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coaches yes or no?


  • 5 months ago · Quote · #1

    isauro2013

    Reading most champions' biographies one thing which always come out is that they all had coaches.

    It seems that the only serious thing, a player can do to improve, is to hire a coach in chess.

    Books are mostly useless, since there is no champion who through reading books became what he was (maybe the only exception is Fischer, but 1 out of 99 just confirm the idea that coaches are the best way to improve).

    Does anyone have experieces with coaches, what to ask them, how to find the right one and so on?

  • 5 months ago · Quote · #2

    Mika_Rao

    Illogical.

    "It seems that the only serious thing, a player aspiring to be a champion can do, is to hire a coach in chess."

    Even so, books helping players improve is ubiquitous in chess.  If you want to improve, a coach can be great.  My answer to your title is "yes!"

    For those not aiming for the very top though, perhaps even better is the right environment.  Post mortems at clubs and tournaments are free (and often invaluable) lessons.

  • 5 months ago · Quote · #3

    hicetnunc

    You can ask them pretty much anything you want, but to take advantage of coaching, you have to invest time and energy yourself.

    The coach can save you a lot of studying time and give precious insights into your game, but you can't expect progress if you don't play and work a lot by yourself too Smile

    As for the right one, look for a combination of credentials / recommendations, playing strengh compared to yours, and personal fit (you need to try a couple of different ones I guess).

  • 5 months ago · Quote · #4

    isauro2013

    hicetnunc wrote:

    You can ask them pretty much anything you want, but to take advantage of coaching, you have to invest time and energy yourself.

    The coach can save you a lot of studying time and give precious insights into your game, but you can't expect progress if you don't play and work a lot by yourself too

    As for the right one, look for a combination of credentials / recommendations, playing strengh compared to yours, and personal fit (you need to try a couple of different ones I guess).

    The insight into the game, if the coach is right and experienced, should be followed with a program to eliminate the weaknesses from your game right?

    Did you ever use a coach? Or you don't care to become a titled player?

  • 5 months ago · Quote · #5

    isauro2013

    Mika_Rao wrote:

    Illogical.

    "It seems that the only serious thing, a player aspiring to be a champion can do, is to hire a coach in chess."

    Even so, books helping players improve is ubiquitous in chess.  If you want to improve, a coach can be great.  My answer to your title is "yes!"

    For those not aiming for the very top though, perhaps even better is the right environment.  Post mortems at clubs and tournaments are free (and often invaluable) lessons.

    But how many players became titled players: FMs, IMs, GMs (so not the top 10 or 100) without the use of a coach?

    And today the "right" environment doesn't exist, since chess is not played in clubs anymore, but in Internet most of the time.Maybe some big cities have clubs, but I doubt the majority of chess players live in big cities near clubs.

  • 5 months ago · Quote · #6

    Scottrf

    I think a coach is only important when you hit a plateau. There's so much information, you can improve loads without one, they just might make it a bit more efficient.

  • 5 months ago · Quote · #7

    hicetnunc

    isauro2013 wrote:
    hicetnunc wrote:

    You can ask them pretty much anything you want, but to take advantage of coaching, you have to invest time and energy yourself.

    The coach can save you a lot of studying time and give precious insights into your game, but you can't expect progress if you don't play and work a lot by yourself too

    As for the right one, look for a combination of credentials / recommendations, playing strengh compared to yours, and personal fit (you need to try a couple of different ones I guess).

    The insight into the game, if the coach is right and experienced, should be followed with a program to eliminate the weaknesses from your game right?

    Did you ever use a coach? Or you don't care to become a titled player?

    I've worked with IM Artiom Tsepotian from Ukraine (2 years) and GM Nigel Davies from the UK (~3 years). They never gave me a program to eliminate my weaknesses, but pointed out a lot of them and changed my vision of chess.

    I can recommend them, as well as some others I had limited interaction with : IM Thomas Bartell, IM Zdenko Stupavsky and IM Pancevski.

    I don't think I can realistically aim for a title because of my age and various commitments. I just don't have the time to play enough OTB chess. Still, I've always enjoyed the interaction with these excellent players, and I'm happy to develop and learn.


     


  • 5 months ago · Quote · #8

    Mika_Rao

    isauro2013 wrote:
    Mika_Rao wrote:

    Illogical.

    "It seems that the only serious thing, a player aspiring to be a champion can do, is to hire a coach in chess."

