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  1. Standard membermchill
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    05 Nov '20 04:40
    If one is serious about improving their OTB skills, how important is a chess coach? What can a coach do for a motivated player that books and online resources cannot? How does one go about locating a coach that will maximize a players potential?
  2. Zugzwang
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    05 Nov '20 05:411 edit
    @mchill said
    If one is serious about improving their OTB skills, how important is a chess coach? What can a coach do for a motivated player that books and online resources cannot? How does one go about locating a coach that will maximize a players potential?
    A good coach can help a motivated player improve faster by guiding him or her
    to better training resources and by providing individualized instruction.

    If a motivated player's happy about one's rate of improvement without a coach
    (and wants to save money), then that player need not hire a coach yet.
    But many, if not most, players reach a stage where they keep training hard without
    improving, if at all, nearly as much as they hope. Then a coach may help.

    I knew a longtime player who was highly motivated and had peaked at USCF class B (1600-1799)
    without improving for many years. He told me that he owned several hundred chess books.
    (He also told me that he found it too hard to understand many of these books on his own.)
    We played a training game. He (as White) was booked up and obtained a slight
    advantage out of the opening. Once he had to think for himself, however, he
    was gradually outplayed and could not hold an inferior endgame. After I
    explained various subtle inaccuracies that he had made, he remarked that he
    had learned more from me than after trying to read many of his books.

    As an analogy, some people (including myself) are able to read a mathematical
    textbook and teach themselves without much, if any, need for a human teacher.
    But most people learn better when a human teacher can offer explanations and
    point out their individual errors.

    I would add that a coach who's good for some players may not be as good for others.
    GM Mark Dvoretsky was known as one of the best (and most demanding) coaches in the world.
    IM Josh Waitzkin (the hero of the film 'Searching for Bobby Fischer' ) was very
    unhappy with Dvoretsky's teaching style and said that he did not learn much.
    Instead, Waitzkin preferred a less famous trainer. Despite being lavishly
    supported and receiving the best training, however, Waitzkin never made a
    GM norm and retired from chess.
  3. Joined
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    05 Nov '20 10:40
    @mchill

    50 bucks an hour seems to be the average rate.
    Online coaches are less...
    lichess has a coaches list.
    If I were to get a chess coach I would definitely have in-person lessons.

    Your age will be a major factor in improvement and most coaches are hesitant to take on adult students but you can get to Class A 1800ish with proper coaching and patience because it will take a couple years.

    Good luck
  4. Joined
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    05 Nov '20 13:07
    Also,

    Anyone can be taught strategy, openings and endgames but the ability to calculate variations deeply cannot be taught.
    That strength depends on the player and you have said you are 65 years old?
    Calculation is the hardest thing for aging players.

    Something to consider before you spend 50 a week on lessons.
  5. Standard membermchill
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    05 Nov '20 16:402 edits
    @cheesemaster said
    Also,

    Anyone can be taught strategy, openings and endgames but the ability to calculate variations deeply cannot be taught.
    That strength depends on the player and you have said you are 65 years old?
    Calculation is the hardest thing for aging players.

    Something to consider before you spend 50 a week on lessons.
    Your thoughts are duly noted, but I've waited many years for this opportunity, and will not let it pass me by. This old dog still knows how to hunt! 🙂
  6. Joined
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    05 Nov '20 16:422 edits
    I would get a coach if i could afford it.

    At any age!

    (Of course she would have to be soviet and hot as F 😋 )
  7. Joined
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    05 Nov '20 17:11
    @cheesemaster said
    @mchill

    50 bucks an hour seems to be the average rate.
    Online coaches are less...
    lichess has a coaches list.
    If I were to get a chess coach I would definitely have in-person lessons.

    Your age will be a major factor in improvement and most coaches are hesitant to take on adult students but you can get to Class A 1800ish with proper coaching and patience because it will take a couple years.

    Good luck
    As will be your the depths of your pocket.
  8. Joined
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    05 Nov '20 17:26
    @eladar said
    As will be your the depths of your pocket.
    Very true.
  9. Zugzwang
    Joined
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    06 Nov '20 03:35
    @eladar said
    As will be your the depths of your pocket.
    In the USA, chess seems held in much lower popular esteem than, say, golf or tennis.
    Apart from cultural bias, there's no intrinsic reason why professionals who teach
    chess should be paid much less than those who teach golf or tennis.
  10. Joined
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    06 Nov '20 03:50
    @duchess64 said
    In the USA, chess seems held in much lower popular esteem than, say, golf or tennis.
    Apart from cultural bias, there's no intrinsic reason why professionals who teach
    chess should be paid much less than those who teach golf or tennis.
    Same could be argued for any sport, including tiddlywinks.
  11. Zugzwang
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    06 Nov '20 07:331 edit
    @duchess64 said
    In the USA, chess seems held in much lower popular esteem than, say, golf or tennis.
    Apart from cultural bias, there's no intrinsic reason why professionals who teach
    chess should be paid much less than those who teach golf or tennis.
    In Armenia, chess is a required subject in state schools.
    Great players such as Tigran Petrosian and Levon Aronian are regarded as national heroes.
    When Levon Aronian married Arianne Caoili (who died after a motor
    accident earlier this year), Armenia's president attended the wedding.
  12. Standard membermchill
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    09 Nov '20 04:50
    @duchess64 said
    In the USA, chess seems held in much lower popular esteem than, say, golf or tennis.
    Apart from cultural bias, there's no intrinsic reason why professionals who teach
    chess should be paid much less than those who teach golf or tennis.
    In the USA, chess seems held in much lower popular esteem than, say, golf or tennis. Apart from cultural bias, there's no intrinsic reason why professionals who teach chess should be paid much less than those who teach golf or tennis.

    100% agrees on both points.
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