Upgrade to Chess.com Premium!

Private Chess Lessons


  • 4 years ago · Quote · #1

    Musikamole

    I have been teaching both group and private music lessons for 25+ years and know that nothing beats private lessons.  Also, after easily spending too much money on golf videos, books and training aids, again, nothing beats private golf lessons. My golf score dramatically improved after only three lessons from a golf pro.

    Please share your experiences from private chess lessons - the number of lessons, the interval between lessons (once a week, once a month), the improvement gained after the lessons, the cost per lesson, the experience level of your teacher, what surprised you the most after the lessons, etc. Thank you.

    Last, as an adult, is it better to wait until one reaches a certain rating before spending money on private lessons, or not?

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #2

    orangehonda

    tonydal wrote:

    Sorry...never had one.


    Me either.

    I'm mostly of the opinion that books, coaches, videos and the like don't readily help a player improve much.  The thing that helps the most is basically hard work.  The more you like chess the easier the work is to bear (and if you're in love/obsessed you can study like Fischer, every waking hour).  But to me it's mostly being willing to put in the hours... not all of them fun.

    But... like you said guidance from a real person on your specific needs can be very helpful as well as encouraging.  If you haven't gotten far on your own, even if you're still a beginner, getting a coach may be the way to go.

    What I've liked about talking with stronger players is the practical POV.  Sure a database can tell you the most common move and give you percentages, but noticing your style a person may suggest a different line.  Or a lesser tried but strong line.  Things like this are valuable.

    Sorry I couldn't answer your question though Tongue out

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #3

    Ziryab

    I started playing tournament chess in my mid-30s, quickly established a C class rating, and in my mid-40s took lessons from a kid half my age that hovering at the edge of National Master. I had been impressed with his teaching style watching him work with kids (his pronoun use during game analysis is noteworthy: "we have a little problem with this isolani," "how will we get our bishop outside the pawn chain"), so jumped at his offer of lessons for $20 an hour. I spent over $200 during his summer vacation, and became a B class player that fall.

    My time as a B class player was relatively short: ~three years.

    Improvement comes via many avenues, but private chess lessons catalyzed all the others to push me off the plateau and up the mountain.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #4

    burnsielaxplayer

    I took three 1 hour lessons from a FM on the ICC, but there was a pretty big language barrier and it felt like he was just reading off of a script at some points.  It seemed like he had lessons already planned out, which is a waste of $20 per hour because I could get more out of watching Dan Heisman's videos.  I'm currently in the process of acquiring a coach that has you submit games of your, with comments, to him, and he prepares the lesson around your games.  I think this may be worth the $20 an hour.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #5

    ChessMarkstheSpot

       I've never had a coach either. I'd be too afraid of disappointing them that they wouldn't want to see me after the initial visit or two anyway. It's not that I stink at chess, I don't, but put me under pressure with a coach, and forget about it. Undecided

       -Mark

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #6

    SimonSeirup

    I take weekly OTB lessons, with my coach. He has about 2250 ELO but is probably underrated, couse he dont have time and surplus to play tournements. I think these lessons is very helpful for me. The pay is 100 danish kroner per lesson (a lesson takes about 45 minutes +-) 1 kr = 5,3 dollars or 7,4 euro.
    We are trying to build up for me a solid repertoire (Queens Gambit, [some opening with white, maby spanish], French, Caro-Kann and the slav), get some basic endgames to know and understand, and to understand some positional things in the middlegame. I get some endgames to work with home, every lesson.

    I only think you should get a chess coach if your ready to use alot of time to read theory yourself (it takes ALOT of time to learn a opening, the way i do it by study many GM games with the opening, it has taken me about 50 hours to learn the Queens Gambit), and of course use alot time playing tournements.
    You should also analyze your own games correcly. I do it in this way: When i have played a game, i put it in Chessbase, and analyze it with Fritz/Rybka. Then i look for my own fouls, of course best if i did lose, but there can be bad play by myself, if i won. When i find the reason i lost, i be sure never doing the same fail again!

    Hope that helped a bit, just ask if you have questions or something.

    Btw is my ELO about 1650, my goal is 1900 in 2 years, (im going to like a chess collage next year) 

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #7

    bondocel

    Musikamole wrote:

    Last, as an adult, is it better to wait until one reaches a certain rating before spending money on private lessons, or not?


