ChessMood Review: Is It A Good Investment?
Have you heard of ChessMood*? Well, depending on how you found this review, you might be on the verge of buying, or never heard of it at all. Point is, ChessMood is a rather established player in what I like to call the chess improvement space. The company was founded in 2017 by Armenian Grandmaster Avetik Grigoryan and takes a slighty different approach to helping players improve their game.
In our ChessMood review, we will take an in-depth look at what ChessMood has to offer, including their lessons, training programs and community features. We’ll also explore how effective these resources are at helping you to improve your chess skills and reach their goals. No matter your experience level (okay, to be fair, ChessMood is not suitable for complete beginners) this review will provide you with all the information you need to decide if ChessMood is worth it and the right choice for you. So, let’s dive in and see what ChessMood has to offer!
ChessMood Basics Explained
To make a long story short, ChessMood* is a chess-improvement platform. If you’re a regular in the chess scene, you might’ve noticed dozens of those springing up in recent years, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic and the sudden increase in popularity of (online) chess. So, what exactly makes ChessMood special? We’ve discovered two unique advantages of ChessMood.
The first thing that sets ChessMood apart is the quality of its content. The lessons and training programs are all created by chess Grandmasters with heaps of coaching experience. They’re very well structured (see below) and are presented in an engaging and easy-to-follow manner.
Another thing ChessMood brings to the table is a strong community aspect, with forums and other social features that allow players to connect with each other and share their experiences as well as asks chess-related questions. This can be a great way to get feedback and support from other chess players, and can also provide motivation and inspiration as you work to improve your chess skills. Hint: The teaching Grandmaster’s are also waiting in the forum for you!
How ChessMood Works In Detail
Now that you’ve gotten a very broad idea of what ChessMood* is, let’s get deep into it and inspect all ChessMood has to offer you on your way to becoming a chess pro.
The main feature of ChessMood are courses. They’re offering courses in 9 distinct categories:
I especially like the dedicated section to beating (dubious) opening gambits, which is something a lot of chess players struggle, even at higher Elo levels.
To give you an example of how much content to expect in each category, here is an inside look into the most popular course called Rating Booster. It is designed to get you to an Elo rating of 2000:
Overall, the courses really are the bread and butter of ChessMood. They’re well thought-through and offer amazing value for chess players at any level of play. While you can certainly find amazing video material on all sorts of chess topics, I think you will struggle to find such a well-organized and exhaustive suite of material for free. It’s just the price we pay for quality content.
Unfortunately, we can’t show you any real courses here (who would’ve thought?) But if you want to get an idea of what to expect from ChessMood* courses, you can watch some of their Youtube videos, like this one on how to play the London opening:
But remember: ChessMood Courses are far more extensive and instructive than this short video. Use it to get an idea of the ChessMood teaching style and their instructors.
To finish this section, here are the ChessMood’s video courses in short:
- Over 300 hours of video courses
- All courses are prepared by Grandmasters
- Wide variety of courses for opening, middlegame and endgame
- Access to all video material with any subscription
Streams, Webinars & Events
Now, let’s look at the interactive part of ChessMood*. While courses provide you with heaps of knowledge and theoritcal concepts, you want to be able to implement them in real games as well. That’s where ChessMood Events come in.
ChessMood coaches regularly stream hour-long sessions, in which the course content is applied in real games. Viewers can interact with the coach in real time by using a chat-room. In addition, ChessMood hosts webinars as well as Meetups with coaches, so you can learn together with Grandmasters and get instant feedback.
Here you can see a few of the upcoming ChessMood events:
Other such Events include:
- Interactive Lessons
- Simul games against GMs
- Tactical Mastery
- Challenge a GM
- And many more…
This makes ChessMood a rather unique opportunity to play and directly communicate with Grandmasters on a regular basis and in a very relaxed atmosphere. Sure, you can find tons of GMs streaming on Twitch, but can you reliably ask them questions about your games? Not without paying money significant money.
Another cool feature offered on ChessMood* are the forums. Here, you can communicate with other ChessMood members, as well as ask the Grandmaster coaches questions directly, without waiting for a scheduled Webinar or Meetup. Rest assured, you will get an answer swiftly.
They also have a neat thread (which is accessible for free!) for finding study partners to keep you accountable and make your improvement journey more enjoyable.
Here you can get an idea of what you can find in the Forum:
The Forum is split into a Main Channel (free) and a Pro Channel, which is exlusive to ChessMood Pro members.
If we’re completely honest, ChessMood* puzzles are nothing special. They’re just a daily puzzle, nothing more, nothing less. Don’t bother solving them, unless you are looking to earn some MoodCoins (the side-wide currency). You are awarded 500 MoodCoins if you solve a daily puzzle on your first try. If you’re looking to primarily work on your chess by solving puzzles, stick to Lichess, Chess.com or paid services like Aimchess.
Here’s how ChessMood’s daily puzzles look like:
How ChessMood Will Help You Level Up Your Chess
Let’s look at how exactly ChessMood* tackles the challenge of helping you improve your chess.
For me, it is the special combination of theory study and practical implementation. It is quite easy to find quality content on certain openings or endgame strategies for free on the internet. But what makes ChessMood so valuable are their interactive lessons and streams, which are a perfect supplement to the video courses. You’ll study the theory, learn how to implement it in interactive lessons and can even ask questions whenever you’re facing an issue in a real game.
Obviously, this begs the question: Who are the ChessMood coaches we’ve been talking about the whole time?
