Meet Our Coaches!

 Our online coaches strive to make the best experience for your kids!

GM Lázaro Bruzón

FIDE 2605
Grandmaster Lazaro Bruzon
Lázaro Bruzón is a former World Junior Champion, two-times American Continental champion, two-time Iberoamerican champion and five-time Cuban champion. Bruzón played for Cuba at the Chess Olympiads between 2000 and 2014. For nearly 20 years he was ranked among the top 100 players in the world. 

GM Johan Hellsten

FIDE 2550
Grandmaster Johan Hellsten
GM Johan Hellsten is a former Swedish Chess Champion, has represented Sweden at the Chess Olympiads, and has taken home a gold medal from the European Chess Championships. Johan is also a well known coach and author

IM Dorsa Derakhshani

FIDE 2268
IM Dorsa Derakhshani
Dorsa Derakhshani is an IM and WGM, who has won three gold medals at the Asian Youth Chess Championships, in 2012, 2013, and 2014, played for the Iranian National team in the women's division of the Asian Nations Cup in 2012 and 2014, and she began to play for the United States in 2017 (a decision she wrote about in the New York Times). Dorsa also wrote a book about chess tips and tricks with her brother.

FM James Canty III

USCF 2269
FM James Canty III is a chess streamer, coach, commentator, and content creator for He learned how to play chess from his father when he was eight years old. Canty quickly become obsessed with chess, and he made a goal of becoming a GM or IM. He won multiple chess championships in Michigan growing up and become a US National Master at 17. He is now a FIDE Master.

FM Adarsh Tripathi

FIDE 2356
FM Adarsh Tripathi
FM Adarsh Tripathi has been playing chess since the age of 7. He's currently actively pursuing his ambition of getting an IM title while simultaneously fulfilling his passion for nurturing and training young talents in chess.  He's also a Chessable author of a course on World Champion Ding Liren.

FM Gustavo Cadena

FIDE 2207
FM Gustavo Cadena
FM Gustavo Cadena learned chess at the age of 7 from his father. He has achieved numerous national and international sporting successes. Among his many achievements, he was the U-17 III Pan-American Chess Champion in 2009, and represented his country in two World Championships. In addition to his chess achievements, Gustavo has a bachelor's degree in English and loves teaching chess to kids.

Amirali Delavari

FIDE 2209
Coach Amirali Delavari
Amirali Delavari learned to play chess when he was 6 years old. During his career he achieved more than 40 medals, and his favorite is when he became champion in his province when he was only 17 years old. He is studying for a masters of materials engineering.

NM Sid Schwartz

USCF 2118
NM Sid Schwartz
NM Sid Schwartz has been playing chess for a long time, dating back to before Bobby Fischer became World Chess Champion. Sid holds an M.A. in Mathematics from York University. He established a chess club during school and obtained University funding to send a team to the Pan American Intercollegiate Chess Championship where they tied for 4th place. He has been teaching chess since 2016. His other hobbies include singing and magic. Sid and his wife have two sons. They live in their Virginia home with their cats’ permission.

WFM Uthra Pakkirisamy

USCF 2029
WFM Uthra Pakkirisamy
WFM Uthra Pakkirisamy started playing chess at a summer chess camp at the age of 6. She fell in love with the game, and went on to win a gold medal at the Asian U-17 games. She has been coaching kids for more than 4 years. She holds a BA in Engineering, an MBA. Uthra lives with her husband and two children in Charlotte, NC.

WFM Aasa Dommalapati

USCF 2046
WFM Aasa Dommalapati started playing chess at the age of 5. She has participated at several international competitions since 2012 and was the Virginia State K-3 and K-5 champion. She was the president of her high school chess club, where she helped organize scholastic tournament fundraisers for kids. Aasa loves teaching kids chess, especially because it reminds her of when she was little and just started to play! She’s currently pursuing a BS in Industrial Engineering at Georgia Tech. She’s active at the university’s chess club and part of an Indian Bollywood Dance team, both of which she enjoys!  

