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Physician, heal thyself!

Physician, heal thyself!

Mar 23, 2008, 1:54 AM 8

What makes a good teacher?  In particular, what makes a good chess teacher?  Not all strong players will be able to teach well, but surely a deep understanding of the game is important if you are trying to help form the thinking process of another player?

When browsing through the list of coaches registered here at Chess.com I was surprised to find many players who are charging for teaching other members despite having relatively modest credentials.

Now, I'm not having a go at anyone in particular, and there are also lots of very impressive coach resumes on offer, but I think that anyone rated under 2000 Elo (perhaps equivalent to a 2200 or 2300 online chess rating here) is a bit cheeky charging for their services as a coach, when they still, like me, have a great deal to learn.

I tried to give some tips to another Chess.com member in an unrated game and found it very enjoyable.  Yet, I wouldn't dream of doing something similar for payment - I did it as part of the 'sharing' ethos of this site.  Perhaps I'm not a natural capitalist! Laughing

Everyone has their own perception of the rating at which they would say players are 'strong', and maybe I'm casting the ratings net too high.  The well known coach Dan Heisman wrote an interesting article (pdf file) a few years ago on choosing a coach in which he said that he felt that players as low as 1700 Elo could be reasonable instructors of beginners.

What do you think?  Personally, I'm too busy at the moment trying to improve on my own modest skills to take on the difficult job of coaching others for payment.

Although, if I could find the time to coach, maybe I could use the money to help fund some lessons for myself from someone like Yelena Dembo!

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