Coach_Valentin
Platinum Member
Chess.com Coach

As a coach and teacher with years of experience, and an active player (USCF 1986; Expert outside US), I'd love to help you grow to intermediate or advanced chess skills. See my profile for specific offerings. Players rated below FIDE/USCF 2100 could benefit from our interactions.

Besides coaching chess students, I have also worked with students in other technical and non-technical fields to help everyone improve their skills in the directions they wish to grow.

My coaching philosophy:
I love interacting with people and helping them to get better at what they do.
To me, the best part of chess as a creative activity of the intellect is 
enhanced by the effect of a community (including a coach/teacher) united around common learning goals.  Each participant (from beginner to advanced) comes out having learned something valuable personally for themselves, often a life-long lesson applicable well beyond the domain of chess.  I strive to fine-tune the process according to each student's interests and current needs.
Last but not least, I choose to keep my coaching fees low, so that a student who is interested in working together would be able to do so without wondering if they can afford it.

I work with aspiring players in a variety of formats (see below for a sample coaching game transcript for an example of the level of depth we usually go to), and I am open to personalizing any offerings.  So come join me and let's learn together.

Specific offerings:

I offer several types of coaching to improve a student's chess skills.  All of these options can be helpful regardless of the student's current skill level -- the instruction is tailored to the student's actual needs:

  • [especially for beginners] Introduction to the principles of chess from opening to endgame - In a series of hour-long live sessions, the student experiences a live, hands-on demonstration with explanations of the key principles of good play in chess, and some questions to practice on while being coached by me.  Conducted at a pace and level of engagement that the student desires, so that they get the maximum value.  The student receives a written record of the highlights of each session and any games that were involved.  Fee: $21 per hour of interaction (live or post-session).
  • Rapid live online game(s) & analysis - The student plays rapid and/or blitz games (with me or another player) with subsequent brief analyses (all on Live Chess).  This helps to spot common errors in the student's play, and to identify what one needs to focus on for chess improvement.  The student receives a written record of the games, as well as the analyses' highlights and conclusions we arrive at together.  Fee: $21 per hour of interaction (live or post-session).
  • Live practical training on tactical patterns - The student and I solve tactical puzzles together (at an appropriate level of difficulty), while we discuss relevant patterns and themes, including where else they apply and how to identify them effectively.  Solid tactical know-how is one of the best and most reliable ways to transition from a beginner to an intermediate (and later an advanced) player.  Fee: $21 per hour of interaction (live or post-session).
  • Endgame study live online coaching - The student and I play and/or analyze endgame positions.  Endgame play is one of the most common source of errors for players at the beginning or intermediate level.  Hence, our focus is to identify weak spots in that area, and learn the important respective endgame principles and practices through a combination of actual play and deep subsequent analysis.  The student receives a written record of the endgames/studies and the conclusions we arrive at together.  Fee: $21 per hour of interaction (live or post-session).
  • Slower live online game & in-depth analysis - In this live interactive 3-4 hour session (or two sessions of 1.5-2 hours each), the student and I play a live online game with a longer time control (e.g., 45-60 mins per person), and after the game we analyze it together in depth (as part of the same session or in a subsequent shorter session).  The student receives a written record of the game and the analysis conclusions and recommendation we arrive at.  Fee: $54 per package (incl. game & analysis).
  • Slow (a.k.a. "Daily Chess") game & in-depth ongoing analysis - The student and I interact a lot in the process of playing.  We discuss in writing during the game, mirroring the thought process of masters.  We dive into tactical and strategic considerations, analyze potential pitfalls, highlight important moments and themes, extract key lessons, recognize useful and re-usable patterns for future games, etc.  Such a "slow" game typically lasts weeks, as our discussion (in writing) and deliberation often takes a few days per move.  The student receives a written record of the game and all our relevant interactions, plus additional post-game analysis and highlights of key moments.  (For a concrete idea of how much value you can receive from our discussions together, check out the sample transcript of an actual coaching game, linked below.)  Fee: $54 per game, including all the ongoing and post-game analyses and highlights.
  • In-depth game analysis together - In this live interactive session (typically lasting ~1.5 hours), a student and I focus on a game of choice (e.g., a game the student has previously played) and analyze it in depth together: highlighting key moments and relevant patterns; identifying mistakes and strong improvements; and practicing the thought and decision-making process used by master-level players.  The student receives a written record of the joint analysis.  Fee: $27 per game.
  • Game analysis performed by me - I do an in-depth analysis of a student's game, played previously, and send the conclusions to the student: identifying specific mistakes and patterns; making specific recommendations, including areas to pay extra attention to; and sharing relevant helpful resources to master the areas of focus with more practice.  The student receives a written record of the work I perform.  Fee: $18 per game.
  • Any of the above - To thank you for your kind referral of new students to my coaching services, I will gratefully grant you for free any one of the above offerings (of your choice) for each new student that I start working with.  Fee: Free (with referral).

Actual transcript from a slow coaching game with a student:

http://blog.chess.com/_valentin_/a-sample-coaching-game-with-a-student