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IM John Bartholomew

Target Students:

All Skill Levels


About Me:

Hello! My name is John Bartholomew. I am a 27 year old International Master (IM) from the United States. My USCF rating is 2557 and my FIDE rating is 2461 (March 2014). I graduated in May 2009 with my Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from the University of Texas-Dallas. As of January 2011, I am a professional player and coach.

 

I am looking for serious students. Chess is a game that requires a lot of study and dedication. If you are willing to put in the necessary hours to improve, I promise that I will give you my full attention as a coach and mentor. My focus is on developing a strong student-instructor relationship that does not end simply because our weekly lesson is complete.  

 

I typically conduct my online lessons using a combination of Skype + Chess.com or ICC (Internet Chess Club). I also give in-person lessons in Minnesota (St. Paul/Minneapolis area).

 

ATTN: I strongly encourage prospective students to view a three-part video series I made for Chess.com entitled "Sensing the Critical Moment" (part two and three). These videos and the associated comments give a very good indication of my teaching style and may help you decide whether I am the right coach for you.

 

Feel free to contact me at mnchesscoach@gmail.com for inquiries and rate requests.

 

Finally, here is a fun interview of me conducted in October 2012.

Comments


  • 3 days ago

    jhf12

    I am a casual chess player who was looking for a few pointers, as well as someone to ask questions regarding openings, theory, and the like. I decided to contact John for some lessons. I am so glad that I did!


    Before we even met, John reviewed a bunch of my games and already had recommendations for how I could improve. I took his advice and sure enough I started winning more games.

     

    It's one thing to be good at chess, but it's another to be a good teacher. John is both.

     

    If you want to improve (who doesn't right?), then I highly recommend that you schedule some time with John.

  • 6 months ago

    lulkanto

    I was taking lessons some time ago and I enjoyed them very much. Lessons were varied and always interesting regardless of the topic we were covering. Not comparable to studying chess just on my own. Great communication and dealing with time difference. 

  • 8 months ago

    satting5

    IM john, I sent message to you.

    Please check it soon.

  • 9 months ago

    ronniesportman

    Excuse me I am a beginer at chess but devoted. I would really appreciate if you could teach me. So can you tell me how much does this cost

    ps this is online right

  • 9 months ago

    1oscarayala98892

    i would like you to coach me please :)

  • 9 months ago

    Okamiyasha

    I would like you to coach me on chess.com. I am trying to become a stronger chess player and I take the game seriously. However, Nobody around me is on my level, there aren't enough players I can play against, and I have no mentor to help me reach my goal. I would highly appreciate it if you accepted me as your pupil. If you do accept me as your pupil, do I have to pay for lessons or can I take them for free. I am a high school student with no money or a job.

  • 10 months ago

    chessvarsity

    Hi John, I want you to know that I am very willing to be your chess mentor. I am dedicated and willing to listen every word on what you have to say. I cannot offer money from you because I don't have the privilege to have a bank account. My parents stricts of having a bank account because I am still young to have one. I am 12 years old and Im going to be 13.

    As a student of yours, I am dedicated to improved my skills using your teachings.

    Please guide me in improving my chess skills and I promise that you won't regret.  Smile

     

    P.S : This can appear to your inbox too.

  • 11 months ago

    sven00100

    First off, I would like to say that I am very happy with my experience with John both during and between lessons.  I am in graduate school, so time is a commodity, and I am very happy setting some time aside to meet with John and improve my chess.

    I imagine that in the chess community I would be a non-traditional student, in that I only have lessons once every 3 weeks or so, and with my hectic schedule, John has always been very accommodating.  During our lessons, he is very good at keeping the focus on chess in a very productive way (even with my very distractable mind).   Usually our lessons progress like this: we catch up briefly (maybe a minute or two); move into talking about the homework problems I was assigned the previous week; work on related problems, and expound on possible responses that I had not considered (especially in non-forcing lines); look through my games and talk about my thoughts, areas for improvement; and work on ideas that will improve weaknesses in my game, while maintaining my strengths.

