How to Evaluate Growth Opportunities for Chess Academies?

As technological changes are booming like never before, chess coaches are always looking for opportunities to grow their chess academies/clubs. However, it is important to evaluate these opportunities carefully before making a decision. So here comes the question: how to evaluate the growth opportunities?

How to evaluate growth opportunities?

While all the ideas and opportunities may seem attractive, it is critical to screen them, prioritize them, and only then go “all in” – just like how we evaluate different variations in a chess position. 

The first thing you should understand is that not all opportunities are equal. Some may give you maximum potential, and some are easy to achieve, while some may come with a whole lot of challenges in capturing them. That said, you should evaluate an opportunity based on these two aspects:

  1. Potential
  2. Challenge

Chess Academy Growth

Potential of an opportunity

The potential of an opportunity corresponds to the resulting impact in capturing that opportunity. For example, questions like “How BIG this opportunity is? Is it really worth pursuing? How MUCH will my academy grow upon capturing this opportunity?” will help you assess the potential. 

Challenge of an opportunity

Challenges of an opportunity include the obstacles you will encounter when you decide to go for it, main risks, time required, technical difficulties, external dependencies, and so on.

Therefore, the potential and challenge of an opportunity could be correlated to its pros and cons. Think about a chess position where you want to maneuver your knight from a really bad place to an active square – the maneuver is going to take a few moves, indeed (that’s the challenge), but at the end of the day, your knight is going to be active (the potential). 🙂 

What is an ideal opportunity?

As you may have guessed correctly, an ideal growth opportunity is the one that gives you maximum potential and involves less challenge in capturing it. 

Opportunity Matrix

The process of evaluating your growth opportunities can be done easily by mapping them on a 2×2 matrix, called the opportunity matrix

Opportunity Matrix

The y-axis represents the overall potential of an opportunity ranging from low to high. The x-axis represents the overall challenge in capturing it ranging from low to high (you can also go a step further and have four categories of assessing the overall potential and the overall challenge: low, medium, high, and super high).

This matrix represents the four types of opportunities:

  1. Quick Win
  2. Gold Mine
  3. Moonshot
  4. Questionable

1. Quick Win

Opportunities in this quadrant offer low potential, but also have low challenge in capturing it. Quick Wins are useful when you want to get a small amount of potential quickly and safely, to keep yourself in the game. 

Chesslang’s LIVEX is a great example of a Quick Win. It’s relatively easy to conduct an online tournament and invite parents and others to watch the games live from your academy website. You can watch this video to learn more about it.

2. Gold Mine

Gold Mines are those ideal (are rare, too) opportunities that give you huge potential with relatively low challenge. These are your go-to opportunities – so when you see them, capture them. 

3. Moonshot

Just like the name, these opportunities offer you huge potential, but also come with a bunch of challenges and risks. These opportunities are pivotal to your academy’s growth. When you decide to take a moonshot, you also have to accept the risks that come with it, for a huge reward in the future. 

4. Questionable

You might want to stay away from this zone as much as possible, because these opportunities take you through a challenging ride towards a relatively low potential. Think several times before spending your time and effort on a questionable opportunity. 


Mapping and evaluating growth opportunities for your chess academy in an opportunity matrix has a lot of benefits:

  1. It helps you see the ‘big picture’ – it is easy to see all your ideas and compare them visually.
  2. It also helps you discuss the growth ideas with your partners and stakeholders. 
  3. It opens doors for reshaping an idea to make it better – you might be able to tweak a questionable into a quick win. 

P.S. We hope you find this information useful. Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Also, do let us know what gave your academy a Quick Win or a Gold Mine.