All Skill Levels
||1 hour coaching session
||10 coaching sessions of 1 hour duration each
Hello, I am Graham Morrison from Scotland. Scottish Champion 1981. FIDE Master for 30 years (since 1983). I have played for the Scotland team in 4 Olympiads (1984, 1988, 2010, 2012) and 4 European Team Championships (1989, 2007, 2009, 2011).
In 2009 I achieved my first IM Norm at age 50, and by Nov 2011 I had also achieved by 2nd and 3rd IM Norms. In Jan 2013 FIDE approved my IM title "conditional on rating" (see http://www.fide.com/component/content/article/1-fide-news/6751-titles-approved-by-the-1st-quarter-fide-pb-2013.html) so I now "just" have to cross the 2400 barrier to get to this next level.
Don't believe those that say that chess these days is purely a game for kiddies. We fuddy duddies can still improve!
You can see some videos that I made at
I have approximately 30 years experience as a trainer. My emphasis is on building an opening repertoire, training regime, analysis skills and positional judgement. Coaching and analysis (in English) for 30$/hour.
My usual working scheme with students usually centres around analysis and discussion of the students games, my games, famous games, tricky/instructive positions, openings, and general approaches to study, training, maximising results, etc.
We usually use Skype to conduct the chat and the common analysis board is usually via a Live Chess board on Chess.com.
I don't believe in standard, one-size-fits-all, recipes to coaching in chess (or anything else in fact) so my approach totally focuses on understanding how that individual student thinks about chess, comparing that with how I think about the same problems, raising the self-awareness of the student on what the real issues are, and jointly devising ways and means of him/her playing better.
I also think that there are no quick fixes (sorry!), and that at the end of the day it takes a lot of work on the students part (again sorry!) to get significantly better. However, I also believe (my own experience is proof) that you can get better at chess at any age, even if heavily constrained by real life issues like family, job, etc.
My usual advice to students on frequency of lessons is approximately one every three or four weeks (or even longer). More frequent than that does not give you the time to mull over my suggestions, figure out how to incorporate them in your practice, try them out in games, and see what works for you and what doesn't.
Unfortunately I am rather overloaded at this current point in time so I will not be taking on any new students for a while.
Lots of people have asked me whether I'm doing anything radically different these days to achieve some of my cherished goals (three IM Norms, several GM scalps) in the last couple of years - having failed to achieve them in 30 years as an FM! The answer is not anything radically different, but I have learned a lot about chess development since I returned to chess in 2003, and used this to more proactively plan and train my chess, so I would offer the following tips to those (mature and not so mature) readers who wish to maximise their results:
1. Have self confidence. Techniques like self hypnosis, and performance psychology can help develop this and really persuade your subconscious self that you can and will cope, whatever the challenge. Giving yourself the chances to be lucky also helps.
2. Be sharp. Lots of practice to the build up of an event helps a lot, as does daily tactics exercises (eg, CT-ART, puzzles in the magazines, etc). My own personal favourite is to heavily concentrate on solving endgames studies (eg, Studies 2.0 from Convekta) in the build up to an event since it develops skills in precise calculation, imagination and resourcefullness.
3. Have energy. These days I only play in events where there is one game a day, and try to have a little nap before a game. I will NOT play when I'm tired (eg, at the end of a day's work) and I travel the day before I play. Also, some energy supplements for a long game are handy - that's why people always see me with my bottle of Sprite and bag of bananas!
4. Prepare well. The usual tip of analysing your games thoroughly is always helpful. Given limited time (which all us amateurs suffer from) it also makes sense to play fewer opening systems - but prepare them very well. I find that Solitaire Chess is very powerful for deeply understanding classic games and developing my inuition and thinking skills. Dvoretsky's books are also very powerful and demand a lot of effort and humility! Also, if you can afford it, hire a Russian coach - I have used three Russian coaches on ICC over the past few years and I gained a great deal of chess wisdom, chess culture and self awareness from all of them.
5. Play the strongest possible players. You really have to be constantly stretching yourself against the best that you can get access to. The lazy habits you develop that suffice to beat much weaker players do you a severe dis-service when facing tougher opposition.
The best of luck in your games - except if you are facing me of course!