    While I was writing this, I looked back at his coaching profile, to see what he had written; he said:

    "I am looking for serious students. Chess is a game that requires a lot of study and dedication. If you are willing to put in the necessary hours to improve, I promise that I will give you my full attention as a coach and mentor. My focus is on developing a strong student-instructor relationship that does not end simply because our weekly lesson is complete."

    And I think that is completely accurate.  Because of my demands in school, I am not able to put in the amount of time to advance as quickly as other players might, but I take our lessons seriously, and I try to take as much away from each lesson and each game as I can.  John takes care in providing excellent, personalized lessons, so it is no wonder he expects his students to put in their best effort.  

    One of the most encouraging things about having John as a coach is that he encourages you to be a good learner.  Take time to reinforce ideas that you have built in the past; take time to analyze and reflect on your games.  He will point you in the right direction, to help hone your skills and ideas, as efficiently as possible.

    Because others have been posting their rating changes, I will post mine.  I have taken six lessons from John, over the course of several months and through our combined efforts, my online live standard rating has improved about 200 points (~900-1100).

    I don't endorse many things, but if you are considering taking serious chess lessons, send John an e-mail.  He's very friendly, and made me feel comfortable from the beginning.

    Best of luck to everyone!
    ~Steven Wesbur 

  • 12 months ago

    Nick

    I've been taking lessons with John for only two months now, but it is already proving to be more than I could have even bargained for. The results were immediate and measurable.

    Nov 12, 2013 - Online chess rating of 1488

    Dec 7, 2013 - First coaching session with John

    Jan 2, 2014 (today) - Online chess rating of 1603

    Dec 31, 2014 (one year) - Any guess?

    John understands how you play and provides training custom built for you, including analysis of your own games (sometimes bringing up the embarrassing losses Yell). It's hard to put a value on just how helpful it is to have an International Master discussing YOUR games. It is so much easier to apply knowledge to a game that you are familiar with because YOU played it. We all know that analysing your finished games is key, but oh how much better it is to have a little help!

    He doesn't just lecture at you for an hour, though. It is a dialogue where the student is expected to try to apply the lesson at multiple checkpoints throughout. It's a you-get-what-you-put-into-it scenario.

    After each lesson you get exercises to work on alone to help you practice the concepts learned in the lesson. At the next lesson, it's pop quiz time where you are expected to have made progress with your homework and have found some of the solutions. The accountability required of both parties, I think, is key.

    If you're on the fence about getting some coaching, as I was, I think you'll find it's even more helpful than you would know. Give it a try! And John is an exceptional coach.

    Good luck!

  • 12 months ago

    morkis

    I am taking lessons with John Bartholomew and I can certainly recommend him for chess players at all levels who want to improve their chess. I have been taking lessons with him for 10 months, and I have been very happy so far. My chess has improved quite a lot, and I am still improving. 

    He is also good at choosing illustrative exercises for the lessons, and to explain them; either it is positional, openings endgames or tactics involved in the position. The exercises have always been challenging, but not too hard for me to understand. They have me work hard and also improved my chess understanding a lot. The degree of difficulty on the exercises have also increased as my chess abilities have increased, so he has been very good at finding good exercises for me. I have also received a lot of help with analyzing of my games, and work on the mistakes that I have made in my games and what I should do to avoid them.

    John has also helped me with finding good openings for me to play and also to find good literature for me to study on my own. He has been very flexible and easy to work with, so I am looking forward to continue taking lessons from him in 2014.

  • 14 months ago

    rihimss

    hey i live in st.paul by the hamline midway area, where would i need to go for lessons?

  • 19 months ago

    chessmegatron-X

    hi this is spencer i took a lesson from you. can you coach me online

  • 19 months ago

    favour223

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • 19 months ago

    chocoladerokade

    Review
    I can certainly recommend John if you are looking for a strong chess coach. He has been coaching me for a couple of months now, and I am very happy about his work.

