Feedback from the participants of the Chuchelov + Vidit training camp
From 11-year-old Ilamparthi to 44-year-old Carl Bicknell the online training session with world class coach Vladimir Chuchelov and Vidit Gujrathi had a huge variety of students. But one thing brought them all together - the hunger for knowledge and chess improvement. From 1st to the 10th of August a very successful training camp was organized by Vidit Chess Academy and ChessBase India with Chuchelov and India no.3 Vidit Gujrathi. The camp revolved around the brainchild of Chuchelov called the Strategic Balance and it was 50 hours long. In this article we bring to you the feedback of the students who took part and also inputs by the trainers.
From 1st to the 10th of August 2020, a training camp was held with GM Vladimir Chuchelov and GM Vidit Gujrathi on the Strategic Balance. The "Strategic Balance" Course is something that GM Vladimir Chuchelov has come up with over the years. It's a method of assessing any given position with a set of rules. A lot of top players like Caruana, Giri, Radjabov, Vidit, Hou Yifan and many others have done this course in the past and have found a positive impact on their game. Hence ChessBase India along with Vidit Chess Academy organized this online camp of 50 hours where 40 hours were spent in Chuchelov teaching the Strategic Balance and 10 hours were used by India no.3 Vidit Gujrathi on how he applied the Strategic Balance in his own games. The announcement and further details of the camp can be read here.
The contents of the camp and training of Vladimir Chuchelov remain something that cannot be published. But we would like to give you a glimpse of this training camp through the eyes of the participants and the trainers. Here is the feedback of all 11 participants.
Dev Shah, 2254
"The Strategic Balance course was very well conducted by ChessBase India. It was a wonderful learning experience of 50 hrs for 10 days. What made it even more interesting was GM Vidit Gujarati's sessions where he discussed how he applied the concept in his games against some of the top players of the chess world. Thank you so much Sagar sir and team ChessBase India for giving us exposure of such a celebrated coach discussing his proprietary tool for analysing the game of chess."
IM Akshat Khamparia, 2406
"One of the best things I did in this lockdown is the Strategic Balance camp . A big thank you to the entire team of ChessBase India for organizing this wonderful camp and of course to the Coach (Chuchelov sir) and Vidit. Highly recommended for players who aspire to progress beyond 2400 Elo. I also could make new friends during the camp."
IM Vikramaditya Kulkarni, 2355
"I believe the knowledge gained by my in this camp is going to prove very helpful to me in my future chess career. Both of them combined Chuchelov Sir's concept of "Strategic balance" with latest technology available for chess. Hence there was no ambiguity in what was being conveyed. The gamble to attend an expensive camp has paid off! Examples explained by Vidit compelled one to improve and a glimpse into his hard work showed why he is where he is today!"
IM Aditya Mittal, 2438
"The camp was an amazing experience. Thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it and learnt a lot. It was organized very well, there were no technical difficulties and we could fully focus on the camp. I am very happy to have done this Strategic Balance course with Chuchelov sir. There were a lot of interesting ideas and concepts, and working with Vidit was the icing on the cake! I'd like to thank the ChessBase India team for this wonderful initiative!"
IM Kushager Krishnater, 2410
"It was a very intense camp and the level was very high. The camp went smoothly and there were absolutely no problems. The only thing which I would prefer in the future would be to have camp in a closer rating group since many players had questions which consumed a lot of the available time. That being said, the camp was definitely successful and the main point of the camp was emphasized very well. I look forward to having more camps in the future with Chuchelov on different topics."
IM Krishna Teja, 2378
"I have learned a completely different approach. It's an excellent course to evaluate positions and understand chess in a better way."
FM Siddharth Jagadeesh, 2320
"Thanks to GM Chuchelov for conducting an intense 10 day course on Strategic Balance. He covered the principles in a very stimulating way and backed it up with several practical examples and deep analysis to ensure each of us understood the concepts well. He also brought out the best in all of us by making the session very interactive. Further the several experience sharing he gave about his coaching with elite players of the world and interesting incidents shared made the course fun to attend. These were grueling 10 days but one I believe will take me to the next level as I practice the principles learnt and implement them. I would also like to thank GM Vidit for his experience sharing and interesting teaching examples on the same topic. Thanks also to ChessBase India for planning and coordinating an online event in a smooth manner. It did not feel like we were virtual - it seemed very much like it was a face to face session."
Parent feedback - Jagadeesh:
"The interest of the learner was sustained for 10 continuous days and the principles taught in the class were eye openers for my kid in many ways. Enthusiastic trainers, a dedicated organizing group and a motivated team which served the participants, ensured the course gave the highest value for the participants. I felt the investment was fully worth it as a parent seeing the interest and involvement of my kid in the course for 10 full days.
Vikramjit Singh, 2210
"Learnt so much!! probably the best way to improve chess. It helped me to look at chess from a new perspective and a very practical approach. Now I understand chess much better."