    Yes. There is nothing a teacher can do to explain you basic tactical patterns. It's simply an ability you must aquire yourself.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #8

    Atos

    Well, a teacher can explain forks, pins, skewers, discovered attacks, overloading pieces etc. Not sure why an explanation would not be possible / helpful. They can also assign exercises, as of course it needs practice.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #9

    Musikamole

    Ziryab wrote:

    I started playing tournament chess in my mid-30s, quickly established a C class rating, and in my mid-40s took lessons from a kid half my age that hovering at the edge of National Master. I had been impressed with his teaching style watching him work with kids (his pronoun use during game analysis is noteworthy: "we have a little problem with this isolani," "how will we get our bishop outside the pawn chain"), so jumped at his offer of lessons for $20 an hour. I spent over $200 during his summer vacation, and became a B class player that fall.

    My time as a B class player was relatively short: ~three years.

    Improvement comes via many avenues, but private chess lessons catalyzed all the others to push me off the plateau and up the mountain.


    @ Ziryab - $20.00 an hour! That sounds like a very reasonable rate. And to go from Class C to Class B over that summer - priceless. Smile

    To everyone - thank you for sharing your experiences with private chess lessons.

    This is just an educated guess based on my years of teaching private music lessons. A teacher can see, hear and fix things much faster than any other method of instruction, and some things can only be fixed by a teacher.

    I would also guess that a professional chess teacher could, after viewing several games from a student, prescribe a course of study that would be more efficient than a self prescribed one.

    I'd be happy to spend $20.00 per hour just to have someone help me to stay focused on what I really need to be working on to improve. I would very much like guidance and chess homework.

    I'm still working on tactics regularly while fine tuning my own self-precsribed opening repertoire. Unlike many, I hold to the opinion that an under 1200 live chess player can benefit from small doses of opening theory, provided the ideas behind the moves are understood AND opening principles have already been studied.

    Example: I know the idea behind the Danish Gambit. White seeks rapid development as compensation for the loss of one to two pawns. Also, after both center pawns are pushed two squares, both of White's bishops are liberated, enjoying great mobility. White will complete his development much faster than Black. I play this opening whenever possible.

    Does anyone else have any stories to share about their private chess lessons? Thank you. Smile

     

    C21: Danish Gambit - 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3. Below is one short continuation of this opening.


  • 4 years ago · Quote · #10

    Musikamole

    tonydal wrote:

    Sorry...never had one.


    A  self-taught national master. Fascinating. I figured that most NM's on up were taught the game at a very young age by strong/titled players. This idea was formed by watching the movie, "Searching for Bobby Fischer". 

    Everyone was taught chess by someone in one way or another. Was Bobby Fischer mostly self-taught? I heard that he read 100's of books on chess. 

    Were you taught the game by a family member, friend or...were you part of a group of kids discovering the game of chess together?

    I tried to "discover" Monopoly with some friends, but got nowhere with it. I do have a teacher friend who came in second at the National Monopoly Championship in Washington, D.C. The kids that he teaches Monopoly to are amazingly good. I wouldn't stand a chance against any of his 6th grade students. It's actually a very fast game with a lot of high level negotiation skills. They finish an entire game during lunch/recess. It looks like a blitz game.

    A ball park figure: What percentage of your competitors had private chess lessons?

    I had three private guitar instructors from age seven through high school. I can't imagine not having that formal instruction, nor the same degree of success in college without it. I received two music scholarships, one for guitar performance and one for jazz arranging. Without private music leesons, there are just too many bad habits that can be formed in the first few years that are really hard to fix later in life. 

    Chess must be different in that way, but don't you think you would have gotten your NM title faster with private lessons?

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #11

    Musikamole

    tonydal wrote:

    I believe Reb had the same experience (ie, no tutor).  I don't think it's that uncommon either (at least in the West).  Sure, I would've loved to be in Botvinnik's school or something...but we all make due with what we have.


    Then you went very far with no tutor. Well done! Smile

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #12

    Conflagration_Planet

    How are your lessons going?

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #13

    Musikamole

    woodshover wrote:

    How are your lessons going?


    No private lessons yet. 

    I am being spoiled by three strong players on this site, learning along the way.

    I'd like to take private lessons, but California teachers have gotten hammered big time with paycuts. Watching California is much like watching one of those end of the world movies. The movie 2012 comes to mind. Laughing

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #14

    SimonSeirup

    I dont think you should learn gambits such as the danish gambit. When you get to 1900 elo or so, you cant play it anymore, becouse your oponent know what to play (he has seen your games with it, and prepared a defence), and then your not good after the opening.

    You should build up a repertoire of good solid openings, GM's play, such as QG, French, Sicilian, Caro-Kann, Spanish etc.

    And a NM without a coach, is not rare in the west for sure. In a inteview with GM Jonny Hector that he had a coach that could show him mate with two bishops king vs king, and then he was up to his own.
    But in countrys like russia they have coaches from they are like 5 years old!

