Chess is like a language, the top players are very fluent at it. – Vishy Anand

Welcome to Creative Chess Academy! We provide Chess training aimed at developing creativity in children.

Conventional chess coaching revolves around giving more information to chess pupils. They already have far too much of it ― in form of books, and databases filled with millions of games. Instead, at Creative Chess Academy, we embed the ability to make sense of information, to tell the difference between what is important and what is unimportant, and, above all, to combine many bits of information into a broad picture of the overall game. We help the pupil understand what is happening around him/her and navigate the maze of information.

“Creativity has nothing to do with any activity in particular – with painting, poetry, dancing, singing. It is the quality that you bring to the activity you are doing. It is an attitude, an inner approach – how you look at things.” ―Osho

Kids cannot learn creativity by reading a book or listening to a lecture. We will have to repeatedly let go of some of what we know best, and learn to feel at home with the unknown. Unfortunately, teaching kids to embrace the unknown while maintaining their mental balance is far more difficult than teaching them a deep opening variation in Sicilian or middlegame strategies. Chess coaches themselves usually lack the mental flexibility that the chess world demands since they themselves are the product of the old teaching systems.

“Drop the idea of becoming someone, because you are already a masterpiece. You cannot be improved. You have only to come to it, to know it, to realize it.” ― Osho

Creative Chess Academy lets the pupil be. We let the pupil flow. We believe the experiences at the chessboard teach all of us valuable lessons. Chess is a mirror of life. The more experience pupil has, the more mature he or she becomes.

Our Methods

When they are very young, it is the phase where their intuition is developing. A coach must teach his student, but the interference should be minimal. This approach worked for Nihal. – E. P NIRMAL

This is an excerpt from an ChessBase India article which is testimony to our methods.

It was in 2011-12 that Nihal’s father Dr. Sarin, who is a Dermatologist, and his mother Dr. Shijin, who is a Psychiatrist, both of whom work as teachers in a medical college under the Kerala Government, were transferred to Thrissur in Kerala. Nihal moved to a new school – the CMI Devamatha Public School. As it turns out, even this school offered chess classes as a part of the school curriculum. One day, the school coach announced that the state champion for the year 2012, E.P. Nirmal, was visiting them to give a simultaneous exhibition. A bunch of students turned up to face Nirmal, and Nihal was among them. He managed to beat Nirmal.

This was the beginning of a ‘friendship’ that continues to blossom even today. In 2012, Nirmal began to work with Nihal, improving his openings, sharpening his calculations, playing tons of games with him.

“I had noticed while growing up as a player that most coaches would impose their wills on the child’s character and suppress their natural game. They would force the student to follow a set of rules, or force him/her to play in a particular way,” laments Nirmal. He further says, “When they are very young, it is the phase where their intuition is developing. A coach must teach his student, but the interference should be minimal. This approach worked for Nihal.”

E.P. Nirmal works with Nihal on the department Nihal wants to study on a given day, based on his mood, and as a rule, interferes only when necessary. “His love for the game is deep. He always wants to work on some area of chess at any given time! My job has been to remove the roadblocks and let him flow.”

Nirmal reveals the key routine: “The focus has always been on playing. He plays bucket loads of blitz online on various sites like Playchess, etc. We pay special attention to these games. He plays something, and after the blitz game, I suggest a better or a different idea or a pattern I find from my own work on master games. This ensures that Nihal grabs the meaning of the pattern and remembers it. I just add that particular pattern to something he has just used in a fresh game.”

This has been the key to Nihal’s chess nourishment. This particular exercise of ‘adding patterns’ into Nihal’s head is slowly turning him into a lethal gamesman.

Read complete story here.