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World no.9 Teimour Radjabov launches his online chess academy

by Sagar Shah - 25/09/2020

The Covid-19 situation has presented the world with a tough time. The chess world is also affected heavily with the over-the-board tournaments dwindling in number. But one thing that has received a tremendous boost is the level of chess education that has been made available in the last few months. As a prime example of this is the Chess Stars Academy launched by GM Teimour Radjabov a few days ago. The World no.9 Azeri GM has launched his online academy along with two of his trainers Chuchelov and Nataf who have been responsible for his rise to the top in the last few years! Get to know more about Raja's new venture and also the courses on offer.

World no.9 Teimour Radjabov has launched his online training portal named Chess Stars Academy. Speaking to ChessBase India, Radjabov said, "It was always my dream to create a chess academy in Baku, Azerbaijan and make it global as well, with at least one more international location. But due to pandemic I came to conclusion that online chess academy is the way to start, with the physical academy coming up after things return to normalcy."

The logo of the Chess Stars Academy

What is the vision of the Chess Stars Academy? Teimour is very clear about it, "First of all we want to make chess more popular around the world, so we are planning many things on basis of the academy in the nearest future. Our goal is to give access to professional players, amateurs and young talents to the best chess education. Our mission is to the grow the game and Our motto is intelligence is the future."

The mission of the academy is to "Grow the Game". It was with the same reason that Radjabov had launched his YouTube channel a few months ago!

Radjabov has begun his academy with two of the trainers who have been instrumental in him reaching the highest echelons of ches - Igor-Alexandre Nataf and Vladimir Chuchelov. "I have worked for many years throughout my career with Nataf since 2003 and Chuchelov since 2015. We achieved many successes and I have decided that starting with the coaches I fully trust is the right way. We communicate on a daily basis and it will be very heplful for the students of the academy as well, as we will cooperate on openings, practical skills, master-classes and a lot of other important ideas that we will provide on our courses."

Radjabov with his wife Elnara and Chuchelov

Chuchelov discusses Raja's games with his father Boris Sheynin. Also in the picture is Teimour's wife Elnara. Did you know Boris (Teimour's father) went to the same Pioneer's Palace in Baku where Garry Kasparov was also present. Later Boris became Radjabov's first trainer!

Many years ago! Igor-Alexandre Nataf trying to hypnotize Radjabov so that he can teach him the King's Indian!

The bond between Teimour and Nataf has only grown over the years

The academy has been launched and the website is active and there are also two courses which are beginning very soon. The Strategic Balance course with 60 hours of training (50 by Chuchelov and 10 by Radjabov) and the King's Indian 2.0 course which is 40 hours long (30 hours by Nataf and 10 hours by Radjabov). The Strategic Balance course begins on the 5th of October, while the King's Indian 2.0 begins on the 7th of October 2020. "Right now the two very important courses are available : Strategic Balance by Chuchelov, all the top players he worked with including me, started with this course, which changes the perception of the game, helps you evaluate a position properly, understand the dynamics of the game and helps a lot with the decision making process, which is a key factor of the game! The other course available is King’s Indian 2.0, course on the King’s Indian Defence which is Nataf’s and my expertise. He was behind a lot of my victories in the King’s Indian, he worked with me on all the tips and tricks, important subtleties. It’s a great opening on all the levels that I certainly recommend to study, playing it myself and that’s partly what I am known for in the chess world. Becoming a King's Indian expert is what I did it in cooperation with Nataf and now we are eager to share it with the students who join in the Chess Stars Academy."

The details of the two courses which are available on the website

If you enroll until 28th of September you get a 10% discount. All you have to do is fill in the details and click on Apply. The Chess Stars team will get back to you more details.

About Teimour Radjabov:

A former child prodigy, Teimour Radjabov earned the title of Grandmaster in March 2001 at the age of 14, making him the second-youngest grandmaster in history at the time. In 2003, Radjabov gained international attention after beating the then world No. 1 Garry Kasparov in the Linares tournament, followed by victories over former world champions Viswanathan Anand and Ruslan Ponomariov all in the same year. Radjabov continued his progress over the years to become an elite chess player. In November 2012, he achieved his peak rating of 2793 and was ranked as number 4 in the world. This made Radjabov the fifteenth highest rated player in chess history. He has twice competed at the Candidates Tournament, in 2011 and 2013, and qualified for the 2020 edition. He won the European Team Chess Championship with Azerbaijan in 2009, 2013 and 2017. His major individual achievements include joint first place in the 2007 Corus tournament, winning the 2008 Elista Grand Prix, 2017 Geneva Grand Prix and the 2019 FIDE World Cup.

About Vladimir Chuchelov

Grandmaster Vladimir Chuchelov is a Belgian chess grandmaster and professional trainer. From 2009 he worked for four years as the head coach of the Royal Dutch Federation. In 2010 he was awarded the title of FIDE Senior Trainer. In 2013 received the Botvinnik Medal as best man's trainer 2013. He has coached numerous international stars, just to name a few:

1.GM Fabiano Caruana from 2010-2015 full time coach, from FIDE 2680 to 2843 (GM Fabiano best ever performance Sinquefield Cup 2014)

2. GM Anish Giri from 2009-2013 full time Coach, and 2018-2019

3. GM Hou Yifan from 2013-2017. Chuchelov was Hou's second in the Women's World Chess Championship 2016.

4. GM Teimour Radjabov from 2015-present (Winner of World Cup 2019)

About Igor-Alexandre Nataf

Nataf is the captain and chief head of the French National Team. From 2002 started working with Teimour Radjabov, he was behind most of the theoretical work and contributed to Teimour's understanding of the King's Indian defense. While working together, Radjabov reached many successes, Bronze medalist of the FIDE World Championship (Libya 2004), winner of Wijk aan Zee 2007 supertournament, Winner of the World Rapid Cup 2008, Three times European Team Champion, 5 times European Club Cup Champion, achieved his best rating ever (2793), Candidates tournament and a 4th place in the World Ranking list.

Some videos to get to know Radjabov and his team better:

When ChessBase India turned 400,000 subscribers old, Teimour Radjabov was king enough to do a masterclass on his beloved opening!
How strong is Teimour Radjabov?! Get to know the brilliance as well as fun side of Radjabov
Vladimir Chuchelov discusses about his journey as a chess trainer and also about his well known Strategic Balance course

Important Links:

Chess Stars Academy website

Feedback from the participants of the Chuchelov + Vidit training camp

Teimour Radjabov's YouTube channel