Danny Rade is a USCF Candidate Master who has been playing chess since before he could read. Growing up in New York in the 90’s, Danny played in many of the same tournaments in which his students now play, enabling him to draw on his own childhood experiences when teaching and coaching young players. In both 5th and 7th grade, Danny finished in second place at the National K-12 Championships. At 14 years old, he reached his peak national ranking of #14 in the U.S. for his age group.

Danny graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in ‘09 with a BA in Psychology and Economics and has been working as an NSCF Instructor for 10 years. Although constantly trying to improve himself and his instructing techniques, Danny prides himself on being patient and empathetic, yet engaging and charismatic. According to Danny, “there is no better feeling than a student coming to me and raving about how he just played a game of chess and won because he used some technique that I showed him.”

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.

Instructor Jon Rigal

Jon Rigai is an Expert chess player with over 25 years' playing experience and almost 10 years of coaching experience. He is a former student of the late Grandmaster William J. Lombardy (1937–2017), Bobby Fischer's former teacher.

According to Jon, the most important lessons that he took from his time with Grandmaster Lombardy was to: (1) make sure that he was always well prepared for any upcoming competition that he would participate in; and (2) to use the Eidetic imagery technique regarding the study of positions, patterns and games. This technique is used by all top level players when they study master level games. Jon constantly emphasizes these concepts to his students on a daily basis to instill good habits within them.

In 2016, Jon led the Bronxville team to a sixth place finish (out of over 300 teams) in the K-6 Elementary Nationals and, in 2019, he coached Columbus Elementary to a first place finish in the U1000 section at Elementary Nationals. Jon has also coached several regional scholastic chess champions, and regularly sees his students advance 100 rating points or more within just a few months. 

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 in Westchester and enjoys teaching students between kindergarten and middle school grades.

Another of our excellent NSCF Tournament Directors, Julio is a calming and encouraging influence for all the players.

NSCF Instructor Nathan Goldberg loves teaching chess and children. He began teaching chess to children in 1999 for Chess-in-the-Schools. He became an elementary math and chess teacher for the NYC Department of Education in 2005. Nathan has taught chess in classrooms, afterschool programs, camps and as a private tutor. Nathan joined NSCF to focus on teaching his first love, chess.

Nathan has created a wide variety of chess worksheets, puzzles, activities and poetry to help him teach, always challenging his kids to think in new ways. He sees chess as the perfect metaphor for life, and engages his students with the wisdom and habits of chess playing along with the rules, tactics and strategies. Nathan shares his enthusiasm and passion for learning at every opportunity, and has the ability to motivate children to achieve great things.