Chess Coach Profile: Mark Dvoretsky
Finding a chess coach is a huge step in every serious player’s journey. Despite the pivotal role coaches play in the refining of a player, it is rare that they are acknowledged and celebrated as individuals with immense coaching talent. Today we celebrate one such chess coach, in Mark Dvoretsky.
The Chess Student
Dvretsky was born in the heart of Moscow in 1947, and like a lot of chess legends, began with chess early; at the age of 5. However, he did not take it up seriously until much later, as his prime interest at the time was mathematics. What drove him to chess was, like many of us, a teacher; but not in the way you would expect. In the fifth grade his math teacher was replaced. The new one was, for lack of a better term, boring, and thus Dvoretsky began his journey as a student of chess instead.
The Chess Coach
By 1975, Dvoretsky was a decorated player. He was Moscow Champion in 1973, finished strong in the Soviet Championship in 1974 and the USSR Championship of 1975. At this time he was regarded as the strongest International Master in the world, but if his records were any indication, he was already at the skill of a grandmaster.
Dvoretsky however, took a step back. He decided he would no longer participate in chess as an active player, but instead he would follow his true passion to be a chess coach. His chess students included the likes of Garry Kasparov, Veselin Topalov, and Viswanahan Anand, along with a myriad of other golden names in chess. In fact, today almost all the top 100 players have received some training from him. His fame arose from the fact that he could take 2200 ELO players and transform them into grandmasters with his chess coaching, and take grandmasters and coach them into championships.
After a life of success as a chess coach and author, we lost Dvoretsky in 2016, at the age of 68. However a testament to his amazing coaching skills is that his legacy lives on in one of his star pupils, Artur Yusupov. It is not often that a chess coach has such a profound impact on his pupils, but it is something that all honest coaches strive to do.