Chess has existed for more than 1000 years now! And it doesn’t stop surprising us being an incredibly complex game. Not even a chess teacher or master can explain all the mysteries hidden in a chess position.
The number of ideas and processes happening in the mind of the chess player is a beautiful experience. It’s been proven scientifically that chess has many benefits on its players, the activity of their brains turns it into a great exercise!
This is why is such an important game, with many mysteries and curiosities, for example: Did you know being a titled chess master was a requirement to join the Russian KGB secret service? Amazing!
Today you will learn all the effects that chess has on your mind. Why is beneficial to play it and why do chess teachers make a big difference. The idea of treating chess as a subject in schools has been around for some time, and it has been applied by some countries!
If you want to know a big difference that can make learning chess make sure to read this post!
The ideal of the chess teacher Capablanca
The Cuban grandmaster Jose Raúl Capablanca wanted to introduce chess to children in schools, which seemed a great idea for him. And he was right, chess is a great game to improve kids’ development of basic skills, like common sense for example.
This game would surely boost their learning and helped them in many areas of their young lives. As I always say: It’s incredible how many similarities you can find between the chessboard and life.
Capablanca, as the world chess champion of those times, tried to use his influence to have the government consider chess as a subject. Unfortunately, he couldn’t have his ideal complete, although he talked a lot about the game once in his country.
Even if he couldn’t do that, his idea was very good, and some countries have implemented this idea. Some of them are Rumania, and Russia, a country that has produced the most grandmasters in the world.
Chess is a respected game all across the world, and for a good reason, people who play chess have shown how beneficial it is. It helps to develop critical thinking, logic, and trains the brain, chess is even an approved method to treat Schizophrenia.
This takes us to the following matter…
What is chess and why is so important?
Chess has not been defined yet over the years, most of us know it as a game, others like science, even like art. Chess is made out of a lot of components, not even a chess teacher would be able to know them all.
Everyone’s perception of the board is unique and full of creativity and new ideas. The principles and concepts that were developed in history about the strategy of chess, make it a lot more interesting.
Attempts to explain how the chess game works, trying to understand it through simple principles and ideas. None of these attempts were successful, and always oblige us to take our own perceptions of chess.
Creating our ideas our plans, and our strategy to defeat our rivals! When you look at chess this way, how a chess teacher would view it, everything turns out to be different. It’s not two people moving around wooden figures, is a battle of ideas, two minds clashing for superiority.
This is what makes chess so special, unique, and exciting, chess is a journey to discover, grow, and enjoy.
It can give a lot of skills to children that will be useful in practical life, and can really help them with their psychological development. Playing chess is never a bad idea, it is one of those healthy and interesting activities that are nothing more than nurturing.
The chess teacher’s duty is to make children see chess like this, make them passionate about it, without forcing them of course. This is why it doesn’t necessarily have to be a subject, but an optional activity or sport that is always there.
This is the case in some schools, unfortunately, chess is a game that lacks the attention it deserves and doesn’t have that much public. Which has made it different in front of different sports.
We need to talk about all the benefits that playing chess can report to kids, and how this would have a positive impact on them. This is why we will talk about the 5 benefits of chess on children:
Improves capacity to focus and attention
Chess is all about concentration, you have to learn to get into the board, this is why this game is played in silence! The chess players need to label the patterns and ideas he has seen in other chess games or has prepared himself to take decisions.
All under the pressure of the clock, so there is no time to lose, you have to think fast, and accurately. The analysis and the tactical vision must be coordinated, and this takes a lot of brain energy from players.
Playing chess is like literally training your mind, the brain is a muscle. As you can make your muscles grow healthily with pushups, the same with the brain!
Helps you overcome failure
It’s incredible how many things you can learn from a chess teacher and his old board, but it is true. When you enter the tournament chess world, you will learn how to balance your fantasies with reality.
You will have to accept that not always win at chess, you will have to accept that you will lose sometimes. Chess is a cruel teacher, if you get out of the rules you will get punished, sometimes is hard and painful, but it teaches you a lot.