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #15

    Hyannis

    I have never had a golf lesson in my life and currently hold a 11 handicap - just didn't have the money when I was younger to take the game more seriously.

    With Chess, I practise different openings, push the boundaries on several moves and stick with my gut instinct that I am making the right move. If it pays off all well and good, but if it fails try and seek out alternative moves to improve my situation and my rating!!!

    I have noticed that whether I win a game or not, I use the computer analysis to see where I went wrong and what move the computer would play. Strangely enough where the computer stated I made a blunder or a mistake, the computer analysis would show the same move I played. So books and video aids are not an effective means to improve ones game.

    The only way to improve your game is to play chess against other like minded players. When you have played your opening moves, I take a moment to move a piece, contemplate what my opponent will do to counter my move, to make an assessment of whether it is the right move before pressing the submit button.

    This is useful if you have 20-40 games on the go and you have time on yours hands to do this simple task, but in speed chess it is a different mind set. Time is of the essence and quite frankly, you are thinking on your feet!!!

    As the saying goes 'practice makes perfect'. It takes a special kind of person to become a GM and Rome was never built in a day!!!

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #16

    Conflagration_Planet

    Musikamole wrote:
    woodshover wrote:

    How are your lessons going?


    No private lessons yet. 

    I am being spoiled by three strong players on this site, learning along the way.

    I'd like to take private lessons, but California teachers have gotten hammered big time with paycuts. Watching California is much like watching one of those end of the world movies. The movie 2012 comes to mind.


     That's what I was talking about. I knew you didn't have a paid coach.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #18

    Musikamole

    Kacparov wrote:

    spoil

    make that 4


    Laughing Did I forget someone?

    Regarding my chess.com chess coaches, they all are between Class A and Expert rated players. They know 10 million more things about the game then I do. I can't even imagine how much more a FM knows. Chess is an infinitely deep game. Is there a deeper, more complex board game than chess? I don't know.

    I wish I had taken this game up in my youth, as I have a passion for figuring stuff out - analysis. I could spend all day by myself just analyzing stuff - anayzing anything really. Yep. My mind is always seems to fine itself in analysis mode.

    Something for me to analyze today. Laughing

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #19

    Musikamole

    SimonSeirup wrote:

    I dont think you should learn gambits such as the danish gambit. When you get to 1900 elo or so, you cant play it anymore, becouse your oponent know what to play (he has seen your games with it, and prepared a defence), and then your not good after the opening.

    You should build up a repertoire of good solid openings, GM's play, such as QG, French, Sicilian, Caro-Kann, Spanish etc.

    And a NM without a coach, is not rare in the west for sure. In a inteview with GM Jonny Hector that he had a coach that could show him mate with two bishops king vs king, and then he was up to his own.
    But in countrys like russia they have coaches from they are like 5 years old!


    Good points.

    In my training games, I play solid openings, i.e. French Defense (love it), Queen's Gambit, Sicilian Defense, Slav Defense, etc.

    My live chess repertoire is different, with the idea of more forcing lines, dictating the course of the game.

    For instruction in gambits, GM Boris Alterman (ICC) is outstanding. He produced many, many video hours of instruction on 54 gambit openings! Some of the openings are covered in four parts. He is currently on part 4 of the Grunfeld Gambit.

    Here's my current opening repertoire, forcing my opponent to make decisions early in the opening and play lines that I have prepared.

    With the White pieces

    1.e4 c5 2.d4 (Smith-Morra Gambit)

    1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3 (Danish Gambit)

    With the Black pieces

    1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 (Petroff Defense). My stats with the Black pieces are lower, so I am switching from 1...c5 to 1...e5 when I see 1.e4, with the idea of playing the solid Petroff - and then punish the mistakes made by my opponents.

    1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 (Bishop's Opening: Berlin Defense)

    1.e3 (Van't Kruijis Opening) e5. I see this line often and don't want to give White the entire center after 1.e3 Nf6 2.d4. What I do see is this dubious continuation: 1.e3 e5 2.Qf3/Qh5?

    1.d4 c5 (Old Benoni Defense) White must respond to c5 in some way, which I find pleasant. I'm happy if White takes on c5 because 2...e6 follows, opening a diagonal for Bf8 with the threat of Bxc5, with Black dictating the play.

    Last, in order to make my opponent think and burn time on the clock, I am also learning the off-beat Latvian Gambit 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5! and the King's Gambit, both of which are covered in great detail by GM Boris Alterman (ICC).

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #20

    Musikamole

    tonydal wrote:

    Well, at least you're still grinning about it (or is that more like a rictus?).


    Do I look like I am in pain? Ouch! Laughing


Back to Top

Post your reply: