First meeting with my coach...

As I mentioned in one of my previous postings, I decided to make the decision to start working with a real, human chess coach.  This is a big accomplishment for me.  I've thought about doing this for years, but I always felt like I had to better than I am before I hire a coach.  Finally, I realized that chess coaches are happy to help even patzers like me develop a stronger game.

I'll say, for his privacy, I won't mention who I am working with.  But if he reads this blog, he is welcome to introduce himself in the comments if he is comfortable doing so!

Honestly, I had no idea what to expect from my first meeting with my coach.  I imagine other players who have never hired a coach are in a similar position.  So let's jump into the details.

First, we just started off getting to know each other.  We shared a little bit about what we do, on and off the chessboard.  And we talked about what my goals are.  As I've written in past postings, my goal is not to become a grandmaster.  My goal is simply self-improvement.  I just want to have a stronger appreciation for the game.  I enjoy studying games of the great masters and I want to have a greater appreciation of those games than I have now.  Also, I'd like to see my rating increase over the next year; hopefully hitting 1200 in the next year.

He then had me do some puzzles with him to see where I am with my appreciation of the board.  This was great; it clearly demonstrated some of my struggles with chess vision.  And finally, we did a quick game.  And, as we would all expect, I lost on turn 16!  I felt like the chimp in the picture and I had a good laugh.  We then did an analysis of the game together and I must say I picked up a lot of terrific pointers, just from this analysis alone.

So in sum, my first meeting with my coach was great.  Over the next week, I am going to explore some of the defensive black openings like The Sicilian and The French openings.  I will also continue to practice daily puzzles and continue to play games.  I feel I have a better focus on studying.  And I look forward to our next meeting.

If you love the game and want to get better, just jump in: hire a coach and get to work!

See you on the board.