2020: A Year in Review

By CEO National Master Evan Rabin

When National Master Jesse Lozano, National Master Bob Holliman, Shelby Lohrman and I won “Best Team Name” at the United States Amateur Team East last February with “Caruanavirus”, I had no idea the virus would have a major effect on my life.

“Caruana Virus” at 50th United States Amateur Team East, Feb 15-17, 2020
Bd 1: Jesse Lozano, Complete Chess
Bd 2: Evan Rabin, Premier Chess
Bd 3: NM Bob Holliman
Bd 4: Shelby Lohrman, American Chess Equipment

Two weeks later I did my last trip in several months, down to Raleigh, North Carolina for the United States Amateur Team South.

with Make a Difference Now student Revo on Duke University Campus

Shortly after, one-by-one, all of the 80+ schools we serve closed their doors. While this year most certainly had lots of challenges, I took a key lesson from Rabbi Mark Wildes, Founder of Manhattan Jewish Experience, shared last spring: “Use the coronavirus as an opportunity, not a problem.Some of my highlights of 2020 have been pivoting the virtual world, our new school programs that started since the pandemic,  my podcast and our rise in public relations: 

Pivoting to the Virtual World:


In mid-March, I got plenty of emails and calls from all our schools, telling us that they were shutting down. At first I thought some of our schools would operate, in particular our programs outside of New York, but one by one, they all shut down, especially after the New York City Department of Education announced the closing of all its schools. I quickly realized we would have to drastically pivot our business if we wanted to keep it alive. I had an in-person meeting with my friend Greg Magarshak, owner of Qbix to see what he could do for us in building a community platform.  As I did not know what our cash flow would look like for several months, I ended up looking for more cost-effective solutions.

Working with Brian Wilmeth, our Director of Virtual Programs, we ended up building a simple solution for virtual group classes with a combination of Zoom and Lichess.org. Before COVID-19, we did do some private lessons virtually but we did not run and group classes online. Since then we have converted many of our school programs and corporate classes to virtual classes, have had 300+ students in our camps and 100+ students in our group classes for all ages and skill levels. Thanks to the abolishment of geographical boundaries, we have also had the honor of working with students all over the nation and beyond, including one student from The Netherlands, a few in Israel and several in Canada.

Not only were were able to convert our programs to virtual learning but we have also started several new programs since the pandemic, including:

1) New American Academy Charter School 

Technically this program started a week before the pandemic but Brian Wilmeth only taught one class in person. I honestly thought this was the first school that would stop chess for the year since we just started but the school’s Director of Teaching Olawa Gibson was enthusiastic as could be about chess and would not let the school’s doors closing stop the chess program kicking off with full-steam. Since then the school’s chess program has grown to 40+ kids,  the students have been frenzied in classes, tournaments, ChessKid practice and more. We have also been in constant communication with Olawa Gibson and Lisa Watkins, the school’s Marketing Director, and we look forward to seeing the school’s progress.

2) DOROT

In October, we started facilitating a virtual intergenerational program for 25 Westchester high-school students and senior citizens. Each week I do a short lesson and hop around between breakout rooms as the seniors are playing against high schoolers.

3) Yeshiva of Flatbush 

We started our program at The Yeshiva of Flatbush earlier this month after one of my private students, who is a senior at the school, introduced me to the principal. We have started several of our school programs thanks to parent referrals but this was the first time we got warm introduction by a student.  Every Tuesday afternoon, I teach a 1-hour after-school program for their Yeshiva League team, which has 20 players, including 1 female student. Will she be the next Beth Harmon? That is too be determined; meanwhile, read my Queen’s Gambit review.

Podcast:

It feels like it was yesterday when my good friend Adam Shuty, the owner of Atomic Total Fitness, encouraged me to start a podcast; however, it was December of 2019 when that happened. On the contrary, in 2020, I recorded 121 inspirational podcast episodes about business, life and chess. Some of the highlight guests include National Master Bruce Pandolfini, Grandmaster Susan Polgar, Business Networking International’s Founder Ivan Misner, and Metro World Child’s Founder Bill Wilson. Stay tuned for many great episodes in 2021 and beyond.

Rise in Public Relations: 

We have organically built our public relations and online presence through our blog, Facebook page, Twitch stream, podcast and more. However, we also definitely got a lot of outside help! Check out these plethora of articles and podcast episodes were featured in:

How ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ Is Inspiring Women to Take Up Chess, New York Times, December 10, 2020

Pen For Hire Podcast with Matthew Harms, Episode 22, December, 2020

Exclusive: Founder Evan Rabin Talks Bringing Chess To The Masses Virtually Through Premier Chesstristatetaxresolution.com/the-benefits-of-learning-how-to-play-chess

The Benefits of Learning How to Play Chess with Evan Rabin

From Teenage Chess Students to Exemplary Adults

In-Person Chess Teaching in Time of a Pandemic

Use these Lessons from the Game of Chess to Rebuild your Company While the Coronavirus Crisis Fades

Thank you to all of our clients, partners, and others who have helped 2020 be a a successful year for Premier Chess, despite its challenges. While COVID-19 will still certainly be a nuisance in 2020, I am going to do what Michael Deutsch, owner of Hands on Hoops Skills, often suggests: “Control the controlables.”

Here are my business and personal New Year’s resolutions:  

1) Partner with four new monthly corporate clients for lunch and learns.  

2) Record at least 1 podcast episode each week. 

3) Create bigger work life balance; stop working each night at 9:00 PM. 

 

Chess is An Art of Titans

By Dmitriy Belyavskiy 

Chess is a wonderful, exciting and intellectual game, which has been around for almost 1,500 years, played around the world by different ages from schoolboys and schoolgirls to scientists, artists, and even “played” by politicians and world dictators.

History of chess does not keep the exact record where precisely this wonderful and intellectual game originated at first. Chess historians haven’t found any written proof yet that chess existed before the 7th century CE. However, some believe chess originated in India in about the 6th century CE and is said to have been the creation of an Indian philosopher who set out to invent a game symbolizing a battle between two Indian armies. He called his game chaturanga, which means army game. War was the chief means by which territory was annexed or rulers defeated in ancient India, so the newly developed game was very relevant.

There is no evidence as to when chess actually reached Europe, so historians put the date between 700 and 900, and the first contemporary evidence of the knowledge dates back to the year 1010 when the Count of Urgell left his rock-crystal chessmen to the Convent of St. Giles at Nimes (France). The early medieval times were the years of the Crusades and the church dominance and the looming 1215 Magna Carta, and because of these pious and liturgical times one of the chess pieces was called a “bishop.” The name of this piece, which moves diagonally, is still preserved.

Vikings brought chess to northwestern Europe, eventually spreading over the entire European continent. Just when you thought that Columbus discovered America, half a millennium before that, a Viking, Eriksson did a “discovered check”-one of the types of a check in chess-sailing by or even possibly setting foot in the New World. Vikings were brave, intelligent and explorative warriors constantly fighting wars and conquering new territories, and the chess game was the perfect imitation of their lives.

Both the rules of the game and the names and shapes of the pieces have changed over time. Still, we can find some resemblance, e.g. a piece that looks like a tower or castle called a Rook, and used to be called a castle about 500 years ago…And still, we have a special move called castling when a Rook and the King are switching places and this is the only time when a player can move two pieces at once. Nonetheless, by 1290 the differences had become so great that it was necessary to draw up a set of rules to govern play when players from different countries met. About 1500(!) innovations started to reappear, and it was not until 1900 that uniform rules were adopted throughout Europe. Today FIDE (Fédération Internationale des Echecs, World Chess Federation), founded in 1924, unites more than 150 countries.

The game was at one time the pastime of the nobility, but it gradually spread to the lower classes. It was played a lot in ghettos, and by the 16th century, it had become a recognized pastime for Jews on the Sabbath and other festivals. Jewish people throughout the millenniums have greatly appreciated and cherished intelligence and education, and chess was always to represent that. There is still an inside joke amongst the Jewish people, that every Jewish “kindale” (means a child in Yiddish) is an Albert Einstein and either has to be a violinist or a chess player, preferably both.

Knowledge of chess became an essential part of the equipment of the troubadour and traveling minstrel. This was during the Shakespearian and Cervantes times when manners, courting, and chivalry still existed. Imagine, instead of saying, “Hey babe, you wanna go out” you would say something like, “excuse me, my fair lady, would you care for a game of chess?” How sexy and orgasmic this is!

Eventually, chess became the game of intellectuals, as the first chess books were written and published, for instance by a great 18th-century chess player and theoretician, Philidor, who was also a prominent composer. Philidor considered both chess and music as art, and famously said, “The pawns are the soul of chess.”

Prominent chess players had been gathering in cafes in two major cities, Paris and London, which were considered the chess capitals of the world, and finally the very first international chess tournament was played in London in 1851. This was soon followed by the first chess world championship match when Wilhelm Steinitz defeated Johannesburg Zukertot in 1886, becoming the very first chess world champion.

By the late 19th century and early 20th-century chess became very popular around the world, thanks to the prominent grandmasters and the champions. They showed how intellectual the chess is, and its benefits to the brain. A good example, which illustrates just that, is chess and science. Many prominent musicians, chemists, physicists, naturalists, and indeed philosophers not only spend much of their spare time playing chess but also were fabulous and very strong chess players. A famous Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev was a strong chess player of the first category.

At the same time many chess champions and professional chess players (grandmasters) earned a doctoral degree. Emmanuel Lasker (1868-1941), the second world champion had a doctoral degree in math, Alexander Alekhine (1892-1946), the fourth world champion had a Ph.D. in law, Mikhail Botvinnik (1911-1995), the sixth world champion obtained his doctorate in math and cybernetics, and in 1949 he published a major work on electrical engineering called Regulation of Excitation and Static Stability of the Synchronic Machine. Garry Kasparov (1963- ), the 13th world champion was born on April 13th, lived in a building number 13, got admitted into a university on June 13th, and finally became the 13thworld champion. How about that for a superstition! Richard Reti (1889-1929) a famous Austro-Hungarian/Czechoslovakian (now the Czech Republic) grandmaster and a chess theoretician also studied math (obtaining later Ph.D.) and physics at Vienna University. He also set a blindfold simultaneous record by playing 29 games simultaneously in 1925 of which he won 20, drew 7 and lost 2. After he finished, the grandmaster left the building and forgot his briefcase. The grandmaster was chased down the street by one of the event organizers, telling him, “Doctor, you forgot your briefcase, here it is.” Reti at first became embarrassed and then exclaimed, “Thank you very much! Forgive me; I have such a bad memory!”

Most grandmasters were highly educated people, scholars, and also absent-minded geniuses, yet with a great sense of humor. While playing in the New York 1924 chess tournament, an Austrian grandmaster and one of the wittiest, Savielly Tartakower, visited the Bronx Zoo. There he became friends with a local orangutan, Susan, and the very next day dedicated the opening to his new friend, dubbing it as the “Orangutan Opening.”

One of the greatest chess players ever, a Polish grandmaster, Akiba Rubinstein, who sadly never became the world champion, once played in a tournament and was extremely preoccupied with the upcoming game. He left his hotel room thinking about the game, went to a local restaurant, ordered a three-course dinner, ate it, paid the bill, and left the restaurant, still thinking about the upcoming game. Then he took a walk around a lake still thinking about the upcoming game. After that, he came back to the very same restaurant, ordered the very same three-course dinner, ate it to complete astonishment of a waiter, paid for it, and left the restaurant, absolutely oblivious that he did exactly the same thing 30 minutes ago, still thinking about the game.

Regrettably, for the first half of the 20th century most chess players struggled financially unless they were born into a wealthy family. Chess was financially unappreciated, and the better part of chess players was forced to play exhibition games, simultaneous display games to entertain the crown in order to make the ends meet. A very few were lucky in finding Maecenas, i.e. generous patrons of art, including chess, who would fund their living expenses, tournaments, and even matches for the chess crown. Before 1948 a challenger for the chess crown must have provided with a $10,000 prize money, while the chess champion had a luxury not just go for the prize money but to pick and choose whether he wants a convenient opponent or just go for a real challenge. $10,000 was a lot of money back then.

