Chess Teacher in Salt Lake Valley

By Jonathan Whitcomb, chess instructor-coach in Utah

I’m the author of the beginner-book Beat That Kid in Chess, which uses a new teaching method of chess instruction: NIP (nearly-identical instructions). I now offer my services as an instructor in the royal game, with lessons available for groups or for individual private tutoring.

The first session is for getting acquainted and is free. You will then be free to decide whether or not to continue with paid private chess lessons (or group instruction).

The regular lessons are $25 per hour for individual training or $25 divided by the number of students, if you arrange the cost to be split between a number of persons. If you are the parent of several children who want to improve in their chess-playing abilities, you might consider having group lessons for all of them. You cost would be $25 per hour, with the hour being divided into personal attention for each child, although each one would be present to learn as much as possible from the overall instructions.


Just before the 2016 Utah Elementary Chess Championship Tournament

Just before the 2016 Utah Elementary Championship chess tournament

(Jonathan Whitcomb photographed much of this chess event for children)


Teaching-Philosophy for Chess Improvement

How will you learn to play better chess, gaining the ability to win more games? Each chess lesson will be tailor-made for where you stand (assuming you take private lessons instead of group sessions). You will not be subject to constantly being corrected in every detail, unless you ask for such rigorous oversight. As the chess tutor, I will mention those points which will be most beneficial for you to learn at present. In that way, you may be better prepared to win a game of chess in the near future.

Questions and Answers

Q-1: Can I decide the subject to learn in a private chess lesson?

A-1: You are the final judge on what I, the chess teacher, will present in your lesson. If you specifically ask for advice in the openings, I can give you a lesson on openings, even a specific chess opening. But if you want to progress as quickly as possible in winning games, you’ll probably do better to let me learn exactly where you stand in your present abilities, and then let me create a lesson that will be most effective for you.

Q-2: Can’t I just read a chess book rather than take lessons?

A-2: Some chess beginners, or post-beginners, can learn well from study and practice with a book. Bobby Fischer was one of those players. Most people, however, will progress much faster with chess lessons specially geared toward their individual strengths and weaknesses. Keep in mind that Fischer was coached for many years by William Lombardy, and that greatly helped the rising young star of the royal game.

Q-3: What will I get in a chess lesson?

A-3: Your lesson will be arranged to fit what you most need at the time. For most beginners, it will probably include some training in how to see the possibilities in chess positions. Avoiding the blunders of giving away material without compensation—that is likely an important part of a chess lesson for a beginner.

Q-4: What if my playing strength is around 1400-1600? Will lessons help me?

A-4: I can be of great help in teaching most chess players who are up to the 1600-level of rating or equivalent, whether or not they are rated by the USCF.

Call me, Jonathan Whitcomb, at 801-590-9692 or contact me by email. Thank you.


Utah chess instructor Jonathan D. Whitcomb

Jonathan Whitcomb, chess tutor who lives in Murray, Utah


Chess Instructor Jonathan Whitcomb

Yesterday I played four informal chess games with Alex, a young beginner, at the Jordan Pines camp ground, in the mountains east of the Salt Lake Valley. He impressed me with how quickly he learned . . .

Chess Tutor in Salt Lake

The fee for each chess tutoring lesson is $25, and that includes instructional materials. In addition, you get a copy of my chess book (Beat That Kid in Chess) at no additional charge, with the first lesson, and you don’t need to commit to any more lessons.

Utah Chess Instruction

[This chess coach] is the developer of the NIP system of chess instruction (nearly-identical positions) and the author of the book Beat That Kid in Chess. This new chess book may be the first such publication that systematically uses the NIP method of instruction.


Matt with his two sons, after the tournament

The Larsen family participated in the 2016 chess tournament in Salt Lake City

(Photograph by Jonathan Whitcomb; Elementary Chess Championship)