“You may learn much more from a game you lose than from a game you win. You will have to lose hundreds of games before becoming a good player.” - Jose Raul Capablanca
Would you like to learn chess but don’t know where to begin? Not know the first thing about openings, castling, en passant, or even checkmate?
Don’t worry! We’re going to help you get started on your journey towards becoming an excellent player.
Here’s how to choose the right chess tutor.
Outline Your Objectives
Before you invest in costly chess lessons with a professional tutor or teacher, you need to think about your goals.
If you’re a beginner, you’ll probably want to get to grips with the game and understand the rules. To do this, you’ll want beginners lessons that cover things like:
- The board and the pieces: king, queen, bishops, knights, rooks, pawns.
- Where the pieces start on the board.
- How the pieces move.
- The role of each of the pieces within the game.
- Common chess problems.
- Check and checkmate.
- Common attacks and defences.
Once you’ve got a fundamental understanding of the game, you can start to move onto tactics and strategies like Smothered Mate, the Sicilian Opening, or the Berger Variation, for example.
Chess is an analytical and psychological game so you need to remain calm and give nothing away, much like in poker. Magnus Carlsen didn’t become #1 by losing his cool.
Chess requires discipline, memory, and constant practice, too, and a chess tutor or teacher can show you the fundamentals.
In many ways, starting a game is like stepping into the ring since you need to predict what your opponent will do and use their weaknesses against them.
Are you good with strategy but quick to lose when forced to think on your feet?
Try Blitz Chess, a quick version of the game where you don’t have time to think. This is great if you’re hoping to develop automatisms and tend to overthink moves or lose your cool. Try a few games against a computer opponent to learn more about the discipline before playing against another human player.
Playing against the AI also gives you opportunities to try out new things before trying them for real against other players. You can study chess games, watch video tutorials, or learn how to play chess through private tutoring or classes.
If you’re already familiar with chess and how it’s played, you might want to look for tutors or teachers with decent ratings. This is particularly true if you’re looking to play in tournaments or join a federation as these types of tutors can help you to analyse your game, show you powerful moves and sequences, and explain strategies you haven’t seen yet.
Chess takes a lot of work, patience, and study and it’s unlikely that you’ll win your first tournament, but it will prepare you for the world of competitive chess.
Becoming an expert player doesn’t happen overnight.
Choosing the Right Private Chess Tutor
If you’re new to the world of chess, there are a few things you should do before choosing your tutor. As we explained previously, you have to have a goal in mind.
Would you like to learn how to play chess for fun or participate in tournaments?
Once you know what the end goal is, you can start looking for appropriate tutors.
Are you hesitant about contacting the tutors you’ve found?
Consider checking their references. If they’re a member of a club or a national federation, you can find records of their games, their level, and even ask about them.
If they’re offering lessons online, you can also see comments and reviews left by their other students. Finally, get in touch with them and talk about your concerns directly.
You want to avoid the common pitfalls that students fall into when choosing a tutor. Each player will show their true character when they play the game, after all.
You can’t just memorise all the moves and try to capture as much material as possible. You need a tutor or teacher who will teach you how to play the game in a way that you’ll also enjoy.
All the best players will tell you that a good teacher will show you how to interpret the game at a glance and will also be able to show moves to get you out of sticky situations. Not only will this give you more confidence in your own game, but also your tutor.
As you’ll have understood, before mastering chess, you need to find a teacher that you respect and whose opinion you value. You can do this by:
- Checking their references.
- Find out what their other students think of them.
- Talking to them about why you want to learn chess.
- Trusting your gut.
How Much Do Chess Lessons Cost?
The cost of chess lessons depends heavily on the type of lessons you get and your objectives since not every player will be preparing for the world championships.
Firstly, get yourself a chessboard from a shop or online. You can find boards for all budgets from entry-level sets with plastic pieces to magnificent sets that are works of art in their own right. You can even get travel sets so that you can take chess with you wherever you go since you never know when you’re going to have an opportunity to play a game.
You might also want to invest in a chess clock so that you can play games of blitz chess or just manage the pace of your games and have some pen and paper with you to note down the moves. Again, the budget needs to line up with your ambitions as a player.
Look for cheaper tutors who know the game but aren’t necessarily highly rated players. At this point, it’s about learning how the game is played and developing a passion for it.
Similarly, a FIDE rating isn’t an indicator of how good they are as a teacher, just how good they are as a player. You can find chess tutors for an average of £30 an hour on Superprof.
If you’re looking for a tutor for kids or beginners, you might want to look for those charging less than that. An experienced tutor is better than an experienced player in this instance.
Are you looking to improve your game to win tournaments?
You’ll probably want to learn from the best as a lot of expert players offer lessons to aspiring tournament winners. They can help you work on memorisation techniques, complex attacks, sequences of moves, expert openings, and deadly endgames.
Having the opportunity to play against expert players can revolutionise the way you play and, thanks to the internet, you can easily enjoy private chess tutorials from tutors all over the world. Again, you’ll still want them to be good teachers as well as good players.
It also helps if they love the game of chess.
Advanced tutors can help you analyse your games and learn from your mistakes so whether you want to improve, climb the rankings, or win tournaments, you’ll need to learn from an expert player.
Becoming an exceptional chess player takes a lot of work, practice, and patience, but soon, your silly mistakes and blunders will be a thing of the past.
You’ll finish every game with a smile on your face, especially if you’re the victor.
Sites for Finding Chess Tutors
If you’re still struggling to master chess, you’ll want to look for a private chess tutor. Games are won and lost in the players’ heads so you need to find someone to help you find the right frame of mind.
This site is good for helping students find players to teach them and is one of the most popular in the world of chess.
You can learn about the history of chess, how to play, and how to master moves and sequences on Private Chess.
If you’re a beginner, you can study each piece, how they move, and how to use them in the game.
If you’re looking for a private tutor in chess, you can count on Superprof. There are hundreds of tutors around the UK so you’re bound to find someone who can help you to improve your game or just learn how to play.
You can learn about the different ways to play or even study chess notation to understand how games were played. Strategy and tactics are the names of the game.
You’ll soon know all there is to know about chess!
There are also other sites where you can find private tutors or chess tutors in particular so you can put away your other board games; chess is the only one you’ll need.
Get ready to start winning your first games.