At Premier Chess Coaching, we’ve had the pleasure of teaching thousands of hours of online chess lessons for kids and adults alike. We have many beginners that log on looking for an introduction to the game, but we also have many experienced chess players looking for online chess lessons to address a particular challenge they face. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most frequent challenges that our students face, and how to address them.
“I need online chess lessons so that I can play more aggressively, and take more risks”
Some of our online chess students have trouble being stuck in defence and have difficulty pivoting their play with calculated risks. An aggressive playstyle is a huge draw for many novices to intermediate chess players, and it’s a skill that can take a while to come naturally. It takes a while to feel natural because, at least in the beginning, it comes hand in hand with failure. But that failure is a lesson, and with enough failure, you too can sacrifice your queen without blinking an eye to come out on top.
A famous example of an aggressive chess player is Mikhail Tal. Tal was known to make big sacrifices in search of the initiative. He was a master at creating a web of threats for his opponent that all required attention, keeping even the best chess players on their heels. Take a look at this fantastic video showcasing Tal’s magic.
“I am unsure when to exchange pieces, and which exchanges will come out in my favour.”
This is a common problem that arises when a novice player begins to reach beyond the core rules. This question is a great sign of improvement. A huge benefit of online chess lessons is that both the teacher and student can easily revisit the game, and even a beginner player can understand which exchanges put him in a better position. It’s this repetitive analysis with a chess coach that will give you an intuitive feeling as to which exchanges are worth making.
Your initial ‘chess intuition’ may not be right when it comes to the value of an exchange, the above video makes this point nicely. Tal was a master at the game, but he gained his understanding of risk management and sacrifice long before he became that.
“I have no idea what my opponent is planning and find myself surprised each game.”
With our students, we often find that this problem stems from a lack of aggression in their play. When you are not forcing your opponent to respond to threats, their play naturally becomes more difficult to predict. If you find yourself in this position, one thing to remember is that it is safe to assume your opponent is trying to control the center of the board. This is a foundational chess concept, and if you find yourself lost, this is a great thing to keep in mind.
Online chess lessons, especially in a group setting, can also be great to practice reading your opponent. Play more aggressively, and make sacrifices even if they may lose you the game. The aggressive plays that force your opponent to respond will be a great learning opportunity.
If these challenges are something you have been struggling with, know that you are not alone! These are common issues that we work through with many of our students. Book an online chess lesson today and get the help of our unbeatable teachers.