Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Anyone know definitions of chess coach, trainer and teacher?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Ottawa Ontario National Master Former Gov.
    Posts
    3,078
    Blog Entries
    58

    Default Anyone know definitions of chess coach, trainer and teacher?

    I'm hoping someone knows good definitions of what a chess coach, a chess trainer and a chess teacher are. Are all three things different, or are e.g. a chess coach and a chess trainer the same thing, if all three terms are defined precisely and correctly? Other people may be curious about all these things, too.
    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
    Hamlet (1.5.167-8), Hamlet to Horatio.

  2. #2

    Default

    Chess Coach: One who coaches chess players
    Chess Trainer: One who trains chess players
    Chess Teacher: One who teaches chess players

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Ottawa Ontario National Master Former Gov.
    Posts
    3,078
    Blog Entries
    58

    Default

    To try to get the ball rolling,

    Just Googling the terms I'm curious about precisely defining (before then trying to zero in on how they apply to chess):

    Definition of coach, in sports (what follows largely, if not entirely, seems applicable to chess): In sports, a coach is a person involved in the direction, instruction and training of the operations of a sports team or of individual sportspeople. A coach may also be a teacher.

    Definition of trainer: a person who trains people or animals.

    Definition of train: teach (a person or animal) a particular skill or type of behavior through practice and instruction over a period of time.

    Definition of teacher: a person who teaches, especially in a school.

    Definition of teach: show or explain to (someone) how to do something.


    I know chess training can include the aim of improving physical or perhaps even psychological fitness, which I'm not sure many chess coaches get heavily involved with, if at all, at least in Canada. I think FIDE certifies people as chess trainers (however they define the term), at least, but I don't know about their view of chess coaches, if the term exists for them. I don't trust that my laptop is heavily defended against viruses and such, so I haven't visited the FIDE site in ages, for example; nor do I much click on sites that come up with a search, often preferring just to read the brief blurb that's visible for a given result, else I might check out more descriptions of the terms defined above in relation to chess.

    In Canada, the CMA, for example, has brought into being numerous chess teaching classes, although I'd suppose chess students can be taught individually even in the home. When I think of chess teaching, I think more of teaching beginner, novice or intermediate level players the bare basics about chess, to make progress at their levels, with coaching being reserved for stronger players (perhaps such as on chess teams), or for players who are willing to pay more than for a chess teacher (teaching, training or coaching now being possible via the internet). Incidentally, to possibly blur things even more, I think 'Chess Instructor' would be another name just for a chess teacher, but again I am not sure. All these terms are often thrown around loosely, and I wish they were precisely defined somewhere, assuming all or most are distinctly different from each other. It would be nice to know if you call yourself a chess coach, for example, people have a good idea of what you mean.
    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
    Hamlet (1.5.167-8), Hamlet to Horatio.

  4. #4

    Default

    Suppose you're running your own business ... a chess academy/school of some sort ... you give yourself whatever chess-teaching title you desire be it coach, teacher, trainer, instructor, tutor, mentor etc. On the other hand, if you take up a chess teaching job advertised on one of the websites below (for instance), well your job title would be the one in the advertised provided by the employer.

    https://www.indeed.com/q-Chess-Coach-jobs.html
    https://www.indeed.com/q-Chess-Teacher-jobs.html
    https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/chess-coach-jobs

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    838

    Default

    In France, chess teaching has been separated in two streams: development and training. Development teaches the basics and training is strictly for improving the tournament result of the trainee.

    The highest title in the development stream, requiring a rating of at least 1700, is named Professor.

    Coach requires a rating of at least 2000 for the lowest level. A coach primary function is to increase the rating of his trainees.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Ottawa Ontario National Master Former Gov.
    Posts
    3,078
    Blog Entries
    58

    Default

    Thanks to all. For what it's worth, here's a brief blurb I got about FIDE titles from a Google search, without looking up the qualifications for such (note that the USCF, at the least, has 'coach certification' [whatever qualifications there are for that], I also saw):

    "Besides awarding FIDE Master, International Master and Grandmaster titles, the World Chess Federation (FIDE – Federation Internationale des Echecs) also awards titles called FIDE Senior Trainer (FST), FIDE Trainer (FT), FIDE Instructor (FI), National Instructor (NI), and Developmental Instructor."

