From Devina's Parents in Texas
Our experience with Goran started rather unexpectedly in late August 2010. Our 9 year old daughter is an active chess player and around that time, we were seriously looking for a coach for her. We had tried a few coaches (face to face lessons) and somehow my daughter did not "click" with any of them. They were all brilliant coaches but they had no connection to a 9 year old and that made her lessons with them "pretty boring" according to her.
As a last resort, my husband decided that he would look for a coach and he Googled and the first hit was Goran's website. Initially, we were hesitant ….an online coach sounded kind of weird, especially with a 9 year old. But, we decided we would give it a shot and after speaking with Goran over Skype, we kind of felt connected with him.
We tried one lesson with him and we signed on and have not regretted one bit. He is a very firm but extremely kind teacher. My daughter absolutely loves him. She only dislikes his homework. He is very consistent and extremely knowledgeable. He works very hard, sometimes harder than the student.
We appreciate his patience with her and he never ceases to encourage and motivate her. Most importantly, he believes in her even when she sometimes doubts her capabilities. When she started with Goran, she was struggling with her openings and end games. Her rating in August 2010 was 1595. In March 2011, with Goran's persistence and diligent coaching, she hit her peak at 1824.
I would strongly recommend Goran because he has a unique way of teaching kids and dealing with their individual personalities. His classes are entertaining and my daughter enjoys them immensely. As parents, we don't get involved and Goran handles all of her chess problems. It is good to finally find a coach who just gets the 9 year old!
Parents - Texas, USA
Chess Mom - Mother of 5 Children - All Take Chess Lessons from Goran
As a homeschool mother of five, I highly recommend Goran as a chess coach for people of all ages and abilities.
Goran has a very high level of understanding chess AND is also able to communicate his thoughts well to others, which makes him an amazing teacher! When looking for a chess coach, I was pleased to find Goran because not only is he a professional chess player, a successful chess coach but also he is a chess dad himself, with his own daughter who is a WGM. This unique combination makes Goran extremely qualified, understanding and knowledgeable in all areas of chess.
During his online lessons, he is able to explain clearly and naturally and has an incredible gift for sensing if his students really understand the concepts he is teaching them. He truly wants the best for his students and they adore him for it. Goran helped my son's rating jump almost 400 points in a single year and successfully achieve becoming our state's high school Denker Representative in 2010.
Laura Smith Saint Louis, MO
Sheldon M Katz, Father of Gabe Katz - USA
We unequivocally and enthusiastically recommend Goran Vojinovic as a chess instructor and coach.
Goran has worked with our son Gabe for just over a year. During that time, Gabe's rating has risen over 350 points to nearly 1900 now!
Goran quickly figured out Gabe's playing style, strengths, and deficits and his learning style. He took an interest in Gabe and challenged him without pushing him over the edge. Since working with Goran, Gabe has become more interested in the game and theory.
Goran has a systematic teaching style but personalizes it for the individual. His lessons are pure quality -- no wasted time. Goran is always prepared and his passion for the game and his student comes through in spades. If you are looking for an instructor who is thorough, personable, and will help you maintain and increase your excitement about the game, please take some lessons from Goran.
Sheldon M. Katz
From the Student
Goran is a great chess teacher. I have been taking lessons for the past year and have learned a ton. We go over openings, tactics, strategies, and anything that can help improve my game.
After tournaments we go over my games, and he helps me analyze them so that I know what I need to work on. He is a really fun teacher who encourages me to keep trying and to keep working on my game.
(Goran's student - Age 9)
From The Parent
Goran has been a wonderful chess teacher for my child. Goran has a great passion and respect for the game, and he has helped build my son's confidence and broadened his knowledge base. My son looks forward to his lessons because he feels like he learns so much with each session from different opening and endgames to tactical approaches and defense moves.
Goran also focuses on any weaknesses and provides guidance on how to avoid making mistakes. It has been a great experience for us, and we hope to continue our lessons since they have been such a valuable learning tool.
SM - Ohio
From Kansas, USA - A Father's Recommendation
I could tell from the very first lesson my son had with Goran that we had made the right choice in selecting a chess instructor.
It is comforting to know that Goran has a proven teaching methodology that has produced many quality chess players at all age levels. His lessons start on time and he is always well prepared which allows the student to get the most out of their lessons. The lessons are always positive and he makes sure everything is clear before moving on to other topics.
