IM darkhorse_98 Lichess coach picture

IM Yuriy Krykun

Highly motivated and hardworking students are welcome! Now also launching group lessons, camps and lectures at

LocationSt.Louis; Originally from Ukraine, Kyiv United States
Languagesрусский язык, Français, українська, Latviešu valoda, English (US)
RatingFIDE: 239826532644
Hourly rateDM me for rates!
AvailabilityAccepting students

About me

Welcome to my page! I'm a 24-year-old International Master and FIDE Instructor Yuriy Krykun from Ukraine, Ukrainian Champion U-20 in 2018(7.5/9), and vice-champion in blitz(7/9. I currently live in the United States and attend Webster University, a school with the N1-ranked chess team in the nation. I have won a number of international tournaments, won 10 medals in Ukrainian youth championships, and recently won a bronze medal while representing the Ukrainian Youth National Team ( European Championship U-18), and am willing to share my knowledge with you! Besides my playing experience, I have tremendous experience in teaching, and creating chess content, such as books, courses, and articles. Also, I take pride in explaining chess well, which makes people address me when they want to improve - hopefully, you will choose me as a coach, too!

Playing experience

I have been playing since childhood, have faced and managed to beat a number of strong players.
I currently hold all three IM norms and can boast of some specifically memorable results.
For example, to mention a few recent tournaments, in October 2019 I have scored 5.5/9 in the SPICE Cup, one of the strongest open tournaments in the US, having won two games and drawn seven without a single loss, which yielded me my second IM norm. To mention some specifically remarkable game, I have drawn the former number 25 in the world, Lazaro Bruzon, with the Black pieces. The game can be found here
Another result which is very recent and dear to me is placing 2nd at the PanAmerican Intercollegiate Championship while representing Webster University. In that tournament, I have scored 5/6, helping my amazing teammates qualify for the Final Four, the most prestigious collegiate tournament in the US. I won four games and drew two, again without a single loss.

In 2020, after taking a break from competitive chess due to COVID and focusing on writing/recording/teaching for several months, I have scored my last IM norm and won the IM tournament in Charlotte, North Carolina. Also, our team of Webster University won the US Collegiate Blitz Championship of 2020, which was another significant achievement. In October of 2020, I've crossed the 2400 FIDE rating threshold to become an International Master.

While I am currently more focused on teaching and sharing my knowledge in other ways, such as creating content - books, video courses, etc, I am extremely interested in improving my own chess as well and look forward to many more thrilling battles with some great players!

Teaching experience

I've been coaching for about 6 years, both online an in-person. Honestly though, I prefer thinking of experience in hours as opposed to years, as teaching full-time for a year is clearly better than occasionally giving a lesson here and there for 20 years. As for me, I have given about 12 000 hours of private instruction during those 6 years, which is quite a unique experience, I believe.
As I registered on lichess, in a year or somewhat more I've become one of the best-reviewed coaches here. I enjoy working with students of every level, from very beginners to masters, and of every age: My youngest students have been 5-6 years old, the oldest being 70! I firmly believe that every student has to be approached in a unique way.
I'd also like to mention that many students of mine have had a lot of success in tournaments: for example, one of my students has become Hong Kong champion U-8 and U-10 in 2018 and represented his country at a World Cadet Championship, where he ended up finishing with a very decent 6.5 points out of 11. Many others have also won medals in the youth championships of their countries. On the other hand, speaking of adult players, I have experience of helping many students take their play to a whole different level: recently a student of mine went from 1600 to 2000 FIDE in about 2 years; in 2019, I have managed to help my student get her WFM title, which she got by finishing in top-3 in Oceania Zonal Tournament! Many other students have reached their all-time peak ratings and have had separate impressive tournaments. Hopefully, a part of these impressive results can be linked to the coaching sessions we've had :)

Other experiences

I am very fortunate to be a member of the Webster University Chess Team, which is coached by the legendary Susan Polgar and is the best collegiate chess team in the whole US! Thanks to this program, I have already had a chance to train with many strong GMs and learn more about the improvement methods that lead to great results. In this team, people indeed do give everything they have to remain best for years!

My Bachelor's degree is in Translation, so I speak Russian, Ukrainian, English, and French fluently, while also currently studying Latvian. I plan to take up Spanish and German one day, for sure. So hopefully, we wouldn't have any issues communicating :)

I've been not only a coach but also an author of articles devoted to numerous topics on chess improvement and a creator of video content.

A book author! My first physical print book was published by Thinkers Publishing in August 2020, it can be found here
You can find some examples here:
My recent projects involved creating several opening courses for the amazing Chessable, they can be found under the following links:
In April 2020, another course of mine have been released on this platform, it can be found here:
Another large course, a full Black repertoire vs 1.d4/c4/Nf3 can be found at

Some of my articles available for free which I wrote for the same website are:

I am also a regular New In Chess Yearbook contributor, my last articles were featured in Yearbooks N134 and N135.
I have published several Modern Chess databases that can be found under the following links:
My last database on modern chess was their second database either with video explanations!

There are many other examples too. Hopefully, this will give you a better idea of how I tend to explain things!

Best skills

I pride myself in being rather good at explaining things clearly and straight to the point. Hopefully, you can find a proof of it by taking a look at my reviews :) If you'd like to find out more about my style of explaining, please check out my YouTube channel, which I had created recently to provide everyone with free amazing educational opportunity, as well as my countless videocourses on Chessable, TheChessWorld, Modern-Chess and several other sources.

Teaching methodology

During the lesson we will pay attention to the analysis of student's games in order to find out typical mistakes and avoid them in future, also we'll study classical famous games, will work on the opening repertoire as well as positional skills and calculation abilities. There are numerous things to be learned by avid investigators of mysteries of chess, I look forward to sharing every single thing I know with you!

Youtube videos