Private Chess Coaches in Hampton Roads

The following is a list of private chess coaches in our area.  Feel free to contact them directly to arrange lessons!

Scholastic Chess Coaches in Hampton Roads

Justin Armstrong:  Justin is a class B (~1750) chess player who has been playing competitive chess for over 20 years. He has been a chess player in the Hampton Roads area for 18 years. Justin has been involved in internet chess since 1996, where he served as a Service Representative, Helper, and Tournament Manager for FICS (Free Internet Chess Club) and ICC (Internet Chess Club). He also served as an administrator for the once official USCF chess server, US Chess Live (USCL). Justin has experience teaching chess in a classroom environment, as well as one on one tutoring. Justin specializes in working with kids and adults in the 600-1500 range, He focuses on game analysis, chess strategy, and pattern recognition for advanced players. He is a coach at Hampton Roads Scholastic Chess Club.  Justin is available for in person coaching, as well as internet coaching via the Internet Chess Club, Chess.com, or The Free Internet Chess Server. Justin lives in Franklin and is accessible to those on the Suffolk side of Hampton Roads.  Justin is a US Chess certified District Chess Coach.  He has passed a background check run by HRCA.  His rate is $25/hr. Contact Justin at vindir@gmail.com or 757-646-9397.

Tom Belke:  Tom is a Class A/B (around 1800 USCF / 1900 FIDE) player who has been playing competitive chess for 49 years. He is CEO of two defense corporations, a retired Navy Captain, an ordained minister, a published author, and is currently working on his doctorate. Tom is a USCF local TD, USCF life member, and a former Virginia Amateur champion (2008). Tom has competed in USCF-rated events since he was 10, and has been directing chess tournaments since he was 13. He has won numerous chess tournaments, including the Syracuse Open, the Virginia Commonwealth Open, the Virginia Beach National Chess Day Festival (2017), and recently tied for first in both the 2017 Virginia Amateur and 2017 Zofchak Memorial U1800. Tom has an international (FIDE) rating of ~1900 and has competed in international events including in Moscow, Russia. Tom is one of the directors of the Hampton Roads Chess Club and lives in Chesapeake near the Virginia Beach line. He is married, has two grown sons, and aims to challenge students. Tom is a US Chess certified Local Chess Coach. He has passed a background check run by HRCA. His rate is $30/hour and he focuses on using proven pattern recognition training techniques, ChessBase computer-aided study tools, computer forensic game analysis, mastering endgame techniques, and brutal chess psychology all aimed to equip you to relentlessly hunt down and violently crush the evil enemy players – but with kind sportsmanlike conduct. Contact Tom at mt72425@gmail.com or at 757-597-5907.

Mark Bland:  Mark is a Class B (around 1600) player who has been playing competitive chess for at least 25 years.  He is a retired public school teacher and has been volunteering as a coach with Hampton Roads Scholastic Chess Club for the past two years.  Mark is great with kids and can work with any level of player.  Because he is retired, Mark’s availability is flexible.  Mark is a US Chess certified District Chess Coach.  He has passed a background check run by HRCA.    His rate is $25/hour.  Contact Mark at blandtrapper@aol.com.  

Jack Bustillos:  Jack is a Class C (around 1475) rated player who has been playing competitive chess for over 7 years.  Jack has 6 kids of his own, 5 of whom play chess.  Jack was the head coach of the Norview High School chess team and is currently a volunteer coach at Hampton Roads Scholastic Chess Club.  He is also a school chess coach in Norfolk.  Jack is retired from the Navy, so his schedule is flexible.  Jack is a US Chess certified District Chess Coach.  He has passed a background check run by HRCA.  His rate is $25/hour.  Contact Jack at bustamovejjb@gmail.com or 757-339-4869.

