Teimour Radjabov launches online chess academy

by Sagar Shah
9/28/2020 – The Covid-19 situation has presented the world with a tough time. The chess world is also affected heavily with over-the-board tournaments dwindling in number. But one thing that has received a tremendous boost is the level of chess education that has been made available in the last few months. A prime example of this is the Chess Stars Academy launched by GM Teimour Radjabov a few days ago. The World no.9 Azeri GM has launched his online academy together with two of his trainers, Vladimir Chuchelov and Igor-Alexandre Nataf, who have been responsible for his rise to the top in the last few years! Get to know more about Raja's new venture and the courses on offer.

Understanding Middlegame Strategies Vol.1 and 2 Understanding Middlegame Strategies Vol.1 and 2

These DVDs are about Understanding Middlegame Strategies. In the first DVD dynamic decisions involving pawns are discussed. The second DVD deals with decision making process concerning practical play.


World no.9 Teimour Radjabov has launched his online training portal named Chess Stars Academy. Speaking to ChessBase, Radjabov said,

It has always been my dream to create a chess academy in Baku, Azerbaijan, and to make it global as well, with at least one more international location. But due to the pandemic I came to the conclusion that an online chess academy is the way to start, with the physical academy coming up after things return to normal.

The logo of the Chess Stars Academy

What is the vision of the Chess Stars Academy? Teimour is very clear about it,

First of all, we want to make chess more popular around the world, so we are planning to do a lot of things, with the academy as the basis. Our goal is to give professional players, amateurs and young talents access to the best chess education. Our mission is to grow the game and our motto is "Intelligence is the future".

The mission of the academy is to "Grow the Game"

That is also the reason Radjabov launched his YouTube channel a few months ago!

Radjabov founded his academy with two of the trainers who helped him to reach the highest echelons of chess: Igor-Alexandre Nataf and Vladimir Chuchelov.

I have worked with Igor-Alexandre since 2003 and with Vladimir since 2015. We have achieved a lot of successes and I decided that starting with the coaches I fully trust is the right way. We communicate daily and our cooperation will be very helpful for students of the academy as we have developed important concepts to teach opening study, practical skills, master classes and a lot of other topics that we will provide in our courses.

Teimour Radjabov (center) with his wife Elnara and his trainer Vladimir Chuchelov

Radjabov's wife Elnara, Radjabov's father Boris Sheynin, and Vladimir Chuchelov watch Radjabov play.

Did you know that Boris Sheynin went to the same Pioneer Palace in Baku that Garry Kasparov visited? Later, Boris Sheynin became Radjabov's first trainer!

Many years ago! Igor-Alexandre Nataf tries to hypnotize Radjabov to teach him the King's Indian!

The bond between Teimour and Igor-Alexandre has only grown over the years

The academy was launched, the website is active, and two courses will begin very soon. The Strategic Balance course (60 hours of training, 50 by Chuchelov and 10 by Radjabov) and the King's Indian 2.0 course (40 hours of training, 30 by Nataf and 10 by Radjabov). The Strategic Balance course will begin on October 5, 2020, while the King's Indian 2.0 course will begin on October 7, 2020.

Right now two important courses are available: The Strategic Balance course is a course Chuchelov developed, and all the top players he has worked with –including me – started with this course. It changes the way you thinkg about chess, it helps you to evaluate a position properly, it helps you to understand the dynamics of the game and it you your decision-making-process, which is a key factor of the game!

The other course is King’s Indian 2.0. The King's Indian is a specialty of Igor-Alexandre and me. He was behind a lot of my victories in the King’s Indian, we analysed the opening in detail and he gave me many tipps and showed me all the trick.

The King's Indian is a great opening for players of all levels, and I recommend to study it! I have played it myself for many years and I am considered as one of the leading experts of the KID. Now, Igor-Alexandre and I want to share our knowledge of this fascinating opening with the students who join the Chess Stars Academy.

The details of the two courses are available on the website

If you enroll until 28th of September you get a 10% discount.

All you have to do is fill in the details and click on Apply. The Chess Stars team will get back to you with more details.

About Teimour Radjabov

A former child prodigy, Teimour Radjabov earned the title of Grandmaster in March 2001 at the age of 14, making him the second-youngest grandmaster in history at the time. In 2003, Radjabov gained international attention after beating the then world No. 1 Garry Kasparov in the Linares tournament, followed by victories over former world champions Viswanathan Anand and Ruslan Ponomariov, all in the same year. Radjabov continued his progress over the years to become an elite chess player. In November 2012, he achieved his peak rating of 2793 and was ranked as number 4 in the world. This made Radjabov the fifteenth highest rated player in chess history. He has twice competed at the Candidates Tournament, in 2011 and 2013, and qualified for the 2020 edition. He won the European Team Chess Championship with Azerbaijan in 2009, 2013 and 2017. His major individual achievements include joint first place in the 2007 Corus tournament, winning the 2008 Elista Grand Prix, 2017 Geneva Grand Prix and the 2019 FIDE World Cup.

About Vladimir Chuchelov

Grandmaster Vladimir Chuchelov is a Belgian chess grandmaster and professional trainer. From 2009 he worked for four years as the head coach of the Royal Dutch Federation. In 2010 he was awarded the title of FIDE Senior Trainer. In 2013 received the Botvinnik Medal as Best Trainer (Men). He has coached numerous international stars – here are just a few:

1. Fabiano Caruana (From 2010 to 2015 Chuchelov was Caruana's full time coach, and in this time Fabiano improved his rating 2680 to 2843. And at the Sinquefield Cup 2014 Caruana achieved the best performance of his career.)

2. Anish Giri (From 2009 to 2013, and from 2018 to 2019, Chuchelov was Giri's full time coach and helped him to become one of the world's best players.)

3. Hou Yifan (From 2013 to 2017 Chuchelov was Hou Yifan's coach and at the Women's World Chess Championship 2016 he worked as her second.)

4. Teimour Radjabov (Since 2015 Chuchelov and Radjabov have been working together, and Chuchelov helped Radjabov to win the World Cup 2019 and to qualify for the Candidates Tournament.)

About Igor-Alexandre Nataf

Igor-Alexandre Nataf is the captain and head of the French National Team. In 2002, he started to work with Teimour Radjabov and helped him to understand the intricacies of the King's Indian. The cooperation with Nataf brought Radjabov a lot success: third place at the FIDE World Championship (Libya 2004), winner of the Wijk aan Zee tournament 2007, winner of the World Rapid Cup 2008, three times European Team Champion, five times European Club Cup Champion, a peak rating of 2793, qualification for the Candidates Tournament 2020, and place 4 on the World Ranking list.

Some videos to get to know Radjabov and his team better

How strong is Teimour Radjabov?! Get to know the brilliance and the fun side of Radjabov

Vladimir Chuchelov speaks about his life as a chess trainer and talks about his well known Strategic Balance course


Sagar is an International Master from India with two GM norms. 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, the biggest chess news portal in the country. His YouTube channel has over a million subscribers, and to date close to a billion views. ChessBase India is the sole distributor of ChessBase products in India and seven adjoining countries, where the software is available at a 60% discount. compared to International prices.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register