A Review Of Chessly: Is It Worth The Hype?

A Review Of Chessly: Is It Worth The Hype?

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The man of the moment, Levy Rozman, more popularly known by his chess username “Gotham Chess,” recently released his very own paid subscription service called Chessly.

Chessly’s unveiling comes after two years of work dedicated to creating a diverse range of chess courses which include beginner bootcamp, intermediate boot camp, opening courses, and more. 

The point of Chessly is to offer an elevated learning experience that underscores the need for deep learning, drills, and assessments in a fun, engaging manner.

The flagship offering is Chessley Plus, a subscription-based learning module priced at $10 a month. 

The subscription opens up a world of innovative training games designed from scratch to help you improve at chess. 

Chessley Plus also leans into the community learning approach with features to enable interactions, comments on courses, and more.

All sound intriguing, right? Let’s look at the features of this site in depth.

Getting Started

Once you log in, you’ll be greeted by a sidebar that showcases courses, lectures, and training, and a dashboard that shows your current study and progress.

According to the site, the courses tab provides “standalone courses designed to provide actionable insights & practical strategies for instant game improvement.

As of this review, there are only 14 courses listed there which include:

  • Beginner Chess Course
  • C6 Caro Kann
  • D4 Dynamite
  • E4 New York Style
  • E6/B6 Defense
  • Endgame Masterclass
  • G6 Modern Defense
  • Gambits for Black
  • Gambits for White
  • Intermediate Chess
  • Middlegame Masterclass
  • Queens Gambit Declined
  • Tactics Masterclass
  • The Dutch Defense

In every course, you will find an interactive study board with written annotations, a video simplifying the concepts, and forthcoming drills and quizzes. 

The video lessons are concise, focusing on one concept or variation within a course at a time. 

The studies bring the entire course to you in one place, complete with critical spots, easy navigation, piece sounds, and commentary.

There are also 14 bite-sized, interactive lessons covering a wide range of topics.

The Training category makes it possible to sharpen your skills like visualization, evaluation, and planning. Let’s talk about those below.

Chess Memory Test: Flash Memory

The first feature I tried was the Flash Memory game, designed to flex your memory and analytical skills. 

The premise is simple: you’re presented with a chessboard setup, which you need to memorize before it disappears. The game then quizzes you on the exact positions of the pieces.

For beginners, don’t panic. You can choose the level of complexity based on the number of pieces used in the exercise.

It’s an engaging exercise that truly tests and improves your ability to capture the full details of a position during an actual game.

Training Your Visual Memory: Visualization Trainer

Next up was the Visualization Trainer. 

This game helps you practice visualizing multiple moves ahead by showing you a sequence of moves in standard algebraic notation.

The idea is for you to visually animate the moves on the board. 

You can then try to replicate this sequence. 

Spatial Awareness With The Knight: Traveling Knight

The third game, Traveling Knight, pushes your spatial awareness skills. 

The goal is to guide your knight to a target square, making as few moves as possible.

This game is an excellent way to equip you with the strategic acumen needed to navigate your knight effectively across the board.

Making Smart Moves Fast: Think Fast

The Think Fast game is about instinctively identifying good moves under time pressure. 

The catch? You are not necessarily looking for the best move, just those that won’t harm your position.

Speed and Accuracy: Coordinate Spotter

Lastly, I plunged into the Coordinate Spotter game. 

Here, you are presented with a random coordinate, and you need to quickly identify and click the correct square on the board.

So Is Chesley Plus Worth It?

Well, after exploring all the exercises and checking out the courses, I found Chesley Plus to be a valuable tool. 

It’s especially great for players over the 800 Elo rating mark. 

If you’re a beginner player, you might want to focus more on basic strategies before stepping into advanced visual and memory exercises.

According to Levy, a few features currently under progress include PGN viewing, offline viewing, a mobile app, and more. 

There’s a chance other course authors would be brought in to cater to a variety of learning requirements. Especially for players beyond the 1700-1800 target range.

Another advantage of the platform is the ability to access a comprehensive free sample of a whole chapter for every course. 

This helps you gauge the quality and depth of the course before you decide to invest in it. 

The subscription price, however, might be somewhat discouraging as Chessly Plus costs $9.99/month and $89.99/year.

And I don’t like that a Chessly Plus subscription only grants you access to the Training Games and Lectures.

The courses are sold individually and they cost around $64 for each. 

Though a Chessly Plus subscription provides you with reduced prices on the courses, it’s still pricey especially if you’re looking for a cheap way to improve. 

And just in case you get the courses and don’t like what you see, Chess offers a 7-day refund policy as seen below.

Let me know if this review was helpful. 

Have any questions? Share them below and I’ll attend to it shortly.

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