My son has been playing completive chess for about four years now and he has never had as much fun learning about the game of chess as he does today.
It is not a coincidence that under Goran's instruction my son has gained USCF rating points in each of the last 10 tournament he has played in, something that has never happened in his previous 65+ rated tournaments.
My son and I couldn't be more happy with Goran. There is no doubt that if you follow Goran's plan, your chess will improve!
Troy's Father - Kansas
Tina Johnson from UK
When I first started lessons with Goran, I quickly realized just how little I knew about the great game of chess. He has taught me so many things such as: openings, main lines, strong squares, king side attack, ranks and files, pawn endings, queens gambit, tempo moves and the list goes on and on. He has taught me how to judge a position and to know if black or white can make the initiative.
Goran is strict in his approach and has high expectations of his students whilst maintaining a humorous and friendly manner.
In addition to teaching, Goran gives free lectures in Infinia (chess site). During these lectures he fully engages his audience and offers the incentives to free chess lessons if they answer his question correctly.
Lessons with Goran are interesting and thoroughly enjoyable and I highly recommend him as a first class teacher.
A Students for 5 Years - His Recommendation
IM Vojinovic is by far the best chess teacher I have ever had the pleasure of being taught by. His ability to clearly explain ideas and positive attitude makes his lessons enjoyable as well as enlightening. His lessons have helped me focus my attention to weaknesses while also highlighting strengths.
I started with little understanding of my natural playing style or what type of opening best fits me. He was able to guide me in the right direction through his detailed lessons. What has helped me above all is his openness to questions. A student can not improve without open dialogue and IM Vojinovic encourages free thinking and questions.
I have been a student of his over 5 years and have improved immensely and will continue to be his student as long as I continue playing.
Maggie's Mother and her Recommendation
What impressed me most is that Goran always encourages my daughter to think deeper and make precise move. He also encourages her to ask questions.
Goran has a broad knowledge about openings. Whenever Goran teaches openings, he not only teaches main lines, but also teaches all the variations. Below is from Maggie
Hi Coach Goran,
I have taken lessons with Goran for 1 year. One thing I like about his lessons with me is that he explains everything clearly to me.
Another thing I like about his lessons with me is that he always tells me important stuff to remember.
I also like his lectures on Infina. He shows interesting games and he always asks questions. After the lecture, I always learn something new. Goran is very kind and knowledgeable.
I am glad that Goran Vojinovic is my chess coach.
Thank you Goran.
Our son, Joe, age 9, has been taking lessons from Goran for a little over a year now. In just this short time, Joe's chess game has improved dramatically.
We were concerned that Joe would lose interest during an hour long Skype chess lesson, but that has never happened. Joe looks forward to his Goran lessons and he stays focused and interested during their time. Goran has really helped Joe understand how to analyze a position in order to determine the best kind of move and to improve his ability to calculate multiple moves ahead so that he could more fully evaluate a candidate move. The result is that Joe went from playing in a somewhat reactive mode to developing complicated attacks.
Goran has a wonderful rapport with younger children. His sense of humor, openness, and kindness motivate Joe to keep learning. Goran also works with Joe's other coaches to make sure they are all building on each others' lessons.
Stephanie & Rick Kleban
And, from Joe
Coach Goran is great. He has helped me in playing against openings and his lessons are fun.
I learn a lot in each lesson. With Coach Goran's help, I gained about 400 rating points in a year.
Joe Kleban, age 9
Recommendation from a Student
To me, the greatest thing about Goran is that he makes the incredibly complicated seem so amazingly simple, and that's the mark of a truly great teacher.
But he doesn't just teach, he makes you love chess and inspires you.
Goran's canvas is the chess board and he paints with chess pieces. He makes positions come to life. I've always thought of chess as a science, but Goran has shown me it's so much more fun as an art. He is the consummate professional.
He is always prepared, always on time, always flexible and reasonable. He has excellent prepared material, but can ad hoc a lesson on practically anything on the fly. He can also glance at the complicated position you spent 30 minutes on at your last tournament (and still erred) and explain it to you flawlessly, without pause.
I highly recommend Goran (to everyone except my opponent). You will realize quickly how little you know about chess, but Goran will help you fill that gap. He makes chess so fun and so rewarding. I guarantee you will consider it the best thing you've ever done to improve your understanding and enjoyment of the game.
