics of chess)

So is there any particular feature of Chesslang that you like a lot? One thing about the platform that stands out for you?

See, asking a question is one of my favorite features on the platform because even in offline training sessions, it is often challenging to solve all the queries in real time. 

Still, with Chesslang, everyone gets their board, moves the pieces, and lets the trainer view the solutions effortlessly whenever we present a new question. This feature gives us (the chess coaches) a better idea of the strengths and weaknesses of our students and facilitates faster progress. 

(Never miss another response from the students of your chess academy with the dedicated live-chat section of Chesslang)

How big of an impact would you say the pandemic has had on the game?

I think that the pandemic can be safely termed as a blessing in disguise for the chess fraternity. While other games were struggling to survive the pandemic, chess grew beyond what was previously thought possible. Now everyone is taking online classes and learning the game with all the new resources available. And I think the pandemic has fueled the game’s popularity much more. 

Tell us a bit more about your book, “The Chess Course.” Tell us about the experience of writing and then rewriting it for the new edition?

Basically, when I started training seriously, I thought there should be some notes for the students, and it started from day one of training. And within a year or so, I had a massive collection of notes prepared, which naturally bought the thought that why not bring this out in a book form? 

You know I always felt that The Chess Course needed a revision, and it was nagging at my heart for a long time. Because students kept asking me for notes, I took the initiative to organize all of my notes, and that is basically how the first edition of The Chess Course was published in 1999. And in 2020, with the pandemic offering some time for reflection, we finally decided to start working on the book’s second edition. 

Could you think of some anecdote where Chesslang has helped you grow your chess academy?

Yes, as I also mentioned earlier, even though we are planning to resume offline training now, Chesslang will always remain a part of our academy due to its unique features and the simple fact that it makes the entire training process much faster easier. 

Moving forward, I can see that our students will start carrying their laptops or tablets in the offline classes and using the Chesslang platform to solve the problems. The reports tab is another excellent feature of Chesslang that allows the parents to view their kids’ progress. 

So I feel that Chesslang has contributed immensely to the success of Indian Chess School, and I believe that it will continue to be a part of our academy. 

(Players in deep thought during the IIFL chess tournament organized by Praful Zaveri and the Indian Chess School in 2021)

What would you say are the most significant differences between training an adult vs. training young players?

First of all, training a kid is really challenging, especially with tiny ones around seven years of age! But it is also infinitely more rewarding, and as the game has become a game of talented youngsters, we are focused more on training kids. But to answer your question, I think that training adults might be easier than training kids, but it won’t be as rewarding. Because you know that the ultimate joy for the trainer is to watch his students play and win tournaments, but that is often difficult to replicate with adults as they might be engrossed in their work, and chess is just a hobby for them. 

(Students of the Indian Chess School playing at the Russian Center of Science and Culture. Image Courtesy: Praful sir’s Facebook)

Have you been able to get the same numbers with Chesslang that you had before the pandemic hit?

Yes, currently, with Chesslang, we are now at around a hundred students in our academy. A hundred students used to be our benchmark even during the pre-pandemic days. So yes, I can say that Chesslang has managed to maintain the proper performance of Indian Chess School even during the pandemic. 

What do you think is the next big thing for chess? Do you believe that the faster formats will replace classical time control? Or will online chess take over over-the-board chess?

The classical format can even be replaced. It’s called classical for a reason! The vintage form of chess will remain as it is, and even though one might argue that due to the super-strong chess engines, the games at the top level have become a bit monotonous, I think that the classical games are still some of the best chess games being played, even in the recent years. I believe that blitz and rapid games will fulfill the role of the fun elements of the game and make it more exciting and accessible for a lot of the new chess audience. 

This brings us to the end of our two-part journey with Praful sir. We had a blast talking about everything from chess to the growing chess culture, to coaching, and of course, life! We sincerely hope that you had just as much fun reading this as well. Furthermore, we hope that you learned something new and instrumental from this interview. 

Make sure to follow our page for more exciting interviews. 

Before You Go 

The power of Chesslang now meets the convenience of a mobile app! We are proud to introduce the new Chesslang mobile app with the world’s first Activity-Based Curriculum (ABC). 

Build immersive learning experiences with the new Chesslang mobile app for your chess coaching academy. 

Get a Free* Mobile App for your Chess Academy by registering here: ‘

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q. Why Chesslang?
A. The growing popularity of chess has helped many players to sustain themselves through chess coaching. Chesslang offers a unique solution for chess coaches to build and grow their academy business with our hybrid coaching and management solutions.

Q. What are the best features of Chesslang?
A. The world’s first coaching and management platform are filled with all the features you will ever need to run your business. The key features include a live chat room, a fully integrated classroom with video calling and interactive chessboard, and a centralized database for tracking and managing your daily operations.

Q. How can I join Chesslang?
A. Chesslang provides chess academies and coaches a fully white-labeled academy that integrates directly with your academy website. Thus allowing you to run marketing campaigns in your own academy name. You need to simply sign-up, and we will build your fully integrated coaching platform within just a few minutes!

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