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So, I am beginning to think about spending an hour a week with an instructor. The problems is that there are just so many options with this new online world. I feel quite comfortable with the ICC and telecommunication options many instructors use today so geography is not a factor. Aside from the basics, money and language, how do you evaluate which teachers would be a good match without trial and error?
Any experience with this?
*Cough* Valeri Lilov *cough*.
A few points:
1. Slapping 70-150 bucks on the table to a famous IM/GM who retired from chess so long ago "tends" to be less efficient for your progress (IMHO) than a lesser rated teacher who actually has a lot of success with teaching.
3. Another "nice to have" => Said player needs to have a students per teacher ratio low enough to be able to customize lesson plans and material to YOUR needs, not some generic cookie-cutter chess prescription that works out well for him but not so great for you.
4. Somebody who KNOWS what it's like to once be a Class E/D/C/B player. The 1000-rating-points-in-one-year prodigies who broke Class A/Expert purely by their natural playing abilities may not be great teachers ... things come to them by intuition and they can't and often won't empathize with your inability to deal with certain concepts/problems you're struggling with.
5.The best coaches have also had great coaches. I've seen this pattern too often to ignore.
lol; just as a side note, my friend's grandpa is a grandmaster who is a coach :) just throwing that out there......... lol
I feel quite comfortable with the ICC and telecommunication options many instructors use today so geography is not a factor.
I'm unfamiliar with this... What exactly do you mean? This is pretty intriguing, and I'd like to know more.
Getting or having a chess coach, period, has to be face to face. Any other option; internet is a waste of time and money for both sides!
- Face to face is important. I've actually had a coach on chess.com, who later got banned for cheating, apparently, he really wasn't 2100 live blitz... Yet somehow tried to teach a friend.
- Someone who has a recent rating, hopefully at least 200-300 points higher than you.
- Someone who knows more about the technical aspects of chess rather than someone who just plays a lot and has gotten good. Someone who can call the opening you just played against him.
- Someone who can articulate his strategy, get a free lesson first, and see if you understand him. The worst teacher is one who cannot communicate his ideas.'
#4 of Shivsky is a great point. You cannot have a teacher who has learned through intuition and inner-logic how to become a Class A / expert player. Someone may be rated 2100, but may not know how to play like a 2100. It needs to be someone who has worked for years to get to his level, through slow increments of learning. People like Magnus Carlsen would probably never be able to teach.
Wow, and here I was going to say to stick with someone ideally rated about 200 points higher than yourself who enjoys teaching. The idea is that he/she is better, but not to the extent that they speak way over what you comprehend. It's that math thing where he/she is like a half a step ahead, and that you can much more easily catch up in half steps than by trying to jump two or three. Oh well, hope this helps.
Dan Heisman, who does coach on the ICC, wrote a Novice Nook column about how to pick a chess coach, so you may be interested in looking that up.
From this site, I can recommend FM Valeri Lilov. I am taking lessons from him (not as many as I wish I did, given my very busy schedule), but they are worth gold. He is a very talented teacher and always willing to walk the extra mile to come toward his students. 5 stars for me!
Thanks for all the feedback. Many instructors now use the teacher options on the Internet Chess Club along with skype for verbal discussion during the lesson. It seems to work for many who do not have access to in person lessons. Some pretty famous teachers such as Dan Heisman use this technique now.
Thanks for this, I have actually enjoyed his novice nook articles. He is a bit expensive for me as a couch, but will look for this article.
Yup. Former student of Dan's and I can confirm that Phone + ICC is no different than face-to-face, if you have the "right" coach. Unless you're a kid or easily distracted!
Not true? You have experience in teaching via the internet? Trying to teach a game with so many esoteric nuances as chess over a virtual medium such as the internet is incredibly difficult. Most teachers who try this get burnout very fast. Finding just one interested and committed student(s) is a miracle. Most players who have passion will figure out the game on their own. Even Magnus C takes coaching lessons from GK but these are not virtual, they are f to f, the preferred method of learning. Virtual lessons, while not impossible are a more difficult avenue to learning this game.
Yes I have. Doing it via Scype is actually really easy and just as effective as OTB.
Please excuse this dumb question but..... How do you even go about finding chess coaches on this site?
Menu -> Local -> Coaches
Doh! I knew I was going to feel stupid when I saw the answer but I didn't think I'd feel THAT stupid. I must have looked right at that 5 times today alone.
From what I've seen so far you should try to look for these qualities in a coach
1) he should be a lot better than yourself at chess, and good enough to not teach you things you need to unlearn later on - master level and up imho
2) he should be good at teaching - this is a seperate skill from playing chess, and very important. He should not only be able to show you different lines and analyze positions and games correctly, but should also be able to explain the ideas and the thinking behind them in a comprehensive way.
3) he should come with a thematic lesson prepared to every coaching session - he will need to establish what you need/want to work on first, of course. But then he should have a coherent lesson with some games or puzzles fitting the same theme prepared for each session in advance.
4) he should (in addition to the teaching skills mentioned above) actually enjoy teaching and not only do it to pay his bills.
As long as these 4 points apply to your teacher, you cannot really go wrong.