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wschmidt ♡ 203 ( +1 | -1 )
Chess Coaching Club? I got the idea of starting this thread because of several things: (1) I recently started coaching a GK player rated about 400 points below me and, while I don't know if it's been worthwhile for her, it has certainly been a positive experience for me so far; (2) I got to thinking that I would surely benefit from having someone coach me for a while; (3) in another thread, a player at around my level asked for a higher rated player to coach him and the thread evolved partially into a discussion of coaching and whether it might be at least partially formalized here at GK; (4) Mike started the club format.
*'s what I'm thinking. I'd be willing to fund a "Coaching Club" for the first year if there's sufficient interest in the project. This means, of course, both folks who want to be coached and who are willing to coach. In addition, assuming there's interest, I'd like to hear what general guidelines people think would be appropriate. Any ideas on how this might be structured? I'm thinking of this, by the way, as strictly a community-building "nobody is getting paid for this" format as there are plenty of other places to pay for chess coaching on the web.
Personally, I think something pretty loose would be a good way to start - a member could start a thread saying either that they were willing to take on one or more students or that they were looking for a coach. Once a connection is made, the two could decide how to proceed - analyzing a past game, playing a game with comments, help in a particular area, etc. They might decide to have a dialogue within the club forum for others to observe and benefit from.
I'd also like some input on what rating difference might be appropriate for a coach and student relationship. Again, this would simply be a guideline, but do you think at least 200 points? 300? 400?
Any other thoughts you might have would be appreciated. I'm not promising I'm going to do this, but I'd like as much input as I can get while I decide. Thanks. ws

alberlie ♡ 133 ( +1 | -1 )
that does sound interesting How did you manage with that player you talked about. I'm asking because I usually realize that it's kinda "pointless" (not pointless, but the damage is done anyway) to tell someone _after_ he blundered that he blundered. By pointing out in a way like "Well, that bishop move wasn't the best move conceivable because it limits your queen, delays developement and castling and moreover will result in a crooked pawn formation if I eventually trade it off" - your partner will soon get the impression that the game is already lost - and then you have to invest a lot of time to get his self esteem back up. Easier would be to be able to take moves back - unrated games of course - and that's what I asked for in the original gk-club thread already...
It'd be also nice to be able to put up positions - e.g. my tutor realizes, that my endgame is especially poor (probably true ;o) ) - it would be cool to just be able to set up an endgame position or continue a game with a preset position etc.etc.

Ratiing difference: at least 300 points, I guess...

I'm sure if _this_ club will be founded, which would actuallly have a real "agenda", it wouldn't have problems finding members and funding after/right in the first year...

of course I'd offer my (limited) services... ;o)
skepticus ♡ 70 ( +1 | -1 )
Excellent idea In my case I would be looking for a coach. I think like alberlie that a difference of 300 points should be the lowest.
And I agree on the points that for a good club of coaching the ability to setup special positions and take moves back are essential, like unrated games.
And if you setup the club count on me if you need help with funding it. May be a good idea is that everyone that would like to coach take a maximun of 3 or 2 students that make sure they are receiving the attention they deserve and that the coach can continue her/his rated games (in clubs, teams, tournaments, etc...).
honololou ♡ 3 ( +1 | -1 )
the best idea so far… for making use of the new club feature.
wschmidt ♡ 43 ( +1 | -1 )
Using the club function-- I noticed that one of the features of the club function is that one or more people (the founder and any moderators?) can delete posts. So one of the things I see happening in this Coaching Club is that when a coach and a student commit to working together they let right person know about it. Then the post(s) that were up about it can be taken down so the next guy doesn't have to read a bunch of out-dated posts.
wschmidt ♡ 125 ( +1 | -1 )
And thank you three guys... who were the first responders. It was nice to see some interest so quickly.
Aberlie, the work with my one student has been a combination of playing and commenting on an on-going game, going over one of her other games, sending her to some chess web-sites to do some tactical work and generally trying to slow down and look more carefully at the board (some advice that I don't heed enough myself).
I also think your idea of being able to set up positions for analysis would be a great one. I don't know how difficult that would be and I know there are lots of other requests out there, but I think if the club gets a lot of activity it might be something we could hope for down the road.
Skepticus, I share what I think is your concern about coaches getting over extended. It's easy to do, no doubt. My thought is that when one joins the club there are a few "Suggestions for Coaches and Students" and one of those for coaches would be "Start out slow."
Another thing I've been thinking about is a thread in the club forum where coaches discuss different techniques for coaching, websites, materials, etc.
Honolulu, does that mean you'll post looking for a coach, looking for a student, or both?
More: Chess
honololou ♡ 13 ( +1 | -1 )
I could probably derive… more benefit from a coach than I could provide to any student. But for now i think I will remain
an interested bystander.
samspanners ♡ 144 ( +1 | -1 )
Wow! .... I'm glad that this is gathering momentum.

