Improvement with a Chess Coach
This blog is intended to track my progress, or lack thereof, after hiring a chess coach. I have played through a lot of chess games from books on positional concepts, middle/end game ideas and I regularly do tactics on chess.com, but I do not notice an overall improvement in my game. My tactical eye has improved, but that has only gotten me to an OTB rating of just over 1500 USCF. I continue to have bad positions out of the opening and miss common themes like x-ray attacks, pawn structure stuff, pins/skewers, etc.
Some people I know from my chess club have talked about the benefit of having a chess coach. They have told me their ratings went up 200-300 points after 12-18 months of working with their coach. I know what some people may say - "Anyone could raise their rating that much on their own if they really work hard." I kind of think that too, but I also know the benefit of having an experienced teacher point out weaknesses and offer solutions. Plus, I have worked like a dog in the past 5-7 years to improve (schedule permitting) with the activities mentioned above, but still make rookie mistakes. The idea of improving to 1700-1800 by myself seems like a very arduous task.
The plan is to have one meeting a week with my coach for 45 minutes and diligently complete the homework. I will try to check back in on this blog every 1-2 weeks to record my progress. My hope is to give other chess enthusiasts some insight into the 'chess coach experience' before deciding if they want to get a coach.
Had an introductory meeting with my new coach yesterday - lasted about 45 minutes, very informative. Told me about his background and the basics of his approach to teaching chess. Looking forward to my first lesson next week!