Dentistry and Chess

Teeth Chess set my dentist cousin made. : r/pics

By Premier Chess CEO National Master Evan Rabin 

What does dentistry and chess have in common? Mastery in both require lots of knowledge, training and judgement training. It is not surprising that three dentists in my network are experienced chess players: Dr. Richard Lewis, Dr. Alex Vasserman, and Dr. Keith Silverman.

Dr. Richard Lewis is a retired dentist, who has been teaching chess for 50 years. We are lucky to have him on our team, teaching several school and library programs and private lessons throughout Westchester. Learn more about his dental and chess experiences on Podcast Episode 180.

I met Dr. Alex Vasserman through Business Networking International Chapter 54 in 2017. After conversing, we found out we had a mutual friend, Grandmaster Eugene Perelshteyn, co-author of Evaluate Like a Grandmaster, along with our 224th Podcast Guest FIDE Master Nate Solon.

In addition to running a high-end dental practice on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, he has been chess enthusiast for many years. He shared with me how chess and brushing teeth can help seniors avoid dementia.



A few months after I met Dr. Alex Vasserman, I met Dr. Keith Silverman, another chess enthusiast. Our trade of a chess lesson for a private lesson made the headlines when the story was published in our 47th Podcast Guest Dewain Barber’s book Humor in Chess I.

While chess does not have a huge barrier to entry as does dentistry, it is also incredibly hard to master. Occasionally, a parent will ask me how long it will take for her kid to learn chess. In that case, I answer that it is relatively easy to learn the rules and basic strategy but it usually takes at least a few years for a student to become a master.



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