I suggest that - provided there's enough interest- 3 sections be created within the club such as:


I'm not sure you need to specify rating ranges for each section as players generally know where they stand to gain the most, and if not, they could easily be redirected.

Coachs could then be nominated for each section. I daresay in time some would want to "specialise" in particular areas - such as openings, endgames etc etc.

Perhaps once the club is set-up, Mike would kindly send out a global e-mail calling for coachs for each section ?

I'll gladly volunteer as a beginners coach if numbers are short - but I'm sure there are others out there better-qualified.

I also like the idea of allowing move take-back (couldn't this be an automatic feature on ALL unrated or private games ?!?!) & also being able to set up positions.

How about text-narrated Chess Lectures that people could subscribe to? Perhaps analysing famous games/openings ? I'm sure this is on Mike's wishlist ?!?

OK, I'm getting a bit carried away now but it's a very exciting evolution for Gameknot.

As for funding - I'm still slightly confused - Can premium members create a club for free??! ...I must go read the FAQs.



paulberg ♡ 81 ( +1 | -1 )
Great Idea... This is one of the better ideas I've heard. I was acting as a coach for a team my friend hurikanejoe set up awhile back as most of his team members were around 1200-1300. It was fun and they really liked discussing moves and possible scenarios throughout an unrated game. Usually we would resign the game after 10-20 moves as they wanted to spend more time in the opening, and then we'd just start another and continue coaching.

In fact, hurikanejoe even asked Mike if he could title the coach like the captain is titled in the team roster. Funny...

I would be very interested in a GK section like this.

mrpithers ♡ 3 ( +1 | -1 )
Count me in I would love to be involved.
nobodyknowmypain ♡ 78 ( +1 | -1 )
I'm interested too I'm interested too, in becoming a student and a coach. I would like to have some master class coach teach me a few things. I don't really know my strenghts or weaknesses, actually, I know my strenght, the endgame, but I don't really think I have weaknesses other then once in the odd moon I make a complete BONEHEAD move that throws away the game against a player I should win, I don't really know how to prevent that.

