Frequently Asked Questions

Chess Training (7)

Yes. In fact, I prepare a complete unique program of training and preparation for each of my students. It is based on the creative works of the greatest chess masters and trainers of our time. Such a program provides: analysing the student's games as well as showing and removing the defects in them, preparing and learning new opening lines, studying new essential typical middlegame positions, improving of student's endgame technique, learning the games of the classic masters and many more.

Every chess player has the potential needed to become an FM, IM, or even a GM! I can select the best approach and teach you so that you improve quickly, but everything else depends only on you. If you want to succeed, you will always have to apply a strong will and willingness to work hard. I can help you progress in your chess development surprisingly fast, but don't forget that I am just a helper, a coach, who can show you the way to success and lead you through it. You should never forget that the way to chess mastership is not an easy one and you will have to train a lot if you really want to get there.

When I am going to analyze with my student their games, it is very important what approach I will choose, because every student has their specific understanding of the game of chess and I have to find out the best way to explain different things while analyzing, so that they learn from that game and remember the most important points for a long time. As you may know, chess players can learn most from their own games. If the student has lost the game, before we start analyzing the concrete variations, it is very important to first take into account the side factors behind the game itself, such as student's physical hardiness, emotional condition, and overall state during the game, because through collecting this psychological data, I will be able to see if some blunder in the student’s game is a result of defects in their play or is due to these side factors. It's the same when the student has won the game. Then I will be interested not only in their state while playing the given game, but will also take into consideration the opponent's one. In this case, what the student had seen and considered in their opponent's behavior during the critical moments of the game will be important. You know, there is a Bulgarian saying "Stupid people repeat their mistakes and smart ones learn from their and also from others' mistakes". Therefore, when we finally begin looking at the variations of the game, I will not only be concerned in improving the possibilities in the opening of my students' game, but also in improving my student's style of play as a whole.

Firstly, you need to know that acquiring a reliable endgame technique is not easy. Most chess players can play endgames with a reasonable success, but only few can play skillfully and benefit from any minor mistake their opponent will most likely make which will decide the outcome of the game. For this reason, unlike the opening and the middlegame, the endgame needs a specific approach of evaluating and learning. For most endgame positions which arise in modern practical chess, the plan one will choose is a decisive strategic intention in each game. Plans may seem very easy to prepare, but this usually happens to be the most important stage in each endgame position, since almost always the fate of the whole game depends on it. So if you would like to expand your endgame knowledge, you need to take serious preparatory studies in this direction. I eagerly recommend you to study the theoretical chess endings. That way, you will not only expand your endgame knowledge, but also promote your "planning vision" in the endgames.

Well, the process of studying an opening line or system is not difficult. Nevertheless, you need to know a few important things before you begin studying the opening theory. Actually, mastering chess openings may look easy to do by just looking through the moves one by one and remembering them in the right order. Yet, here I have to warn you that studying the openings is a very important stage of every player's preparation, and if you don't know the right way of doing that, it may seriously affect your performance. First of all, when you learn openings, you should not try to memorize the moves mechanically, one by one, but to understand the sense of each move and to remember the basic points and ideas of the specific opening structure, because that way you will be able to truly learn it, that is, remember it for a long time. Know that it is absolutely forbidden to memorize the opening lines move by move, mechanically. This is a principle for studying chess theory and here is the place I should quote the great chess master of the past - Aaron Nimzowitsch who said: "Try to get rid of the slavery under opening variations. Instead, learn a few typical positions and study them thoroughly. Positional sense should free you from the slavery of 'variations".

Before I answer to this question I would like to mention that in my library and my computer I have a great number of chess books, databases, and many more. There are really a lot of materials to look at. It is certainly inconceivable for me to read and explore all of this stuff, but when I explore or study some book or opening system, my purpose is not to read all the stuff inside, but to extract only the most important information from it. When I proceed in this way, it is really very easy for me to read a lot of materials and remember only the most essential information I will easily recall at the right moment while playing in a chess tournament. That way, I keep in mind the lines and ideas from the most interesting and exciting games in my databases for a long time, so that they often help me defeat my opponents, using similar ideas as those I have observed in the games. Another important activity with which I am usually preoccupied, while working on creating suitable opening lines for my students, is to deeply analyze the lines I have found in my databases and to make sure that they will be compatible with the playing style of a given student. Furthermore, different opening lines need to be explored and prepared in different ways before including them in one's opening repertoire and starting using them in real competitions. Therefore, when I begin working on a given opening line or system for one of my students, I free my positional sense to be able to see and feel what the peculiarities of the line are and also to correctly anticipate the arising middlegame positions after the different variations. This is the way I work on creating a suitable opening line or system for a particular student.

First of all, you have to know that I have a huge collection of chess opening lines, which I've been gathering and precisely analysing through the years. This collection contains lines of almost each opening system for both white and black. In the opening variations I have prepared, there are very different types of lines, so no matter if you are a beginner or grandmaster, there can always be strong lines suitable to your level. Thus, I can always select exactly what opening lines you need, so when you learn them, understand them and finally start to play them, you will get great results using them. You should also note that in some of these lines, new and more effective line continuations are being found all the time by top GMs and chess instructors which remain unknown to the chess players using the “official” theory for a long time. That being said, traps, novelties, and even crushing lines emerge on the chess board out of the blue when an experienced chess player, also using the most recent findings of his colleagues around the globe, easily beats his conservative opponents. By being informed of the most up-to-date trends in the opening theory, you will be able to defeat much stronger opponents with ease and I can help you do so!

General (7)

You can easily start your personalized chess training course by referring to our easy to use Step-by-Step Guide to Your First Chess Lesson.

If you are considering utilizing any of IM Lilov’s chess training services for either short or long-term period, you are encouraged to register as a student by completing our New Student Registration Form.

For current hourly rates for private lessons or other services provided by IM Lilov, please review our Services & Fees page.

Though the most convenient method of payment available is PayPal, we also accept bank wires and Western Union transfers, when one of them happens to be a better option for a client. If you wish to use your credit card to pay for your training, we recommend you to sign up for a PayPal account and link your credit card to it for fast results.

To prepare for your first training session with IM Lilov to be held over the internet, you can review our Training Sessions Page, containing important information on what applications you may need to install on your computer and what information you may need to provide your future coach with.

To easily send your games for initial review or deeper analysis, you can use one of several available alternatives to do so.

  1. You can use the Sample Games field on our Student Registration Form and submit your sample games for the first time while registering as a student.
  2. You can send your games for analysis as PGN or CBH file attachments via e-mail to
  3. You can utilize our web-based Contact Form and simply copy-and-paste the algebraic notation of each of the games you would like to submit for review.

To reserve a lesson appointment, you will need to establish your training credit balance account by ordering any number of training hours from our Services & Fees page. Then, you can go ahead and e-mail a few concrete dates/times for your first lesson at your convenience and IM Lilov will get back to you with an e-mail reply, indicating what date and time were selected for your first training session.