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A new avenue for chess improvement with GM Swapnil Dhopade

by Sagar Shah - 05/05/2023

Chess in India has been on the rise and one of the main reasons for this is the fact that the country has strong grandmasters who have decided to dedicate all of their time to chess coaching and training. One such GM is Swapnil Dhopade. Swapnil has several achievements under his belt as a player and a trainer. Recently he has decided to launch online group classes at his academy - Chess Pathshala. This means that players all across the world can now access his coaching at an affordable price. Check out the article to know more.

GM Swapnil Dhopade's credentials as a chess coach need no introduction. The GM from Amravati in Maharashtra has trained talents like Raunak Sadhwani, Harshit Raja, Sankalp Gupta, as well as top women players of our country like Koneru Humpy, Dronavalli Harika, Soumya Swaminathan and many others. He has also been the coach of Indian national team on multiple occasions.

He was coach of Team Chess Pathshala at the India's Got Chess Talent (IGCT) Program

You can get a glimpse of how Swapnil teaches from some of the videos he has done on our YouTube channel:

A complete overview of the Caro Kann Defense
How Swapnil Dhopade's novelty helped Koneru Humpy win a crucial game at the Chess Olympiad 2018
GM Swapnil is a big expert at the Benko Gambit

GM Swapnil Dhopade launches group classes

By GM Swapnil Dhopade


I have been into chess coaching for many years now. It has been a thrilling journey so far with lots of ups and downs. When you achieve early success in any field, you get a boost of confidence and you start to feel that you can be good at it. As a player, I struggled to make a mark at the national level at an early age. After a topsy-turvy ride, I finally managed to become a GM at the age of 25 years. Quite late by today’s standard. But for me, I felt like I won the world. A huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Then, I decided to venture into chess coaching.

Swapnil at the Isle of Man International 2017 with a performance of 2768

When I started coaching it was a completely opposite experience for me. All those years of studying books of great authors like Dvoretsky, helped me immensely in my work as a coach. My very first student Raunak Sadhwani went on to become one of the world’s youngest grandmaster at the age of 13 years and 9 months. This early success made me believe in my abilities and cemented my passion in Chess coaching. Later, I also went on to coach the Indian Women’s team in Asian Nations Cup and the World Team Championships, and I was also the coach of the Indian Women’s B team in the recently held Olympiad 2022 in Chennai.

Swapnil with Raunak Sadhwani at a training session in 2023

Coach of the India 2 team at the Chess Olympiad 2022

All these years, I have been coaching players of various rating levels and ages in individual sessions, whether online or offline. For the first time, I have decided to start group sessions through my academy, Chess Pathshala. I felt that with the things I have on offer now, I can add value to the students who join the group classes.

1. Two live interactive classes weekly by GM Swapnil Dhopade

I have decided to take weekly 2 live classes. They will be on Saturday and Sunday from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. I decided to cover different topics in chess in order to ensure that it is beneficial for all the students. I am going to combine my own experiences as a player and as a coach in all the topics that we are going to learn in the classes. On top of that the classes are going to be interactive, in the sense that students will be asked questions during the class and they have to reply not by typing in the chat but by playing moves on the board.

2. Two Live Interactive classes weekly by coaches of Chess Pathshala

Apart from my classes there will be two live interactive classes weekly by other coaches of Chess Pathshala. Consider these sessions as follow-up sessions to my classes. In these classes you will solve relevant exercises so that you can expand and internalize the learnings from my classes. All the coaches working with me in Chess Pathshala are professional and experienced coaches and we will be working as a team to help you learn and improve your Chess.

3. Free Access to GM Swapnil’s Video Courses

I have created 3 video courses for my academy on One of them is free while two of them are paid. I am planning to launch many such instructional video courses on openings, endgames, calculation, strategy, etc. Right now I am working on a complete course of Pawn endgames and a strategy course “Mastering Weak Squares”. All the active students of group classes will be given free access to these video courses so that they can learn not just from live classes but also from recorded video lessons at their own pace.

These are the sessions that can be found at Chess Pathshala website

4. Weekly Rapid and Blitz Tournaments

We are going to conduct weekly rapid and blitz tournaments for the academy students. This is mainly for practise games but as time goes by we will also include prizes in this tournaments so that students and play and try to win prizes in them.

5. Regular Homework

Students will be given regular homework to enhance their chess skills at home. Homework includes tactics, endgame exercises, calculation exercises, etc. Study materials relevant to the class topics will also be given to the students.

6. Access to class recordings

It is quite possible that sometimes students may miss their live classes. For this reason, we have decided to give access to live class recordings for all the students. They can always come back and learn from the recordings and relevant materials taught in the class.

The schedule of group classes in the month of May

Later on, we will also be adding bonus lectures from good coaches all around the world. I strongly feel that live classes combined with my video courses and regular homework will help students improve their chess skills. The material taught in the class as well as the one given as homework will be fixed with easy and tough exercises. So I strongly believe that players upto the FIDE rating of 2200 will find it relevant. Since this is the start, we have only one batch in the evening at Indian time as can seen in the schedule. We are also looking forward to starting a batch for overseas students at timings that are compatible. So students from abroad, do not hesitate to contact us.

Contact for fee structure and more information:

Email id:

Phone number/Whatsapp: +91 7976644210

Other links

Swapnil's website

Swapnil Dhopade's playlist on ChessBase India

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