As for me coaching, I could teach lower intermediates and beginners about the endgame. I will specialize in that. Very few people I find, online, can call themselves endgame specialists, but I am definately one of them. I often find myself winning endgames with even material or drawing them if I am down, say a pawn or an exchange.
nobodyknowmypain ♡ 67 ( +1 | -1 )
Also note. . . Not only does it cost an arm and a leg to get teaching online, but you don't even meet your teacher face to face were it's most beneficial. Most teachers on, say ICC, although they are GM's, charge the same amount of cash per lesson online as they would if you met them in person, and that's simply an unfair price tag. Also, they take on like 20 students at a time, and although they are the best chess players in the world, I've heard a lot of them are terrible teachers and tend to speak above you. So if you don't want to get riped, just have fun learning a few things, and live in isolated areas where you cannot get a chess teacher, this could help you a lot.
i_play_slowly ♡ 123 ( +1 | -1 )
Count me in I played unrated games with someone over a period of six months, usually two games at once, one as White and one as Black. We played eight complete games, commenting at length with every move, with lots of Q&A and spot quizzes. I would often ask her to look again at some position we had passed through a few moves earlier, asking her how she might have played it differently. During that period, her rating jumped over a 100 points. She never did beat me, although she had me by the throat for much of the last game. In a sense, though, she never lost, because she always learned. The actual outcome of each game was entirely inconsequential. I felt immensely proud of her, and a little proud of myself too. The experience was more meaningful than any of my Gameknot victories so far. I would definitely recommend the experience to anyone. Its immensely fulfilling.
I've just talked myself into it. wschmidt, sign me up as coach. And if I were lucky enough to be coached too, I'd simply be over the moon.
To my former student: if this club gets off the ground, and if you want to resume where we left off... Then again, you might benefit more from someone else--fresh input. But the invitation stands...
snake_man ♡ 4 ( +1 | -1 )
Id like to give being coached a try.
leo_london ♡ 33 ( +1 | -1 )
Sounds like a great idea. I think nobody.. makes a good point in his last post ( above )..not all good players make good teachers. Communication skills and patience are that counts me out. Think carefully before you volunteer, remember it can be time consuming..good luck in your venture anyway.
wschmidt ♡ 67 ( +1 | -1 )
Thanks to all... for your input so far. Everything I've read makes me think is definitely worth a try. Tomorrow I'll try to summarize my thoughts, incorporating a lot the suggestions I received here and in private messages. I'm also going to send something directly to Mike asking for his thoughts. Since he's got a lot of experience with Gameknotters generallly, he may have some suggestions about how to create something that will accomplish the greatest good for the greatest number.
I'm thinking that I'll try to have this club up and running by the middle of the month. In the meantime, if you'd pass the word about this thread to folks you're playing with or other Gameknotters you know, please do. The more input the better. ws
alberlie ♡ 52 ( +1 | -1 )
slow and steady wins the race... I wouldn't hurry it. Let's see what Mike says - also ask him how he thinks that dividing the costs of the club fee could be accomplished. It'd be just a leetle bit of hassle to try to wire you 5 bucks from germany ;o)

As far as I can see from the "outside", there isn't much possible yet within a club besides posting (and deleting!) in a club forum and starting games that have the label "club game". I would start a "fencing club" no sooner than when there is a link from the main page available.
wschmidt ♡ 28 ( +1 | -1 )
Thanks, alberlie, I'm not too concerned about folks contributing to the inital fee. I can front the initial 20$. If the cost goes up considerably next year, that may change.
One of the things I'm going to ask MIke about is whether the "theme" tournament mechanism might be used as a device for a coach to use with a student. ws
thalagor ♡ 120 ( +1 | -1 )
Quote from the other tread:
"Indeed a good suggestion, although it (coaching club) requires a lot of work. I could help out with coaching intermediate players (up to ELO 2000, which gives gk rating of...?)."

I'd love to be a part of the coach club, but I'd suggest that coaches take at most 2 students at a time, so that they'll have much time to devote to their trainees (since, already said in this thread, one can easily get drown in the river of students ;))

I'm also interested in being coached, I've no idea what I need to work on to get to the next level. I'd say deep positional understanding, since I'm probably the player that can count most and longest variations in my local chessclub (ie seldom missing tactics). The hardest games I've played are those where there's nothing to do ^^ (strategy)
All in all, anyone interested in coaching me? Please send me a message if you are (regardless of your rating, if you believe that you can help me, please msg me).

Now, with the ad taken care of :p, I agree with the other above, a feature allowing moves to be taken back and allowing us to set up positions to play from would be neat to say the least.
Chill out mates, I'm off to bed!
Peter aka Thalagor
wschmidt ♡ 368 ( +1 | -1 )
OK, after lots of good input, here are my thoughts are about how this might be set up. When you go to the initial club page you see a brief description inviting you to join and encouraging you to read an introductory message that would be the first one in the top thread in the club forum. That post would be a more elaborate introduction with some guidelines (not hard and fast rules) which might include the following:

1. Explanation that students and coaches should post availability in the appropriate threads.

2. Coaches should be rated at 1500 or higher and should be at least 300 rating points higher than student.

3. Student should have only one coach at a time.

4. Coaches, start out with one student the first time and see how much time it takes. If you then want to take more, fine.

5. If you are a student asking for a coach, and you are rated 1500 or higher, please consider coaching someone 300 points lower than yourself.