Dawid Janowski, a Polish/French grandmaster, and once a challenger for the chess crown in 1910 had had a Maecenas for a long time. Janowski had a very ill-temper, and also was an inveterate gambler. Once, after winning a tournament in Monte Carlo in 1901, he lost all the prize money-a few thousand dollars-he just won in a casino at the roulette wheel. Janowski due to his bad temper managed to fall out with his Maecenas when the latter asked the grandmaster for a game of the chess and the former replied that he doesn’t play with tailor’s dummies. Dawid Janowski died in poverty from tuberculosis in 1927. Many prominent and famous chess players of the first half of the 20th century shared this very ill fate, dying in poverty as paupers or dying in mental asylums and/or suffering from schizophrenia, including the American master, the greatest chess master of his era, Paul Morphy, as well as Akiba Rubenstein and the first world champion Wilhelm Steinitz. It was not until the 1950s when the Chess Federation established international chess rules and laws, including the format for the qualifying matches, and the match for the chess crown. Still, financially chess was greatly unappreciated. As of today, compared to other sports and arts, chess players make such a minuscule amount from $20,000 to $100,000 a year, and sometimes even less, in addition to paying their own expenses and accommodation fees. The match for the chess crown only has a fund of only $2.5-3 million divided between the winner and the loser in the ratio of 60 to 40.

After the end of WWII and the beginning of the Cold War chess became a very powerful political and ideological weapon between the USA and the evil Russia/USSR. It seemed like Russia had hegemony over chess since the end of WWII, spending a fortune on it, paying a fortune to the soviet champions. In the Soviet Union, this manifested in receiving a 5-room apartment in an elite neighborhood, a car, a dacha (a country cottage), an ability to attain good food, and also availability to travel abroad and buy Western products.

It was only until a young prodigy Robert Fisher stormed and climbed at the very top of the “Chess Olympus.”

Not only was he was defeating and eliminating his opponents, but he was also simply humiliating them. Finally, at the peak of his form in 1972, Fisher defeated Boris Spassky in Reykjavik, Iceland and became the 11th world champion. This was an extremely heavy blow for the soviets especially when the blow came from the Americans. So they threw all their dark forces, evil, and conspiracy to return the chess crown back to the “evil empire.” To make a long story short, the late Bobby Fisher was stripped from the chess title and a new soviet chess player, a very mediocre and talentless, Anatoly Karpov was crowned as a new champion…Viktor Korchnoi, a soviet Jew grandmaster and Soviet Champion in 1960, 1962 and 1964 was persecuted a lot for being Jewish and for refusal to help Karpov defeating Bobby Fisher. Korchnoi secretly fled to Switzerland, becoming a dissident, and played Karpov twice in 1978 and 1981 becoming the challenger for the World Championship, but lost twice because he was pressured and blackmailed by the Soviet authorities since he still had his family in the USSR…

Nowadays, chess is still greatly marginalized and unappreciated both intellectually and financially. The 13th world champion Gary Kasparov, just like Bobby Fisher grieved and lamented that chess isn’t paid much, let alone that compared to other sports it is very minuscule. Kasparov argued that boxers, who entertain the crowd by throwing punches are paid 20-30 million dollars, and the chess players, who use their brain cells, and the grey matter for 5-6 hours, merely are paid anything. Kasparov tried to sign a contract with General Motors to boost chess popularity.  However, with no avail; after the contract had expired, GM refused to extend it. Sadly, many chess players nowadays, choose something else, terminating their chess careers, because chess won’t provide and put food on the table. As a very young man in 1999 at the Chess World Championship in Las Vegas, I had an opportunity to talk to Valery Salov, who was once ranked the third best chess player in the world, in the mid-90s. He told me that he was going to retire from chess because it didn’t provide for his family as he was struggling financially. He added that realistically only 10 best players in the world can survive playing chess professionally

So, what is chess? Is it an art, sport, a great tool for education and improvement of one’s counting abilities, or merely a game that played and enjoyed by millions? The answer might not be an orthodox one, however, should not be a shocking either. Chess is everything! Most important chess is an art, as the fourth chess world champion Alexander Alekhine (1892-1946) once noticed. Indeed chess is an art of titans, which helps to develop memory, mathematical and analytical skills, sense of responsibility, perseverance, and improves problem-solving, critical thinking, scientific method, and approach.

