Private Lessons

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Private (1:1) Chess Lessons
Life Senior Master Mick Bighamian
Other club Masters and Experts

The Los Angeles Chess Club, as the most active club on the west coast, provides instructors offering “Private Lessons” to individuals and groups interested in improving their knowledge of the Royal Game at an accelerated pace.

Private Lesson is an excellent way to learn, implement, and achieve desired results for ambitious players who believe they need a fast approach to unleash their inner talents using the best available methodology.

In order to improve, one’s interest and parent’s support (for Juniors) – as the most important factors in achieving this goal - must be accommodating as well.

Senior Life Master Mick Bighamian (L) and 2007&8 World Chess Olympiad Gold Medalist International Grandmaster Smbat Lputian (R)

Mick Bighamian Chess Résumé

Mick has been playing and teaching chess, as well as directing tournaments for over quarter of a century.

As a Player, he has been on the list of United States Chess Federation’s (USCF) “Top 50 Most Active Players” for over 10 years and enjoys the highest USCF Chess title in the country – Senior Master.

As a Coach, he has trained many individuals, who have, over the years, been able to compete in and win National Tournaments and have been able to receive Chess Scholarships from various universities, and have attained National Master titles.

Here are just a few of his strong students:

  • Senior Master JUSHUA SHENG
  • Senior Master ALI MORSHEDI
  • National Master Bo Githoro
  • Danial Asaria

As a Tournament Director, he has directed over 3000 tournaments since mid 1980s and achieved the ‘Director of the Year’ title in 1997.

As a lecturer, He has been discussing advanced chess topics in his Advanced Chess Classes on Tuesday evenings. His lecture’s quality is highly refined and he has a refreshing teaching style that keeps the student interested in the topic.


A few achievements over the years… 

2009 American Open Quick Championship 1st place- tied
2009 Chess Coach (National Champ student – age U8&U10)  
2008 Chess Coach (National Champ student – age U10)  
2003 Western Team Amateur Championship (U2000) 1st place
2002 Chess Coach (National Champ student – age 9-10)  
2000 Houston Open 2nd place
1999 Houston Open 2nd place
1997 USCF Tournament Director of the Year 1st place
1996 Houston City Championship- 1st place
1994 National Team Championship (Team South) 2nd place
1993 Houston City Championship- 1st place
1990 USCF Life Senior Master (Title earned)  
1991 Southwest Open 1st place- tied
1990 Houston City Championship 1st place
1988 USCF Senior Master (Title earned)  
1985 USCF National Master (Title earned)  
1983 ACUI Championship- Team A&M- Region XII 1st place
1983 ACUI Championship- Individual- Region XII 1st place
1982 ACUI Championship- Individual- Region XII 2nd place
1981 ACUI Championship- Individual- Region XII 3rd place
1976 National High School Championship 3rd place
USCF Life Senior Master Since 1988
USCF National Master Since 1985
'National Tournament Director of the Year’ 1997


United States Chess Federation
(USCF) Categories
Category Rating Range
Senior Master 2400+
Master 2200-2399
Expert 2000-2199
Class A 1800-1999
Class B 1600-1799
Class C 1400-1599
Class D 1200-1399
Class E 1000-1199
Class F 800-999
Class G 600-799
Class H 400-599
Class I 200-399
Class J Under 200


10-Hour Package

(The Premium package)

(This 5-session package fully provides all the necessary tools in order to gain a respectable understanding of the game – up to around 2000/2200 USCF rating – Expert/ Master strength)

1. OPENING                                               (2 hours)

  • Gaining and maintaining the initiative (momentum) as White
  • Equalizing as Black and gaining the initiative
  • Coherency of your Opening and defenses
  • Top 10 Openings for White and Black
  • Notations/ Symbols/ Chess Terms Glossary
  • Which specific Openings suits you best?