6. Once a coach and student hook up, tell the moderator(s) so the postings can be deleted.

7. When you establish the relationship, set clear and limited expectations of what's involved. Here are some examples: (1) commit to a definite time period (for example, two months) where the student can bring questions about completed games or other issues to the coach; (2) agree to play one or two unrated games together and discuss them; (3) agree to analyze and discuss one or two of the student's completed games; (4) agree to go over a limited number of games by other players that the coach and student think would be valuable; (5) go over a particular endgame technique. Just be sure it is a mutually acceptable, defined thing to accomplish. Then, when you are nearing the end of that, discuss whether or not you want to go on to something else. Smaller is better, especially at first.

8. Any games between coaches and students should be unrated. When setting up such games, mutually decide whether they are going to be private or if comments to the game are going to be available to the public. Keep in mind that since the games are unrated you don't have to play them out to the end.

9. If either the student or the coach runs out of time, energy, patience, etc., for the coaching politely tell the other party that you have to terminate the relationship. Add a simple, polite explanation if appropriate. Don't leave the other person hanging with silence. And if you're leaving because of a personality issue, try to be gracious even if your irritated or your feelings are hurt.

10. Go overboard in being polite and constructive in your communications. In this sort of work, there are lots of opportunities to have missteps in communication. Work to avoid them.

11. Any complaints, issues, etc., please communicate to the moderator(s) before they get out of hand.

12. Encourage club members to mention the club to other GK players since a lot of folks don't read the forums or might not otherwise be aware of the possibility.

OK, that's the first post in the introduction thread.

Next comes two threads for coaches and students to post availability. Both groups would be encouraged to describe their expectations with some particularity in the posting so there wouldn't be a lot of time wasted later. Responses to the postings are to be private, not in the thread, with the moderator(s) being informed when the posting can be deleted. Student postings over 30 days old will be deleted to avoid staleness.

Next, a thread for coaches to discuss coaching ideas (not particulars about students).

Finally, a suggestions for improvments thread and, of course whatever threads other folks might add.

That's my general idea. Anybody want to massage it, radically revise it, or correct my grammer, have at it! ws

alberlie ♡ 198 ( +1 | -1 )
ok, I'll just brainstorm along... ;o) just a bit make-up:

ad 10: Maybe add a note regarding different cultures having different senses of humor etc. thus even more stressing the point?

Somewhere in your list should be a note, stating that everything done under the flag of coaching/being taught is _free_ and _voluntary_ and thus becoming too serious about the matter is something to be avoided...

I would like to think that a "coaches" thread can nothing but gain from input by "pupils" - therefore that particular thread should probably have a relatively general description and not be named "Thead-for-coaches-to-discuss-teaching-ideas" - after all, who of us _is_ a real teacher? ;o)

I could think of other stuff than just a teacher-pupil set up. Imagine someone of the top ten agreing to play (a) game(s) against NN, who stands for a whole group. Then, an extra thread could be opened in which that group of geniusses-to-be discusses their next move in whatever detail they want, possibly even with feedback by our top ten player. That would be kinda like the Jeremy Silman technique and at least I would think that to be quite instructive.
Actually, I am watching several games right now here on gameknot while being in communication with the ones playing to discuss why they do this or that move. Kinda like the same Idea.
Also, I could imagine threads which cover some preliminary stuff or link to set up endgame positions (Philidor Position etc.) and discuss why certain moves are necessary in that position.
Actually, the same thing could be tried with openings as well!?!

well, that's my 2 cent... :o)

(PS: about the money: Mike suggested that somewhere on the "new-feature: clubs"-thread and I just thought it to be interesting whether he would leave that to us or if there are already ideas how cost-sharing could be implemented by GK)
roland_l ♡ 3 ( +1 | -1 )
Great Idea I'd be interested in getting involved.
ampersand ♡ 0 ( +1 | -1 )
sounds great.... me too.
wschmidt ♡ 28 ( +1 | -1 )
Chess Coaching Club is up and running! After a lot of good suggestions from several folks, including many of the posters on this page, I've finally paid the fee and got the Chess Coaching Club up and running. Please take a look and give it a try if you're inclined! Thanks to all of the folks in the thread for their interest! Walter
thalagor ♡ 1 ( +1 | -1 )
i_play_slowly ♡ 11 ( +1 | -1 )
Where is the Chess Coach Club page? Glad you asked! Go to: ->
wschmidt ♡ 2 ( +1 | -1 )
Thanks, Don, That's cute. ws