Keaton Kiewra, International Chess Master 
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Coach Kiewra has been brought into Jeffery's coaching team by GM Annakov. He has been a great coach and has made outstanding contribution for Jeffery's growth. His chess understanding is excellent and his professional attitude has been a positive impact to Jeffery. He is a great coach for kids. He has a passionate and warm personality that helps to build a strong binding with his students. Jeffery will enjoy his coaching and friendship for a long time. 

 

  --Wayne Xiong, Dallas TX (father of chess prodigy Jeffery Xiong) 
 

Our boys first got introduced to chess by participating in their school's after school program, where Keaton Kiewra was an instructor. Through Keaton's great instruction, wonderful demeanor and love for chess, our boys quickly gained an enthusiasm for the game. Keaton has coached our boys since Kindergarten. We highly recommend Keaton as a chess instructor. Both of our boys have flourished in chess and are consistently listed in the USCF's Top 100 for their respective age groups. If you are looking for a coach who has a command of the game, is a great instructor, has a kind, humorous, patient demeanor and really cares about his students on a personal level (Keaton often is present at big tournaments to provide additional coaching and support), then Keaton Kiewra is it!

--Alex, Darla, Chase, Cole Frutos, Dallas TX

Our son Joseph has been Keaton's student since we moved to Nebraska in 2009.  In the time that Joseph has worked with Keaton he has: Raised his rating from 1200 to nearly 1900, tied for first place in the K-3 Nationals, qualified twice for the Nebraska State Closed Championships (a round robin tournament for the top 6 players in the state, and been consistently ranked toward the top of his age group.  We not only know Keaton as a good chess coach, but also as a coach who provides positive encouragement and has a passion for chess.  We highly recommend Keaton Kiewra as a coach for anyone with the ambition to improve their chess game, and keep their love for chess at the same time.
--Charlotte and Huishan Wan, Lincoln NE (parents of Joseph Wan)
 

Our Son Aaryan's game had stagnated for a year before we met Keaton, but since starting lessons with Keaton in April 2013 his rating has jumped 200 points!  Here are some reasons why we are extremely happy with Keaton:
1. We felt that Keaton's teaching over Skype was just as good as him sitting across the table, probably having something to do with his personality.
2. One major reason why Keaton is so effective is that he has been there: he has played Scholastic Nationals, played on board 1, and he has won.  In short he knows what it feels like.
3. He adapts to his students' playing style in order to bring out the best rather than force-fitting theories on children.
4. Being a good player does not necessarily mean that one can be a good teacher (and vice-versa.)  Fortunately Keaton has both abilities in abundance!  He is a great chess player and teacher, and he knows how to balance his criticism and encouragement.

--Harry and Pragati Deshpande, Seattle WA (Parents of Aaryan Deshpande)

I heartily recommend Keaton as a teacher.  He communicates well, with a clarity of language and presentation that puts most Grandmaster teachers to shame.  Keaton has taught extensively in various chess environments, for example, in chess camps, one on one, and online.  He has worked with students from beginner to master and has the valuable experience of having himself been the student of some of the leading chess instructors in the United States.  If you are looking for someone who is easy to work with and will help you get to the next level, you won't go wrong by starting here.

--John Watson, International Chess Master, Coach and Author, San Diego CA

I could not be more pleased with how Keaton has improved the play of our son, and his enjoyment of chess as well.  While our son seemed to enjoy chess from the start, he did not have the capacity to learn in any depth on his own, and his parents certainly did not have any inkling of how to teach him.  Keaton quickly connected with our boy in online meetings.  In a couple of months, Keaton helped him develop an understanding of the key points of both seeing patterns and thinking through problems.  He has systematically led Julien through basic openings, endgames, and the strategy and tactics that have allowed him to improve his rating  by several hundred points in 2014.  I am also impressed by Keaton's demeanor.  It is not always easy to teach a young boy at the end of a long school day, but Keaton is both able to keep our son on point, and knows when to let up when our son loses focus for a little while.
I can personally attest to how Keaton has made the complicated simpler, both by principle and by example.  Keaton's clarity highlights for both my son and me the precision and beauty of chess.  He has helped our family enjoy the game more together.  I can only encourage you or your child to try a lesson!