Chess is an amazing game and sport of beauty, art, and intelligence. Whether one is playing blindfolded, solving chess problems, showing great endurance by playing a 6-hour chess game in a chess tournament or simply playing a pastime easy game with a friend, he or she is exercising and improving memory, math, calculation, analytical skills, and most important critical thinking. So perhaps next time when parents watch their children playing video games, watching Star Wars or something like that, or even playing outside with a baseball, football or basketball, maybe they should consider chess. It won’t hurt!

 

Growing in Chess and Judaism

By Premier Chess CEO National Master Evan Rabin 

 

I was born and raised on the Upper West Side as a reform Ashkenazi Jew. I had my bar mitzvah at Stephen Wise Synagogue and went to Churchill and Dwight. In 2008, thanks to some inspiration from Alanna Katz, I went on an Oranim Taglit trip. While on the trip, I quickly developed a longing to learn more about Jewish roots and Judaism. Soon after I started regularly attending Peretz and Chanie Chein’s Chabad of Brandeis University

Dancing at Chabad of Brandeis Gala, 2009

and studied abroad with Masa Israel at Tel Aviv University in 2011.

While representing Masa Israel at the 2016 Israeli American Council Conference, I experienced an instance of divine providence as I sat on a table at the gala dinner with a JIC Board Member who a few minutes later introduced me to Steve Eisenberg. After the conference, I started regularly attending JICNY events and went on Steve’s Israel Recharge trip in 2017.

 

Since then, in between my ‘day job’, running Premier Chess, which does corporate classes, school programs and private lessons, full-time, I have spent a lot of time growing in Judaism, in Steve Eisenberg’s Torah classes and the Manhattan Jewish Experience fellowship/senior fellowship.

 

For more about my growth in Judaism and experiences with JICNY, check out my reflection of Founder Jodi Samuels’ book Chutzpah, Wisdom and Wine.

 


Whether it is chess, business, life or anything you would like to improve on, you should realize there are transferrable skills on all of the above. A good coach does not just teach his trade but rather demonstrates life skills like confidence, thought process, evaluation methods and more. Therefore, all of the experiences referred to above may have not taught me any openings, middlegames or endgames but they all have helped me improve a chess player.

Virtual Winter Break Camp Update

By CEO National Master Evan Rabin 

Our 3-day first week of virtual camp flew by. Here are some numbers of camp so far: 

-76+ registrations 

-7 instructors

-8-1 student-teacher ratio

This past week we had a whopping 40 kids in the mornings, split into 5 groups, taught by National Expert Brian Wilmeth, Director of Virtual Programs, Phil Rosenberg, Director of School Programs, Candidate Master Danilo Cuellar, Rockland country Instructor, Abe Salemeh, Manhattan Instructor, and National Master Alan Kantor, Tennessee Instructor . In the afternoon, we had 24 kids in 3 groups, taught by Brian, Phil and Gary Ryan, Manhattan Instructor. In the West Coast Afternoon, we had 5 students, taught by Los Angeles Instructor John Machtig.

I sat in and taught some guest lessons each day and participated in tournaments. Check out a lesson I did about lose pieces yesterday here:

To keep students’ energy flowing, we make sure to do hourly stretch and exercise breaks. Thank you to our close education partner and two-time podcast guest Michael Deutsch, CEO of Hands on Hoops Skills for doing a ball skills demo on day 1.

Stay tuned for some special guests for exercise breaks next week. 

Here are our registration numbers for next week as of now: 

-Morning: 22 students, 3 classes 

-Afternoon: 14 students, 2 classes 

-West Coast Afternoon: 4 students, 1 class 

As always, we expect to get lots of last-minute sign-ups so expect to see at least one additional group per class. 

“The Queen’s Gambit” – Wake up ladies and learn to play chess for fun!

