Chess NYC Team

Instruction for all levels of play

Jose Rodas Arroyo
Jose Rodas Arroyo

The newest member of our Customer Service Team, Jose is a 4th-year student at NYU studying Education Studies and a mainstay in the Club, Village Chess @ Zinc.

Brian Arthur
Brian Arthur

A Candidate Master, "Brian A" was a member of a High School National Championship team...While playing on a MIDDLE school team! Coach Brian, a former Chess NYC student, has brought his enthusiasm, team-orientation, and ability to engage students to Chess NYC coaching. Coach Brian has 8+ years of experience in Chess excellence.

GM Oliver Barbosa
GM Oliver Barbosa

Inspired by his father playing at a local tournament, Coach Oliver started playing Chess when he was 8 years old. He came a National master at 11, International Master at 22, and Grandmaster at 24 years old. Coach Oliver has been with Chess NYC for over 3 years, creating an impactful experience for his students and teaching them not only to win but also to have fun in Chess and life! Other than in-depth tactics and strategies that Oliver teaches, he always see to it that he incorporates attitude, discipline, and respect for his students.

John Barriga
John Barriga

Coach John’s interpersonal skills are evident when it comes to teaching children about Chess, making them crave to become solid masters of the game. For over two years now, Coach John has been with Chess NYC, developing strong bonds with his students, bringing his 16+ years Chess experience to the table. His favorite memory is when Coach John played Grandmaster Susan Polgar in a simul at the Friars club! Despite his deep background in Chess, Coach John believes that he still has much to learn in Chess, which he will, and pass on the knowledge to his pupils.

Becca Brett
Becca Brett

A 4.0 NYU student, Coach Becca has been with Chess NYC since 2017. Both a coach “in the field” and a “behind-the-scenes” administrative assistant, Coach Becca is a valued member of the Chess NYC family! Her favorite chess memory was teaching 4 year olds the Spanish and French openings and then watching them crush their (much older) opponents @ Play N’ Go!

Laura Charette
Laura Charette

Coach Laura has been with Chess NYC for multiple years. Her acting background (and face-painting skills) allows her to bring creative and innovative methods to the classroom. Her favorite memory was teaching Pre-K students to use a timer to promote focused chess play. They “took to it” surprisingly fast and well! They laughingly nicknamed the clock “Mr. Timer” and had a blast! (whatever works, right?)

Yinyi "Erin" Cao
Yinyi "Erin" Cao

Erin is a star in Chess NYC’s “behind the scenes”, heading the finance department. Her kindness shines bright! She often brings in snacks to share with her colleagues and is definitely a team player. Soft-spoken? Yes. A “no-nonsense” type of individual? For sure! A highly valued member of the Chess NYC family. Erin’s Mandarin is often VERY helpful around here.

Meng Nan Chen
Meng Nan Chen

Coach Meng attended the famed IS 318 and holds multiple National Titles including 2013 Grade Nationals (7th Grade), 2014 Grade Nationals (8th Grade), 2014 All Girls Nationals 14U, and 2015 All Girls Nationals 14U. Her young age allows her to relate and connect with our younger students! She has worked for Chess NYC for over 2 years now.

Samantha Dong
Samantha Dong

Coach Samantha began as a student here and now boasts a year of experience working with Chess NYC! Coach Samantha is quite the competitive star! She won the All Girls Nationals 14U in 2015 and took 1st place at the 13th Susan Polgar Foundation World Open for Boys and Girls last year earning her a full ride college scholarship. Her favorite memory is going to the Grade Nationals in Disney World (of course lol).

Stephen Eckelmann
Stephen Eckelmann

Coach Stephen has been with Chess NYC for 3 years, a Team Leader @ Camps, Private Coach and Classroom Teacher. Stephen is an invaluable asset to Chess NYC and Families alike. Coach Stephen is also on our basketball team! His favorite memory is when his high school team won All-State chess in Oregon, 2009 :)

Jason Gonzalez
Jason Gonzalez

Coach Jason’s favorite Chess memory occurs every time he walks back into a school that he previously taught, when his students come running up to him express how much they missed him. He has been playing Chess for about a total of 7-8 years! He played back when he was about 10-12 years old but stopped because he did not have many people around him that played. Now that he is at Chess NYC, he quickly turned it back on and has been part of the family for almost 5 years now. Jason's goal is to ensure that "everyone, always, has someone to play"

Andrew H.
Andrew H.