WCM Savetha Chitrakala Haribaskar

USCF 2124
WCM Savetha CH
WCM Savetha CH was taught how to play chess by her parents at the age of 4. Savetha grew up in India and lives in NYC with her husband and their daughter. As a certified FIDE Instructor, Savetha has taught chess to children and adults of all ages and levels since 2016 and has won numerous National and International medals as a professional chess player.


Will Osborne

USCF 1897

Coach Will Osborne

Will Osborne has been playing chess since he joined his elementary school’s chess club at age 5. After rediscovering a love for the game in college, he started playing in tournaments at every opportunity and has been active in many chess clubs around the US. Will loves chess because of the community, the timelessness of the game, and the fact that we can always improve but never truly master it. When he is not playing or teaching chess, Will enjoys skiing, hiking, and playing guitar.


Luke Everett

USCF 1895

Coach Luke Everett

Luke Everett was taught how to play chess when he was six years old. Learning about pins and forks from an Australian neighbor created an enduring fascination for the game. Unfortunately, "real life" interfered with Luke's chess ambition for decades and he only started playing in tournaments after immigrating to the USA in 1996. Luke joined MCA (then Silver Knights) after seeing how much his daughter enjoyed the after-school programs and tournament training clubs. 


Laila Faerman

USCF 1893

Coach Laila Faerman

 Laila Faerman (Aka Lily Faerman) is a National Expert and has been teaching chess for 19 years now. She began her tournament playing in Moscow Russia where she was born. Laila has taught kids and adults of all ages. As a child she was the 2nd highest rated girl in her age group (U-14) in the US and represented USA at the Youth World Championship in 1996. Laila also was a high school champion of New York State in 1996. In 1998 Laila finished 3rd in the NYS woman’s championship. She loves working with kids, helping them to develop and manifest their talents. She is also a singer and an ultra runner.


WCM Rachelle-Mari Voges

FIDE 1583

WCM Rachelle-Mari Voges

With two of her brothers playing chess competitively, Rachelle practically grew up next to a chessboard. She played in her first official tournament at the age of five years old and fell in love with the power that chess has to teach valuable life skills in a dynamic and fun way. Rachelle has represented South Africa, her home country, at several World Youth games and in the Common Wealth, and she played for the South African University Team. She is an admitted attorney, owns her own café, and has been teaching chess (her favorite job!) to students for the last 10 years. 


Bryan Quick

USCF 1663

Coach Bryan Quick

Bryan Quick began teaching chess many years ago in New York City. In 2015, he was hired to lead the famed Marshall Chess Club as its executive director. In that role he significantly expanded the Club's educational offerings—introducing adult, senior, and a variety of scholastic courses—while overseeing a group of talented coaches. He is a FIDE certified instructor and arbiter. 


Alexander Morton

USCF 1650

Coach Alexander Morton

Alexander Morton has been playing chess since he was in middle school. Since 2016, Alexander has been working as a 7th grade US History teacher and was recently awarded recognition as Teacher of the Year! Alexander has been teaching chess for a number of years both in-person and online. Alexander continues to grow stronger as a player and as a coach, and he hopes to one day become a chess master within his own right.



James Bougher

USCF 1547

 Coach James Bougher

James Bougher learned chess at age 6 has been playing ever since. He loves that chess is a strategy game of perfect information, and that any that any two people can meet and play on even terms. James has been teaching with MCA since 2017. When he's not playing or teaching chess he likes snowboarding, playing the piano and studying Japanese.


Rachael Smith

USCF 1037

Coach Rachael

 Rachael's dad taught her how to play chess when she was 6 years old. She competed in her first scholastic chess tournament when she was 9. Her favorite thing about chess is the fact that anyone can be your opponent and they may very well beat you! It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old - it’s a game for everyone.


Bob Stephenson

Coach Bob Stephenson

Bob began learning chess at around age 8 by playing with his father. He was the Vice President of the Chess Club when he was in High School (many, many years ago)! Today, he still plays almost every day and still participates in the occasional tournament. Bob has been an actor in movies, television, and on the stage and was a radio broadcaster hosting a nationwide talk show. Now, Bob lives in Florida and is an audiobook narrator, voice actor, and chess coach! He loves sharing his love of chess with students and helping to bring out each student’s abilities.