A very great coach, friend and mentor. Very strong in identifying the issues with my game. Ilja easily identifies my strategic mistake and that helps improve my game a lot, which I can never get from an engine analysis.
At several points in a game I just don't know a plan, Ilja funny voice echoes in my mind saying "Talk to your pieces!". His training helps me to more comfortable in an equal position.
Ilja does his homework before the lesson, and brings in set of positions catering to a theme he feels I need to learn. He tunes and plans the lessons as we go.
Ilja does not waste time in going over detailed opening preparation, but covers various key ideas time to time. I call it organic opening preparation.
Last but not the least, I look forward for our lessons. It is a fun 90-120 minutes, he is a more than just a chess coach; A great friend, philosopher, traveller, entrepreneur and human!