Carl Bicknell, 2106
WHAT I THOUGHT WAS GREAT:
The camp was generally excellent. The quality of the presentation of ideas, organisation of timings, and so on was all well thought through and professionally run. A big well done to all involved. The best part of the camp for me was that I've never heard this system of thinking before in any other place. Of all the chess books I've read, none of them have anything close to this and that's a huge selling point. If only I'd heard this when I was 12!
Both Vladimir and Vidit are good communicators and put their finger on the crucial points very quickly. It was very "pro" in that regard and invaluable training. Overall it was an excellent camp and I'd definitely be interested in doing another.
WHAT I THOUGHT COULD BE IMPROVED
1) The biggest improvement is a simple one: just have a separate board window (maybe a separate Zoom account needed for this?) showing the relevant board position ALWAYS. We lost at least 3-4 hours asking questions like:
• "is white's rook on a1?"
• "no e5"
• "But there's a knight on e5!"
• "no that got taken"
• "by what?"
• "the bishop"
• "oh in that case white just plays Qg7 winning"
• "no, it's black's move"
• I exaggerate not - one morning I wasted 90 minutes analysing the wrong position! People need to go to the toilet etc, so a board position on-screen would really help.
2) Vladimir's internet was OK but not always stable.
3) The analysis - ok I need to improve - but my life it was hard. I wondered sometimes whether this was a strategic balance course or an analysis course. We spent more time calculating than understanding the ideas, but maybe that's the way it has to be.
4) Value for money: It's a great package. It cost me around £1800. For a large group lesson with a few noisy kids...hmm...that's quite high. Just saying. But overall, you've got a winning formula here. It's something special.
FM Lim Zhuo Ren, 2311
"The first day when he was explaining, it sounded almost too good to be true the concept which allows us to find candidate moves corresponding to the computer's top choices sometimes. I was hopefully optimistic. And when he explained the concept of strategic balance on the second day, I found that it made a lot of sense and after going through examples after examples, I understood that the process of making this thinking second nature will be very beneficial to me as a chess player. To be honest, I felt like I hit gold with regards to this chess training.
I think there are two things which would make it better. 1 is knowing the proper schedule ahead of time. I was told it would be 12 to 6 p.m. IST and that didn't happen so was actually pretty unhappy about that. The second thing was perhaps adding a designated Q& A session because there were a lot of questions by other participants which weren't about the course. Having a designated Q & A session would perhaps allow the trainer to keep to the material he intended to present.
However, these 2 setbacks was completely overwritten by how good the trainer was and also by ChessBase India team who ensured things ran smoothly. Dnyansagar was always on point to ensure things ran smoothly. Thank you"
Ilamparthi A.R, 1989
"It was an amazing camp! I learnt a different way to understand chess. Thank you so much to ChessBase India and Vidit Chess Academy for organising this camp."
Feedback from coach Chuchelov
It is always very special for me to introduce my new students to the “Strategic balance “ course. Despite I did it so many times I never get a feeling that I am doing it over again. It is always different, always a unique experience. This time we had a very good group, with all the participants highly motivated and up to the challenge. Good spirits, great sense of humor in combination with very hard working was our daily routine.. It was a great time for me as for everyone. I wish to thank Captain Vidit who came up with this great idea and found time to make his own contribution with 10 hours of lecture, ChessBase India, in particular to Sagar Shah, who once again proved to be an excellent host and organizer, and of course all the participants with most of whom we still keep in regular touch. I hope very much we’d get another opportunity, may be even any time soon, so more players would get to know Strategic Balance course. Stay tuned!
Feedback from Coach Vidit Gujrathi
I was unsure how this camp would go for me because it was the first time that I was doing something on this scale with 11 participants and 50 hours of training. But the response of the students was amazing. I was very happy to see that all of them learnt something new. They enjoyed learning this new concept and I showed them how I applied it in my games. At the end of it everyone took back something home. It was not a normal camp. It was one which changed their understanding on how to look at chess. I would like to thank Chuchelov (I call him Coach!) for first of all teaching me and then sharing his training methods with others. I would also like to thank ChessBase India for organizing this camp impeccably. I had nothing to worry about with regards to organization. And a huge thanks to each and every participant in this camp. I am hoping for some magnificent results in the days to come!
A big thanks to our viewers
On 25th of July our viewers came together on the improving chess stream no.57 and raised close to Rupees 5 lakh via superchats. All the details of the show have been mentioned here. An integral part of the show was the 11-year-old talent Ilamparthi. It was his presence on the stream which prompted the viewers to support Indian chess in such a big way. Also Ilamparthi is one of the most promising youngsters of Indian chess. ChessBase India sponsored Rs.1 lakh of his fees for this camp from the amount that was collected. We are thankful to our viewers for their benevolence and we wish Ilamparthi the best in the years to come.