Stubborn Students

I have a 9th grader who comes to club every week, telling me how he keeps losing and wants advice to get better. Every week I tell him stop castling into open files, making unsound sacrifices, and hanging material by wildly attacking the king. Yet I look at his games and he just keeps doing it.

I ask him why and he tries to rattle off moves like an Hikaru stream with no understanding of what he’s saying.

Any advice on how to bring him down to earth and get him to play less crazy? He just wants to learn from youtube and twitch and won’t do real studying.

Tl;dr: When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

Your student doesn’t really want to get better. He’s not willing to make the sacrifices (that is, the sacrifice to play disciplined moves instead of moves that look more fun) that it would take to get minimally better results. Bluntly, you’re wasting your time with this student. He knows what you have to offer at this point, and if he decides to improve he’ll implement it, or even ask “What do you think I could have done instead of this queen sacrifice here?” You’re not doing him any good telling him the same thing week after week, and you’re frustrating yourself, and hurting the quieter student in the same room who might actually want to learn.

If for some reason you deeply care about this student, you can engage his progress and look at his games weekly and say things very similar to “I’m sorry that didn’t work out for you” while you look to see if he’s even attempting to implement your teaching.

My answer is completely different if a student (or a parent) is paying for private lessons, but unless your livelihood depends on it, wait for this student to meet you where you are, or give up chess for something less demanding. Competitive chess isn’t for everyone, even everyone who shows up at a club.

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Thanks for the response. I came to the same conclusion, but was hoping there was just some technique I was missing. Ill focus on just getting him to keep coming and maybe at some point he’ll be ready, like you said.

In this particular situation the B-word that many teachers don’t even want to mention might apply. If he plays these wild attacks in Bughouse then his partners may have a chance of convincing him that he can’t just leave pieces hanging or sacrifice wildly.