Personal training is of course a very effective way of increasing your playing strength. Below I list the most important areas in which to train and also point out the possibilities to involve a coach.

Playing games

Playing is the most intensive form of training because the emotional context allows you to reach the highest level of concentration. In addition, you get a good insight into the status quo and create the conditions for game analysis.

Analyzing your games

Of course, you can only fully benefit from the wealth of experience that comes from playing if you also analyze your games. In this context, it should be mentioned that blitzing on the Internet without subsequent analysis is of relatively little use, apart from entertainment. I therefore recommend the ambitious chess friend to play only as much (1-2 hours?) as one can subsequently process analytically. Here is a list of possible goal for the analysis:

  • Solving the opening problem
  • Understanding the course of the game: Who was better when and why?
  • Broadening your general chess understanding by recognizing new concepts and patterns.
  • Categorization of the mistakes in order to better understand one’s own strengths/weakness profile and, if necessary, to adjust the training measures accordingly

The analysis with the engine should be regarded as the minimum program. It provides information on mistakes, better alternatives and the evaluation of the position. However, it does not automatically provide you with information on a conceptual level. It therefore only makes a limited contribution to achieving the above goals and does not really prevent the same mistakes from being repeated in other environments.

>>> I hence consider the online game analysis with a professional to be one of the best forms of training out there.

General middlegame training
To understand the middlegame, and that includes the late opening and early endgame, you need the following things:
>>> In addition to a large pool of thematically ordered model games, I have a comprehensive value system with a detailed terminology at my disposal. Every phenomenon finds its proper place in this chess world view and can be logically explained.

Tactics training

Tactics training is very important because you actually practise three different skills here:

  • Tactical patterns
  • Tactical mechanisms
  • Visioning (moving the pieces in the mind’s eye)
>>> Basically, you don’t need a coach for tactics training. However, it can be helpful to be enlightened by a professional about the multitude of mechanisms and the best procedure for tactics training.

Building a reasonable opening repertoire

The start of the game is particularly important, as it might determine the rest of the game in a decisive manner. A good opening repertoire should meet the following requirements:

  • High-quality
  • Resource-sensitive (matching strengths, weaknesses, age, available time, etc.)
  • Economical (efficient and sustainable)
>>> My repertoire meets these requirements. But I also like to work with my clients on any other opening.

Special middlegame training
The opening and the middlegame have to be regarded as one unit. There is no point in playing twelve moves of theory and then being without a plan. You are then dealing with a special situation and may face an expert on the other side of the board. Starting the game with 1.a3 could very well put you in a better position by contrast. I therefore recommend everyone to study the pawn structures, the active strategic concepts and the resulting plans, i.e. the logic of the position, for all of your major openings. The advantage of this kind of special middlegame training compared to the general one is the higher possibility of application. However, the general one creates a solid basis and should therefore not be neglected.

>>> My opening training naturally includes the middlegame logic and is therefore to be understood as opening and special middlegame training at the same time.

Strategic Endgames
The transition from middlegame to endgame is a widely neglected area. Here, therefore, many a half-point is squeezed out by the veterans. The training here is relatively simple, since unlike in the technical endgames, you only need to move on the level of principles.

>>> I am working with an extensive overview of the principles and a large collection of well-annotated model games.

Technical Endgames
It is worth buying a compendium on this subject. By far the most important are rook endings.

>>> I have summarized the most important constellations and key positions on the subject of “rook endings” and also highlighted the recurring principles.
The digital training material is ideal for quickly repeating what has been learned.

Fee

EUR 50 per hour, EUR 40 per hour for children and juveniles