Premier Chess Group Class on Upper West Side

Premier Chess Group Class on Upper West Side
Group Class at Saint John Villa Academy 

Students at our Summer Camp at ZPlay
Are you looking for a great opportunity for your child to learn chess but his school doesn’t offer it and private lessons too expensive? Does your child play in his school’s program but want more practice for tournaments? If you answered yes to either question, you can consider signing your child up for Premier Chess Group Class:

Premier Chess CEO and I Love the Upper West Side Writer Evan Rabin will teach opening, middle game and endgame strategy, review tactical themes and get students ready to compete in tournaments. 

Here are some of reasons you should consider taking class: 

•   Benjamin Franklin once said “Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail.” Chess will help you think strategically!
•   Prepare for local chess tournaments, City Championships, State Championships and National Championships (tournaments are not required but are encouraged)
•   Chess is also great way to meet new friends, both in school and out. Premier Chess CEO’s National Master Evan Rabin has played chess in 9 different countries and has connections literally around the world through the game! 

Class will be held at ZPlay School, located at 150 West 72nd Street, Suite 2A, New York, NY, 10023  
Register here.  Use promo code “iluws” for $50 off if you sign up by end of week. 

Tying for First in the USA Chess Tour Brooklyn Championship!

by CEO National Master Evan Rabin 

with Organizers IM Milos Scekic, GM Vladimir Romanenko and Ekaterina Romanenko
In Action against Christopher Tyau from Hawaii!

When you think of the big chess tournaments in the United States, you think of one organization, Bill Goichberg’s Continental Chess Association. A bulk of the major tournaments, including the World Open, Chicago Open and Philadelphia Open are run by them. However, Goichberg does not have a monopoly; several other organizers, including the Charlotte Chess Center and USA Chess Tour are starting to organize big money events. This past weekend, I had the honor of participating in and tying for the first in the U2200 section of the USA Chess Tour’s Brooklyn Chess Classic this past weekend. 

Don’t let the name fool you; the tournament took place in Manhattan. USA Chess Tour is organizing championships for each of New York’s 5 boroughs, but they are all taking place at the Stewart Hotel on 31st and 7th Avenue in Manhattan. The tournament had nice conditions with chess sets and clocks supplied. Every round they raffled off Amazon gift cards and magazines, courtesy of American Chess Magazine. The winners of each section took home large trophies, in addition to prizes. Since there was a small turnout, a large percentage of participants took home money. 
The tournament was flexible with two 2-day accelerated schedules, one for the early birds starting at 9:00 AM and another starting at 1:00 PM for those like myself who wanted to sleep in. 
I had a fast start to tournament, going 4–0 in my first four games. In round 5, I drew IS 318 Alumni National Expert Mubassar Uddin, who ended up tying for first with Jelvis Arrandela Calvelo and I. In round 6, I outplayed the top seat of the tournament National Master Noah Thomforde-Toastes. 
Here is my round 3 win against Expert Eden Diano:
Going into the last round, I was a full point ahead of the field with a score of 5.5/6. Calvelo and Uddin both had 4.5 points; therefore a draw or win would secure the match. Psychologically this can be a difficult situation as it is very tempting to play conservatively to the point where you are too passive. 
In Calvelo’s game against Uddin in round 4, he played 1.d4, d5, 2.c4, Nf6?!, which is a dubious move that gives white an easy advantage with a big center. I looked into online databases and saw he played this Nf6 moves several times. Therefore, for the first time in a long time, I played 1.d4 instead of my usual 1.e4. He then shocked me by playing 2. C5, the Benoni defense. Fortunately, I used to play the black side of the Benoni so knew the theory pretty well and got an advantage. However, I eventually made a few errors and blundered a pawn in some of the tactical complications and went on to lose. 
Too be honest, never did I ever feel so bittersweet about tying for first in a tournament. On one hand, I had a great tournament and won a nice $933; on the other, a few simple stakes costed me almost $700. Clear first place was worth $1600. 
Nevertheless, I am certainly happy I played in this inaugural event of the USA Chess Tour. I look forward to playing in the “Queens Championship” at the Stewart Hotel December 7-9: They also have an amazing IM-GM tournament coming up November 1-5: 

First American World Champion Since 1972?!