That is a principle that can also be applied to anything, not only chess, if you don’t follow the rules you will have a consequence. By learning chess, you are learning such an important rule of society practically and healthily, even fun, with chess.
Develops critical thinking
Chess is all about making decisions, you will have to coldly analyze and consider every aspect of the chess position. Once you have done this, you will have to take your decision based on your analysis.
The player who can assess all of the aspects in the position better will be the winner. Personally, when I have to make a decision, in chess or real life, I use the same process to decide what to do, the elimination process.
The elimination process consists in trying to foresee the consequences of this option, and eliminate the bad ones until you are left with the best. This is an extremely beneficial practice, that has served me for a long time, in chess and real life.
Learning this technique so early in your life will sure save you a lot of trouble. Definitely one of the best lessons from my chess teacher.
Improves social interaction skills
Obviously, learning chess and getting into a club maybe will put you very close to a group of people with the same interest as you. Which is the same effect that will have if your child gets into any group of any sport.
Chess is not the exception, and this is always favorable with the development of our children. Personally, I have met some of my best friends in tournaments and competitions I have gone to.
This is really a fulfilling experience, can you imagine traveling and knowing a chess player from abroad? Amazing!
Chess makes kids more creative!
If you think that chess is a Pandora box for all it treats about, you have more to see, this is just the tip of the iceberg! Chess is also about creativity, there is the theory, but many times theory will not be an option, and your creativeness will come into play.
When there is no clear plan, you will have to look for opportunities, ideas, and actions to confuse your rival. You can even try to win the game by making your opponent run out of time! This is a really common practice.
A chess teacher will force your child into thinking outside of the box, and this is one of the best things we can teach any kid.
The idea of chess in schools is something that does not sound bad at all. In some schools is already an official activity for students to learn and recreate. However, if you want to know how it would be if it was a necessary subject, you can take Russia as an example.
This has not proved to be a bad practice, but turning it into a requirement is probably not the best.
The thing is that in Russia people take chess as something else, in Russia chess is not simply a board game. It is taken as a science, just knowing is a subject in all schools you know that is something else. This has been taught in Russia for so long.
Other countries take chess as a serious business, like India for example. But not everyone would adjust to it as a subject, not everyone likes chess and is not the only greatly beneficial activity there is for the brain.
Keeping it as an optional activity for children is for the best, the thing is that is not available in all schools and institutions. Having the students protesting and not accepting it as a matter would happen, because it is something new.
Probably not all the schools would want to go for that process, and you can’t force anyone!
How to find a chess teacher?
If you don’t have chess in your school or you don’t have a chess club near your location, you can find a chess teacher. You can do it easily, you can find many chess teachers online, with high-quality pedagogy and great resources.
You can surely find one near where you live, but there is always the online option, you can sign in for my classes at any time!
We have treated this matter in other posts, getting a chess teacher is a great investment, something that you won’t regret. Of course, it will only be like that if you are really passionate or interested in learning chess.
This will give you a lot of opportunities to play in tournaments, learn new lessons, and train your brain! Remember that a chess teacher will charge around 10$ to 20$ per hour, even 60$ but this is for the top-level chess teachers!
However, there is another option to consider if you are not into chess that much yet…
Do you need a chess teacher to learn chess?
This is another matter that is to debate, do we need a chess teacher? Well, for beginners no. At some point of course you will need a teacher if you want to improve. But if you don’t even know how to move the pieces are different!
You can learn how to play chess online, no need to pay a chess teacher, you can simply start by watching some videos. Read some guides and play some free games online, that should give you a taste of what chess is like.
If you don’t like it, surely chess is not for you, but if you have a legitimate interest in chess it will be like love at first sight. You will immediately want to know more ideas, tricks, and learn how to play like a real pro.
Typically, chess beginners will start by looking up some “tips and tricks” some traps, and simple ideas to win. But you will notice how complicated chess is very quickly, and you will have your first sight of chess beauty.
