Randy Kaech-Chess Coach (Ferndale, WA)
- US Chess Federation Certified Level III (Advanced) Chess Coach
- Providing personalized chess training, and helping chess players of all levels establish an improvement path that is effective, efficient and enjoyable
- Now available to accept a limited number of chess students
How to Get Started
Experience - Credentials
- USCF Ce Chess Coach
- USCF peak rating 2020 (Expert), currently 1980
- Director, Whatcom Youth Chess
- Coach, Ferndale High School Chess Team, 20+ years (qualified for State each year)
- Chess Teacher, various Ferndale elementary schools, 20+ years
- USCF Tournament Director
- President, Washington High School Chess Association
- Founder/Co-Director, NW High School Chess League
- Editor/Publisher, NW WA Scholastic Chess Ememo
- Webmaster, Northwest Washington Scholastic Chess website
- Board Member, Chess Enrichment Association, 501c3 non-profit
- Chess Streamer (i.e. 2020 Wa. Elem State, 4127 chess games played)
- B.A. Computer Science/Business, Sociology minor, Western WA. University
Personalized Chess Instruction
What can a good chess instructor do for you that you can't do for yourself online? A question
worth asking, and answering.
Here's what online resources and software can do:
- It can perfectly identify all your tactical errors
- It can provide a database of opening moves, with statistical information on each line
- It can analyze and rank the best moves in any position
- It can drill you in tactics
- It can provide a series of generic lessons on many chess topics
Here's what Coach Kaech can do for you:
Cut through the thousands of chess books and resources available to identify the best
improvement tools and strategies for your specific skill level.
Be your personal trainer. Analyze the strengths and weaknesses in every area of your
game, and provide an individualized improvement plan designed to meet your specific
goals. Talk with you and find out what you know, and what you don't, and provide resources or
devise specific study plans to address weaknesses or areas of desired growth.
Listen to you. Hear your concerns and desires and help you decide on goal
appropriateness, then weigh the merits of various plans to meet your goals, and help you
"settle in" on not only your goals but a sound plan to reach your goals. Together we can
also identify in advance possible roadblocks to goal achievement, and strategies for dealing
with those roadblocks.
Answer questions and explain things that you don't understand.
Share my enthusiasm, appreciation and love of the game.
Look at your games and point out recurring mistake patterns, time mismanagement,
planning and positional errors, etc.
Work on your thought process and move selection process. Listen to you think out loud
and make constructive suggestions on how to improve your candidate move selection,
priorities, and technique.
Suggest a practice routine, including what media to study, which tournaments to play in,
how to prepare, and what time controls would be the most beneficial.
Suggest various ways to learn new information and patterns, i.e. books, online resources,
videos, specialized software, etc.
Work on your clock usage skills. Are there specific types of positions where your time
management skills don't function very well?
Provide psychological support. How to deal with setbacks, learn from losses, encourage
you when you're down and store the positive vibes when you're up.
Give cogent advice on your opening repertoire, i.e. inform you which moves you might
encounter more frequently, give practical plans on handling the seemingly infinite opening
knowledge out there.
Help you judge your progress, and then suggest relevant modifications to your play, practice
and study habits within your personalized improvement plan.
Inject variety and fresh routines into your chess improvement plan, to increase the
enjoyment factor and keep it fun.
Direct you to the proper resources within his library of over 300 chess books.
Highlight frequently occurring themes and patterns that occur within the opening systems
you have chosen, and give you guidance on how to handle them when they arise.
As I refer to chess culture and history throughout our sessions, you'll be picking up on that
knowledge also, increasing your appreciation and enjoyment of the Royal Game.
Help you avoid mismangement of your chess study/play time, with tips on how to learn
efficiently, avoid common unproductive time traps, and thus improve more rapidly.
