Learn Chess at Home in Utah

By the Salt Lake Valley chess coach Jonathan Whitcomb

Chess Lessons in Utah

I teach private chess lessons, mostly in the Salt Lake Valley of Utah and generally for only $25 per lesson (when I drive to a student’s home in the SLV; when I need to drive to a location outside the SLV I charge a bit more for the greater travel distance).

Face-to-face chess instruction from an experienced chess tutor—that’s the fastest way to learn the royal game and learn to win chess games. For more information, please call me at 801-590-9692. I live in Murray, Utah.

I play actively in two chess clubs in the Salt Lake Valley. Over the course of a few weeks in the fall of 2016, I played 22 games in those chess clubs, with a score of 19½-2½ (89%):

  • 1 loss
  • 3 draws
  • 18 wins

Three of those games were against two of the higher-rated players in those chess clubs, and I won all three of those games, although the top two rated players were not able to play against me during those weeks. (the rating system we use is called UCER.)

And yet the quality of chess lessons a student receives is not directly related only to the playing ability of the chess coach. Teaching ability in general—that plays a big role in how well the teacher can help the student, and I have confidence in my teaching ability.

The chess tutor Jonathan Whitcomb sometimes teaches by example

The Utah chess coach Jonathan Whitcomb


Basic Chess Tactics

The following chess tactics are taken from 1001 Winning Chess Sacrifices and Combinations (by Fred Reinfeld), an old chess book:

  • Pin
  • Knight Fork
  • Double Attack
  • Discovered Attack
  • Overworked Piece
  • Removing the Guard
  • Clearance
  • Interference
  • Queening Combinations
  • Trapped Man
  • Zugzwang

(a partial list from the table of contents in this chess book)

AID (Attack Instead of Defend)

The use of one of the above tactics can make a major difference in winning a chess game, but I have an additional point that is not covered above:

I suggest a new name for an old concept in chess, although it may not be commonly recognized as a tactical theme: When one of your pieces is attacked, instead of simply retreating or defending it, attack one of your opponents pieces, usually a piece of greater value than your own attacked piece. I call this AID, for attack instead of defend. This is not always possible, of course, but we need to learn to watch for it.

Here’s a position from one of my recent games:

White can move Ne5, attacking and defending at the same time

White to move, from an informal chess-club game in Utah

In the above position, the black queen just moved to c6, attacking the white bishop at c4. What move would you make?

Using the concept of AID, we see that the white knight can move to e5. This does two things: It attacks the black queen and it defends the white-squared white bishop. In addition, it forces the black queen to give up its defense of the black knight on e4, which is attacked by the white queen.

Learning From a Chess Tutor in Utah

Of course you can learn ideas about chess tactics, like the above, simply from searching online, but you can probably progress much faster through private chess lessons. I tune my chess instruction for exactly what my student needs in a particular lesson, which you will not receive from online searching or from a chess book.

Please feel free to call me with any questions: 801-590-9692. By the way, the first lesson is a getting acquainted session, which is completely FREE. Get the free chess lesson first, then decide what you would like to do.



Chess tutor in Salt Lake area

[Jonathan Whitcomb] is available to teach raw beginners, advanced beginners, and others, up to a range of experienced intermediate tournament players. This chess coach has more than just academic knowledge in the royal game, with a broad range of chess experiences that include many tournaments and organized team-match play in California.

Private chess lessons in Utah

. . . the tutor [can give] the student opportunities to come up with his or her own ideas.

. . . Encourage the student to be creative, and when he or she comes up with a creative idea . . . but the idea is flawed, concentrate on helping the student to see how a different approach might be more practical.

Learn chess in Utah

Your chess instruction will be precisely arranged according to your individual needs, to most effectively help you improve in your chess-playing abilities.


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