How people feel about us?

Nicholas is an amazing coach. He has spent more than 20 sessions with my 8 years son. Pretty patient and experienced. My son has learned a lot from him. Looking forward to future sessions.


Incredible coach. It’s clear that he has experience training, because he’s able to identify areas of improvement quickly, and send you down the right path with exercises/and actual programming that facilitates development. I myself gained over a few hundred rating points and am still going. Couldn’t recommend enough.


I am a 45 yo ‘adult improver’ and have found Nicholas to be a tremendous coach and resource for me. His lessons do a great job of weaving the history of the game into the context of what your’e working on. I found that after only a few sessions, my whole thinking process has changed fundamentally for the better. He’s also a very personable guy, funny, and patient. Highly recommended if you’re looking for a good chess coach/ instructor!


I have been working with Nicholas for about 18 months, with some breaks in between. He was the fifth chess coach I tried over many years, and is far and away the best I have experienced. His interest in your play is genuine and he truly tailors his lessons, which I have found to be rare. My FIDE rating has increased from 1540 to 1700, far exceeding the impact of previous coaches. If you’re looking for a coach, look no further.


I’ve worked with Nicholas since early in Covid, and doing so has greatly improved both my tactical ability and my strategic understanding. He helped me find an opening repertoire that is a great fit for me, and through analysis of my games he helped me identify and correct weaknesses. He also taught me a great process for identifying candidate moves. On top of all of that, he is funny and insightful, and he knows an immense amount of chess history. Our lessons are always extremely enjoyable, and I recommend him as highly as possible.


Highly recommended!

FM Nicholas Van Der Nat is an incredible chess coach. He’s patient, kind, funny, insightful, and knows exactly how to teach chess.

When I first started working with Nicholas, I was impressed with his deep knowledge and love for the game. He answered every question I had. Each week, the lessons felt personalized to my needs so that I could improve as a competitor. And after each lesson, I saw myself improve in rating as the concepts and strategies were integrated into my online play.

Additionally, I have also found Nicholas to be personable and a great friend. He loves connecting with people, solving challenging problems, and seeing his students improve! I can’t imagine a better chess coach.


Mr. Van Der Nat is an excellent coach, funny, insightful, and most important of all, helpful. I would recommend him to anyone trying to improve.


Nicholas is an excellent teacher. Very structured, and points you to the resources and exercises you need to do to improve your lacking areas. In particular, the thinking technique he teaches is very useful to orient you around any position. I have been working with him for several months learned a lot from him.


You are a very good teacher


He is an excellent coach, helped me learn from my tournament mistakes and helped me become much stronger attacking player. He has very well planned out lessons and gives you lots of additional practice material. I also like how he gives historical information to help me learn more deeply about the roots of the theory and patterns which we learn.


I started working with Nicholas in March 2021 and cannot recommend him highly enough. Nicholas is an excellent coach, possessing a unique blend of wisdom, the ability to translate this wisdom into plain language to help you better understand ideas, and the patience and encouragement to help you feel supported as you engage with and absorb new concepts. A plainly experienced and very capable instructor who cares about his teaching practice.


Very happy with the lessons I got from Nic. Great coach, and I appreciated his customized approach. I had several months of lessons and saw rapid improvement. Highly recommend.


Very good teacher. Made learning very enjoyable.


I’ve been playing chess for about 40 years and had no idea what I didn’t know. Nichola is a great coach that will show you some techniques for better play no matter your skill level. I’ve definitely become more adept at recognizing player’s weaknesses and I am able to attack in ways that I’ve never thought of. He has a solid system that will make you think beyond your comfort zone and open up new possibilities on the chess board.


Amazing coach who challenges you to not only find the correct moves in a position but challenges you to answer why they are correct. Very personable guy who has a lot of knowledge about the game of chess. He bases a plan for improvements around you and expects you to do the work necessary to improve. I highly recommend taking lessons from him.


Nicholas has shown me a great deal. He’s a great communicator and as a beginner really helped me understand some of the foundational principles that I know will help me develop my skills. He’s a great coach, Highly recommend.


I will definitely be scheduling another session with him. He’s an incredible teacher, knows the game and really sits down to identify strengths and weaknesses. Already I can see where my errors of play are from one session. Highly, highly recommend
CM SouthAfricanWolf


Absolutely Amazing Coach, Very Very Reliable and Instructive, with Great Structures and Fantastic Training Programs, Very Encouraging Coach, Thank You for your Great Work !!


If you’re on the fence about hiring a coach or you’ve just recently started playing and are looking to understand the game, Nicholas is a great coach to consider. Nicholas is very personable and his lessons and instruction go far beyond the in-person (Or over a computer) time you will spend with him. He is funny and if you’re like me, he will show you errors in your game that your brain just refuses to see.


