Chess Coach Directory

Chess coaches can help accelerate your analysis and learning. Bring your scoresheets so they can help you spot mistakes, improve your evaluation, and introduce new ideas.

Local Pittsburgh Coaches

Alexander Shabalov (cc-by-sa-3.0)

Alexander Shabalov (FIDE Grandmaster)

GM Alexander Anatolyevich Shabalov was born in Riga, Latvia. Like his fellow Latvians Alexei Shirov and mentor Mikhail Tal, he has a creative and aggressive style, inviting complicated positions. He won his IM title in 1989 and his GM title in 1991. In 1992, Shabalov emigrated to the US and eventually settled in Pittsburgh, PA, where he has been a staple in the US chess community since then.
He played in the 1992 Olympiad for Latvia, and four times for the US after that, helping the US team to a silver medal in 1998. His most important tournament victories include  United States Chess Championship (1993, 2000, 2003, 2007), U.S. Open Chess Championship (1993, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2015, 2016), Aeroflot Open (2002), American Continental Chess Championship (2009), US Senior Championship (2019, 2022) etc. In 2015 he was inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame.

Format: in-person and over web conference
Contact: [email protected]



Bryan Smith

Bryan Smith (FIDE Grandmaster)


GM Bryan Smith was on the national champion UMBC chess team from 1999 to 2001, and earned his grandmaster title from FIDE in 2013. He is the first-ever GM from Alaska! Bryan took 1st place in the 2008/2009/2017 National Chess Congress, 2010 Philadelphia International, 2013 Ohio Chess Congress, 2013 Eastern Open, 2017/2018/2019 Pittsburgh Open, and 2021 Golden Triangle Open.

Format: in-person
Contact: [email protected]


Coaches Across the Globe

You can also find coaches on many online chess sites.

Are you a local chess coach and would like your profile listed on this page?

Individual Coaches: please fill out the form below and we'll reach out to you. Please note there are requirements before we can include profiles in this directory:

  • Coaches must reside in Western PA
  • Coaches must have a record of being an upstanding, helpful member within our community.
  • Biographical details must be clear & comprehensible.
  • We must verify your identity

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