Meet Our Instructors

Instructor Jon Rigal

Jon Rigai is a professional chess instructor and a Class A player. He joined NSCF in 2010 and has now taught at over 20 different schools as well as at summer camps and community chess classes.

Jon’s father was a classical pianist who taught music and inspired Jon to also want to work with children. An athlete and former fitness trainer, Jon teaches his students that “a chess game is like mental boxing. If you want to win, you have to fully commit yourself to every move in the game.” Jon finds that this approach teaches students to focus and stay on task, valuable skills that they can apply towards their schooling and whatever other challenges life presents.


FIDE Master Nathan Resika has been teaching chess for over 25 years. He taught with Sunil at the Hunter Campus schools and other New York City schools. A father of young boy /girl twins, Nathan holds a deep love for the game and conveys this to students by making chess fun and challenging for them

An active tournament player who is the 2013 US Senior co-champion and achieved a score of 9 and ½ out of 10 at a FIDE round robin event in Budapest. Nathan is also a professional classical singer who has performed in operas, concerts and shows across the country. He considers chess and music to both offer great artistic rewards that last a lifetime for those who take time to develop the disciplines.

Julio Maldonado was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut but learned to play chess around the age of 9 in Puerto Rico where he became the territory's high school champion in 1977-78. While serving in the US Army in Germany, Julio finished in the top 10 in the 1986 USAREUR Army chess  tournament. Julio has been teaching chess since 2005 and Westchester and enjoys teaching students between kindergarden and middle school grades.

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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.