Has anyone ever produced a complete chess curriculum? E.g., with textbooks, learning objectives, comprehensive syllabus, test bank, quizzes, etc.

3 Answers 3


The closest thing to this is a series of books by Russian-born German GM Artur Yusupov. This is what Yusupov wrote in the introduction:

In 2004 I began a 3 year training programme in my chess academy. Three groups were set up according to playing strength: under 1500 Elo, under 1800 Elo and under 2100 Elo. Each annual stage consisted of 24 teaching modules and 24 tests, plus a final test at the end of the course.
The overwhelmingly positive comments of my students encouraged me to rework this programme in the form of a series of books.

There are three sets of 3 books each set of books corresponding to one of the three groups of students. The three sets are colour-coded and called:

  1. Fundamentals (orange-brown)
  2. Beyond the Basics (blue)
  3. Mastery (green)

He later published a 10th book, Revision & Exam 1: The Fundamentals (Yusupov's Chess School). Despite the title and the colour (orange-brown) it is more advanced and should probably be green.


In addition to the Yusupov series, another complete curriculum is the Chess Steps series. It is the official method of the Royal Dutch Chess Federation (source) and comes recommended by The Perpetual Chess Podcast.

The six-step series is designed to take someone from zero skill and build to 2100 FIDE strength. You can review the themes in each Step at the English version of the Dutch site.

The Chess Steps:

  1. Rating up to 800
  2. Rating up to 1400
  3. Rating up to 1600
  4. Rating up to 1750
  5. Rating up to 1900
  6. Rating up to 2100

Solving 80+% of the exercises correctly is the recommended minimum prerequisite to advance a step (source).

Materials. The materials include a manual for each step, along with workbooks of different types.

The Workbooks Basic and Plus have problems matching the lessons of the Manual. Workbook Extra repeats the subjects of workbook Basic and can be used for extra training. Workbook Mix is one big test to see if a student can implement the learned knowledge when no subject is given and is more similar to real game situations.

Discussion. The Yusupov books are excellent as they also target well-rounded skills in the progression (similar to the Chess Steps). One key difference is the first Yusupov book is considerably more difficult than Step 1.

Additional References:
Review of the Chess Steps Method
Chess Master Han Schut on how to gain rating points into your 50s + using the "Chess Steps Method"


If you're looking for free online resources, have a look at https://www.chessfactor.com/ . There are complete learning paths including lectures, puzzles and so on that are designed to take you from learning the rules to 1800+ Elo.

At each level, the titled chess coaches selected the right mix of opening, middlegame and endgame knowledge that is required to push you to the next level (i.e. playing strength).

Even world-class GMs like Sam Shankland made lectures for their platform. It's definitely worth checking them out, completely for free (donation-based).

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