    Even so, books helping players improve is ubiquitous in chess.  If you want to improve, a coach can be great.  My answer to your title is "yes!"

    For those not aiming for the very top though, perhaps even better is the right environment.  Post mortems at clubs and tournaments are free (and often invaluable) lessons.

    But how many players became titled players: FMs, IMs, GMs (so not the top 10 or 100) without the use of a coach?

    And today the "right" environment doesn't exist, since chess is not played in clubs anymore, but in Internet most of the time.Maybe some big cities have clubs, but I doubt the majority of chess players live in big cities near clubs.

    I'd guess most titled players had a coach at one point or another.

    But.  I'd also guess most titled players have read a book at one point or another.

    So what's the real special sauce (so to speak)?  IMO it's the big city, big tournament, active chess club with stronger players, environment.

    Ok, but now I'm getting off subject.  I agree with you a coach can help.  Sorry I haven't answered the OP, others seem to be doing a better job than me in that regard.  I wish you luck in your search for a coach.

  • 5 months ago · Quote · #9

    Till_98

    Hello I am not a very strong player ( Elo 2012) but I already did some coaching services. If you need help you can just ask me whatever you want. You can check my blogs or play some long games with me where I can help you to find the best moves. Cheers and Good luck, Till

    P.S.what you said about books is not right! Most of the Top Players studied hard to reach their level. A coach is nice but not always necessary. I reached 2000 Elo with books too.

  • 5 months ago · Quote · #10

    ChrisWainscott

    Coaches are the greatest time saving device ever given to chess players.

     

    Can you become strong without a coach?  Sure.  Having a coach just means you'll get there faster.  A coach can point out your flaws so you know to focus on them. 

     

    Put it like this: 

     

    Without a coach you might spend 100 hours studying before you stumble across your weaknesses (and that's only if you study your own games).  You then spend another 100 hours working on eliminating them.

     

    With a coach the weakness is identified up front.  Instead of needing 100 hours to eliminate it you might only need 50 since your coach will point out what you are doing wrong in your quest to fix the problem.  You've then spent 1/4 the time for the same result.

     

    Those numbers are completely made up, but they approximate my own experience with my coach.

  • 5 months ago · Quote · #11

    ViktorHNielsen

    To become good (~2300) you need to be very good at tactics and have a good foundation on old games, new games and positional chess.

    Coach will tell you not to work on your openings that much, better to do at least ½ hour tactics every day. They will give you tactics at the right level.

    If you have no coach, you will think (I do at least, but try not to): "My tactics are great for my level, though my openings are a bit rusty. I never remember the right plan in the ruy lopez around move 12 in this very important tabiya, that I might reach every game I play."

     

    So my thoughts about coaches (I'm a complete patzer with 2015 elo): Coaches will help you to realise what is wrong with your chess. They will give you the exercises. But what they don't give you is the rating points. You MUST do the tactics yourself. You MUST realise the importance of  analysing your own games yourself. With a good friend and a good book (With something called exercises, and not so much opening-related stuff), you will become good.

     

    Oh wait, I forgot about the positional part. Look through some games rapidly (4 minutes/game), see some great old games (Remember the Cabablanca game where he got a great space advantage and control of the a-file, before breaking through with the piece sacrifice Ba6?) and analyse the games with your opening.

  • 5 months ago · Quote · #12

    woton

    It's useful to have another human being to help you improve your game (the big disadvantage of books is that you can't ask them questions).  I can think of only two necessary requirements.  The individual has to know more about the game than you do, and they have to be capable of imparting that knowledge to you.

  • 5 months ago · Quote · #13

    I_Am_Second

    Books, software, analysis, playing, etc. all help to improve your game. The added advaatge a coach gives you, is someone better than yourself can point out what you missed.

  • 5 months ago · Quote · #14

    isauro2013

    hicetnunc wrote:
    isauro2013 wrote:
    hicetnunc wrote:

    You can ask them pretty much anything you want, but to take advantage of coaching, you have to invest time and energy yourself.

    The coach can save you a lot of studying time and give precious insights into your game, but you can't expect progress if you don't play and work a lot by yourself too

    As for the right one, look for a combination of credentials / recommendations, playing strengh compared to yours, and personal fit (you need to try a couple of different ones I guess).

    The insight into the game, if the coach is right and experienced, should be followed with a program to eliminate the weaknesses from your game right?