This is something you can do to know if chess is for you or not, you don’t want to meaninglessly invest in a chess teacher!
How to become a chess coach?
If you want to hire a chess teacher or coach, you probably want to know how they became chess teachers in the first place. So you can have an idea of what they can teach you, and what they can do for your chess. It’s not the idea of paying a random person that doesn’t know what they are doing!
Normally chess coaches are IMs, GMs, or FMs (International masters, Grandmasters, or FIDE masters respectively). These are titles that certify them as great chess players with experience on the matter.
These titles are awarded by the world chess federation (FIDE) and you have to meet some requirements in international tournaments to get them. Try to get a chess master that holds any of these titles, that will give you the security that the person is well-prepared in chess.
You can see if a person who claims to have a title really has it on the FIDE official webpage. The requirements to get the titles are pretty rough, not anyone could get one of those titles with ease!
This will also serve as another tip to know that you have a good chess coach and is something essential in teaching chess. Of course, the more achievements the chess teacher has, the more are going to cost his classes in most cases.
Being a good chess teacher is not only about having a great playing strength, but also about knowing how to efficiently teach. We have already talked about what the chess coach should do, but here is what you will look for in a chess coach:
Only by having the title you can know the player has a lot of experience in chess, many people take years in achieving such titles. However, a chess player can still be really good despite not having a title, see the tournaments the teacher has played and see.
Remember that is not the same to participate in a national tournament as in an international tournament. There is a big difference on level!
At the end of the day, teaching chess is a profession, a business, and businesses tend to have a general opinion. You can consult on the previous students that the teacher has had, this way you have a second opinion on the service you are hiring.
But be advised, the opinions others have are not always a good thing to rely on, yet still counts.
As we have said, even if the teacher has great knowledge about the game, it will be useless if he doesn’t know how to transmit it. Remember that you need to have great communication with your teacher so you work out efficiently.
Establishing a strong connection with your teacher is an important part of the process and will enhance the experience.
The methodology is highly important, the strategies and factors that you use to teach your student make a difference.
Remember, for 8 hours in the gym, making one single type of exercise just one day will not put you into shape. Nonetheless, 30 minutes of well-thought, prepared, nurturing training every day will put you into shape.
The same with chess, good training in chess is key to avoid frustration, getting stuck, and comfort zones.
¿How to become a chess master?
This is just so you can have an idea of how chess teachers reach the level they are right now. To become a chess teacher, you have to become really good at chess, but not only that but show it in competitions.
You will have to earn a name of yourself out there in tournaments, where everyone wants to win. Of course, you will need a lot of general knowledge and understanding about the game, and maybe publish some works!
Normally, when chess teachers want to start, they look for some attention online, to enrich the trustworthiness of their service. You can do it by working with some people, in the beginning, making and publishing chess classes online, or writing articles like myself!
This is done to give you a taste of what the service we offer is like and try to make you feel comfortable with it. You can also get a title that certifies you, not as a chess master, but as a chess teacher!
These different kinds of titles are awarded by the FIDE trainers commission and there are the following titles:
- Developmental Instructor (DI)
- National Instructor (NI)
- FIDE Instructor (FI)
- FIDE Trainer (FT)
- FIDE Senior Trainer (FST)
How much time do you need to work with the coach for?
It will depend on many things; you can work with a chess coach for your entire life if you want. Remember, the important part of working with a teacher is that you feel comfortable, and plan strategies to keep improving.
Obviously, this process is easier if it’s done by two people, and there is always something to improve in chess. There are no limits on how much you can improve in this game, and every day new things are discovered.
A chess teacher can nurture your training for as long as you are working with him. Even grandmasters usually find another person to work with at the same level they are, not as a teacher, but as a helper.
In chess, you can never be sure, so having a second opinion is always good, this is where the chess teacher comes into play. So, based on this point of view, we could say that a chess teacher can work with you for as long as you want, this is never bad.
Of course, there are moments and situations where the chess teacher is “more necessary” than others.
