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Myth-busting: Can Chess Coaches Be Affordable and High Quality?

Updated: Oct 24, 2023

In 2023, we still don't have a surefire way to find affordable, high-quality products and services. And no one else does either. That's why we get especially skeptical when we see something that seems too good to be true.


A lot of people have asked us how we can offer chess lessons from Master-title coaches at this price. We must be cutting corners somewhere... Right? We believe that it's possible to get high-quality chess instruction at a reasonable price, and soon you will find out how.


Is chess an expensive hobby?

Chess is a great hobby for people of all ages and backgrounds, and it's one of the most affordable hobbies you can find. All you need to play is a chessboard and a set of chess pieces, which can be purchased for relatively cheap. You can also find many free chess resources online, such as Chesskid and Lichess.


Even if you want to take your chess more seriously, there are still ways to keep the costs down. For example, you can join a local chess club or take online chess lessons, which are often much more affordable than private lessons. You can also buy used chess books and equipment to save even more money.


Here are some specific tips for making chess an affordable hobby:


  • Start with a basic chessboard and set of pieces: You don't need to spend a lot of money on fancy equipment to play chess. Rollable ones are best for kids

  • Use free online chess resources: You can learn the basics of the game and improve (to a point) using online resources like Lichess and ChessKid

  • Join a local chess club: Chess clubs are a great way to meet other players and improve your game. They often charge a small membership fee, but it's usually very affordable.

  • Take online chess lessons: Online chess lessons are a great way to learn from experienced players at a fraction of the cost of private lessons.

  • Buy used chess books and equipment. You can find used chess books and equipment at thrift stores, garage sales, and online marketplaces.


Where can I learn chess for free?

Lichess.org

This completely free and open-source chess website offers various features, including interactive lessons, puzzles, and online play. It also has a large and active community of players, so you're sure to find someone to play against at your level.


We are particularly fond of this website since we believe chess should be available for everyone. The platform is very easy to use, though I'd not recommend letting your kids join any tournaments since the chat can get quite PG18+


Chess.com

Chess.com is another popular chess website that offers a variety of features, including free lessons, puzzles, and online play. It also has a premium membership option offering additional features, but you can still learn much for free.


Chesstempo

Chesstempo is a website that specializes in chess tactics. It offers a variety of free drills and puzzles that can help you improve your tactical skills.


Chessable

Chessable is a website that offers a variety of free chess courses on a variety of topics, including openings, middlegame strategy, and endgames.


Chess24

Chess24 is a website that offers a variety of chess content, including news, analysis, and live broadcasts. It also has a free learning section with lessons and puzzles for players of all levels.


Does getting a chess coach help?

Yes! Hiring a chess coach can help you improve your game. A good chess coach can:


  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses

  • Develop a personalized training plan

  • Teach you new concepts and strategies

  • Help you analyze your games and learn from your mistakes

  • Provide motivation and support


Chess coaches can be especially helpful for beginners and intermediate players. They can help you learn the basics of the game and develop a strong foundation. Chess coaches can also be helpful for advanced players who want to improve their specific skills or prepare for tournaments.


Of course, hiring a chess coach is not a guarantee of improvement. You still need to be willing to put in the work and practice regularly. But a good chess coach can help you accelerate your learning curve and reach your chess goals faster.


Here are some tips for finding a good chess coach:


  • Ask for recommendations from other chess players and chess parents

  • Look for coaches who are experienced and qualified

  • Make sure the coach's teaching style and personality are a good fit for you

  • Have a trial lesson with the coach to see if you like their teaching style and whether you feel comfortable with them

If you are serious about improving your chess game, I encourage you to consider hiring a chess coach. It can be a worthwhile investment that can help you reach your full potential.


Check out our article "Are chess lessons worth it? Here are the prices in 2023" to get more insight about this subject


What's our secret to affordable chess lessons?

We are very proud to give the opportunity for talent from all over the world to teach their passion and make a good living out of it.


It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to achieve the title of Master, and then even more to learn how to teach those skills in a systematic and effective way.


The thing is, if we look for Masters in the US, they’re going to charge what is considered a premium in our country. But what if we pay what is considered a premium in other countries? It basically means that we pay what you can consider affordable, but a high ticket abroad.


Take coach Fabian Vivas as an example, a 5-time national champion of Venezuela, an Olympic-grade chess player, and the 8th-best player in his country at age 24! The fact that he can teach you the frameworks for his success and proficiency is just mindblowing.


A presentation card of Fabian Vivas, chess coach at MM Chess. Text overlay describing his experience and credentials

What do we mean by "high-quality" chess lessons?

There's no such thing as an identical student. Some may want to win tournaments, others may value the availability of their coach, and others the price. There’s one thing we know for sure: The common denominator of success in any sport is the coach's ability to determine how to teach what leads them to succeed.


For us, quality chess lessons are about the overall package. For example; you might find a chess master rated over 2200, has won many national tournaments, and has been coaching for over 10 years. They know what they're doing, but they only might be available on Mondays at 10 a.m. That’s high-quality instruction but low-quality convenience.


Or, you might find a great coach in all those areas, but they charge $120 per hour. That's not unreasonable, considering how much time and effort it takes to become a Master chess player. It’s high-quality coaching, but also a hefty price to pay.


High-quality chess lessons mean that you can get a high-performing coach (who is also a certified Master) who can accommodate your schedule and deliver an effective learning experience, all at a price that you can afford.


Everyone should have access to high-quality chess lessons, regardless of their budget and availability.



But aren’t we underpaying these talents?

We all know what the dire situation Venezuelans go through. However, top-performing chess coaches from this and other countries earn a wage that would otherwise be impossible if they offered their coaching locally.


We hope that by offering affordable chess lessons, we can help children develop their talents and confidence while helping talented chess masters from other countries realize their true potential, and live a life that rewards their hard work.



Of course, there are some “drawbacks” to our chess lessons.

Yes, you’re learning from Olympic-level players, National and Subcontinental Champions, International Masters, and many other awe-worthy titles, but it’s not all perfect, so with all honesty I list some of the drawbacks you might find when hiring coaches from abroad.

  • While the coaches speak great English, some have distinctive accents, which can make it difficult to understand and conceptualize profound ideas.

  • There are cultural differences that might make communication a bit difficult. MM Chess tries our best to constantly train and support our coaches in this regard.

  • Since many of them are still active athletes, sometimes they will ask you to pause lessons so they can attend tournaments and events.

  • Some of them are in a completely different time zone, like our coaches from the Phillippines, so the easiness of rescheduling can vary depending on the coach.


In conclusion, if you're looking for affordable chess lessons that will take your game to the next level, look no further. Our advanced classes are designed to help you master the game and increase your skills in a holistic and efficient way.


With our extensive and packed curriculum, you'll learn all the essential elements of chess, from the basics to advanced strategies.


And the best part? Our affordable chess lessons come with a money-back guarantee. If you're not completely satisfied with your experience, we'll refund your investment, no questions asked Conditions apply.


Sign up for a 1-hour trial in the schedule of your choice and experience the power of our on-demand lessons.


Remember, the rules may be obvious, but mastering the game takes practice and guidance.

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