    He is quite proficient at adjusting the homework to your level: always challenging, but never too hard to finish on your own.
    John is also very good at reviewing games and filtering out your most common errors. That alone has helped me a bunch. 
    Probably his best trait is that he is open-minded about feedback on his way of teaching. That is just golden.
    I also feel that he is very sincere in wanting you to improve. He was always enthousiastic at the little successes I had along the way, which always motivated me. 
    Last but certainly not least, the classes are simply fun. He's an easy-going guy who points out your mistakes in a constructive fashion; never an awkward moment.

    So, again, if you are looking for a strong chess coach, I recommend taking up coaching from John.

    Best of luck to you all in improving your chess!

  • 20 months ago

    CheetahFast

    hi i am in the 1100 so ,i dont know if i am in the target range but i know the basic rules about chess but not good strategy i just memorise other people and try to use that

    please help (i might not be able to pay) it would really help thanks

  • 21 months ago

    A6G

    I have been working with John for a few months now, and I'm extremely pleased. I have taken up chess recently and so I am starting at square one. John is very gifted with the ability to assess each player's difficulties, and apply the correct amount of pressure to help them succeed. I have been envolved in numerous competitive activities in my life, and I have once again found a coach I know can help me achieve a high level of skill. John gave me the confidence to play in my first open tournament after only playing OTB 3 times prior. If you are looking for someone who will teach you proper principles, and give you direction to become the greatest player you can be then you have chosen the right person. I feel very blessed to have found John!
  • 23 months ago

    IM Fins0905

    Hi bentbmhansen! Thanks for your message. I've sent you a reply (please check your Inbox).

  • 2 years ago

    bemidji

    I really enjoy having John as a coach.  He spent some time reviewing my games and then created a lesson plan to help me improve my chess game.  He also recommended some study resources for me to use outside of our class time that have been very helpful and reinforced what we discussed during our lessons.  He's very friendly and easy going during our training sessions and he works very hard to answer any questions I have regarding my games.  I highly recommend him as a chess coach.

  • 2 years ago

    jat0123

    My son has only been taking lessons from John for a few weeks, so I cannot credibly comment on performance or rating improvements at this early stage, but I can certainly say that my son loves the lessons and gets feedback that is more detailed and insightful than he has received in outside scholastic groups.

    Let me walk you through a typical lesson. Since my son is quite young, and we are fortunate enough to live relatively near, we have in-person lessons at John's home. At the beginning of the lesson, John and my son discuss one or two exercises that John has sent to me earlier in the week. The exercises are primarily visual, which is great for my son's age, with a chess position and a couple of notated next moves. My son is then asked about his opinion of those moves and how he would play from there. John then discusses how the positions were actually played and how the positions could be optimally played. This usually takes about ten minutes.

    After that, John goes over some of the notated games that my son has played since the last lesson. This takes the lion's share of the time. John goes through the games, pointing out critical stages during the game when my son or his opponent made a poor move or strategic choice (or a particularly strong move or strategy). This often shows my son how he could have made better moves in games that he lost but also shows how his opponent could have taken advantage of mistakes even in games he won. (As an aside, I have found it interesting just to listen to some of these from my seat on the couch across the room because games that I would have guessed were particularly well- or poorly-played often turn out to be just the opposite.) John notates critical errors or strong sequences on the notation sheet so that my son can go over them later, if he forgets. After going over the notated games, the lesson continues with an analysis of a particular grandmaster position, and then John and my son will play a quick game of blitz if there is time.

    John interacts well with my son and does not rush during the lesson. My son tends to be rather quiet (during lessons, anyway) and takes his time when analyzing, and John will sit patiently while he does it. One of the things I like about John's style is that he doesn't often tell my son directly that a move is wrong but rather will say the move is "interesting" and then play the opponent's side for a move or three until it is obvious to my son that something better could have been chosen.

    In a few months, hopefully I'll be able to comment on performance as well!

  • 2 years ago

    KINGDASHER

    [COMMENT DELETED]
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