A number of people have asked me how important are coaches and what are the duties of coaches?

I think it is very important to have a good coach and having a good coach makes a big difference in any player’s development.

What are some of the things that coaches can help the players with? A good coach can:

– Help you develop a chess playing style
– Help you set chess goals and develop a plan to fulfill these goals
– Help you enhance and/or solidify your strengths and improve your weaknesses
– Help you develop good tournament / match / game strategies
– Help you develop a sound opening repertoire
– Help motivate you before or during a tournament / match
– Help keep you focus on the objective
– Help you refocus and / or stay calm after tough losses / failure
– Help you come up with fresh ideas

It is silly and absurd to suggest that coaches have to be stronger than the players and players cannot learn from coaches if their ratings are not higher than the players. Kasparov, Kramnik, Topalov, Ponomariov, etc. all had very strong teams of coaches and seconds.

It is important to have coaches that you can interact, communicate, trust and respect. No player is perfect every day. We all have our ups and downs and having good coaches can help the players be more successful.

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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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