Meet Our Instructors

Instructor Chris WelcomeChris Welcome has been teaching chess to children of all ages since 2000 and has taught chess within the curriculum in over 30 public schools. His vast experience in both curricular and after-school programs has trained him  to handle large groups from kindergarten to high-school. Chris has also coached several school chess teams to prominence in national competition and guided three young players over the 2000 rating level to the rank of Candidate Master.

Chris was part of a group in Brooklyn affectionately called the “Black Bear School of Chess” which fostered the growth and development of many African American chess players in the late 1970s. From this group of self motivated players emerged many masters such as Ernest Colding, Ronald Simpson, William Morrison, and GM Maurice Ashley. Chris earned his National Master’s title in 1982.

Chris says: “I believe that it is important to show every child regardless of age or ability how to enjoy chess. Not all children will one day become masters. Those that aspire to that goal and desire to do so will need a clear path to develop their interest. But even those who do not can experience a lifetime of pleasure creating a beautifully played game."

nstructor Polly Wright

Polly Wright is a former New England Women’s Champion and is currently ranked among the top 100 women in the U.S. 

 Polly teaches in a number of schools in Westchester and Fairfield counties and enjoys sharing her chess experience with students of all levels, ranging from beginner to tournament level. 

”If I can impart a love and understanding of chess to them I feel I have contributed to their enrichment.”      

Polly has been a tournament director for over 30 years. She holds the title of Senior Tournament Director of the USCF and directs all NSCF tournaments as well as tournaments at the National level.

Mike McDermott

Mike McDermott is a former student of Grandmaster, and seven-time US Champion Samuel Reshevsky. Mike has attained the rank of Candidate Master in the USCF. A full-time chess instructor for the NSCF, Mike’s students include a National Scholastic Champion. He loves to entertain his students with stories of his games against famous chess personalities, especially his loss against Bobby Fischer and his simultaneous exhibitions draws against two other former World Champions, Gary Kasparov and Boris Spassky.

A retired Physical Education teacher, Mike makes good use of his experience during the NSCF Summer Chess Program, when he serves as both a chess coach and recreation coordinator.

Silvio Rosato

Silvio Rosato has been an NSCF instructor since 1999 and teaches both enrichment and curricular classes for the NSCF. A master of classroom management and teaching strategies, Silvio effectively uses many sources and varies his approach, adjusting his tone, activity and interaction to best meet the needs of the children.

Silvio's private students have earned first place in their respective scholastic sections, including the 2014 Westchester County Grade Championship.

As a NSCF tournament director, Silvio directs tournaments held in Westchester and Southern Connecticut. He is also a TD for the New York State Championships. Silvio excels at directing the young players in the K-1 section, where his calm manner while maintaining high standards makes events a pleasure for our youngest players and for their parents.

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Endorsements

Sunil Weeramantry is a strong player, but more important, he’s a gifted chess teacher—one of the most successful the United States has ever had. Many students who began under his tutelage as rank beginners have won national titles. What is his secret? Sunil simply understands the didactic process and loves teaching.