Carlsson Chess Training!

Back in the summer, The Chess Drum chatted with Swedish Grandmaster Pontus Carlsson via Skype and got an update on his chess activities and his online teaching. He is well-known to The Chess Drum audience having earned his GM title back in 2007 and joining Sweden’s national team.

While Carlsson is still an active player, he has begun giving lessons via Internet and seeks to establish a wider reach. Carlsson teaches languages at secondary school in Sweden and will soon take Chinese studies in Guangzhou, China. Among the languages he speaks are Swedish, Spanish, English, German, French with plans to study Arabic and Russian in the future.

The burning question of chess these days is the role that computer engines play in training. There can be an over-reliance on these tools for insight and evaluation.

My experience also tells me that it is very difficult for club players to improve only by checking their games with Fritz, Rybka or Houdini since than no one explains why white has an advantage of 0.31 pawns or which plans that should be preferred in this type of positions.

~GM Pontus Carlsson

It can be affirmed that a student can learn certain concepts with an array of software tools and chess engines, however, there may be an element missing in this learning process. In many cases, guidance is needed. So, do you want to improve your ELO rating and skill level, but are not sure of how to do it, or which books you should read? Then perhaps its time for you to hire GM Carlsson! Why Carlsson? Read more below!


Questions & Answers with GM Pontus Carlsson

Why do I need a trainer with all available literature online and in bookstores?

Well the answer is easy. All literature available makes it even more difficult to navigate and to find the right books to read and to construct the right opening repertoire for both scoring points and improving the level of your play. Thus you need help to find your right path for improvement. It is better to learn from an experienced player and trainer who has taken the same journey from a beginner to a grandmaster.

OK… it sounds good, but what is the extent of your teaching experience?

Being both an experienced grandmaster and an educated teacher with 20 years of coaching and training experience I have developed an instructive and pedagogical way of teaching and explaining chess to my pupils.

Can you clarify what a typical training session is like?

In the trainings we will structure and sharpen your opening repertoire, practice tactics and endgames, improve your positional and strategic skills by analysing and going through instructive grandmaster games as well as analysing your own played games, which is a very important method on the road for improvement. My experience also tells me that it is very difficult for club players to improve only by checking their games with Fritz, Rybka or Houdini since than no one explains why white has an advantage of 0.31 pawns or which plans that should be preferred in this type of positions. Rather the opposite it can be very easy for club players to draw wrong conclusions from checking the games with the help of Fritz or other engines.

It all sounds very interesting how do I contact you for more information?

If you are interested in trainings and to improve your rating and chess skills you are welcome to contact me by email at

Skype: pintuz24

In order to further explain what you will learn during the trainings and what the trainings can give you, I will show two games of my own that well illustrates the importance of positional and strategical skills as well as what good opening preparation can give you.


  1. Pingback: Daily Chess News Links December 08, 2013 |
  2. I just had my weekly affordable training with GM Pontus and he was explaining to me how to determine a critical position in the middle game. Extremely instructive and valuable information for a master level player and below. GM Pontus gave me a clear explanation of the proper thought pattern one needs to have to execute a series of ideals (not moves) during the game. We meet on Skype and the broadcast is excellent. I would recommend any player master level and below to take advantage GM Pontus years of experience, coaching abilities, and clear explanation of each phase of chess. Oh! and if you are playing in the WORLD OPEN and planing to win your section, BIG MONEY, I suggest you start lessons immediately and your playing strength will definitely improve over 200 points!

  3. My son Ben enjoyed a Skype lesson with GM Pontus Carllson during the 2012 National Scholastic Chess Tournament in Orlando, Florida. GM Pontus offered excellent analysis of Ben’s matches and Ben applied knowledge learned from those Skype sessions to his next games at the Tournament. I highly recommend GM Pontus.

  4. Ha Ha! A 0.31 pawn advantage! Meaning, If I reached that position 100 times, it was like I was up 31 pawns in that sampling. Never mind the fact that nobody reaches the same position 100 times. Meaningless! GM Pontus Carlsson sounds like a an excellent trainer. If I were a serious player, I would definitely go for this.

  5. Don’t confuse him with Magnus?? Well duh……………. their names aren’t even spelled the same. I’m sure nobody will that has an IQ above 50. Besides, Magnus can beat Pontus blindfolded. Na, nobody will get em’ mixed up Daaim.

    1. Magnus Carlsen lost to Boris Savchenko (rating 2580) with both eyes open.

      People love to overestimate ratings differences. At GM level, players lose on miniscule positional errors. A 350 points elo advantage up in the GM clouds means a lot less than a 350 point elo advantage down at your local chess club. There are diminishing returns.

  6. Been really enjoying lessons from GM Pontus Carlsson. His style is deeply rooted and methodical. He is understanding of the methodology of chess is incredible but what makes his teaching great is his understanding of the psychology of the student player and the ability to adapt.

  7. Please continue helping the children to develop this wonderful game to improve them in their education

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