I am from Pondicherry and I want to become a world class player. I have the following background:

  • Tech (electrical & electronics eng) graduate.
  • Have won in chess with friends but have not contested in any tournaments.
  • Good at maths

Do I need to go for coaching? What is the progression of a chess player from beginner to world champion? How long does it take? Where can I find more information about tournaments and how to enter them?

  • 1
    Hi Harshini, welcome to chess.SE. I have taken the liberty to modify your question in an attempt to make it conform to the site guidelines (I'm not sure to what extend I've succeeded though). The question is still very broad and difficult to answer - perhaps you can consider reducing it to a few (one or two) specific questions that have a factual answer?
    – firtydank
    Mar 23, 2015 at 15:34
  • Harshini, as recommended in the comment by @firtydank, please narrow the focus of your question down, as you've asked a few very different things in one post here. If you want to ask all of these things, please choose only one to ask here (preferably related to the answer you've already gotten!) and edit accordingly (after which this question can be reopened). Then please open a new question thread for each additional inquiry you might have.
    – ETD
    Mar 23, 2015 at 22:15
  • Hmm, world class players who didn't start playing intensely from a very young age... anyone think of one?
    – BarrySW19
    Mar 23, 2015 at 23:16
  • @BarrySW19, in another thread Chigorin, Steinitz, Tarrasch and Staunton are mentioned as examples.
    – ETD
    Mar 24, 2015 at 22:24
  • @ETD All from the 19th century though - how they would stack up against today's world class players is questionable. Steinitz is the only one to feature in any lists of top players of all time.
    – BarrySW19
    Mar 25, 2015 at 0:04

1 Answer 1


The current world champion Magnus Carlsen needed around 15 years to go from beginner to world champion. He was probably one of the fastest ever because he started to play quite late (at the age of eight) and was the second youngest classical world champion (if I remember correctly).

He received professional training from a strong GM almost from the beginning. He played tournaments almost constantly. His parents took a year off work, to accompany him to tournaments. Due to his tight tournament schedule he didn't finish school, although it was a special sports school, where he received more chess training.

So, if you are 8 years old or younger, and you can afford to concentrate on chess for the next 10 years, you do have a shot at being world class some day.

Otherwise, not so much …

Anyway, I would advise you to go to a local chess club. Google tells me that there are chess clubs in Pondicherry. There you will find out, whether playing tournament chess is actually enjoyable for you. I believe that was a necessary step for every chess world champion.

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