“And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well, the landslide will bring it down
Oh, the landslide will bring it down”
-“Landslide” Fleetwood Mac
On the whole, 2019 was a great year for Premier Chess and we look forward to seeing what 2020 begins. As I am in Boston for New Year’s Eve, I can’t help but reflect. These were some of the highlights of 2019:
1) Expansion to new schools:
We went from 41 school programs in the beginning of the year, to now 71; that is a 78% increase! These are three of the partnerships I am most excited about:
At Achievement FIrst Crown Heights Elementary School, we offer after-school club two days per week for two hours/day. While we started program 2 months ago, kids are progressing quickly as students learn several hours per week. We already have several students that are beginning to think about tournaments.
Gan Yeladim is a special program for three reasons:
1) It is the first school we partnered with in Connecticut so were able to expand in a new state.
2) While we have run Shabbat classes at NY Hebrew in the past, this was the first Chabad school we rave run a consistent school program at a Chabad school. Read about my experience playing chess at Chabad Headquarters here.
3) It’s a small word after all; the nephew of my good friend Alana Bloom of Bloom Chiropractic is in one of our classes there.
As the preferred chess vendor for the Catholic Youth Organization, we have continued to run curriculum and after-school programs at 20+ Catholic schools in New York City, Rockland County, Westchester, Orange County and Ulster County. We look forward to venturing into more Catholic schools and hosting the 1st Annual CYO Chess Tournament in the spring; stay tuned for more details.
2) Partnership with Top Level Chess:
Top Level Chess CEO Shernaz Kennedy is the one who got me into chess when I was in 2nd grade at the Churchill School. It such a pleasure to now partner with her to run a Grand Prix of 10 tournaments; we look forward to seeing everyone at our next tournament at Grace Church Schoolon January 12, where will host a silent auction to raise money for Metro World Child.
3) Personal Growth:
I am excited to have recently gotten into a new relationship and have learn a lot more about Judaism through my 1-1 learning partner Yosi Merves, Rabbi Mark Wildes, Rabbi Josh Klein and others through the Manhattan Jewish Experience fellowship.
Of course, we can never forget one major loss we faced this year as our amazing Jersey City Instructor Lev Khariton passed away in November. See my tribute to him here. We would love to see you at the 1st Annual Lev Khariton Memorial Bitz Tournament on Monday, February 25, 2020.
These are my top 3 2020 goals for Premier Chess:
1) Expand to 100 schools.
2) Have at least team in the top 20 of their division at a state or national championship.
3) Recruit at least 5 volunteer instructors for 3rd Annual Make a Difference Teaching Chess in Africa Trip , which will take place July 11-18.
Happy New Year everyone!