IM Hugh O Donnell
- Product Review (submitted on December 24, 2018):
- My nine-year-old son, initially rated around 900 (USCF), started taking lessons from Tom and was quite impressed with his ability to explain difficult problems in simple terms/language so that he could easily understand. With Tom's coaching and my son's hard work and dedication to chess, he was able to gain 700 points (USCF 1612) within 10 month period. My son loved that Tom used metaphors and similes to help him understand certain difficult concepts or positions. Tom always made him feel at ease during the lesson and never under pressure. He looked forward to his lesson every week. For my son, Tom focused on the middle game and showed him how to develop a plan with the correct thinking process when playing chess. He always reviews games from my son's tournaments and points out any mistakes, along with ways to correct and improve them. Since he's from North America, Tom's hours are very flexible and English is his native language; my son had no difficulty in understanding him. In addition, he doesn't take up my son's time by giving him tactics puzzle to solve during the lesson, especially when an hour's time goes by so quickly. He, however, emphasizes the importance of solving tactics daily, which can be done online, at my son's own time.