I am Theo Slade and I offer chess lessons in person at my home or online. I am a National Master, a title I achieved by reaching a USCF rating of 2200 at the age of 17. I am English, but I moved to Orlando, Florida in 2015 and have been living here ever since.
I was England’s top scorer at the World U16 Olympiad in China, and I have been writing a monthly column for the British Chess Magazine since I was 12; I am the youngest ever writer for the world’s oldest chess journal!
I charge $50 USD/£40 GBP per hour.
When I get a new student, I always ask for their latest games so I can analyze them to find their strengths and weaknesses and so we can discuss them together. I always answer any questions my students may have because I feel that is the main benefit of having a live lesson; you cannot ask questions of a book, article, or prerecorded video.
After the lesson, I always send the materials through to my students so they can review them in the future.
As well as coaching and writing, I am a very active player too! For example, in 2018 I played in 53 USCF rated tournaments, or over one per week on average! I love it when I get the opportunity to teach a topic that I have been studying recently because I can use current examples and everything I need to cover is fresh in my mind.
What is your recommendation for how long and how often the lessons are?
I think it is important to have weekly lessons to ensure they are regular. A 2-hour lesson is ideal because often it takes that long to thoroughly cover a topic and answer all questions the student may have. However, some people, especially younger players, may have trouble with such a long lesson; in that case, 1 hour is more suitable. Ultimately, though, it is up to the student what they consider the best fit for them.
I have multiple children who would like lessons. What is best for them?
I personalize my coaching to each individual student, even if two students have a similar rating. Just because two players are at the same level, that does not mean that they have the same strengths and weaknesses. I really need to work with each of them individually to find their weaknesses and how they learn best to tailor my lessons to them in a one-on-one lesson. Therefore I recommend one-on-one tuition with each of your children, but they can sit in on each other’s lessons if they wish.
How did you get started coaching?
I was looking for ways to make more connections and I thought that giving chess lessons would be a great way to do that! I find teaching very enjoyable!
What types of students have you worked with?
I have worked with people who only wanted me to analyze their games, students who only wanted me to help them with their openings, and players who wanted more thorough lessons, covering all aspects of chess.
What do you love most about your job?
I love interacting with my students and answering their questions. I get excited when I see their growth and their changing perspective on chess.
What inspired you to start your own business?
I love helping others, teaching, and analyzing with others. Coaching involves all three of these, so it was a natural choice!