--Bob Maki, New York, NY

Keaton has been coaching Segev ever since we met at a chess event organized by the chess team of the University of Texas at Dallas, the #1 university in chess, which Keaton was a part of.

Segev has progressed to play at a very high level since then, recently winning third place in Texas for his age (7th grade), and is very passionate about chess and enjoys his lessons very much.

Keaton now regularly coaches Segev via Skype and ICC, which are very effective tools.  The ability to rely on online lessons has often allowed us to schedule lessons spontaneously, when Keaton was available, which would not have been possible if traveling were involved.

I wholeheartedly recommend Keaton as a chess coach, particularly for the more advanced chess players.  Not only does he possess the high level of understanding necessary for such coaching, but also excels in getting his point across to his students.  Beyond the teaching of the principles of chess, with all its complexities, he is also very experienced with the behavioral aspects that are an important component of consistent high-level playing, and can relate his message to kids very effectively with his young spirit and style.  

 

--Oren Eliezer, father of Segev Eliezer, Plano, TX

 

I have known Keaton for almost two years since he moved to San Diego, and have discovered that his deep knowledge and understanding of all aspects of chess far outstrip his youth.  He is also an amiable person who is just a pleasure to work with.

As a coach, Keaton's achievements are impressive.  Pragmatic people don't sit around hoping for miracles.  That which we learn in our lessons must be transferable to the high-pressure environment of the over-the-board battleground, otherwise we risk degeneration into an all-theory and no-application chess player.  With his students Keaton systematically covers all aspects of the game-both technical and psychological-until they display a high degree of proficiency in their results.

 

--Cyrus Lakdawala, International Master and author, San Diego, CA

 

Coach Keaton has strong chess knowledge and is an excellent motivator.  Whenever our son gets impatient or disappointed in tournament play, coach Keaton gives him encouragement and confidence to refocus and enjoy the game.  Coach Keaton has a pleasant and humorous approach to teaching and this style has greatly helped our son to improve his chess skills.  He is a good role model and we are very pleased with our son's progress.

 

--The Parents of Michelangelo Barozzi, Las Vegas, NV


This is the story of how Keaton helped me to progress from an unrated chess player to Master level in just 4 months.

I am based in Bermuda.  In early 2016, a friend, who I'd recently discovered was an avid chess player, informed me that a tournament was to be held in the coming months to determine a team that would represent Bermuda in the upcoming 42nd Chess Olympiad.  I had given up playing chess almost twenty years previously having competed at a reasonable school level in my youth.  I felt a long forgotten drive to pick up a hobby I had abandoned many years ago and attempt to qualify for Bermuda's Olympiad team.  This time, with a more mature head on my shoulders, I wanted to learn chess properly. I knew I needed the help of an expert.  I searched the internet reading many recommendations and eventually found Keaton.  My first lesson with Keaton was in May 2016.  Having played a local practice tournament in April, Keaton analyzed my games, identified my weaknesses and worked out a plan to help me progress.  Keaton recommended solid openings that would allow me to effectively develop my pieces, introduced me to literature to help improve my endgame skills and constantly re-emphasized the general principles of chess, which in the heat of battle are readily forgotten. In May I had struggled to beat 1500 rated players.  Week-by-week, with Keaton's clear and accurate guidance, I began to improve rapidly.  In June I played in the qualifying tournament and gained a place on the Bermuda team.  I continued to work with Keaton over the summer, continually improving my play and studying great masters such as Karpov and Capablanca - whose strategic play I wished to emulate.  At the end of August 2016 I traveled with the Bermuda Chess Team to Baku for the Olympiad.  With months of Keaton's advice and a confidence about the game I had never before possessed, I entered the tournament with high expectations.  I now played the game with a clear train of thought - my strategies seemed simple and obvious - and there was an ease at which I played each game. On September 9th 2016, in the 7th round, almost 4 months to the day to my first lesson with Keaton, I scored the final win I needed to achieve the Candidate Master title.  I cannot over-emphasize the importance of Keaton's training.  Many hours of deliberate practice went into this feat but without clear direction from Keaton, this would never have been possible.  I thoroughly recommend Keaton as a coach to anyone wishing to improve their chess.   He has the rare gift of making what can seem to be complicated game, to be both simple and fun.

--Candidate Master Mark Flanagan