By Wendy Oliveras, MS, Creative Founder & CEO at SHESS Global Alliance, LLC

I am fascinated and excited by the remarkable success of the NETFLIX series “The Queen’s Gambit,” which focuses on a young female orphan who plays the game of chess at genius levels.\

I’m particularly gratified that the positive reaction to the show has resulted in extraordinarily increased levels of interest in the game, particularly among women. The fact is that I have been advocating for women, particularly those in business, to learn to play chess since 2012. My message is very clear – every business woman should learn to play chess for fun because the skills required to play are transferable tools you can use in your daily activities, including business success.

Skills such as critical thinking and analytical reasoning are but a few. Chess is an intellectual game that mimics a battle of war between two minds. Playing chess teaches you to build confidence in your abilities, focus, memorization, tactical planning, and development of effective strategic moves to win.

Women can also use chess tactics for problem solving. For instance, playing chess requires you to think, plan, and then react to your opponent’s next move. In life and business, your opponent is either a person, place, or thing or a direct competitor in your marketplace. If you do not stay vigilant and observe what your opponent is doing, then you will make mistakes and potentially lose something of real value to you.

So, what is it about this intellectual and logical game that women have shied away from since it was created nearly 1500 years ago? It’s no secret the societal perception has been that chess is a man’s game and women are not smart enough to play and master the game in the same way that males do. The sad fact is approximately just 14% of women compete in professional chess worldwide.  Not a very high percentage.

Therefore, what gives? I think women are intimidated by chess, perhaps fear not being able to grasp the game and rules, view the game as boring, or just can’t find the time to learn. Notwithstanding it all, if you really set your mind to it, you can accomplish anything you want, including learning to play chess for fun, and so much more.  Just think about the little orphan girl in “The Queen’s Gambit” who harnessed her knowledge of the game to ultimately rise to fame and fortune. Wake up ladies and learn to play. I assure you that you will never regret it!

_____________

Wendy Oliveras is a business entrepreneur and author who works to inspire women in business to gain confidence in themselves and learn to play chess. As an avid chess player and small business consultant herself, for over eight years she has been passionately advocating for women in business to learn to play the game for life development. Her upcoming new book entitled “CHECKMATE MOVES FOR BUSINESS STARTUPS: Tactical Advantages from Gameboard to Life” will be available online in mid-January 2021. If you want to get inspired, learn to play chess, and develop winning life and business tactics, this is the book for you! Stay tuned!

“Carpe Diem” — Press Opportunities Abound for Chess Pros Following the Popularity of “The Queen’s Gambit”

Now is the Time to Increase Brand Awareness for your Chess-Related Business with Public Relations Outreach

By Andrea Pass

According to Netflix, The Queen’s Gambit is its most-watched limited series with 62 million accounts watching within the first 28 days of release. The show is based on Walter Tevis’ 1983 novel of the same name about a female orphaned chess prodigy who battles addictions to pills and alcohol while beating male grandmaster after male grandmaster.

From the public relations standpoint of “The Queen’s Gambit,” a whole new audience of chess players has emerged as a result of the show. Chess.com estimates adding 12.2 million new members since the start of the pandemic and the show’s debut. This means an opportunity for businesses in the chess category to seize the day and become part of media coverage of the resurgence and, for some, newfound appreciation for the game.

Working with a professional public relations professional can certainly lead to increased media coverage in print, broadcast and online press. Ongoing earned media placements translate to growing brand awareness, staying relevant and, ultimately, driving sales. Each interview provides opportunities to secure new business, new clients, and new chess players.

Today, consumers absorb an estimated 11 hours per day of content. It is time for chess businesses and chess pros to secure more of that content by participating in interviews. Check out National Master Evan Rabin’s quote in FIDE Master Dylan Mclain’s recent New York Times article

Features, for example on podcasts, reach targeted audiences and wider ranging listeners who might be ready to take the leap to learn chess.

Every press outreach can mean a new relationship for a business.

Media highlights are oftentimes evergreen. They can be shared on social media now and again and again in the coming months and years. This means that public relations secured content becomes part of a business’ marketing arsenal for quite some time to come.

Where to start? Begin by speaking with an experienced public relations professional. That expert will know exactly where to kick off and which media to engage with to book appropriate coverage. Media training is key as is developing targeted message points. Remember that interviews provide editorial information. But, the ultimate goal, is to drive sales.

