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Four Honest Reviews for GM Vidit Gujrathi's Master Advanced Tactics and Calculations like a Super GM

by Himank Ghosh - 14/03/2024

Vidit Gujrathi has had a phenomenal 2023. From reaching the FIDE World Cup Quarterfinals, winning the FIDE Grand Swiss 2023 and qualifying to the Candidates, and winning the Gashimov Memorial 2023, this was easily his best year performance-wise in the last few years! In 2023, we also recorded a ChessBase video course with Vidit - named Master advanced Tactics and Calculations like a super Grandmaster. In this video course we use studies to present the different aspects of Advanced Tactics and Calculations. IM Sagar Shah sits along with Vidit for 5 hours and 26 minutes, trying to understand Vidit's thought process while he's solving tough endgame studies blindfolded! Check out 4 detailed and honest reviews of this video course from players of different skill levels and ratings.

Four reviews on Master advanced Tactics and Calculations like a super Grandmaster by Vidit Gujrathi

The second video course published from the ChessBase India studio in Mumbai was with another Indian Candidate - Vidit Gujrathi! Although at the time of recording the courses with Vidit and Gukesh, we had no idea both of them will qualify to the Candidates. While the first one with Gukesh focused on Attacking in Chess, this one takes you through tactics and calculation - Vidit goes through complex endgame studies blindfolded, explaining his thinking process to Sagar while solving these tough studies. Check out four reviews of these course by chess players of various skill levels!

The cover image of Vidit's video course with ChessBase on Mastering advanced Tactics and Calculations like a super Grandmaster by Vidit Gujrathi

On the left you can see the different themes of the calculations. They were Vidit is kidnapped, Warm up, Fork, Pin, Pin-Stalemate, Skewer, Discovered Check and so on. 

Apart from the positions, this video course comes with another 95 positions which you can try and solve and have solutions given in the form of annotations.

The first video course of ChessBase India was with Gukesh (left) while the second one was with Vidit (right). You can check the reviews of Gukesh's course here.

The problemist at ChessBase India Satanick Mukhuty played a key role in selecting the positions that were given to Vidit in this course

Review no.1 - Nicolás Mateo González López (Elo: 2205)

First, I would like to thank you for the course, the study material and for the possibility of being one of the first to enjoy and learn a lot from these two chess geniuses like Vidit and Sagar. Below I show you what my review of the course is. In my opinion, the course is an excellent study, learning and cultural material in chess, and is suitable for people of any level (from those who are just starting out in chess, to those who are professionals or semi-pro, and in general for those who simply want to continue improving in this world of chess.

Vidit and Sagar share a light moment while recording the course | Photo: Abhyudaya Ram

The duo that Vidit and Sagar make is spectacular, both have a very extensive knowledge of chess and seek to make this course an experience full of knowledge and information. What I liked most about all the work was Vidit's attitude and the concentration he showed in each exercise. It doesn't seem that significant, but we are talking about an elite player who wanted to break down each position and explain it in the simplest possible terms. In each exercise he showed his way of dealing with these problems and that seems of great value to me.

Vidit fully focused on solving the position while Sagar shows the variations on the digital board!

Another key theme of the course for me seems to be the emphasis that both Vidit and Sagar place on patterns in chess. In my personal experience I believe that this topic is key to improving in chess, and seeing people with so much experience and who have worked with such important players put so much emphasis on this aspect of the game seems very enriching to me.


I think the course shows you how an elite player thinks and how he relates patterns to come up with the best moves. Furthermore, it shows how someone like Vidit usually trusts a lot in his intuition, in his first instinct when seeing a position and how that together with a very precise calculation usually leads him to find the best moves. Additionally, I think I learned new concepts, topics or words related to chess. Although I am not a native English speaker, I do understand the language quite well, however, for example, terms like skewer or novotny are new to me (although I knew the concept in a certain way, the specific term is totally new to me).

When the study is finally solved - the joy on Vidit's face is evident after working through so many tactical patterns!

Finally, I would like to highlight the quality of the material shown in the course. The exercises are of high quality, the material is shown starting from the simple to the complex and that allows you to learn much more and relate different "simple" concepts in much more complex positions. Although there were several exercises that I could not solve (more than I would like to admit), I think that all the exercises were very useful for my training as a chess player, and I feel that everything that Vidit and Sagar talked about and explained is very useful for any chess player. In short, that speaks of the quality of the course, when any player can benefit from the course it is because it is of spectacular quality.

