Matthew Shirvell
Tournament Level Instructor


  • Founder of CT Birdhouse Chess in New Haven
  • Professional chess instructor for 5 years
  • USCF peak rating: 1747
  • Coached 8th Grade State Champion
  • B.A. in Mathematics and English, UCONN

Arslan Otchiyev
Master Instructor

  • USCF certified “Life Master”
  • USCF peak rating: 2409
  • Top 1% of competitive players nationally. 
  • Connecticut State Champion (2018)
  • New York Open Champion (2018)
  • Qualified for the Olympic team of Turkmenistan in 2008
  • Six time national champion of Turkmenistan
  • Ranked in the top 10 nationally in Turkmenistan
  • Lessons available in Russian, Spanish and Turkmen

Andrew Ryba
Master Instructor

  • USCF certified “National Master”
  • USCF peak rating: 2352
  • Top 1% of competitive players nationally. 
  • Ranked in the top 100 blitz players nationally.
  • Three time Queens Chess Club Champion
  • =2nd at World Open u2200 section 2011
  • National High School Team Champion 2009
  • B.S. Applied Mathematics, Columbia University

Kapil Chandran
Master Instructor

  • USCF certified “Senior Master”, highest certified national title.
  • FIDE (World Chess Federation) Master
  • USCF peak rating: 2429
  • Top 0.3% of competitive players nationally. 
  • Ranked 4th in the nation for players aged 16
  • Tied for 2nd place in the National K-12 Championships, '15
  • 1st Place Denker Tournament of High School Champions, '13
  • Two time first place winner of the Tri-State Super-Juniors
  • K-8 National Co-Champion, 2012
  • Eight-time Connecticut State Champion
  • Tied for 9th in the U12 and 10th in the U16 sections at the World Youth Chess Championships, 2010 & 2014

Alex Iosifovich
Tournament-Level Instructor

  • Avid chess player and competitor since the age of 9
  • USCF peak rating: 1955
  • Demonstrator at numerous international tournaments for world champions M. Tal, T. Petrosian, B. Spassky, M. Botvinnik, and more.
  • Instructed a beginner chess club in Moscow
  • Member of the Moscow College chess team
  • Represented his state in national team events in Moldova
  • Lessons available in English or Russian

Chris Keefe
Tournament-Level Instructor

  • Professional musician and educator.
  • Avid chess player with a Class A rank since 2011
  • USCF peak rating: 1939
  • Has trained with reknowned instructors Jeremy Silman, Gregory Kaidanov and Dan Heisman.
  • Many years of instructional experience with students of all ages.
  • B.A. New England Conservatory of Music 1998

David Childs
Tournament-Level Instructor

  • Professional musician and educator.
  • USCF peak rating: 1590
  • Life long chess enthusiast.
  • 30 years teaching experience. Presently teaches at Fairfield University and Cider Mill School in Wilton.
  • Member of winning junior high team. 3 time state champions and 1 time national champions.

Adriel Alvarado
Tournament-Level Instructor

  • USCF peak rating: 1636
  • United States Chess Federation certified tournament director
  • Co-Founded St. Lukes School Chess Club
  • Currently studying Architectural Engineering at Norwalk Community College

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