2. MIDDLE GAME                                      (2 hours)

  • Reviewing M/G principles (i.e. Mobility, Harmony, Force, Space, etc.)
  • Discussing 4 stages of the M/G 
  • 5 types of Central Pawn Formations

3. ENDGANE                                              (2 hours)

  • Reviewing all types of end-games with the underlying principles (e.g. Accuracy, Timing, Efficiency, etc.)
  • Covering various endgame themes with game examples

 4. TACTICS                                                (2 hour)

  • Covering 23 Major and Minor tactical and combinational themes
  • Discussing their recognition and tactical implementations
  • Reviewing Permanent & Temporary advantages
  • Reviewing game examples

                                                (2 hour)

  • Discussing 5 factors of assessing a position in great depth
  • Conceiving a plan and executing it - step by step
  • 12 Brain boosting foods & snacks
  • Psychological factors in chess! 
  • When and how to offer/accept/reject a draw… and why  


5-Hour Package

(The Basic package)

(This package covers all the basics on various areas of chess to prepare one in reaching around 1600 USCF rating*- Category ‘B’ strength)

1. OPENING                                                    (75 minutes)

  • 10 Rules of the Opening!
  • Opening principles and their underlying ideas
  • Notations/ Symbols/ Chess Terms Glossary
  • Which specific Openings suits you best?

2. MIDDLE GAME                                           (75 minutes)

  • How to think in the M/G
  • Discussing various M/G Motifs and their application
  • Reviewing multiple M/G examples

3. ENDGAME                                                  (75 minutes)

  • Discussing basic Endgame principles
  • Fundamentals of Pawn Endings

4. TACTICS                                                     (75 minutes)

  • Discussing 23 Tactical elements of chess
  • Covering various tactical patterns with game


Topic-Specific Sessions

This is ideal for players interested in strengthening specific area(s) of their game in a few sessions only.

Topics discussed may include:

  • Playing practice games; in order to accentuate your strengths and pinpoint your weaknesses
  • Game Analysis (analysis of your played games and specifying weak areas)
  • Opening principles and underlying concepts (best Opening for YOUR style!)
  • Middle game (various pawn formations [5 types] and/or stages [4])
  • End game (various end games and related principles)
  • Tactical Patterns (23 major and minor tactical themes in chess with multiple examples)
  • Positional Themes (breaking down the elements
  • Psychological Factors (factors affecting your game on and off the board!)
  • Draw Offers (when to offer/accept/reject draws; and WHY?)
  • Position Evaluation (5 factors of assessing a position systematically and scientifically)
  • Planning (single and multi-phase) in ANY position; based on a thorough evaluation
  • Others (specific Openings, Middle games, End games, Tactical patters, Plans, etc.)


  • 10- Hour package (Premium):  $745 at the club/ $795 offsite
  • 5- Hour package (Basic):  $395 at the club/ $445 offsite
  • Hourly rate: $79 at the club/ $89 offsite

Additional goodies:

  • You are presented with a binder of covering materials in the 1st session - to keep.
  • You also receive a free 1-day tournament at the club on any Saturday or Sunday afternoon.
  • Package fees are to be prepaid on the 1st session.


  • As these sessions provide the student with the ‘theoretical knowledge’ – enabling one with a well-structured approach to playing chess at a respectable level - another package of ‘Practice’ sessions (e.g. playing against the instructor, analyzing games, reviewing great games in history, etc.) is the most ideal complement to this ‘theoretical’ package - in order to apply acquired knowledge to practical games.
  • Time interval for the 5-hour package = 3 months, 10-hour package = 6 months.
  • Printed and online exercises are included with both package.
  • Rates apply to ‘Other chess Experts and Masters at the club’.
  • 1 free tournament chess set AND 1 free 1-day tournament at the club with either package.
  • 10% discount for each additional package after the first one.
  • Will travel within 10 miles of the club. Instructor’s travel time and gas is included. Additional travel charges may apply for longer distances.
  • Full refunds within 72 hours of payment; 20% charge afterwards.
  • No cancellation fees if notified at least 3 hours before meeting; otherwise 1 hour.
  • You may register for a package on our web site (under ‘Private Lessons’) or pay in full in the first session.
  • We accept cash (5% off), check (3% off), VISA and MC.
  • As we have had many high-level celebrities, CEOs, and major shakers and movers in California, LACC is fully complying with the legal provisions laid out by CNIL with respect to your privacy.
  • Please indicate the student’s playing strength and previous chess encounters (if any).
  • For Mick’s rates, please contact him @ or 310.795.5710).


  • email                                            
  • cell & messages                                 (310) 795-5710
  • Free consultation -                               by phone, email or in person


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After School Program

(310) 795-5710

LA Chess Club
11514 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025

Contact Us
  • 4 blocks West of 405 – SW corner of Santa Monica & Butler
  • 2nd floor (Barrington Bridge& Chess Club)
  • Free BoA and basement parking – from alley by the pharmacy

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