Hi Chessmood family!
I want to share with you that I have watched a lot of video courses from chess.com, chess24.com and Chessbase in the last year and I am really impressed by Chessmood courses.
It is not that chess.com, chess24 or chessbase courses are low quality, they are high quality and I have learnt a lot from them! but I have found that chessmood courses go a step further.
Chessmood.com is not a site that has hired some GMs to publish a lot of courses about different openings, so you can choose the ones that better suite your style. I sense that they have invested a lot of time in creating what they consider the best opening repertoire for amateur players (non-master). Openings that allow you to improve your chess in the process and reach at least 2000 elo, but avoiding lots of theory, since an amateur usually has time constraints and must optimize his learning time.
And the live streamings where GM Avetik plays against different opponents using those openings are the icing on the cake. Watching how a GM plays "your" openings has no price.
Watching the videos I can feel that they are not standard opening videos where they show you main lines and sidelines and you get lost in the variations. I think they have been made with care, explaining why they have chosen that opening for you, making sure you understand the strategic concepts behind that opening and then explaining the main lines and sidelines, but again making sure sure you understand why that move.
All the openings are connected, trying to minimize the amount of theory when possible but not at any cost. For instance, I started playing Hyper-accelerated Dragon (that avoids Rossolimo), but I did not feel comfortable with Qxd4 lines, despite knowing the theory well. (There is a good video in chess24 from GM Paco Vallejo where he explains the best moves for white against 2...g6 nad it is really difficult to find a comfortable position for black). So I switched to Accelerated Dragon, and I had to study Rossolimo but I am much comfortable now. Chessmood could have chosen Hyper-Accelerated Dragon and save theory and the course on Rossolimo, but they did not do it because they thought it was not he best to do.
On the other side, when I saw that the main weapon against 1.d4 2.c4 was Benko Gambit, I thought: Really?? But when I thought more about it I thought it was brilliant. I started playing 1.d4 and I tried several lines vs Benko Gambit (main line with e4, fianchetto line, Qc2 line) and everytime I felt uncomfortable with white. In fact, it was one of the reasons why I switched to 1.Nf3. Benko Gambit avoids learning a lot of theory and gets good results vs players <2000 and helps develop inititive and feel for attack. My current weapon vs 1.d4 2.c4 is Slav defense. A very solid defense. But I have had games when I have played some of my better games but ended in a draw. Specially in the Exchange variation, sometimes it is difficult to fight for a win with black and I ended in positions too passive too often. I could study Nimzo/QID but I feel that it would be more productive at my level to invest more time in tactics/Calculation. However, adding the Benko Gambit to my repertoire will not require so many hours and I will have a great opening to fight for a win with black, so I have already started studying the Chessmood Course and I am quite satisfied. I cannot wait to play my first Benko game!
I was shocked when GM Avetik, during the welcome interview recommended me to switch from 1.Nf3 to 1.e4 and use Chessmod Repertoire also with white. I have spent so many hours working on my 1.Nf3 repertoire and improving and practicing my lines, and I enjoy my lines so much... It would take me at least a year, but I am sure it a good recommendation and that it will be good for my chess. I have never played 1.e4 and my games are usually more positional than tactical, It will be good for my chess to feel the initiative and more direct approach of 1.e4. It will be my goal for 2021. During 2020 I will work on the Chessmood Openings for black. The selection of Scotch Opening seems to me a ggod choice also. The Opening with the best statistical results is the Spanish opening, but it requires a los of theory and the opponents are well prepared. However, amateur players might be less prepared against Scotch and if you look up the statistical results of Scotch Opening vs <2000 elo is as high as Spanish Opening with less theory. Watching the first videos I felt like I should try that opening!
Besides the Opening Courses, I think the Commented Classical Games and Happy Pieces Courses are superb.
Watching the streams and webminars recorded I can feel that GM Avetik really wants that his students improve and is doing his best
I think Chessmood.com is a completely different site and I am happy to be part of the family.