    Note that Google equates 'Instructor' with 'Teacher' by definition.
    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
    Hamlet (1.5.167-8), Hamlet to Horatio.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Ottawa Ontario National Master Former Gov.
    Posts
    3,078
    Blog Entries
    58

    Default

    One thing I'm still wondering is if the loose use of terms by the chess world that I referred to initially in this thread might not at some point be a slight hinderance to the obtaining of more government/private support for chess, say in Canada. In the world of physical sports there is well established usage for each of the terms teacher, trainer and coach (unlike the conflation of the last two terms in the chess world). For example, in hockey teaching refers to the initial baby-step instruction of hockey skills (kind of like what Pierre refers to for chess). In serious hockey leagues there are trainers that concentrate mostly on physical fitness improvement of individual players, which could include their diets; also, a sports psychologist is a sort of trainer as well, I suppose (i.e. part of the training staff). Hockey coaches' tasks include training players, more for skating, shooting and game related skills, besides of course managing team strategy and tactics before and during a game.

    In an ideal world, if not within Canada, too, I'd see chess trainers as something distinct from chess coaches (though the latter could do some chess training tasks as well). Chess teachers, trainers and coaches would all be classed as chess instructors, I'd add.

    A chess trainer could manage a player's physical or psychological state well before any games played, as a hockey trainer does. There's also a distinct service a kind of chess trainer can provide (similar to a boxing sparring partner), namely to play training games against a player. Botvinnik once had an opponent blow smoke in his direction during a training match, to overcome his problem with coping with such. I've hardly had experience as a chess teacher (and none as what I'd call a chess coach), but I've played many training games with people over the years, almost always for their benefit. In one case in the 21st century I played 4 games on the White side of a couple of variations of a KID mainline - a benefit of my having a rounded repertoire; in another case I played a conventional match of 6 games, mostly sticking to mainline openings, as the world's kids often like to do, and in yet another case, as White I permitted a French Fort Knox, and 'inadvertently' allowed myself to defend to the bitter end a K vs. B+N+K 'basic' endgame, in a single game that was to help prepare someone for a NATO tournament. Against a fellow master I played 4 Active games over two weeks for our mutual benefit (no special conditions).

    One junior's parent remarked it was okay for me to play a training match game in noisy club conditions on a casual Sunday, because world kids tournaments they'd been at had usually had a certain background noise level. If the CFC were to ever certify people as trainers who at the least played training matches, I might qualify. As for training players in tactical or strategic skills specifically, I'd see that as more subsumed into the tasks performed by coaches - who would want to get tactical and strategic training without throwing in opening etc. advice that a coach can provide? - also, these days besides books there is much software available re: chess [self-]training, in tactics etc.

    So, chess coaches in my view would include among their tasks tactical and strategic training of a player - also, if they had the time to spare, they could act at least at times as a sort of chess trainer, as I outlined above. Perhaps one of the most vital parts of a coach's job (or perhaps even that of a coaching staff), especially if their player is strong, would be to help that player with their opening or tournament preparation - one way would be for the coach to first play over many games played by the player (and by his future opponent(s), if known).

    Otherwise, I'd note that I'd see chess match seconds or chess team captains as more specialized (and temporary) coaches. A 'chess school' could include all sorts of chess instruction - I have an old book called Training for the Tournament Player by Dvoretsky and Yusupov that includes a description of a chess school, although the word 'coach' has been entirely substituted by 'train' (or 'teach'), which I personally could see as not satisfying a purist. At that school, physical conditioning was a built-in part of the 10-15 day study program that was carried out twice a year. There's no mention of chess sparring partners in the book - perhaps the subject is meant to be a secret?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_fitness_training

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sport_psychology

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sparring
    Last edited by Kevin Pacey; 05-30-2020 at 09:24 PM. Reason: Adding link
    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
    Hamlet (1.5.167-8), Hamlet to Horatio.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •