If your kids are interested in learning chess, check out Chess Max of Greenwich, which just opened in downtown Greenwich! Maxim (Max) Dlugy, a former World Junior Champion and the youngest person to ever be President of the US Chess Federation, recently opened the school on Putnam Ave. After re-opening their original location on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and launching online classes, Max and his wife Inna thought Greenwich was a perfect location for their expansion. “This is a community which embraces strong education for children and that was exactly what we were looking for. That and proximity to other great towns in Westchester and Connecticut, made it a high-priority location for us,” explains Max, a Dad of two.
We spoke to Max about why chess is so enriching for kids, what Chess Max of Greenwich offers and more.
Can you please share a bit about your family life and background?
We live on the same block as our Upper West Side location on West 79th Street NYC and are bringing up two girls, aged 4 and 7, both of whom are playing chess. I came back to chess after a career in finance as I wanted to create the best chess school in the world. During the last 7 years, I have perfected a chess curriculum that enables talented and dedicated youngsters who want to become better at chess to become State, National, and even World Champions in their age group.
Wonderful! How did you and Inna meet, and decide to launch this business together?
Inna and I met while in finance. Inna was an educator herself, having taught University level Economics and Banking courses and together we formed an amazing team that continues to expand chess education in the United States.
Who are the typical kids in your classes?
Our most popular classes are the group classes for kids who have done some chess at school in the Afters program and liked the game. They want to learn more, but the Afters program is more suited for just playing chess, as learning chess with 15-20 kids in a class with one coach is extremely difficult These kids join our Juniors program for 5-7 years old, or our Jumpstarters program for 6-8 years old. The sweet spot for learning chess is 6-7 years old, though we have had great success with our Tots program which caters to kids as young as 3-5 years of age.
What are some of the benefits of chess for kids?
It has been proven by extensive studies that chess improves memory, logic, patience and study skills. Chess also boosts kids’ confidence in learning other subjects, as learning chess helps improve study habits.. Many kids who do well in chess are much more [likely to gain admission to] good schools including top colleges and universities. Imagine you are a National chess champion, like over 20 of our students have been, and are applying to a good college – the title of a National High School Champion, for example, would give you a nice edge over other strong candidates.
Chess is also extremely beneficial for other sports where strategy is involved, as chess gives you such a vast array of tactical and strategic tools to use. It’s no wonder some of the very famous sports stars such as Kareem, Bird, Kobe, Ron Guidry, David Robinson, Bill Walton are avid chess players.
Who are some of your most successful students?
To name a few of our successes: Vincent Tsay – World Under 12 Champion, Nate Shuman – 5 time US Scholastic Champion, Vishwa Vasnawala – highest rated 12-years-old girl in all of Asia, Winter Su – K-1 National Champion after studying with us for 15 months, and our most famous student, Hans Niemann – a Grandmaster and the current U.S Junior Chess Champion, and more than 20 National Champions.
How can you tell if your child might like the game of chess?
If your child likes board games, like Tic-Tac-Toe, or fun activities like Rock-Paper-Scissors, it is very likely that they would be interested in learning a much more interesting game like chess.
Can you share some information about the camps you’re offering this summer?
Our summer camps are fun but at the same time quite intensive. We have kids learn by solving puzzles after listening to the coach’s instructions about how to think about their moves, play tournaments under the supervision of the coaches, analyze interesting games played by great players, learn fun and important facts about chess through Trivial Pursuit type games, do fun exercises where they learn to play with the clock and understand how to use their time and much more. We also have exercise and sports as our summer camps run from 9 am to 5 pm.
If someone would like to try out a class, how do they sign up?
To sign up for a trial class, just go to chessmaxacademy.com, choose the correct class for your child and sign up for the class that fits their schedule.
What’s next for Chess Max of Greenwich?
Our plan is to open 2-3 new locations per year, focusing initially on the East Coast but gradually expanding throughout the country. Our model based on excellent technology, strong curriculum and excellent master level coaches has proven itself and we want to bring it to as many kids as possible!
This story is sponsored by Chess Max of Greenwich.