Coach Andrew is an OG member of Chess NYC! Since the beginning of Chess NYC, Coach Andrew brings his theoretical and historical Chess knowledge when it comes to motivating and sharing his passion with kids. It should come to no surprise that he is a candidate Grandmaster! His favorite memory of Chess is when Coach Andrew frequently competed in tournaments with Grandmasters Fabiano Caruana and Hokaru Nakamaru: two of the top players in the U.S. In addition, Coach Andrew treasures his memory of teaching at a camp with special guest Magnus Carlsen, and meeting Chess giants like Kasparov and Karpov. Around 3rd grade, his father taught Coach Andrew the basic rules of Chess but it was thanks to his 6th grade teacher who rewarded Coach Andrew’s math and reading excellence with the opportunity to play chess with each other that inspired him to become a passionate player. He has been playing Chess on a daily basis ever since, and has started playing in various clubs and tournaments.

Misae Hill
Misae Hill

Coach Misae has been playing Chess since early childhood and instinctively chose the Knight as her favorite chess piece. She teaches with an emphasis on problem solving skills, the goal being that students apply the same process in life decisions, down the road. MIsae has been with Chess NYC over a year now!

Bahadur Hojamkulyyev
Bahadur Hojamkulyyev

Coach Bah is a Chess NYC star! As a FIDE Master, Coach Bah led multiple Chess NYC students to victory in the 2019 New York National Chess Championship. His favorite memory took place at the infamous Chess NYC TAG Grandmaster Inspired Summer Camp, where he got to watch his students consistent and impressive improvement. While he was able to provide excellent chess curriculum, his students helped him learn something just as valuable- English! Coach Bah’s favorite thing about coaching is the smile on his students’ faces when they win and giving prizes for completed chess homework. Coach Bah is “all heart”!

Jeremiah Hosea
Jeremiah Hosea

1) My best chess memory as a player was when I won 6 out of 7 games as a 6th grader competing in my last Nationals. My best memory as a coach was meeting and working with "The Great One" -- Magnus Carlsen when he participated in Chess NYC camp for an entire week.

2)I've been playing chess since I was in 3rd grade. I didn't play for many years and then rediscovered the game in college. But to my own amazement, I have now been coaching the game to players of all ages for 18 years.

3)I'm proud and honored to say I am a long-standing Chess NYC coach who has worked with the company for almost 10 years.

4)I think by now I bring a lot of good attributes to the table as an experienced chess coach, but one of my best qualities in my own opinion is that I use analogies and literary language to help students remember concepts and break this complicated, often intimidating game down to size.

Ikrom I.
Ikrom I.

Coach Ikrom is an International Master who has been playing chess for over 20 years and worked for Chess NYC for 4! His favorite chess memory was beating GM Vadim Malakhatko in a classical time format chess tournament. It was his first win against a GM. Coach Ikrom says the “top skill” he brings to Chess NYC has been his ability to build a National winning chess program.

Daniel Jere
Daniel Jere

Coach Daniel is an International Master from Zambia! So impressed was Coach Michael with Daniel’s character and level of talent that Chess NYC sponsored his residency in the United States! Now with Chess NYC for over a year, Coach Daniel brings a unique style of coaching that integrates fun and learning. Daniel’s touching, favorite Chess memory is when he became the National champion for the first time in his country and had the number 1 reporter awaiting his press conference in April 2004.

Arthur Killings
Arthur Killings

A long-time friend of the Chess NYC family, Arthur is a valued member of the team. Arthur serves as a Chess NYC Ambassador promoting curriculum, afterschool, and camps throughout New York City. You’ve probably encountered him before- he’s our Customer Service Rep! :)

Matthew Kluska
Matthew Kluska

Time feels rushed for Coach Matt. He feels like it was just yesterday when he first joined Chess NYC when it has been two years! That may be because he started out as a student! His favorite Chess memory is when he played (and won!) at the Nationals. He has played Chess for 13 years, starting when he was about 7 years old. Coach Matt loves kids and always makes sure to show up to work with a big grin for his students...every single time!

Andrea La Manna
Andrea La Manna

Bio coming soon!

Nelson Lim
Nelson Lim

A full-time engineer with a “chess cape”, Nelson has been a valuable member of Chess NYC since January 2018, and has been playing the game for over 20 years! His favorite memory was awarding one of his students the Play N’ Go prize of $100 and joking if he could get a commission. She offered him 1%! Now that’s a deal! Coach Nelson is best known for his ability to connect with younger students, build great rapport, and making the game fun by being a Play N’ Go tournament director at our Chinatown location. Coach Nelson is a member of our Chess NYC Basketball Team too!

Nixon Lim
Nixon Lim

Coach Nixon’s experience with Chess has helped him to entice students who have limited previous experience with the game. He encourages competitiveness that drives them to higher levels of play! His favorite chess memory is finally defeating his brother, Nelson (who also works for Chess NYC!) after years of torment. He is a college graduate and provides valuable support in the classroom.

