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Private Chess Lessons: Grandmaster Mikhail Golubev!


I wanted to share some exciting news for children interested in serious chess improvement, and their parents: One of our coaches, Grandmaster Mikhail Golubev, is now accepting private students.


Mikhail is a world class coach for elite players and future masters alike. He has trained at the absolute highest level: As a coach and second for World Champion Anatoly Karpov and FIDE World Champion Ruslan Ponomariov. His results as a scholastic coach are also impressive: Numerous students of his have been European or World Champions, in categories ranging from under 10 (!) to under 20.


I have had the pleasure of getting to know Mikhail through Alex: They played on the same team in Ukraine as teenagers! What stands out about Mikhail’s work, above everything else, is his sheer professionalism. We had a course where students would email Mikhail their games, so that he could analyze them independently and build instructive lesson material around them. In the chessbase files Mikhail sent, I noticed that the games were analyzed exhaustively: Each mistake or strong move would be commented on, alternatives were frequently indicated, etc. Whenever Mikhail works with one of our students 1-1, he begins by asking for as many games as possible. He also incorporates training games with students into his work, so he can get a firsthand understanding of the student’s strengths and weaknesses.


Mikhail is also a world class expert in opening theory. When I played the King’s Indian Defense - I have fond memories of this opening, having played it en route to becoming a National Master - I relied extensively on his fantastic book, “Understanding the King’s Indian.” One of my first wins against the legendary International Master Jay Bonin came from following an illustrative game Mikhail analyzed. His insightful notes also helped me understand when Black’s pawn storm on the kingside was more or less likely to be successful, what Black’s typical maneuvers were, and so on. I still recommend this book when I have a student interested in the King’s Indian Defense! Theory constantly changes, but deep analysis by an expert is timeless.


On the topic of my own students: Mikhail’s erudition inspired me to connect him with some kids I work with 1-1. I have been very impressed with the results: Mikhail systematically covers key areas in their opening repertoires, tailoring the plan to each individual student. He always sends Chessbase files to accompany his work, so that his students can easily review the lesson material. Very quickly, students are ready to successfully use their new weapons in tournament games.


If you, or your son or daughter, is looking for a private chess coach, Mikhail currently has some limited availability. If you are interested, contact us at Alex@masterchess.org. You will be very glad you did!