    Did you ever use a coach? Or you don't care to become a titled player?

    I've worked with IM Artiom Tsepotian from Ukraine (2 years) and GM Nigel Davies from the UK (~3 years). They never gave me a program to eliminate my weaknesses, but pointed out a lot of them and changed my vision of chess.

    I can recommend them, as well as some others I had limited interaction with : IM Thomas Bartell, IM Zdenko Stupavsky and IM Pancevski.

    I don't think I can realistically aim for a title because of my age and various commitments. I just don't have the time to play enough OTB chess. Still, I've always enjoyed the interaction with these excellent players, and I'm happy to develop and learn.


     

     

    Could you share more about your experience?

    After all you have made 5 years, with coaches which is quite a lot.

    At what rating (FIDE or your federation) did you begin to use the coach?

    How many hours a week or a month?

    From what I understand, but please correct me:

    1. You didn't have a goal as rating. For example you told the GM or IM training you: I'm 1900, I'd like to reach 2100 under your guidance in 2 years.

    2. You didn't have homework (maybe because as adult you were too busy with work, family etc.)

    3. How did you measure your progress? Because I understand the idea "they changed my vision of chess..." but also a book could do that (or a dvd, chessbase has so many...), and maybe doesn't cost 50-60 dollars hour. In my opinion, and maybe I'm wrong, the work with a coach should be more focused and personalized than a book.

  • 5 months ago · Quote · #15

    kleelof

    Scottrf wrote:

    I think a coach is only important when you hit a plateau. There's so much information, you can improve loads without one, they just might make it a bit more efficient.

    This is especially true in this age of internet and Chess.com.

    There are so many resources that were just not available 20 years ago when most of the masters now were moving up.

    I remember when I was 14 and thought I wanted to learn chess. I had to haul my lazy butt down to the library where they had about 15 different books. I opened a few and said 'huh?'. And that was the end of my young chess career.

    Now, of course, you don't have to pour through books to get to one single idea. You can find plenty of material for any topic or issue you have in your games.

    Maybe I can become an internet master, baby.Cool

  • 5 months ago · Quote · #16

    913Glorax12

    isauro2013 wrote:
    Mika_Rao wrote:

    Illogical.

    "It seems that the only serious thing, a player aspiring to be a champion can do, is to hire a coach in chess."

    Even so, books helping players improve is ubiquitous in chess.  If you want to improve, a coach can be great.  My answer to your title is "yes!"

    For those not aiming for the very top though, perhaps even better is the right environment.  Post mortems at clubs and tournaments are free (and often invaluable) lessons.

    But how many players became titled players: FMs, IMs, GMs (so not the top 10 or 100) without the use of a coach?

    And today the "right" environment doesn't exist, since chess is not played in clubs anymore, but in Internet most of the time.Maybe some big cities have clubs, but I doubt the majority of chess players live in big cities near clubs.

    Don't know where you have been but  a lot of people still play in chess clubs all over. In cities chess clubs are every where, you just have to know where to look.

  • 5 months ago · Quote · #17

    woton

    913Glorax12 wrote:
     

    ...Don't know where you have been but  a lot of people still play in chess clubs all over. In cities chess clubs are every where, you just have to know where to look.

    I'm curious about the source of your information.  I live in a city of 30,000 people.  No chess club.  The nearest one is 40 miles away and consists of a handful of people who play at Arby's once a week.  

  • 5 months ago · Quote · #18

    913Glorax12

    Have you actually looked hard enough? Not all chess clubs are at "Starbucks" or have a sign displaying it's location

  • 5 months ago · Quote · #19

    netzach

    Yes & no.

    Yes when reached average level at chess (no use before that)

    No if cannot afford them.

  • 5 months ago · Quote · #20

    woton

    913Glorax12 wrote:

    Have you actually looked hard enough? Not all chess clubs are at "Starbucks" or have a sign displaying it's location

    Yes.  I contacted a local coach (juniors only), who has a USCF expert rating and knows a few local players.  He tried to organize one.  It lasted a couple of years and disbanded.  I play in "local" tournaments (a minimum of 100 miles away) and no-one from my area plays in them.  I do periodically hear of a club (either from other tournament players or from USCF and State Association listings), but I find that the club is either defunct or similar to the one that plays at Arbys.

    There just isn't a lot of interest in chess in my area.  Hence, no clubs.
     


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