Review no.2 - Sameer Thite (Elo - 1720)

It is amazing to witness the thought process of a super GM! The chapters are divided neatly. This course has 2 folks imparting knowledge. Vidit is in the driver's seat of course. Sagar mostly voices the doubts which you & I would have, but more than that too. They together break down the position which helps us take-in the nuances (you know why Dr. Watson was there with Holmes!). The most noticeable aspect of the course is that it contains predominantly composed studies (& not the positions from the GM games). This does not take away anything as such, just that I thought it was worth a mention.

While Vidit Gujrathi unravels the mysteries of the endgame studies like Sherlock Holmes, Sagar Shah asks the important questions like John Watson for clarity of explanation! | Photo: Abhyudaya Ram

To maximise the benefit, always pause the video & try to think about the solution on your own before proceeding to Vidit’s explanations. I found that in some positions I was able to take at least the right direction, but in others I wandered. I guess this happens based on one’s opening repertoire, pattern recognition abilities. Nothing to worry about but revisit those puzzles/positions in which you feel you were clueless. Many a time, Vidit & Sagar segue into ensuing endgames & it helps significantly. One needs to understand the ‘whys’ of a certain decision (for example piece-exchange), it may be keeping an eye on the emerging endgame. That sort of holistic thinking takes time to take roots, so patience is the key.

Understanding the geometry between the pieces, calculating piece trades, foreseeing possible endgames, finding mating motifs - solving endgame studies teach you lots of things at once!

Overall, a very rewarding experience. As I said, there would be many positions I’d revisit to understand the nuances & it is obvious because calculation is not something one can master in a short period of time, unlike an opening line. It requires access to quality material (i.e., this course) & consistency of efforts. It’d be awesome to get more courses from the duo (say on endgame themes, or Vidit’s best games in the last 2 years). Can’t recommend it enough.

Review no.3 Jay Sabale (Elo: 1287)

I have thoroughly enjoyed the course. I have not completed it though, I have gone through around 70-80% of it. This course has introduced me to the world of chess studies! I would like to divide my review into 2 parts, highlighting my honest review.

Pros:1. I have done a couple of courses on chessable. There the content was presented by only the author. This course was one of the firsts where 2 people were presenting the course. The course was very engaging.

2. Vidit was not told about the theme to which the puzzles belonged, increasing the authenticity of his thoughts on any given position. Personally, I was able to solve the first couple of positions in every theme but struggled later on. Vidit also struggled in some difficult positions wherein Sagar did not guide him to the solution, which humanised his way of calculation.

Vidit not only won the FIDE Grand Swiss in 2023, but also the Gashimov Memorial

Cons:1. I did not feel that there was anything in particular to criticize about the course. I have done a course on calculation by CM Azel Chua on chessable. There he introduced a few techniques which we were supposed to follow. In comparison here Vidit started his calculation directly with lines. One way to improve would have been to get his initial impressions on every position he sees.

Thank you ChessBase India for this opportunity to review the course!

About the reviewer

I am Jay Sabale. I work at VMware Bangalore. I play chess more often than I would like to admit 😛. Hoping to reach 2000 chess com rating this year 🤞

Review no.4 Jay Pandya (Unrated)

I wanted to express my sincere appreciation for the opportunity to take your Chess Tactics and calculation Course, and I felt compelled to share my thoughts and feedback regarding the experience. The course was truly outstanding. The structured progression of problems, increasing in complexity as one advanced through the levels, significantly contributed to my development as a chess player. Personally, I found that my tactical vision improved considerably, allowing me to create and capitalize on tactical opportunities in my games. The explanations provided by Vidit were not just informative but also truly engaging. Sagar's questions added an extra layer of depth to the course, helping me understand the thought processes behind Vidit's moves.

Check out this short interview with Vidit on the course - he explains in his own words about what to take away from the material!

If I were to make a suggestion, it would be to include exercises after each video to maintain engagement. Although the current course is fantastic for players of all levels, this addition could further enhance the learning experience. As a testament to the course's effectiveness, my Chesscom rating in puzzles increased from 2600 to 2800 after completing the program, showing tangible and quick results. To further enrich the course, I recommend including an in-depth analysis of one or two games, move by move, after the opening phase, helping students understand how to find and execute tactics in real games.


In conclusion, I am truly grateful for the Chess Tactics Course, and I look forward to exploring more courses in the future. Please find my Chesscom profile link attached, which demonstrates the impact of this course on my performance. Thank you for your commitment to enhancing chess education!

About the reviewer

Global Checkmate Engineer: Hailing from Gujarat, Jay brings a tech-savvy flair to the chessboard. The global chess community witnesses the synergy of logic and strategy, where algorithms meet openings, and software meets sacrifices.

Sample videos:

Vidit Gujrathi - Master Advanced Tactics and Calculations like a Super Grandmaster

Order Master advanced Tactics and Calculations like a super Grandmaster by Vidit Gujrathi now

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