First American World Champion Since 1972?!

Image result for fabiano caruana magnus carlsen

This Friday, November 9, World Champion Magnus Carlsen will take on Fabiano Caruana, the first American challenger since Bobby Fischer in 1972 in the first game of the 2018 World Championship Match in London!

In 2016, I had the opportunity to attend one of the games of the match Magnus played against Challenger Sergey Karjakin in our home turf of New York City. I even had the honor of getting on Norweigian television as I stood by Magnus’ manager Espen Agdestein during the press conference!:!/video/134450/mann-forvirrer-direktesendingen

One day in 2000, my former teach Alan Kantor took me to the tournament, warning me that as a 1000-rated player, I would likely lose all of my games. After losing eight or nine straight games, I saw an eight-year old kid and thought to my self “Wow- I could finally win a game in this tournament”. I started playing against him and he blundered a queen. Sure enough I ended up blundering one back and went on to lose the game. I asked him what his name and rating was; he shockingly told me he was “Fabiano Caruana” and had a rating of 1833. At the time, I heard of his name but didn’t know what he looked like.

Since that day, I had the pleasure of watching Fabiano grow up a chess player in New York. Gary Ryan, the co-organizer of our 1st Annual Grace Church School and Brooklyn Friends School Grand Prix, was one his first teachers.

One day many up and coming juniors, including GM Robert Hess, GM Marc Arnold, Fabiano and I were running around, letting off some steam between rounds at a Marshall Chess Club tournament. Fabiano’s father Lou told him he couldn’t hang out with us and had to prepare for the next game.

A year or two later, Fabiano was already a strong master and moved to Europe to take chess on as a full-time career. I do have the honor of being able to say I drew him in one action game at one of his last few tournaments at the Marshall before he moving to Europe when he was already a master:

In 2006, I saw Fabiano at the Eastern Open when his dad Lou expressed how that was one of the few tournaments he would play at the U.S at the time as it was mostly 1 game per day.

In 2015, Fabiano returned to the United States, living in St. Louis and has been the top player in the country.

To date, Fabiano has played Magnus in 33 classical games. These were the results:

-10 Magnus wins
-5 Fabiano wins
-18 draws

The match, which will last from 11/9 to 11/28, will be directed by Stephane Escate from France.

Time Magazine, NY Times and The Guardian have already covered articles about match; let’s see how much the major publications cover the match as it begins.

While you can follow the mainstream media, you can also keep up with the match via these four platforms:


2)Revealing the Power of Chess to the World of Business & Finance/ World Championship Update, 11/15



Let’s go Team Fabi!!!

The Four Pillars of a Successful School Program!

The Whole is Greater than the sum of its parts“- Aristotle

There are four pillars that need to come together in order for a school program to be successful: 
1) Administration 
2) Faculty Advisor 
3) Parent 
4) Student Ambassador
A program can start with the buy-in of one or two, but without the blessing of all four, it won’t truly kick off and get sufficient student participation to get members ready to represent school at tournaments. 
It is important for principal and other administrators to be aware of program and present it to greater student body. In one of the schools in which we run Middle School and High School electives, there was an Elementary School after-school club for many years but the Headmaster didn’t even know about it when we first inquired about whether or not there was chess in the school!
If a faculty advisor or PTA approves of program, that is Okay in the beginning, but its important for the principal to be involved. In one school in Manhattan, we started with an after-school club after working with their Operations Manager but now we are talking about starting curriculum classes after being close with the principal. 
Faculty Advisor

The faculty advisor can be anyone in the school not on the administration- after-school director, teacher, college counselor, etc. At the Grace Church School, for example, there is a science teacher who talks up our high school club as he used to run an informal one himself.   

