FIDE Trainers Online Seminar

by Sagar Shah
5/15/2020 – Would you like to learn the art of chess training from the Russian national team coach, or from the coach of the former Women's World Champion? Or would you like to learn from a former World No. 3? How about all of them? Wouldn't it be too expensive? No! From 29th to 31st of May 2020 you can do it, online. The seminar is open to trainers, and players (!), world-wide. A great opportunity.

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The reason for this is that FIDE in co-operation with ChessBase India is beginning the FIDE Trainers Online Seminar from the 29th to the 31st of May 2020 for the Indian Subcontinent. In this article you will find all the details of this seminar and how you can be a part of it as well. Apart from learning training methods from the giants of the game, like Yusupov, Motylev, Sokolov, Yu Shaoteng, Luther and Bojkov you also have the chance of earning four different FIDE Trainer titles. If you are an ambitious trainer, it's an opportunity you should not miss!

The pandemic of Corona virus has affected the entire chess community. Over-the-board tournaments have been cancelled, and events of great import like the Candidates, World Championship and Olympiad have been postponed. In such a situation it is of course difficult to carry on normally. But chess has a unique advantage over other sports: that its activities can usually be carried out online. And FIDE is making use of this situation, not only by holding online events, but also catering to different communities inside the chess world, like the trainers, arbiters, organizers etc. One of the commissions that has been very active is the Trainers Commission. Many online training seminars have been held in the last couple of months and now FIDE is bringing one of the best seminars to India.

FIDE Trainer online seminar, 29th to 31st of May

The FIDE Trainer online seminar will be held by FIDE in co-operation with ChessBase India from the 29th to the 31st of May 2020. It will be held online and at the end of it will be an examination which will help you to get one of the four different trainer titles.

The following is the schedule of the seminar:

Know your trainers and what they will be teaching you

Here is the star-studded line-up of the FIDE trainers: Alexander Motylev, Yu Shaoteng, Dejan Bojkov, Artur Yusupov, Ivan Sokolov and Thomas Luther.

Alexander Motylev was Russian champion in 2001 and European champion in 2014. He is also Sergey Karjakin's trainer and one of the coaches of the Russian national team. Motylev will talk about thinking priorities in chess, how to analyze your own games and how to improve your calculation!

Yu Shaoteng is a Chinese GM and was the personal trainer of chess prodigy Hou Yifan. He has played several strong events and is not just one of the best-known trainers of China, but also a fine chess player. Yu Shaoteng will teach you why you should be working on your endgame and how you should be working on the last phase of the game.

Dejan Bojkov is a Bulgarian GM and an author and was the trainer of Women's World Champion Antaoneta Stefanova. Dejan will talk about the challenges that trainers face, the psychological issues and how to fight them and improve.

Artur Yusupov is a former World No. 3 chess player (behind Kasparov and Karpov). He is an author of bestselling series of books – Build up your Chess, Boost your Chess and Chess Evolution. He has trained innumerable talents in the world of chess, alone and together with his trainer Mark Dvoretsky. Yusupov will talk about the importance of studying classical games in the lecture.

Ivan Sokolov: his chess achievements require no introduction. Sokolov is well known for his attacking style of play, and has even beaten Kasparov. He was the trainer of the Iranian team for quite some time and had predicted the rise of Alireza Firouzja when the youngster was just a 2500 rated GM. Sokolov would be talking about static and dynamic factors in middlegame play.

Thomas Luther is an inspirational GM from Germany. He is an author, a trainer, as well as a strong grandmaster, and was part of the German team that won the silver medal at the Istanbul Olympiad in 2000. He will be speaking about the introduction to the FIDE TRG, how to work with beginners and how to teach tactics.

Sagar Shah is the author of this report and is one of the leading experts in the world on ChessBase software. He will be teaching about opening principles and how to use ChessBase to maintain an opening repertoire effectively.

What can you gain by attending the trainer seminar?

The best thing about this FIDE trainer seminar is that it is held online. So you do not have to travel anywhere. You can sit at home and learn from the best in the business. Apart from gaining knowledge, you also get a FIDE Trainer's title based on different parameters. You can gain one of the four titles from the list:

  1. FIDE Trainer (FT)
  2. FIDE Instructor (FI)
  3. National Instructor (NI)
  4. Developmental Instructor (DI)

These are the criteria for getting the above titles.

Who can attend the seminar?

The seminar is intended for countries on the Indian Subcontinent: India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives, Bhutan and Pakistan. If you are not from these countries you can reach out to Peter Long and ChessBase India to attend the seminar:

Seminar and FIDE Fees

There are two ways you can attend the seminar. If you would only like to attend the training sessions and not take the exam, then the cost would be Rs. 8000 (100 Euros). If you would like to attend the seminar and also give the exam and apply for your title, then you will have to pay Rs. 12,000 (150 Euros). The cost of the seminar has been subsidized, compared to normal costs, so that the people in the region can afford it.

Players outside India who would like to take part in the seminar can make the payment directly to FIDE TRG's Paypal address: TRGpayment@fide.com.

