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I am about 1400. I was wondering if I should pay for Kasparov's MasterClass, but I am not sure if it is worth the money.

Has anyone bought this?

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I have seen the materials in the program, and they are for players well below your level of play. I am not sure that they are even for a 1000 player since they are very basic. While he uses positions, they are more about teaching basic terminology and showing various themes, but on a very basic level.

For example, here is one position that you are to find 5 different skewers (Bf3, Bb3, Qg2, Qh1, and Rh5).

 [FEN "6n1/1r6/8/q2k4/8/7R/7Q/3B1K2 w - - 0 1"]

The most “difficult” problems are really no more than two- or three-move tactics like this one.

 [FEN "5rk1/p3P2p/1p4pb/q7/3N4/1P4Pb/PB3Q1P/6KR b - - 0 1"]

 1... Qe1+ 2. Qxe1 Be3+ 3. Qxe3 Rf1#

The vast majority of these problems are very famous, and can be found in other books. He does give book recommendations, but they are ones that have been recommended here many times already, including by myself. He has some practical advice about how to study, but again, it is mostly common sense that may have seen recommended already right here on SEC.

Of course, Kasparov is great, and if you were much weaker, I would have a different opinion, but my verdict is that you probably would be wasting your money.

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  • P.S. I run the high school chess club in my town, and one of the kids is rated 1256 USCF, and from having played him many times, I do not think he would find the material challenging. – PhishMaster Jan 6 '20 at 16:08
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    YouTube keeps popping up a promo for this to try to get me to buy it... But from what I see of the course material from the promo, it appears to me to be aimed at people who are new to chess. – patbarron Jan 6 '20 at 17:16
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    @patbarron Again, I have been playing for 40 years, and I have seen many players from new to GM in that time, and I have to agree totally: It is aimed a very wide audience that is more than "I just play chess", meaning, they are truly interested, but certainly well below someone, who is already a learned beginner. – PhishMaster Jan 6 '20 at 17:19
  • @PhishMaster kids are always underrated by USCF as they progress faster than the ratings can catch up. – yobamamama Jan 7 '20 at 3:31
  • And tha only makes this course worse for kids, but the OP did not say he was a kid. They blow past it in an instant. – PhishMaster Jan 7 '20 at 9:57
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My experience says those lessons are about right for a true 1400 player. The real question is whether the OP is really 1400 or whether that is some online inflated rating and if so then these lessons might just be a stretch but could still be good for them.

That said, much depends on the OP’s style of learning. And what their budget is. It might be better to buy selected books that are easier to use and research says most people learn better from books than from a course like this.

Some GM name does not mean the lessons are good. Some GMs play well but cannot teach well. It would be good to check reviews of others who bought and used the course before deciding.

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