Many of programs have originated because parents have requested us to administration. Sometimes they are on PTA; other times, they are not. 
In addition to helping getting programs started, parents are important to help each encourage their parent friends to sign up their kids and take them to tournaments. 
Student Ambassador 

Students will listen to their fellow classmates more than anyone! If their peers are doing “it”, they want to do to the same! That’s why its important to find a student ambassador, who can help get other students to become involved in club and tournaments. At Torah Academy of Bergen County, we quickly expanded our club from 4-6 regular participants to 15+ weekly, once we got the chess team captain to spread the word about how our expert instructor could help them win their Yeshiva league competitions. 
With all of these 4 fundamental assets, like the four sons on the Passover table, you can start a successful chess program. Within 2-3 months after starting one, students will generally know the rules and basic strategy to be able start playing in tournaments. After a year or two, the students will start and bringing back city, state and national titles for the school!

Advice from Bobby Fischer’s Second Bill Lombardy- Go Over Full Games!Advice from Bobby Fischer’s Second Bill Lombardy- Go Over Full Games!

by Premier Chess CEO National Master Evan Rabin 

How many times have you caught yourself at a tournament bookstore or in your home searching online looking for that latest opening book to learn about some tricky side lines?

Chances are you one of the 95% of class players that spend an exorbitant amount of time learning the opening. If not, you likely spend too much time practicing tactics or endgames and not enough about positional understanding. To quickly become a well-rounded chess player, one should listen to the advice the late Grandmaster Bill Lombardy taught me- “Go over whole games!”
Image result for bill lombardy bobby fischer
A Young Bill Lombardy and Bobby Fischer 

Bill was Bobby Fischer’s second. Before that, he was a prodigy, winning 12-0 in the World Junior Championship. As portrayed in Pawn Sacrifice, Bill left the chess world to become a priest. After his priesthood years, he turned to his roots and taught chess in New York City. While I never the privilege of formally studying with him, we became friends over the years, spending time at the Marshall Chess Club, Washington Square Park, Union Square Park The Chess Forum the Washington Square Diner and other places.

One late night or early morning, depending how you want to put it, around 2:00 AM Bill gave me one of the most influential pointers I ever received at the Chess Forum: “Find a grandmaster that matches your style and go over all of his games; that way you could learn a lot of about the opening, middlegame and endgame all at once.”

I went home and immediately started brainstorming about who that special player could be. I looked at my bookshelf and saw British Grandmaster’s Michael (Mickey) Adams’ autobiography. My father Keith bought it for me several years prior but I never spent time to actually read it. After taking a quick glance at the games, I realized Mickey had a similar style to myself, often playing 1.e4, preventing counter-play and initiating an attack on around move 18-20.
Image result for mickey adams chess
Mickey Adams
Ever since then, I’ve been following Mickey’s games closely to develop opening ideas, attacking motifs, endgame transitions and more. This way I’ve been able to not just understand opening lines, but also the ways in which they lead to middlegames and endgames.
One thing to note, is your influential player should be a grandmaster but does not necessarily have to be a World Champion or Super Grandmaster Recently I recommended a student pick GM Varuzhian Akobian as she is also a d4 and French player.

Here’s one game of Adams that I went over recently; my notes are in red:

 [Event “2nd London Chess Classic”]

[Site “London ENG”]
[Date “2010.12.08”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Adams, Michael”]
[Black “Howell, David W L”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Black Elo “2611”]
[ECO “C67”]
[Event Date “2010.12.06”]
[Event Rounds “7”]
[Source “Mark Crowther”]
[White Elo “2723”]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 The Ruy Lopez is one opening I began to play inspired by Mickey.Nf6 4.O-O Nxe4 5.d4 Be7 6.Qe2 Nd6 7.Bxc6 Mickey gave up the bishop pair but Howell has development issues and less space. bxc6 8.dxe5 Nb7 9.c4 A helpful prophylactic  O-O 10.Nc3 f6 11.Re1 fxe5 12.Qxe5 Bf6 13.Qg3 Nc5 14.Bg5 Nd3 15.Re3 Nxb2 16.Rae1 Bxg5?( 16… Ba6, Ne4, Bxg5, Nexg5, Qf6 += 17.Nxg5 Qf6 18.Rf3 Qd8 19.Nce4 Ba6 20.Nxh7 Launching an attack right in that Move 18-20 range!  Rxf3 21.gxf3 Kxh7 22.Ng5+ Kg8 23.Qh4 Bxc4 24.Qh7+ Kf8 25.Re5 Be6 26.Qh8+ Ke7 and now Mate- in 2…27.Qxg7+ Kd6 28.Ne4# 1-0
In many of Mickey’s game’s as in the one above, he will appear to have only a slightly better position and then all of a sudden find a tactical blow.
I am sad Bill unfortunately passed away last year but I am happy to carry on his legacy and share his teachings to Premier Chess students and others through articles like this. Now, go ahead and find a player that matches your style and go over all of his games!

