What to look for in a Coach

A good coach is:

Strong at chess

It is essential that whatever coach you get can beat your child easily at chess. If the coach refuses to ever play your child…be weary. There are many posers out there in the chess scene.

USCF Rated

If you are going to pay the big bucks for a private coach, ...he might as well be USCF Rated. Although you do not need a strong tournament player, a USCF player brings a lot to the board. Remember, if your coach is not a member of the USCF then he does not compete in serious United States chess tournaments.

  • A proven fundamental understanding of the game. A player rated over 1600 will have plenty of information to teach.
  • An enthusiasm for the game.
  • Knowledge of tournament events.
  • A fundamental CONFIDENCE in the game, which your child will sense.
  • An understanding of the vast project your child is undertaking.

Understands kids

Most chess players are dry. You need a coach who can loosen up with kids.


Has a chemistry with your child

Make sure your child likes and respects his Coach and that he has a dynamic and fun teaching style. If your child is not excited and looking forward to his next lesson…time to try a new coach. No matter what chess knowledge your coach has, if he does not motivate, electrify and entertain your child, he is not a good coach.

Can Motivate your child

Private lessons are a one on one lesson that can be boring if the coach is not kid oriented. Some children are chess motivated and do not need an overly charismatic coach. But most young kids are going to need a coach that can motivate them.


Has a good teaching technique

  • Is your coach prepared for the lesson?
  • Does your coach bring printed materials for your child to keep?
  • Does your coach analyse your child's games?
  • Is the lesson tailor made for your child or is it just some lesson memorized from a book?
  • Does your coach have games memorized in his head or must he read them out from a book?
  • Does your coach make the mistake of teaching opeining lines?

BEWARE of the coach who teaches opening theory (the memorization of opening move variations). We strongly believe that this is the wrong way to teach kid chess .Click here for a complete description.

Questions to ask a coach:

  • What is your chess rating?
  • Can I see your teaching resume?
  • Have you ever worked with school aged children before?
  • Do you provide printed materials?


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