When do you know that a chess teacher is necessary?
As we have said, you can learn the basics of chess by yourself, there is a lot of useful information online. However, the chess player will reach a point where a chess teacher will be necessary, otherwise, it can be really difficult to progress any further.
We could say around the 1200 and 1600 rating is necessary to get a teacher involved. Most of the players at +1700 are people very serious about chess, that want to get closer to the 2000 rating.
If you want to get past the 2000 ELO you will definitely need a chess teacher. Remember you don’t need a chess teacher to reach these levels, but the process will be a lot easier, that is for sure.
Also, you can get a chess teacher at any level. But in case you don’t want to spend too much on chess yet, you can still progress on your own.
Also, as soon as you realize that your study is becoming boring, or you feel that you are not progressing, get a chess teacher. These are clear signs that your study is becoming infructuous and not enjoyable at all, which are danger signs.
This could lead you to frustration, or discouragement, which can lead you to want to abandon chess and lose all of your work.
If you still feel that you are not prepared to get a chess coach, or simply don’t want to do it right away, there are options. As we have said, there are infinite opportunities on the internet these days, and you can study through there.
You can’t compare studying alone on the internet with having a chess coach, but you can still learn a lot if done correctly. Remember that there is passive learning and active learning, make sure you do active training too!
But if you know how to handle the information can be really beneficial, but you need to make sure you study correctly. There are millions of chess videos and articles that you can find on different platforms like chess.com or YouTbe.com.
Not to mention that lichess.org exists, this is a site where you can get chess classes with coaches and other people. Of course, you can’t expect the best of the best in classes, in case you pick the free chess lessons.
This won’t have the standard quality of a paid chess teacher that you get, and it will be 100% online. But if you are thinking about getting chess lessons, this is something you can try to have an approach to what that would be like.
At what level should I get a chess teacher?
In case you are looking forward to getting a serious position in competitive chess, when do you need to get a teacher? Here the thing changes, consider that you are not a regular player looking for fun, you are in for the real deal.
Many have these expectations in chess, and if this is your case, here is some advice for you:
- Progressing in chess is tough, and if you really want to make a difference you will have to invest.
- You should get a chess teacher right now, regardless of the level you are right now.
- You will need a specialized coach, someone who is available to be working with you for a long time. Usually this has a higher cost, this kind of coach you should find on a chess club.
You should have a chess teacher as soon as you can, the younger you are the better. But you need to make sure is a good teacher, actually, a certified teacher or an IM or GM will do.
In this case, it must be this way because you are trying to get a chess formation, a competitive approach to chess. In competitive chess, there is pressure, tension, and sometimes anger, that must be canalized and used in-game.
What is the chess teacher I need?
That will depend on many things, mainly on three important factors:
- Trajectory: If you want to get into competitive chess for real and get a title and become recognized is one thing. You will need an amazing teacher, someone with years of experience that can take you to that path. Things are different if you are just eager about the game and see it as a fun hobby. In this case, any regular teacher could do.
- Possibilities: Of course, hiring a chess teacher is also about the experience, but this costs money. If we could we would hire the world chess champion to teach us chess, we would. So you should get a chess teacher based on your necessities, you can’t stop eating just for chess!
- Comfortability: Remember that you need to form a good connection with the chess teacher. So you will need to be comfortable with the classes that you are receiving, and this is important.
Important things that you can learn from a chess teacher
If you get a chess teacher, you will learn some special abilities that you would take plenty of time figuring out on your own. It’s not like chess masters have the secrets of chess in a hidden camera, and that will magically make you improve.
But we actually have some important practical knowledge about methods and ideas to train your chess. Some of these important concepts are:
- The art of analyzing your games and re-playing them so you can actively improve your mistakes.
- How to calculate in an efficient and favorable way according to your time situation.
- How to assess and understand a position and play accordingly.
- How to spot the ideas and get a better conception of tactical patterns
- Pure prophylactic thinking
And many others ideas, usually, these are the areas where intermediate players with lots of talent struggle with.