Checker Chess

The mission is to provide a high quality, chess coaching service to the community, particularly the children. I teach the students to be better human beings first, and better chess players second. I feel one cannot be a good chess player unless one is a good person first. The main goal is to teach core values using chess as a vehicle. Some of the core values are competition, self-awareness and self-control, bravery and resilience in the face of difficulty, deep focus, planning, calculation and visualization, morals and ethics on how to conduct oneself in a competitive environment, love of learning, critical thinking, independent problem solving, and creative expression through a game of war.
The main chess goal is to prepare students for tournament play. While just learning and playing for fun are perfectly acceptable in levels 1-3, the curriculum focuses on covering basic topics required before rated tournament play. At level 4 or higher, the tournament level curriculum covers various topics of deep strategy in an iterative fashion, so the students will periodically review all topics while developing a deeper and deeper understanding of the game.
At the time of writing, I teach about 70 students in all capacities including after school programs, private group classes, private individual students, and summer chess camps. I have worked with other chess coaches and chess teaching organizations in the past, up to teaching 130 students at the same time. After 500-600 individual students, the experience provides a certain perspective uniquely available to educators.
One of my policies is 100% retention. I make the promise to do everything in my power to make sure the student succeeds. Often this involves working very closely with parents. The program has virtually perfect retention rate, with no students leaving due to chess-related or instruction-related reasons.
In two and a half years at Morning Light, the program has produced chess players up to 1300 USCF rating from beginners. The students have won many trophies. Some have won cash prizes at adult tournaments. I expect to teach all my students up to USCF rating 2200 and perhaps beyond.
I teach competitive Bughouse, a team-play chess variant. Bughouse is one of the greatest tools a chess coach has available to improve the student’s chess game. My Bughouse players hold the scholastic State Championship for 2016.
A bit about myself, I have played chess for more than twenty years. My peak rating is 2116. I take at least one week per month to continue to work towards the title of USCF Master. I firmly believe playing competitive tournament chess maintains your edge as a player, and is fundamentally important to teaching chess.