5 reasons having a chess coach can make you a better player

In this information age, you can acquire knowledge at your fingertips. There are thousands of YouTube videos which tell you how to improve your game. Truckloads of chess books in the market offer you methods and techniques. Where do you start learning? Where do you find an order in this chaos? How do you get concrete results?

He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.” – Confucius

The Chinese philosopher Confucius understood the value of learning more than 1000 years ago! What happens when you passively browse though chess videos, books and aimlessly play chess online? You happen to be in danger of not learning effectively. 

Here are five reasons why having a chess coach can make you a better player:

  1. Guide

A coach’s responsibility is to guide you through the vast available information. Of course, there are thousands of chess books in the market. A reputed coach with his experience will make your life easier by suggesting the right book based on your current level and understanding. The mistake what most players do is they pick up a random book which they find interesting and dive into it, only to abandon it midway or failing to apply the methods taught in the book. In reality, the book is either too advanced for their current understanding, or may not be the right choice for their current level.

Anders Ericsson is a Swedish psychologist who is internationally recognized as a researcher in the psychological nature of expertise and human performance. Here’s what he has to say about having a coach:

“The best way to get past any barrier is to come at it from a different direction, which is one reason it is useful to work with a teacher or coach.”
― Anders Ericsson, Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise

2. Feedback

Decades-long of research on skill development stresses upon one important factor. What separates ordinary players from extraordinary players is — constant Feedback. 

“Even the most motivated and intelligent student will advance more quickly under the tutelage of someone who knows the best order in which to learn things, who understands and can demonstrate the proper way to perform various skills, who can provide useful feedback, and who can devise practice activities designed to overcome particular weaknesses.”
― Anders Ericsson, Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise

3. support

It’s a well-known fact that Open Tournaments have a cut-throat competition. A player has to play three rounds per day, in longer time controls. This leaves no time to prepare effectively against an opponent.  Most players end up not playing up to their standard or may lose winning games. They also constantly worry about what to play against their next opponent.

An experienced coach offers support during these grueling times. The coach will give specific tips and devise a strategy. Thus, a player confidently plays the game and gives his/her best on the board without worrying about anything.

I prepare myself well. I know what I can do before I go in. I’m always confident.

Psychologically, you have to have confidence in yourself and this confidence should be based on fact. – Bobby Fischer

 

4. Structure

There is a reason why strong players play well. It’s because they get concrete results for every hour they put in for studying chess. There is a structure in place. But where to begin? Only a well experienced can tell you that.

You need a personalized structure to move forward on the road of improvment. You should know what to do, how to do it to gain specific results.

Most players solve hundred of tactics and lose their game within 20 moves of play in tournaments! There’s nothing wrong in solving tactics but it’s pointless to invest your energy in wrong things. Once you have a structure in place, the desired results will automatically come.

5. Commitment

When you hire a chess coach for improving your game. It’s a sign of commitment because it means you are really serious about your improvement. Most people ‘wish’ they could improve, very few ‘will’ and make improvement happen.

A strong will is required to become a great Chess Player. – Bobby Fischer


FIDE Senior Trainer& International Master Vishal Sareen is one of the well-reputed coaches in the world. In his two decades long coaching career, he produced three Arjuna Awardees and overlooked chess progress of over hundreds of strong players.  If you want to start your success journey, mail us at chessmineacademy@gmail.com with your name, 5 recent games, and the problems which you are currently facing in bullet points. We will get back to you with a personalized training plan for improvement.

ChessMine Academy—Champions are made, not born.

IM Tania Sachdev, GM Abhijeet Gupta and GM Pairmarjan Negi receiving the prestigious Arjuna.

One comment

  1. really it is interesting to read why coaches are needed.i am playing chess since 35 years but my game didnt improved.once i got rating of 1540 at start of my carier 3 years back but it is decreasing .after reading your article i came to know my blunders.all the parents must read this article to develope the skills of their chidren. thanks a lot.keep up .

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