Meet Our Coaches!

 Our online coaches strive to make the best experience for your kids! The chess icons next to their name will let you know which classes levels they are currently teaching. 
Keep in mind this is the general schedule we are currently following but does not include subs for when coaches are on vacation or off. 

BIJAL     ♟ ♞ ♝

Coach Bijal

Bijal has been teaching Math and Social Studies to school kids for more than 10 years, and has been playing chess since she was a kid. Teaching her daughter how to play chess inspired her to teach other kids as well and led her to join Silver Knights. She makes learning chess a fun experience and is very passionate about her job. When she's not playing chess, she also enjoys art and surrounding herself with nature.


Bob     ♟ ♞ ♝

coach bob
Bob began learning chess at around age 8 or 9 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 he was a Radio Broadcaster and hosted a nationwide talk show out of Chicago. 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.

ALEXANDER     ♞ ♝ ♜ 

Coach Alexander

Alexander (USCF: 1650) has been playing chess since he was in middle school and was inspired to teach the wonderful game of 64 squares as a private chess coach and as an after-school chess instructor. Since 2016, Alexander has been working at Nottoway Middle School as a 7th grade US History teacher. He was recently awarded recognition as Teacher of the Year for the middle school during the 2020-2021 school year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Alexander has also been invited to teach chess at the Longwood University Talented and Gifted Summer Camps two years in the running. 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. If you want to follow him, please reach out at

GLORIA     ♞ ♝ ♜

coach gloria
Gloria started playing chess when she was in elementary school, and really started to enjoy it after attending one of the summer Silver Knights camps. She likes how chess is an activity that she can fully immerse her mind in and is something she can enjoy as a hobby for the rest of her life. Her favorite thing about teaching Silver Knights students is being able to visibly see them improve. Seeing their faces light up when they get a concept, tactic, or problem they previously had trouble on is among my best experiences teaching. Gloria is a second-year student at the University of Virginia, majoring in Computer Science. She plays chess competitively with her university team at multiple tournaments. She also enjoys dancing and coding in her free time!


Noah     ♞ ♝ ♜

JAMES     ♞ ♝ ♜

coach james
James (USCF 1533) 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 Silver Knights since 2017. When he's not playing or teaching chess he likes snowboarding, playing the piano and studying Japanese.

GINA     ♝ ♜

Gina Quintiliani (USCF 1400) has been an avid chess player ever since she taught herself how to play chess as a child. She has more than a decade of experience teaching chess on both the West and East coasts. She has degrees in biology, literature, and theology.

Bryan     ♜ ♛

Chess Coach Bryan
Bryan (USCF 1663) began teaching chess in New York City, first with Chess-in-the-Schools and then with Growing Minds Chess Academy. 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.

DAVID     ♛

Chess Coach Dave. Teaches beginners, intermediate, advanced. USCF rated 1800.

David (USCF 1810) has been teaching chess, math, and computer science for more than fifteen years. This includes some individual and school state champions in Maryland! David has a peak USCF rating of 2088, and once played blitz chess with world champion Mikhail Tal! David loves sharing his enthusiasm for chess with students of all skill levels, from new beginners to strong tournament playes. David is a graduate of the University of Illinois - Champaign.



Laila      ♛

Coach Laila

Laila Faerman (Aka Lily Faerman) is a National Expert with a peak USCF rating of 2050. She has been teaching chess for 19 years now and began her tournament playing in Moscow Russia where she was born. Laila has taught kids of all ages and adults as well. As a child she was the 2nd highest rated girl in her age group (Under 14 years old) in the US and represented USA at the Youth World Championship in Paris, France in 1996. Laila also was a high school champion of the New York State in 1996 and competed in Hawaii at the Denker Tournament where there were winners of all 50 states. 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.

ADARSH     ♛  ♚

Coach Adarsh

Adarsh is a FIDE Master (FIDE 2361) and has been playing chess since the age of 7. Adarsh is a commerce student and has won multiple International/National/State achievements which include a Commonwealth Silver Medal in U12 (2017). Adarsh is currently actively pursuing his ambition of getting an International Master title while simultaneously fulfilling his passion for nurturing and training young talents in chess by working with MCA.

UTHRA     ♛  ♚

Coach Uthra

Uthra started playing chess at a summer chess camp at the age of 6. She fell in love with the game, and went on to earn the WFM title and won a gold medal at the Asian U-17 games. She has a peak FIDE rating of 2114 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.

SID     ♛  ♚

Chess Coach Sid. National Master. Teaches advanced students

Sid (USCF 2118) 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 (Toronto, Canada). While studying there he established a chess club and obtained University funding to send a team to the Pan American Intercollegiate Chess Championship where the team tied for 4th place. Sid earned his National Chess Master title in 1983. He has been teaching chess with Silver Knights since he retired from the Federal Government in 2016 after a 37-year career. At the time of his retirement Sid was Director of a Center of Social Scientists, Statisticians, Survey Specialists, and Data Analysts at the US GAO. His other hobbies include singing and magic. Sid and his wife have two sons. They live in their Vienna, Virginia home with their cats’ permission.

Aasa     ♛ ♚

Chess Coach Aasa


Aasa (USCF 2075) started playing chess at the age of 5 and it has been a part of her life ever since. She has participated at several International competitions since 2012 (World Youth events 2012 -2015 and Pan American & North American Youth events 2013 to 2019). She won her title as a WFM at the 2018 Pan American Youth Championships. She was also the Virginia State K-3 champion 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 along with playing tournaments, 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. Along with being active at the university’s chess club, she’s also part of an Indian Bollywood Dance team, both of which she enjoys!  

GM Coach Johan

Grandmaster Johan Hellsten teaches for elite academy

GM Johan Hellsten is one of the most skilled chess players out of Sweden. Just a year after achieving his grandmaster title, Hellsten made a clear first place finish in the 2005 Copa Entel tournament in Chile with a remarkable 10/12 points. In 2006, he achieved the top chess honor in his country by becoming Swedish Chess Champion. He 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. He has trained the Swedish U20 team and given lectures at the US Chess School.