Coach Van Der Nat is incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about the game of chess. His instruction has been highly personalized and has helped me to progress much faster than I had ever expected.


Nick was enjoyable to work with. He’s very professional and respectful. He spent, clearly, a good amount time reviewing my games before our lesson and had lots of very helpful pointers as well as diagnosing recurring challenges I had in my game play. Nick kept things fun and we chatted about my chess games, chess history, chess theory, and the pitiful Houston Texans. All and all I’d recommend Nick to others.


Not only is Nicholas a terrific coach, but he’s also a highly entertaining historian of the game. My overall approach has become much more structured and methodical and my rating has rapidly improved. I would highly recommend Nicholas to anyone wanting to improve their chess at any level.


I couldn’t recommend Nicholas more. He’s everything you want in a Chess coach. Personable, patient, flexible, and incredibly knowledgeable. His lessons are organized/ structured, which I love. He also identifies your weak areas and makes sure they get focus. There’s really nothing more you could ask for in a Chess coach. My chess rating is steadily improving, but more importantly, the enjoyment I get from playing chess is increasing too. I’m understanding more about not only why I win, but more crucially, I’m understanding more about why I lose!


I can’t imagine a better chess coach than Nicholas. He is incredibly passionate and has done a wonderful job of helping me improve my weaknesses. Not only will he help you improve your rating, he’ll help you really understand the game. I’ve had six months of lessons so far and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.


Nice Coach Great play, and Active his bullet is very strong and very good at fast chess.


Nicholas is a fantastic chess teacher. My rating in the rapid time control increased from 1480 to 1800 over the course of 4 months. He is excellent at analyzing my games and identifying themes for improvement. During lessons, he takes a concept like mating or positional chess and teaches it in the context of a real game. This is great for internalizing not just the theoretical ideas but how to practically apply them. Nicholas also provides quality homework assignments to reinforce themes from the lessons. I can’t thank Nicholas enough for how much he’s helped me improve at chess.


Nicholas is such a great teacher. I joined him for lessons after messing around with chess for a few months, and he helped me engrain really great chess principles and ideas very quickly. He was so patient, encouraging, and helped by creating a clear path to improvement for my game.

From a mix of reviewing my own games (and understanding how I play, and teaching how to improve in that style), to in-depth studies of historical games to pull out specific patterns, he always came prepared.

Highly recommend!


Nic is one fantastic coach. He took the time to figure out what style of play I tended to have and then focused in on improving that. Also, Nic was able to analyze my games in a very productive way. Overall an outstanding coach, great person and has a sincere desire to make you a better chess player. He will coach you in a way that will improve all aspects of your game. Wonderful person and wonderful coach.


very goood teacher


Initially I wasn’t sure if a chess coach was worth the investment but Nicholas has made it clear that it’s a huge advantage in accelerating chess improvement. I have benefitted hugely from his identifying areas of improvement for my game and how to address them as well as important ideas that can be applied to dominate opponents. Beyond that I enjoyed the time with Nicholas…maybe one day I’ll be able to beat him over the board!


It is absolutely crucial that you take lessons with him. He’s the best coach I’ve had in my whole life.


Nic has been my coach since 2016 and through his guidance I’ve been able to greatly better my understanding of the game of chess and life itself. 100% recommend.
CM Fang3416


Nicholas has been my coach for little over a decade now. I can confidently say that his attitude towards strengthening all facets of his students’ game (whether positional or strategic) has really helped me develop into a more well-rounded player. He specifically has a knack for finding areas of weakness in a person’s play and working on fixing them. Besides for the pride he takes in developing his student’s chess ability, every lesson with Nicholas has been easy-going, relaxed and entertaining and I continuously find myself learning new things.


Great Coach all around! Very good understanding of the game, and personalizes each lesson for me! I’m currently a 1449 USCF, and I believe FM Nicholas will help me greatly rating wise, and overall knowledge of the game! Definitely plan on getting more lessons with him in the future. I’ve had one or two coaches before and they didn’t have it down as far as lesson planning and homework goes. Best Coach I’ve had by far!


If you are looking to up your chess in any way, form, or fashion this is the guy to teach you. He is patient and kind. He breaks everything down to a simple to understand easy format. He is well prepared and knows what he’s talking about! I can’t wait to meet with him again!


Very easy to get along with! He is very well prepped for all the lessons and has a great coaching style. He was able to answer all kinds of questions while also tying them into each lesson.


Amazing Coach! He explains work really effectively and is a great motivator, would highly recommend his classes!


Great coach!!!!
WCM RaMari


Excellent coach! He can quickly recognizes his students weaknesses and is very skilled to help each individual to implement a plan to improve your chess. He can help you to achieve your goals, doesn’t matter on what level you are!

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