Chess Teacher vs. Chess Coach

Teaching Comes First Teaching imparts knowledge and skills to the student that they are lacking. Coaching helps the student use his/her knowledge and skills more effectively. Over many years working with students in New York City, I primarily referred to myself as a chess teacher. I have always believed that knowledge is power in chess

Chess Strategy Lessons

Strategy and Tactics: Yin and Yang? Chess strategy and tactics are intertwined … but ask yourself this: which side of the equation receives most of the focus in lessons and classes? Definitely tactics. And for a lot of coaches, it’s not even close. However … What does it take for a student to gain proficiency

Irving Chernev: Great Chess Authors, Part 6

After seeing my choice of Fred Reinfeld last week, today’s selection should not be a surprise. In fact, he co-authored a few books with Reinfeld. Irving Chernev (1900-1981) Born in Pryluky (part of the old Russian Empire, now Ukraine), Irving Chernev emigrated to the United States in 1920. He wrote 20 books, including classics that

Fred Reinfeld: Great Chess Authors, Part 5

Not everyone will agree with this selection, but generations of American chess players grew up on the works of my next great chess author. I have read several of his books myself and always enjoyed them. Fred Reinfeld (1910-1964) Fred Reinfeld was born in 1910. The lifelong New Yorker was one of the USA’s best

Aron Nimzowitsch: Great Chess Authors, Part 4

I continue my survey of chess authors by examining perhaps the most influential of them all. Aron Nimzowitsch (1886-1935) Half a century before Mikhail Tal and Edmar Mednis, Aron Nimzowitsch was born in Riga (now the capital of Latvia). He gradually improved his level, competing in lower divisions of Coburg 1904, Barmen 1905, and Ostend

Eugene Znosko-Borovsky: Great Chess Authors, Part 3

After Mednis and Euwe, the next author I want to shine a light on is Eugene Znosko-Borovsky! If you’re a more casual chess fan, you might be wondering: “Who, exactly?” Eugene Znosko-Borovsky (1884-1954) Born in Imperial Russia, Eugene Znosko-Borovsky was a literary critic and veteran of the Russo-Japanese War and World War I before emigrating

Max Euwe: Great Chess Authors, Part 2

In Part 1 we took a look at the chess career and many of the books of Edmar Mednis. Up for discussion today is Max Euwe. Max Euwe (1901-1981) Euwe, the Netherlands’ top player for decades, earned a doctorate and taught mathematics full time! Despite not being a chess professional and playing sparingly, he improved

Capablanca’s Chess Fundamentals

Blast from the past When I first borrowed Jose Capablanca‘s Chess Fundamentals from the library as a beginner in 1996, I didn’t like it. A few years ago I saw it in Barnes & Noble and purchased a copy; the way you view a book as a beginner is very different from how you see

Basic Chess Endings (2003 revised edition)

A Thick Endgame Textbook You Won’t Mind Studying After starting his pro career in 1932, Reuben Fine (1914-1993) had a claim to being the best player in the world during the late 1930s. He won a string of elite tournaments including Hastings 1935/36, Zandvoort 1936, Amsterdam 1936 (tied with World Champion Max Euwe), Margate 1937