All diagrams on Chess Academy forego explicit notation coordinates. It's easy for players to learn the coordinates by heart. In the end, explicit coordinates are pollution and are used by inexperienced players as a crutch.
As one moves from one direction to the other, coordinates change. It's a matter of developing one's spatial ability. With the help of alternating squares, distinguishing squares becomes second nature for any serious player. For black, the coordinates are mirrored.


There are no interactive chess players on Chess Academy because players should develop their visualization skills. Lines on Chess Academy are not long and variations are explained from the beginning with diagrams so visualizing isn't difficult.


Candidates moves are listed in two groups, tactical, or forcing, and strategic, or non-forcing. The tactical, or forcing, moves are ordered from most forcing to least forcing and the strategic, or non-forcing, moves are ordered from most natural to least natural.


  • Checks
  • Captures
  • Threats


  • Most natural
  • Least natural


There are three modules to each chess course. First, there is the simple passive module which only presents one good move for each move so that players can learn without too much pressure. Second, there is the complex passive module which has several good moves and bad moves listed so that players can see alternatives. And finally, the third module does not show the answers and also lists all of the candidates but does not say which ones are good or bad.

Simple Passive

  • 8...d5

Complex Passive

  • 8...d5 ― good
  • 8...d6 ― good
  • 8...Bishop-b7 ― bad
  • 8...Rook-e8 ― neutral

Complex Active

  • 8...d5
  • 8...d6
  • 8...Bb7
  • 8...Re8