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The chess book that has sold 100,000+ copies - The Chess Course

by Praful Zaveri - 18/08/2021

In 1999, a chess trainer in Mumbai decided to publish a book on learning chess basics, based on his experience of teaching young kids. He named the book "The Chess Course". Little did Praful Zaveri know that he had created a book which would sell more than 100,000 copies! If you are beginning out in chess, The Chess Course is all that you need! It's been two decades since the book has been released, but Praful's relentless aim for precision forced him to make a huge revision to the book. From 250 pages, the book now has 450 pages. It can help a beginner who has no idea of how chess works reach a level of around 1200-1500 Elo.

The Chess Course' has completed a journey of 22 years of wonderful and exhilarating journey since the first edition was rolled out in the year 1999!

Any book has its own shelf life and a limited run at the stands. Not so with 'The Chess Course'! The run-time has crossed well over 2-decades and there is no sign of its popularity receding anywhere. The book that has sold 100,000 copies certainly has the blessings of Goddess Caissa! I now take immense pleasure in announcing the launch of the revised and enlarged version of 'The Chess Course'

The author of the book Praful Zaveri with his creation

What is the need to re-invent a wheel? One may definitely ask! Well, I am first and foremost a chess trainer with an unbridled passion for teaching. In light of the experience gained of clocking more than 25,000+ hours of teaching thousands of kids, I was convinced that the book can still be a better starter than the one now so as to fulfill their aspirations.

The Covid-19 situation hasn't stopped Praful from his passion. He now trains the kids online

The legendary author Khushwant Singh had summed up a universal truth of the experience of writers – the characters created by them (writers) began to evolve into independent personalities of their own and start dictating their actions and speeches! I too have experienced this – For the last 2 years, THE CHESS COURSE was tugging at my heart and mind to make a valid point that the flagship product too deserved an enlarged edition with updates! I admitted the need to take corrective action and so started the work of upgrading THE CHESS COURSE in December 2020 - it has taken me over 6 months to rework this! 


The creation of this new avatar demanded my peak attention over an indefinite stretch of time – almost an eternity! But all this is worth it if the end result satisfies the author and I admit that nothing has given me more satisfaction than this – THE CHESS COURSE now has six-pack abs, is more matured and wiser than ever! 


You can find the gist of changes in the new edition as compared to the old:

As can be seen from the above, the book has 75 training sessions over 6 sections and the ensuing 700 exercises bundled into 450 large pages

Content of the book:

Introduction to chess

Elementary and simple checkmates

Openings and Tactics


I take this opportunity to present chapter # 33 on Elementary Checkmate with Bishop and Knight from section 2 of this book:

Praful Zaveri explains the bishop + knight checkmate

The layout of the book is the following: Each concept first has theory pages where you can read and understand it, and then there are positions which you need to solve which will reinforce your learning. Take for example the first chapter on the chess board:

The theory to learn all the features of the chess board

Positions that a student needs to solve. Notice how there are is a place to give marks.

A very nice feature of the book is the ability for a student to write down his answers!
A video to tell you about the contents of Chess Course by the author himself

While the previous edition did not have a testimonial, I took courage to have one by sending the draft copy to the legendary Indian GM Pravin Thipsay with a request to go through the book and let me have a testimonial if the book really deserves it. To my pleasant surprise, which I will cherish for a lifetime, I received not only a testimonial but also a review of the book!

Praful Zaveri with India's third GM Pravin Thipsay


"Improving Chess playing skills has always been a secret ambition of intellectuals for centuries. With hundreds of well-explained illustrative examples from Grandmaster play, 'The Chess Course' provides the reader an opportunity to master the royal game of Chess quicker!"

Review by GM Pravin Thipsay:

"Being a master at chess is something that has been eluding a very large section of chess players over centuries. There was a time when it was believed that chess skills were directly related to intelligence and it wasn't possible to improve at chess. "Blonde plays well & Brunette doesn't, and that is not going to change" was the famous saying. However, the efforts of the chess masters over 200 years and the chess literature by them  has proven that it's possible to improve chess playing skills with scientific approach, information, passion and hard work. "The Chess Course" by FIDE Trainer Praful Zaveri can be viewed as a notable contribution to the chess literature of 2021. With a simple language and hundreds of illustrative examples, the author has made a genuine effort to help the readers improve their chess playing skills. Taking into account the complex nature of the sport and it's rules, the author has divided "The Chess Course" in six sections, starting from the introduction to the game and gradually increasing the standards to a successful club player. By including hundreds of illustrative examples from master play, the author has given an opportunity to the readers to understand the thinking process of the champions, the most significant factor. Players with casual approach, beware! This is not for you! But change your attitude and the way to success is opening doors to you! Recommended to all players, trainers and parents".- Pravin Thipsay


I am also indebted to the chess trainers across India and the world who are using my book as a teaching tool. Their accolades and compliments have  inspired me to raise the benchmark.

You can buy the Chess Course in the ChessBase India Shop or from the product embed below.


On 26th of January 2022, 6 workbooks were released. Now along with the main book topics, you can further finetune your knowledge by working on the workbooks.



Contents of the Workbook

Workbook 1 will teach you all about how the pieces move

Workbook Volume 2 deals with all the different types of checkmates on the board

Workbook 3: Learn the elementary checkmates and some of the most basic and important tactical patterns

Workbook 3 part II: Scotch, Caro Kann and French

Endgames are a key aspect of Workbook 4

Workbook 4 openings: Alekhine, Pirc, Philidor, Queen's Gambit, Slav etc.

Workbook 5 contents - Mating with a bishop and knight and advanced tactics

Workbook 5 - Opening training with their illustrative games

Workbook 6 deals with the Classics
The author explains the use of the workbooks
Unboxing the entire pack

If you only want the Workbooks:

If you would like the Workbooks along with Main Book:

FI Praful Zaveri is the founder of Indian Chess School Academy. He is a popular trainer in Mumbai and also the author of the critically acclaimed beginners' manual 'The Chess Course'. His vision is to build the chess culture in his hometown Mumbai as well as India and help the country produce many more grandmasters in future.

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