Q & A about coaches & their students

Chess improvement is a long term project, especially between a coach and his / her students. The perfect examples are with some of my friends, GMs Babakuli Annakov and Ramesh RB. They have long successful working relationships with their students. They know their students very well and their students have great results.

Same as with SPICE. I work diligently with my students for an extended period of time and they fully trust my advice and recommendations. I still help them even after they graduate. This is the formula to produce top level talents.

Celebrity coaching for a day or two (or even a week or two) is great for media optic and public relations but does very little to help young players improve. In fact, it can have adverse effect as these coaches know very little about the students and can unintentionally give wrong advice. This is similar to a relationship between a doctor and his / her patients. You want a doctor who knows you and your health history.

An example of this is some years ago, I was working (for free) with a young talented player. The progress was amazing. All of a sudden, that player got some “advise” from another strong grandmaster who knew nothing about this young player. It was a horrendous advice. By following that “advise”, that player’s progress got a big hit. After nearly a year with very little improvement, that player’s progress was back on the right track by going back to the improvement plan I set out before.

Good coaching can help young players tremendously. Unfortunately, bad coaching can destroy young players’ careers.

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