FAQs

Frequently Answered Questions

How does coaching work?

I tell you things that will make you improve, and you do them.

No, I mean, how do you do the coaching?

You can come to my house one evening or weekend, or we can talk on the phone or over the Internet.  We can use screen sharing in Skype or an online chess server to look at the same chess position.

How much do you charge?

I have two rates, one for just the time put in for ‘live’ coaching and another for looking at games and things.  Depending on how much you want of each, and how often, we can reach a deal.  Usually I do the first session for free, because until that is over, I have no idea if I can help you or not.

Do you coach adults?

Yes.  It’s a mistake to think that improvement can only happen when you’re young.  Loads of people learn new skills, do degrees and adopt new hobbies when they retire, what most adults are short of is the time to apply themselves.

How do I get started?

Send me the scores of your last ten games.  A PGN file or CBV file would be ideal, but I can accept original score sheets, photocopies, scans, dictation or woodcuts.

Are you a real doctor?

Although I work in health education, my doctorate is in Education, so I’m a PhD and not a medical doctor.  (PhD actually stands for Phony Doctor.)

I never used to mention I had a PhD outside work, but one day Ian at the Community Centre found out and started calling me Doc, and it stuck.

Do you have a CRB/DBS check?

Yes.

I’ve got a great idea for a book!  Will you help me publish it?

No.

But it’s a really good idea!?

Send me a synopsis, your chapter headings, and a sample chapter, and I’ll think about it.

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