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What Does a Chess Tutor Do?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 19 November 2016
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A chess tutor generally provides private one-on-one instructions for students who want to learn more about playing the game of chess. Chess is a complex game requiring advanced cognitive skills, including strategy and complex logic. Chess players are commonly ranked according to skill, and seek to improve their ranking as well as their skill set, which may require specific kinds of study. Many schools and other institutions have their own chess teams that compete in formal chess competitions. A chess tutor will serve the needs of individual students and various institutions by providing face-to-face instruction in this classic game.

In many cases, a chess tutor will be involved in giving “private lessons” that may be offered to a single student or a group of students. The work of a chess tutor is often designated as private lessons because in many areas of the world basic education is a public service. Families or other parties who seek additional instruction not offered in public education will seek out tutors as private instructors and pay them separately. This is the kind of role that is filled by a chess tutor, who may be the employee of a private education company, a contractor for an independent private education service, or an independent individual offering private lessons directly to students.

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A wide variety of areas related to chess may be offered to students by chess tutors. At beginner levels, the chess tutor will start out with detailed explanations of the board and basic game play. At intermediate and advanced levels, chess tutors will often get into specific patterns of play or “gambits” that are documented in various chess books and other resources.

Along with concrete play strategies, chess tutors may instruct their students on the history of chess and information about major players and their traditional strategies. In today’s modern chess world, a chess tutor may also prepare a student to play against computers or artificial intelligence applications. The classic competition of chess master Garry Kasparov against “Deep Blue” is only one example of the now imminent showdown between humans and machines that is being played out on the chessboard, and is something that chess tutors might reference in their sessions.

Chess tutors may offer their instruction as open-ended services. In other cases, they offer structured workshops and seminars that follow a regular lesson plan. They may charge by the hour or come to other financial arrangements with students or the parties paying for chess instruction.

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