Tuesday, 5 April 2011

The dilemma of coaching

I've started working with a new coaching group this year and once again I face the dilemma about what approach I should take. It is a fairly young group (9 - 10 year old), but they all have some tournament experience.
The choice (as I see it), is either to go with the flashy tactics, the brilliant attacks, the spectacular mates, or to try and develop a more rounded understanding of the game. The former is more appealing, as it is something that younger players seem to understand better (winning a piece makes more sense than controlling d5), and it is more likely to hold their interest. But in choosing this option I'm afraid they might miss out on developing a more general understanding of the game (as I did when I was younger).
Or am I worryingly unnecessarily, and it is just a matter of making the information interesting and challenging, no matter what the subject is?

1 comment:

Lauri said...

This is very essential question and I am glad you are poundering over it. I guess the difficulty to find answer is in that there isn't single answer or maybe question needs to be rephrased.

One thing is that so many different thigs drive at chess seduces us to it. I still remember receiving Kasparovs My greatest predecessors on Petrosian from mail and feeling this is greatest thing in whole universe. Earlier Duncan Suttles highly flexible original take made me laugh out loud while studying his games. I mean. I guess the thing is to find things that drive those players and that the other things come along. Basicly I am of school that endgame should be studied first and that the understanding of endgames gives meaning to opening play and middlegame play. Instead of stumbing in the darkness or deciding between alternatives which true meaning you really don't know you actually know the reasons you go for certain pawn structure or allow certain exchange.