Premier Chess Classes at NYC Fun Zone

Premier Chess Classes at NYC Fun Zone

Where: NYC FunZone, 1571 York Avenue, New York, NY, 10028

When: Wednesdays from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM, Oct 10- Dec 19 (No class on 11/21)


  • It can raise your IQ by improving your critical thinking skills!
  • By developing the right side of your brain, you could increase your creativity!
  • As we learn opening, middle game and endgame strategies, your memory will be improved.
  • Benjamin Franklin once said “Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail.” Chess will help you think 
  • Prepare for local chess tournaments, City Championships, State Championships and National 
Championships (tournaments are not required but are encouraged)
  • Chess is also great way to meet new friends, both in school and out. Premier Chess CEO’s 
National Master Evan Rabin has played chess in 9 different countries and has connections literally around the world through the game

Cost: $400 for 10-week Session by 9/22, $450 by October 1, $500 after 

Learn More about NYC FunZone: See 
Questions: Reach out to Evan Rabin, CEO of Premier Chess at or (917) 776- 1306 or Sarit Triger, Founder of NYC Fun Zone at or (347) Register Here!

What Makes Chess and Psychologists a Winning Combination?

by Dr. Eric Padol, Licensed Psychologist at 
On-Site Psychological Services

Dr. Eric Padol is an articulate and reliable health-care professional with nine years of experience meeting clients’ needs through interpersonal contacts and thorough, well-researched written communications. He has a BA in Psychology from Binghamton University and a MS and Doctorate from Nova Southeastern University. 
I can utilize my years of experience as a therapist, tournament chess player, and spiritual chess player to help people learn life lessons from the game of chess, and to enjoy the dance, win, lose or draw! 

Specific life lessons include:

n  Plan, work hard, and absolute miracles will happen!
n  Don’t force things – forcing can lead to a losing result, while simply letting the situation unfold can create opportunities.
n  Don’t worry about results- Enjoy the process, get out of your comfort zone, and find you are stronger than you ever knew!
n  Love your opponent – he or she is a life teacher, not an adversary.
And much, much more!

I look forward to sharing with you, and receiving the gifts and lessons you have for me!
To learn more about Dr. Eric Padol, see

Grateful for Chess in Tanzania!

An Interview with Christopher, Make a Difference Now Student at Royal School of HIMO

by Jack Mo, 1st Annual Make a Difference in Africa Trip Volunteer (June 11-18, 2018) 

I am a Penn States student, who enjoyed being one of the volunteers on the 1st Annual Make a Difference in Africa trip in June, 2018. Here is my interview with Christopher, one of one of Make a Difference NOW (MAD)’s sponsored students, who was one the 65 kids we taught: 

Jack giving a lesson on basic
Christopher at Demo Board.
In background, is Eric, who won our in-class tournament.



Please share a little bit about your upbringing and how 
Make a Difference Now (MAD) has affected your life.
 Without MAD, I would face many challenges. I’m now literate because MAD helped me. Being illiterate would make me end up being in the streets doing child labor in order to have something to eat. MAD is providing all my basic needs such food, clothing, shelter and access to medical services. MAD gave me access to sports such as basketball and recently this year I had exposure to professional chess players and I can now play chess.  MAD has affected my life in general and I can see my future dream in near future. 
What do you want to do in the future after you graduate from Royal School of HIMO? 
 I’ve got short and long term dreams. Right after graduating, I would like to  meet with my family and to get exposure to village life and help with  household chores and farming. I want to meet students in government schools who did not have access to best schools to help them with their classes. I will also be working for my high school applications and college applications to start in the Spring of 2019.
Tell me a little bit about the experience you had learning chess from the Premier Chess team back in June.  
I got many experiences such as confidence in playing chess (could play previously but without the basic skills and with no confidence). I learned how to establish a collaborative environment.  I enjoyed how you and the team made students participate by providing the pencils and the trophy. You taught the techniques to win chess competition and ways to refresh my mind through chess.
What was your favorite part about the experience? 
My favorite part is the knowledge on the techniques of winning chess competition because I can apply them in many aspects while playing chess. 
What lessons did you learn from chess that may help you in other areas of life
Collaboration, corporation and the aspects of winning chess
How much chess is being played in the school currently? 
Chess have been played in our school every Wednesday but during the last few weeks of schooling, when we’re preparing for exams, we don’t play. 
What types of lessons would you like to learn when we return to school in July?  
 In July next year, most of us will be in other schools since we have already graduated. However, I would like to learn more on the chess techniques. Additionally, if possible when you come back in July, teaching using two languages will be very helpful. Most of MAD students have access to international volunteers and they’ve got used to English speakers but now only one MAD student, Peter, will be around.  It is better to have a translator who will translate to the students with simple English and if possible use two languages, English and Swahili. 