 Alan Propper
Alan Propper

Coach Alan has been with Chess NYC for 10 years and now serves as our fearless Assistant Director. He currently attends Hunter College and is the top scorer for the New York Knights, the Chess NYC basketball team. His favorite chess memory was playing blitz chess on a lifesize, 8 foot board, in the middle of Broadway, in front of Macy’s for a “beat-the-champ” tournament. His students love his upbeat attitude, tactical curriculum, and the prizes he gives!

Michael Propper
Michael Propper

The one and only Michael Propper: our fearless leader here @ Chess NYC! Michael knows what needs to be done and how to get our students to become unrivaled Chess competitors in the field. Michael is also the Coach of our New York Knights basketball team. He never backs down from a challenge, making Chess NYC into one of the biggest Chess groups anywhere...Not one to “take stuff”, he genuinely adores the students and, in addition to teaching them how to carry a winning attitude, he will do anything to ensure they are enjoying every minute of what could be a challenging and difficult process. Tough, generous and thoughtful, he sets the tone for our great Community!

Charu Robinson
Charu Robinson

Coach Charu has been with Chess NYC for nearly 10 years and has been playing the game for over 35. He boasts many accomplishments including being a former “Raging Rook” and winning the National Junior High School team championship in 1991. His students continually excel because of his great rapport with children and a plethora of experience! Coach Charu is a member of our Chess NYC Basketball Team too!

Michelle Rosenberg
Michelle Rosenberg

Michelle is the newest member of the back office is plays an integral role in all Chess NYC designs

Anthony S.
Anthony S.

Anthony has worked for Chess NYC for over 2 years. Like many members of our team, Anthony attended Champion School IS 318. He is a FOUR time consecutive Bug House State Champion! His favorite memory was going to his first Nationals in the fifth grade and winning a big trophy!!

Josh Soutiere
Josh Soutiere

Coach Josh affirms “Chess is more than a game - it is a platform for self mastery that is accessible to people of all ages, ultra-portable, extremely challenging and equally rewarding.” As a teacher, Coach Josh finds it as the greatest fortune of his life to be able to influence today’s children for a better future through it. He never misses an opportunity to learn from his students! Pretty "deep", huh? Josh is a ravenous student of the game and has a passion for sharing it.

Katrina Strahl
Katrina Strahl

Coach Katrina has been with Chess NYC for 4 years, starting from the ground up with Company she has become a valuable Coach of several “junior” Programs, and now, she even plays on the Chess NYC basketball team! Very artistic, Coach Katrina contributes wonderful supplemental activities wherever she goes!

Rebecca Taxman
Rebecca Taxman

For 10 years Coach Rebecca has been sharing her passion for Chess with her students at Chess NYC, shaping a great number of champs along the way. Her favorite Chess memory? Endless!: from chess camps out in the Hamptons and Fire Island, to teaching in classrooms across the 5 boroughs, to sitting in the day rooms of Rikers Island, to our water fights and bug house matches under the sun at camp...there are just too many to pick one. Coach Rebecca is lucky to have had the ability to touch the lives of so many young people through the rich game of Chess. By growing up playing Chess in the parks in Chicago, DC and NYC Coach Rebecca fostered a unique ability to connect with the young adults at Rikers on a professional and personal level. She works to use the tool of Chess to help to better their days, whether it is by connecting them to services that can help their situation, lending a listening ear or just giving them 2 hours of fun!

Mubassar Uddin
Mubassar Uddin

A Candidate Master, As a former successful scholastic chess player and a champion of numerous national championships, Mubassar is now a young leader helping Chess NYC to continue building a winning culture. His favorite memory was his first win against a Grandmaster in a rated tournament, where he was 20 minutes late and still won the game with ease! Coach Uddin has been playing Chess for 8 years now and is also a member of the Chess NYC Basketball Team!

Jack Wen
Jack Wen

Coach Jack has been a Chess top level player for 8 years and counting. A former student Jack brings his experience with Chess NYC, TO Chess NYC as a valued Coach. His favorite chess memory is playing rated games as a student after school, because it was competitive and helped him to become an advanced player. Coach Jack has played at many national tournaments and has contributed to many national Championship teams--all of these experiences make Jack a championship caliber player and valued teacher.

Daniel Wolf
Daniel Wolf

Bio coming soon!

Tommy Zhang
Tommy Zhang

Having started playing in middle school, Coach Tommy has been playing Chess for 8 years now. New to the Chess NYC Coaching Staff, he is no stranger and is a product of our Programs and, has already proved himself to be a valuable member of the team! His, personal, favorite Chess memory is winning the K-12 HIGH SCHOOL Supernationals U1600 section when he was only in the 8th grade! It was his last Nationals with that middle school team. Tommy's greatest skill set is knowing how to effectively assess and teach a Chess lesson, creating a solid connection with students, ensuring they keep coming back for more!

 
 
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