The worldwide shift and cultural phenomenon of chess due to “The Queen’s Gambit” is opening doors for those in the business of chess to grow.

Carpe diem!

Andrea Pass is the Founder and CEO of Andrea Pass Public Relations. To learn more about her, see her appearance on our podcast

14 Virtual Winter Classes for All Ages Skill Levels, Unrated-Master, Starting January 4

Classes will be taught by Premier Chess CEO National Master Evan Rabin, Grandmaster Mark Paragua, our Director of Virtual Programs Expert Brian Wilmeth and other experienced instructors.

-All Classes will be held on Zoom and feature and incorporate live lecturespractice games and puzzles.

We have 9 youth options, 4 adult options and 1 senior option for group classes.

-We will have an 8-1 student-teacher ratio for all classes.

-Weekend options are available.

-Discounts available for signing up for multiple classes.

For live commentary and tidbits from previous classes, see twitch.tv/premierchess.

***Use PROMO CODE “gratitude” by end of week for 10% off group classes.

Also coming up is our Virtual Winter Break Camp, December 21-January 1

 Questions: Reach out to Evan Rabin, CEO of Premier Chess at evan@premierchess.com or (917) 776-1306.

Foresight in Chess and Financial Planning

By Audrey Schwartz

I am the first to admit that I am chess failure.  My brother tried to teach me when I was a teen but after he repeatedly beat me in three moves, I decided to hang up my knight and play solitaire.  Looking back, I can see that I was either unable or unwilling to anticipate my opponent’s next move while my brother could so easily predict mine.

The irony is that I chose a career in finance which required just that skill.   Early on, I worked on a trading desk. Success depended on the ability to anticipate where the markets were headed, and act based on that anticipation. Now I am a financial advisor.  My most important responsibility is to encourage my clients to weigh the risk of the unthinkable with the cost of being financially prepared for it either through insurance products or retirement planning.

How has this experience prepared me to play chess after all these years? My opponent is the capital markets who needs to be studied before the next move is madeThe king is the retirement goal that requires protection even if some sacrifices are required. Benjamin Franklin once said “By failing to plan, you are planning to fail”… I wonder how his chess game was.

Audrey Schwartz is a financial advisor based in the Metropolitan New York area. Learn more about her services here

Our Streamer Network

By Premier Chess CEO National Master Evan Rabin

The above screenshot is from a late-night Lichess.org simul stream that I did last night.

Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura single handedly brought chess on the Twitch map with his stream; he frequently has 10,000+ concurrent viewers.

Since then, I have been inspired to stream more and more, where I frequently do lessons and live commentary on simuls and tournaments. On Saturday, December 19th at 10:00 AM; I will be streaming Chess in the Schools Online Brooklyn Chess Day tournament. See CIS CEO Debbie Eastburn on this recent podcast episode.

Twitch has been a great way to build community and garner interest for our virtual group classes and camp

Here are our few favorite streamers that we cross-promote with and frequently raid:

Chess Coach John 

Our podcast guest John Hendrick, Founder of Foundation Chess, frequently streams slow games with analysis, most often during the day.

Fortuna Chess Coach 

I never met Jacob Fortuna in person but we have been good friends through each other’s streams. A few weeks ago we did a joint stream, where we shared each other’s videos to analysis one each of our respective accounts. By day he is a programmer but most evenings, he will stream tournaments, simuls, games against viewers and much more.

Mad Quick Chess

National Master Andrew Koenigsberg is a great player and commentator; learn more about him on this podcast episode. He frequently streams bullet, blitz and poker.

BK Chess


Started by Brooklyn Tech H.S. and Edward R. Murrow H.S. seniors Jacob Kulik and Marcus Sutton, bkchess brings students together by playing, commentating, and interacting with chat! All of their proceeds go to Chess in the Schools.

Chess Dojo Live 

ChessDojo is a hub for chess players, improvers, and coaches, run by International Master Kostya Kavutskiy. It has lots of educational content.

While many of us are still in varying degrees of quarantine, Twitch is a great way for us to stay connected. I have also found some great music channels on there, some of which are nice to listen to in the background, while I work. If anyone would like to start but needs assistance, feel free to email me.