My Coaching Influences
I've been influenced by many coaches, teachers and mentors over the years. Here are just a
NM Dan Heisman is a full-time chess teacher and author who first came to my attention via his
regular Novice Nook columns at ChessCafe.com. He wrote the book on chess improvement
strategies, literally. Can't tell you how many times I've re-read "A Guide To Chess
Improvement". His thoughts on tactics training, time management and thought process are
rich with insight.NM Elliott Neff is the founder and CEO of Chess4Life, and has designed various chess curricula
for several different youth target audiences. His emphasis on developing life skills alongside
and within chess instruction is worthy of emulation.
You've met WFM Elizabeth Spiegel if you watched the documentary Brooklyn Castle, the story of
an inner city middle school that repeatedly produces one of the best chess teams in the nation.
I've picked up content and ideas from her website and blog, her Chess Educator of the Year
acceptance speech, her Recommended Resources list, her guest appearances on the Ladies
Knight podcast, and the chapter featuring Elizabeth and IS 318 in the book "How Children
Succeed" by Paul Tough.
GM Axel Smith and Michael de la Maza impacted the chess coaching world by promoting the
theory and practice of intense tactical drills and repetitive board vision exercises. Not all agree
with this approach, but the methods espoused (and the results achieved) via their various books
demand respect and careful consideration.
Ron Clark won the 2001 Teacher of the Year award, and I stumbled onto his book "The Essential
55" (and later "The Excellent 11") at the Ferndale Library. Both are full of excellent suggestions
and stories of what it takes to be an equipped, inspiring and effective teacher.
Brady Bobbink has been a campus pastor at Western Washington University for over 45 years.
As a pastoral intern at WWU under Brady decades ago, I was witness to a model blend of
intelligence, compassion, integrity and wisdom that influences me to this day.
John Wooden has been called the greatest coach of all time, leading UCLA to ten NCAA
basketball championships. How did he do it? His famous "Pyramid of Success" is designed to
show the path to success in not just basketball, but life.
(contact emails available upon request)
Renee Aho, Blaine Schools HomeConnection Instructor
Shari Akers, Music/Media/Drama Instructor, Blaine Schools
Douglas J. Asbjornsen, Ed.D., Skyline Elem. (Ferndale) Principal, Reardan Superintendent (Ret.)
Mike Black, Vista MS (Ferndale) Counselor (Ret.)
Melinda Cool, Ferndale School District Director, Position 2
Leslie Drury, Blaine Schools HomeConnection Instructor
Dorothy MacSlarrow, ESL Support, Readiness to Learn Coordinator, Ferndale Schools (Ret.)
Jack E. MacSlarrow, Head of Counseling Dept, Ferndale HS (Ret.)
Jennie McLaurin MD MPH MA, Pediatrician and Public Health Consultant
Elliott Neff, USCF Master, CEO Chess4Life
Robin Peters, Ferndale HS Art/Technology Instructor
Don Pringle, M.Ed., NBCT, Ferndale HS Science Teacher
Don Sayegh, Blaine HS Math/Science Teacher, Chess Coach (Ret.)
David Shick, Meridian HS Math Teacher, Chess Coach
Joshua Sinanan, USCF Master, President, Washington Chess Federation
Angie Zehnder, Ferndale HS Science Teacher, Science Dept. Chair, UW Ext. Lecturer_____________________________________________________________________________
How to Get Started
Contact Coach Kaech to see if openings are still available, and to schedule a free no-obligation
mutual interview, consultation and chess chat.
Should you then decide to pursue instruction and improvement, tuition is $50 for a one hour
lesson*. A month session (4 lessons) pre-purchased is discounted at 5% off ($190). Two
months tuition (8 lessons) is discounted at 10% off ($360).
Siblings receive individual lessons at an additional 5% off the rates above.
Up the fun factor, learn together! If families, siblings or friends would like to learn together via
group instruction, discounted group lesson rates are available.
*actual length is 55 minutes, to allow time between students.
2035 Oxford Ct, Ferndale WA 98248