From Ethan and Alix's Parents
Our children have the great pleasure of learning chess with IM Goran Vojinovic. Goran is truly an outstanding teacher, his ability to connect with each child regardless of playing level or character is outstanding. He is able to not only motivate different learning styles and personalities but has the ability to modify his teaching style in order to maximize that student's understanding and appreciation for the game. He loves the game, he loves people and his sheer brilliance is only matched by his sheer love for his students to comprehend, grow and develop further passion for the game. As I have listened to their lessons and seen first hand the results of these lessons I must state that Goran has the incredible ability to develop a warm environment that allows his students to make mistakes and not be afraid. His students know he has very high expectations but that he also knows mistakes precede great understanding and because of this they are able to play freely without fear. He offers such encouragement, patience and enthusiasm that you can "hear" him smiling during their online lessons! His students want to do better they want to make Goran prouder each and every lesson. Goran engages his students at all times, always communicating the knowledge the right way the right time, all the time. He truly is gifted when it comes to teaching others. Our son has taken lessons for only 7 months and during that time he developed a true understanding of his moves. Previously he had an innate sense of where to move but no understanding of why. Now he is clear on the theory and Goran has infused the passion back into his love of the game. He can not wait for his lessons and routinely comments that he wishes he could have a lesson every day. Truly a mark of a great teacher. Great Teachers expect a lot from their students. And because they are great in so many other ways, they usually get it. With Goran's guidance our son is now a provincial champion and will be competing in the Canadian championships shortly. We have Goran to thank for partnering with us and helping our children to grow, develop and play with such passion. Thank you!
Parents , Canada
From "The Galway's" in Ireland
Our daughter Ellen started taking chess lessons with Goran when she was 8 years old, now she is nine.
She has played in a few tournaments and did well in all of them. The trophy says "Junior A champion" for winning the under 10 section, the junior section, in the Ballinasloe, Ireland chess club. She went to the semi finals of the intermediate section, which the children are a little older, I am not sure of the ages.
.At the Irish Junior Chess Championships, in the under 10 section, 4 girls tied for "Best Girl" and Ellen was one of them. the winner was picked by a method called progressive scoring using a computer and another girl received the official title. however Ellen is still one of the four strongest under ten year old girls in Ireland who attended the National Championships and we are very proud of her progress.
We are very lucky to have Goran for a teacher for Ellen, Goran is very good with children and she has benefited from his wealth of knowledge and his ability to share this knowledge with her is apparent in her achievements.
If you are looking for a teacher for yourself or your children, we cannot recommend Goran highly enough he is a first rate teacher.
Charles and Michelle Murray Galway, Ireland
Student - Walker Griggs
I have been a student of Goran's for some time, and he is simply amazing.
A patient and kind teacher, he has a quality about him that makes you want to please him. I remember several times during lessons when he would ask a question and I, knowing the answer would feel warm and happy. He always makes you try your best, and sometimes I would play games on ICC for the sole purpose of showing them to him.
An International Master, lacking only one norm becoming a Grand Master, he understands the problems of club players more than GMs but is so talented chess wise that Goran is never at a loss for what to play. He is calm and focused even when it is the middle of the night where he is. He understands that his students need to go to school or work, and is very flexible about scheduling. But the best thing about him is the lessons themselves. His flawless explanations of pawn structure and other positional factors rival the best chess authors, and his tactical awareness allows him to explain "why black can't just take the bishop" quickly and faultlessly, without having to consult a computer.
When reading chess books at times, I am stumped by a tactic that the author thought too obvious to mention. But with Goran, he explains tactics and positions so easily I always feel excited and sometimes simply awed by both the position and Goran himself.
After a lesson with Goran, chess seems crystal clear and I feel as though there are limitless possibilities. One of the best things about him is he doesn't rehash old examples or teach obvious things such as basic checkmates. But he could if you wanted. He is happy to teach the basics, or more advanced concepts.
During on of our lessons, I had requested he teach me something to play against the 'boring' c3 Sicilian. He showed me the Qa5 variation, and in one crucial endgame line he told me a very important piece of advice. "Always make plans based on pawn structure." This has stuck with me, more than any other piece of my chess education, and I have Goran to thank for that. In fact, I have Goran to thank for everything.
To a kind and patient teacher, chess player, and friend - Thank you Goran Vojinovic.