Improving At Chess Coaching

Rather than improving as a player, a critical question for me is how to improve as a chess coach. I feel that if you have a group of chess coaches who enjoy healthy competition, you can improve by sharing your experiences. So I am going to share something which might be useful to you.

I have recently started coaching in another school which is planning to teach chess to each and every student. To be honest more than 70% of the kids are not at all interested in chess as it’s no longer a game but rather an academic subject. How would you tackle them? They demand special care so I consulted my one of my friend who is not connected with chess but he is a good teacher, so good in fact that he can interest kids in boring subjects. He told me that for kids to be interested in particular subject but they must be interested in you!

I followed his rule for few days and started few discussions which are irrelevant to chess but interesting. I told them few jokes and they got interested in learning from me. So indirectly I got increased attention from the kids and found that I was also enjoying the sessions.

Having got their interest the next task is to teach them. This was more difficult than I expected as now they were more interested in fun. Here I applied another strategy that is to repeat three golden rules for starting a game in every class. The results are that some them are now know how to start the game.

Another experience taught me that as chess coach you must polish your tactical skills otherwise it passes the wrong impression to your students, especially when you are teaching a group. But that’s another story.

Ashvin Chauhan