From our research, currently ChessMood has 7 Grandmaster coaches, they are:
- GM Santiago Delgado
- GM Avetik Grigoryan
- GM Gabuzyan Hovhannes
- GM Hrant Melkumyan
- GM Robert Hovhannisyan
- GM Samvel Ter-Sahakyan
- GM Zaven Adriasian
I have no doubt that ChessMood is a great resource for anyone looking to step up their chess game. However, we need to dig deeper to find out whether ChessMood is really worth it. How about the negatives and the pricing of ChessMood? Let’s investigate.
The Negatives: What I Don’t Like
It’s important to note that every service has its strengths and weaknesses and ChessMood* is no exception. To make an informed decision, you have to be aware of those weaknesses when evaluating whether ChessMood is the right choice for you. So, here are my main criticisms of ChessMood:
The Cost of ChessMood
02/2023 update: In February 2023, ChessMood significantly raised their prices. We updated this section to reflect the current prices and took the price increase into account in our overall score.
Let’s face it: ChessMood is quite expensive. We’ll look at pricing in detail in the next section, but I have to feature it here as well, as it is a significant issue I see with ChessMood*.
It’s not that I feel like ChessMood is too expensive (the quality definitely justifies the price), but I don’t see many chess players paying $50 to $90 for a monthly subscription.
However, there is one objective problem with the pricing structure on ChessMood. You are actually able to buy individual courses if you’re interested in them. However, the prices are ridiculously high compared to the monthly subscription. An example:
The “Tactics Ninja” course (which has 20 hours of content) will set you back a whopping $300 if bought on its own:
Obviously that makes no sense when the monthly subscriptions start at $49, which us why I don’t recommend buying individual courses on ChessMood under any circumstance, until the pricing structure is fixed.
Not Suitable For Complete Beginners
ChessMood* is not a great fit for total beginners who don’t know the basics of chess. There is no course that covers the absolute basics, you need at least a rating of >800 on Chess.com or >1200 on Lichess to really use ChessMood. While it is not a dealbreaker, I don’t really understand why they didn’t also produce a video course for complete beginners. Compared to the 300+ hours of video material, this would’ve been a drop in the ocean and round things up a bit more.
But of course, beginners are always welcome to check out the countless resources for learning chess here on Chessily ;).
Limited Endgame Resources
Don’t get me wrong, ChessMood* has a quite extensive course selection about endgames, almost 10 hours of video material in fact. However, compared to their other courses, the content seems a bit too shallow and could be improved upon in terms of quantity.
So, if you’re primarily looking to improve your endgames, ChessMood might not be worth it for you.
Is ChessMood Free? Let’s Look At Pricing Structure
02/2023 update: We updated this section to reflect the recent price increase. All prices you’re looking at are up to date.
Now you know all about ChessMood*: how it works, how it can help you improve your chess, and also potential weaknesses. Let’s look at what it costs to become a ChessMood member.
Let’s start with the most pressing question: “Is ChessMood free?” While you can create a ChessMood account for free, you are not going to get anything out of ChessMood if you don’t invest in either ChessMood Pro or Essential. So for all intents and purposes, ChessMood* should not be considered free. They do however offer a 7-day free trial once you subscribe to any of their membership plans, which is a fair arrangement in my opinion.
ChessMood* offers two subscription tiers: Essential and Pro. Billed annually, Essential will set you back $49/month, while Pro costs $79/month. Monthly prices are a bit higher, with $59 and $89 respectively:
ChessMood Essential basically only gives you access to the video courses and their updates. With ChessMood* Pro you’ll enjoy all of the interactive content we’ve described above.
For me, that is a steep price to pay for a chess subscription service. However, in some respects ChessMood* can be used as a replacement for a chess coach, which would make it quite cheap in comparison. A good chess coach can charge upwards of $30 an hour, at which point a ChessMood* subscription might be the better choice.
What Results You Should (and Shouldn’t) Expect From ChessMood
ChessMood* often advertises with rapid Elo gains of their members. While these are certainly impressive, I want to manage your expectations a bit. For example, here is the case-study of Avanish, a young chess player that improved his Elo rating by almost 500 points in just one year:
Remember: These results aren’t typical. Not for ChessMood* and not for any other chess improvement service.
To manage your expectations, check out this list:
From ChessMood*, you should expect:
- Great quality video courses, with top-notch teaching style
- Direct communication with Grandmasters to improve your chess
- A tool that can help you improve your rating quickly (if you’re consistent)
- A worthy replacement for a chess coach in some respects
But, you shouldn’t expect:
- A shortcut to becoming a Grandmaster
- A budget-friendly way to get better at chess
Conclusion: Is ChessMood Pro (or Essential) Worth It?
Without a question, ChessMood* offers very high quality content that is sure to help you improve your rating. However, that quality definitely has its price.
Personally, I would 100% recommend ChessMood* Pro to anyone who is committed to improving their chess and is willing to spend the money. I can guarantee you that you will not be disappointed by the video courses or any other service on ChessMood*.
But the honest truth is: You don’t really need ChessMood to improve. It is just a tool that makes it easier and more convenient. I’m sure you could find video lessons of similar quality on the internet for free and study by yourself. But, ChessMood* does make it a lot easier by offering a huge array of content in a well-organised manner, with added support by Grandmasters.
For everyone still not sure whether they’ll enjoy using ChessMood, they also offer a 30-day, no-questions-asked, money-back guarantee.
ChessMood Social Profiles
- Website: https://chessmood.com/*
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChessMood
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chessmood_official
- Support: [email protected]