Chess Lesson Testimonials

Some Kind Words From Current & Former Students

Read more on Elshan’s chess coach page on Lichess.

“Won my first chess tournament, doubled my business revenue, and gained a true friend.”

Training with Elshan has been a truly transformative experience, both on and off the board. His expert guidance and mentorship played a pivotal role in helping me clinch my first-ever chess tournament victory at Charlotte ALTO in 2022, starting from an unrated position and achieving a provisional USCF rating of 1618. This remarkable achievement is one that I will always cherish, not just for the win itself, but for the invaluable lessons and skills that I gained from Elshan’s coaching.

Beyond the realm of chess, my association with Elshan has had a profound impact on my professional growth as well. Since I started working with him, my business has seen remarkable success, with revenue and profits more than doubling from 2021-2022. Elshan’s guidance and mentorship have been instrumental in enhancing my critical thinking, decision-making, and planning skills, which have contributed significantly to this growth.

What sets Elshan apart is not just his exceptional coaching abilities, but also his genuine care and concern for others. He is actively involved in charity events and donations, and stands up for causes he strongly believes in. Moreover, he has an incredible rapport with kids, and his bulletproof chess improvement methods are unmatched. It is without hesitation that I recommend Elshan to anyone looking for a coach, mentor, or friend.

-Steven Michael Fies
USCF 1618, Lichess 2150

“I Became a National Master in Just 2 Years”

I started working with Elshan in January 2021 when I was around 1800 USCF, and I became a National Master in December 2022. His emphasis on the 9 imbalances has been very helpful for me. In short, Elshan is a great guy and a great coach!

-NM Evan Sammons
USCF 2230, Lichess 2400+

“Gained 275 OTB rating points in 4 months!”

Started with Elshan in October 2022 at 1750 USCF and in February 2023 have reached 2025. +275!!! More than the rating, coaching with Elshan has helped me appreciate chess far beyond just a game but a way to learn a life lesson every day. Every day I get beaten to the dust at another tournament, Elshan has helped me prove to myself that I can keep fighting and I have kept fighting. My favorite moment was being sent a Rocky Balboa movie clip after losing yet another one, went on to win three in a row afterward!! Highly recommend him to any level!

Lichess 2200

“My online Lichess blitz rating improved from 1500 to 2000!”

Great chess player and a fantastic chess coach. My Danish rating (almost equivalent to ELO rating) was 1397 when Covid lockdown happened. So I started having online lessons with Elshan. Since then I’ve played fifteen classical games in Denmark with 12 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss, having a performance rating of 2000.
My online blitz rating on lichess also improved from 1500 to 2000.

For someone like me who have played online chess for 10 years without reading a single chess book, not knowing anything about middle game strategies, his method did magic. He formulated all the middle game complications into few simple concepts, digestible for an intermediate chess player like me.

Lichess 2100

“Elshan makes it possible for anyone to make significant improvements.”

Wow!! Coach Elshan is a one of a kind coach. The way he simplifies complex ideas, and delves into the core concepts makes it possible for anyone to make significant improvements under his tutelage. I’ve gone from struggling against C, B players to regularly beating A, and expert players since working with him. His passion for chess, and teaching really shines through when you interact with him. Look no further for a Coach who truly wants you to get better and will give you all the tools you need. Thanks Coach!

Lichess 1800

“Under Elshan’s teaching for a little over a year, I earned the Candidate Master title, National Master title, and FIDE Master Title, and gained over 400 points.”

Working with Elshan has been a genuinely life-changing experience, with benefits that extend far beyond just improving my game. His unique approach to teaching has completely changed the way I see the game and enabled me to have a greater level of sophistication and understanding of chess. For example, his emphasis on the 9 imbalances of chess truly opened my eyes to the complexities of the game and gave me a new perspective on how to approach each position strategically.

Under Elshan’s teaching for a little over a year, I earned the Candidate Master title, National Master title, and FIDE Master Title, and gained over 400 points. Elshan’s patience and encouragement have been instrumental to my growth in the game, and he has always been available to analyze my games and provide insightful feedback. His passion for the game is contagious, and he has helped me to develop a deeper appreciation for the nuances of chess.

In addition to his coaching, Elshan’s book, Sherlock’s Method, delves into many interesting and fascinating concepts and offers a holistic view on the game. It has been an invaluable resource for me, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to improve their game. Thanks to Elshan’s coaching, I was able to achieve one of my greatest accomplishments – winning the World School Chess Championship u15 in Panama with a score of 8.5/9. This would not have been possible without his guidance and support. I highly recommend Elshan to anyone looking to take their chess game to the next level. He is an exceptional coach who is truly invested in his students’ success, and I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with him!

-FM Shawnak Shivakumar
FIDE 2430, World #4 & US #2 for < 16 yrs old (2023)