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

4 Answers 4

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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"

Chess Steps Workbooks

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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.

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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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Also worth noticing is the series by Max Euwe "Praktische Schaaklessen". They are in Dutch

  1. Part 1 - From home chess player to club chess player: This book covers the rules and principles of the game, explained with common twists from practice.
  2. Part 2 - General tips for opening, middle game and end game: This book provides an overview of the game characteristics that form the basis for assessing moves and positions.
  3. Part 3 - Opening Repertoire: This book covers the opening phase from the perspective of both white and black.
  4. Part 4 - Theoretical and practical endgames: This book is about mating, theoretical and practical endgames in common material relationships.
  5. Part 5 - Judgement and Planning: The Strategy of Chess: This book covers position types and the conclusions that should be drawn from them.
  6. Part 6 - Advanced Endgame: This book provides insight into virtually all emerging developments and possibilities of the endgame.
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  • Seems great, But I only speak English and Arabic. Yet thanks, never heard of these ones before. Commented Dec 11, 2023 at 6:41

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