Please note: Although this seminar is recommended for trainers, even if you are an ambitious chess player you can learn a lot from it and you may consider attending. After all it is not every day you get a chance to train with greats like Yusupov, Sokolov, Motylev and others.

Peter Long on the vision of the FIDE Trainers Commission

Peter Long, the secretary of the Trainers Commission, is the man who put this entire seminar together. He will be in charge of the written exam that will take place on May 31st at 8 p.m.

What we have now – even though still a work in progress – is the implementation of the reform vision of FIDE Senior Trainer and Grandmaster Jacob Aagaard who was appointed the new FIDE Trainers Commission Chairman following the election of Arkady Dvorkovich to FIDE President at the FIDE Congress held concurrently with the Batumi Olympiad in 2018. It took us several months in the transition period to get on top of the issues but then it became very clear what was needed.

  1. The FIDE Trainers Commission never really evolved from the necessary first stage of the first few years which was to identify and certify leading trainers and to award them the appropriate trainer titles to build a base and credibility.
  2. Instead of helping develop the skills of trainers attending seminars, what happened and actually took place was a largely abbreviated training for a player cramped into a very few days, and from that, largely based on playing strength, a title was awarded.
  3. It was easier to create value for titles and licences by having the previous FIDE administration impose a licensing system where it was a requirement in order to take a captaincy or coaching role at official FIDE events.
  4. While on paper there were many FIDE Academies, in reality there was no real criteria to be awarded this status and there was no program other than giving the right to use the FIDE logo and to be able to enter players in official FIDE events.
  5. There was no renewal of the core FIDE Trainers Council membership, much became a mantra that FIDE was the only way, and too much resources were put into duplicating what was already created commercially and easily available

Last year, 2019, the FIDE Trainers Commission organised 38 seminars and tried to be in every part of the world and in as many languages as was possible and we enjoyed success stories in many places that had not seen our activity for many years.

What was new was the gradual introduction in seminars of teaching trainers through a wide variety of leading trainers. They shared what had worked for them and the best methods and practices they knew off. At the same time we made both the evaluation process and the final examination relevant to what was being taught at the seminar and this was independently marked by an examiner separate from the lecturers and then subject to review through a verification process.

Jacob understood early on how doing seminars online would be more cost effective and give us greater reach. But it also meant we could bring together many trainers who were subject experts and it also allowed us to ensure a certain level of quality in delivery and to document the teaching.

Moving to online sessions meant that more people could attend it from across the globe and it was possible to have more high quality trainers.

So we had planned to move most of our seminars online in 2020 and to run them ourselves or with partners on the ground which was a big change from Federations applying for a seminar and where we were largely reduced to merely facilitating and with little control over the delivery, and so, perhaps more than anyone else in FIDE, with due respect to our fellow FIDE Commissions, we were more ready when the global pandemic struck.

In two weeks we replaced seminars scheduled in Switzerland and Sweden with our first online seminar and two weeks later we organised one for East Asian and Oceania and one in German just finished successfully. And we are committed to have a total of twenty seminars in all regions of the world and in all the major languages by the end of 2020, and who knows, there might even be more!

What I think you are seeing is that the FIDE Trainers Commission is not anymore talking about one way only for training or that some trainers are better than others because we have been assembling a team of lecturers who on their own command huge respect, and even more importantly are giving the FIDE Trainers Commission a gift of knowledge that they are happy to share with our trainer colleagues who participate in our seminars.

This is a difficult time for the world, and of course chess is not immune and since trainers are a part of the chess ecosystem which is largely built around competitions, they too are also affected,

We have seen players who no longer have prizes and fees from tournaments to live on become trainers almost overnight and we see trainers who work mainly in schools and clubs unable to move the bulk of their students online and it is a matter of time before parents see many of the benefits of chess become the opposite as that of an addictive computer game.

I will be blunt here - the holiday period is over and money is going to be a problem for all that are not in the top one percent – chess needs tournaments and sponsorship to survive. What we are seeing online is not going to generate the money needed, at least not in the short run and even in the medium term, no matter how optimistic we want to be. The FIDE Trainers Commission is doing its part by upgrading the skills of trainers and making this as accessible and as cheaply as we can.

What worries me more in the long term is that we are in risk of losing the many kids that come into the game every year and stay on. This is a huge task for the FIDE leadership, and the FIDE Chess in Education Commission led by FIDE Senior Trainer and Grandmaster Smbat Luptian, in my view, is going to be responsible for the future of chess together with so many other capable and passionate stakeholders who see chess as invaluable in the broader education context! But we are not passing the buck as here too the FIDE Trainers Commission can also perhaps help, by training chess players to teach children, with our Developmental Instructors at the forefront and with National Instructors becoming program facilitators and managers.

More information about the TRG online seminars



Sagar is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He is also a chartered accountant. He loves to cover chess tournaments, as that helps him understand and improve at the game he loves so much. He is the co-founder and CEO of ChessBase India website, the biggest chess news outlet in the country.

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