If there is one thing we can improve on for our next teaching trip to Royal School, what would it be?

Minimize the speed of teaching and have a Swahili translator. 

Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience with Premier Chess volunteer team? 

The experience with chess has helped me think mathematically. 

If I may, would love to ask you two follow up questions: 

Please do! 

Can chess program be part of employment to people? If so, how?


Chess can absolutely be a platform of employment. I teach students in the classroom and individually either in-person or online. If you are interested in learning more about how you can make money through chess, the other volunteers and I would love to provide some guidance.


Are there several teams/ chess clubs in your home area? 
Jack: I am the president of the Penn State chess club, where we meet for club every week. We are in the process of starting rated tournaments on campus. Meanwhile, I do frequently travel to my hometown Pittsburgh and other cities for tournaments. I should note, I also look forward to playing with you again down in the Kilimanjaro region next July! Thank you for your time and see you soon.

For more insights about our 2018 trip, see CEO National Master Evan Rabin’s article in the December issue of Chess Life.  Apply for 2019 trip, which will take place July 11-18, here!

Hypnosis and the Art of Chess Learning

So how is hypnosis related to chess and how can it help in learning the game?

Hypnosis works by bypassing your “critical factor” or analytical mind in order to access your subconscious mind which is the seat of all behavioral change. It can help facilitate learning on all levels by tuning into how you learn and process new things and how your way of learning is different than your teammates or opponents. Some of us may be more dominant visual, auditory, kinesthetic or even “auditory digital” in the ways we learn. Bringing awareness to your dominant way of learning or “representational system” will help you know how to us use your dominant method of learning to your advantage to achieve even higher levels of learning. You have heard the expression “super-learner”. Well you can become one when you explore some of the many menu items hypnosis has to offer.

Now I mentioned “bypassing the critical above” and you may be wondering what that is. How many times have you been emotionally moved by a movie? Maybe you even laughed or cried at the movie, or seen Spiderman climb up the side of a building. Now we know that the sequence of pictures passing in front of a projector screen is not real, yet in order to enjoy the experience and get involved, you allow yourself to suspend the conscious judgement and critical faculties of the mind and accept the imagery of the movie as real. This is a glimpse into how hypnosis works.

Some of the learning techniques in hypnosis will take your through the four phases of mastery:
1. Unconscious Incompetence – You do not know that you do not know (I don’t even know
the rules and strategies in Chess and I do not know that I don’t even know)
2. Conscious Incompetence – You know that you do not know ( I don’t know what rules or
strategies to implement but I am aware that I don’t even know)
3. Conscious Competence – You know and act consciously (more intermediate/advanced
levels as you are still learning to feel ease and focus with it)
4. Unconscious Competence – You know and act subconsciously (here your chess playing is
flowing naturally because you are not even thinking about it but the “technique” is there)

In addition to helping you tune into and access your dominant way of learning, hypnosis can help you with eye focusing techniques designed to expand your awareness and relax your nervous system. When you think of hypnosis you may think of slowing down which does happen but it is a process of active imagination as well so you will feel more energized, awake and alive after a session. Hypnosis has no side effects and can help with ADD, ADHD, cravings, anxiety, stress, peak performance and lots more.