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Coaching Services

I am currently not accepting new students online this fall. Please message me regarding availability or if you wish to be placed on my waitlist.

If you want to have a hard-working coach without having to pay GM-level rates, I'm your guy!

My coaching philosophy focuses on strengthening your positional understanding, developing your thought process and calculation, and working on your tournament psychology to make you a stronger tournament player.

I've worked with a lot of 1000+ rated players, and I have had a lot success building their chess understanding by breaking down complex chess concepts into smaller, more manageable pieces. If you are willing put in the time to become a stronger tournament player, I will do everything I can to help you reach your goals!


Interested? Feel free to send me an email at to ask about rates, availability, and my coaching philosophy!


Past Coaching Success

Much of my previous coaching success comes from team coaching, but many of my private students have also seen their ratings soar! I typically coach students within a 1000-1800 USCF rating range, but I'm willing to work as a training partner or a second for stronger players.


Maggie L Walker Governor's School Chess Team Coach

2013: 3rd Place Team at the K-12 Virginia State Scholastic Championships

2014: 2nd Place Team at the K-12 Virginia State Scholastic Championships

2014: 1st Place Team at the U1200 National High School Championships in San Diego, CA

2015: 2nd Place Team at the K-12 Virginia State Scholastic Championships

2015: 5th Place Team at the U1600 National High School Championships in Columbus, OH


Private Coach/Individual Results

2014: Team Member finished as Top U1400 in K-12 Virginia Scholastic State Chess Championships, another as 2nd place U1200 in the same section

2014: Team Members finished 4th, 9th, and 12th in the U1200 National High School Chess Championships

2015: Team Member finished as Top U1400 in K-12 Virginia Scholastic State Chess Championships, another as Top U1000 in the same section

2015: Team Member finished 10th in the U1600 National High School Chess Championships, another placed 21st in the U800 section

2015: Team Member placed 1st in the U1700 Potomac Open

2016: Student placed 3rd in the U1200 Millionaire Chess ($1200 prize!) 

2016: Student placed 13th in the K-5 Virginia Scholastic State Championships



"Isaac is the reason I started playing chess in high school, fervently recruiting me after my older brother had joined the chess club. His teaching and guidance made me grow to love the game, and he almost singlehandedly propelled my rating from ~800 to 1500. In that same period he coached our U1200 to a Nationals team win and numerous individual state and national titles. He is not only an exceptional instructor but a close friend, and it all started with him teaching me how to not hang pieces as a high school freshman."


–Matthew Normansell, 2017 U1900 K-12 SuperNationals VI Champion


"I've worked closely with Isaac in running Chess^Summit and Pittsburgh's first PRO Chess League team, and as a training partner. I've seen firsthand how committed Isaac is to making chess accessible not just through coaching and creating content, but also through his leadership of Chess^Summit and the Pittsburgh Pawngrabbers.

As a chess player, Isaac has an exceptional appreciation for chess theory and a broad understanding of chess, even by most expert/master standards. At the same time, he is not afraid to call out weaknesses in his play (or others'). These abilities, along with Isaac's extensive coaching experience, will make him a valuable resource for any student." 


–National Master Beilin Li, Senior Chess^Summit Writer


"Isaac has all the understanding of a master-level player, without the ego to match. His commitment to teaching and attention to practical detail makes his coaching one of the best values on the market, especially for those looking to make the transition from casual tournament player to serious competitor." 


–International Master Alexander Katz, 2012 New Jersey State Champion


About Me

I'm Isaac, an Economics major and senior at the University of Pittsburgh. Currently, I am a US Chess Candidate Master, regular contributor for Chess^Summit, and General Manager of the Pittsburgh Pawngrabbers in the PRO Chess League. More recently, I've joined the Stream Team - check out my Twitch Channel here!

Join my club for my stream, Challenger's Corner, here!


Follow me for updates on Twitter! @isaackaito