Bryan Flores:  Bryan is a Class B Player (around 1600) who has been playing competitive chess for about 30 years and just retired last year from the Norfolk Police Department. Bryan has three sons and is the coach at Kings Fork High School in Suffolk where his youngest son attends. He is new to coaching chess but has learned a lot in the past couple of months from coaching this large chess club. Bryan is a US Chess certified District Chess Coach.  He has passed a background check run by HRCA.  His rate is $20/ hour.  He lives in Suffolk and his schedule rotates currently, so please email him at bkflores1@gmail.com or call 757-763-9991 for availability.

Duncan Guthrie:  Duncan is a college freshman and a Class B (1650+) player.  Duncan has been playing competitively for 10 years.  He is two time Amateur Champion of the Hampton Roads Chess Club and was the Virginia State Amateur Champion in 2015.  His recent involvement in scholastic chess can be an asset to young students.  Duncan was a coach at Grace Academy Homeschool Cooperative Chess Club and has had many private students. Duncan resides in Virginia Beach and is available to teach on the south side.  Duncan’s rate is $20/hour.  His hours are flexible and dependent on his college class schedule.  Duncan just turned 18 and is undergoing a background check.  Contact Duncan at duncanguthrie7@gmail.com or 757-323-9162 or through his mom Tina Schweiss at cschweiss2@cox.net or 757-535-3880. 

Josh Havens:  Josh is a middle school student and a Class D (1300+) player.  Josh has been playing competitively for about three years.  He is the reigning U1200 Virginia State Champion.  His current involvement in scholastic chess can be an asset to young students.  Josh is an assistant coach at Grace Academy Homeschool Cooperative and has some experience with private students.  Josh resides in Chesapeake and is available to teach on the south side.  He is homeschooled, so his hours are flexible.  Josh is a US Chess certified Local Chess Coach.  He is under 18 and not eligible for a background check.  His rate is $15/hour.  Contact Josh through his mom Cheryl (a board member for Hampton Roads Chess Association) at dancewhiz@gmail.com or 757-733-2857.

Nikolay Iordanov:  Nikolay (or “Niko”) is a recent arrival in the United States.  He was a chess coach in Paris, France for 17 years, where he coached for five chess clubs and over 50 schools, coaching a total of over 2000 kids.  Niko is from Bulgaria and has a FIDE rating of 2186, which translates to Master strength in the United States.  Several of his students have earned top honors at international youth championships (specific player names and information available on request).  Niko speaks Bulgarian, French, and Russian fluently and would be an ideal coach for students who speak these languages.  His conversational English is very good, but he feels he needs a year in the country to be fluent enough to coach in English (but call and talk to him to see what he says).  Nikolay is currently undergoing a background check and will become a US Chess certified coach.  You can contact Niko at 757-348-8523 or Yordanov.niko@yahoo.com.  He is still determining his rates.

David Kea: David is a Class C rated chess player (around 1550). He has only been competitively playing chess for a little more than two years but with very promising results. He finished second in the unrated section of the 2015 World Open, his very first open tournament. David has mentored children and young adults throughout the Hampton Roads area since 2009. Additionally, with both an MBA and finance background, David has used his knowledge and experiences to teach at risk youth life principles and skills. David is currently a certified chess club tournament director and looks forward to teaching others the wonderful game of chess. David is available for private lessons, group lessons, or lessons via internet.  David currently resides in Newport News and would be able to teach on the Peninsula and perhaps the southside depending on scheduled days and/or times. David has passed a background check run by HRCA.  He is a US Chess certified District level coach.  His rate is $25/hour. You can reach David by email at davidkea2@gmail.com and by phone at (757) 771-4357.

Bryant Lohr:  Bryant is a 9th grade student and Class A (almost 2000) player.  Bryant has been playing competitively for 10 years.  He has earned numerous state and national level awards in both regular and blitz chess.  Bryant was the 2016 Virginia State K-12 Blitz champion.  His current involvement in scholastic chess can be an asset to young students.  Bryant is a coach at Grace Academy Homeschool Cooperative and Hampton Roads Scholastic Chess Club.  He resides in southern Chesapeake and is available to teach on the south side.  He is homeschooled, so his hours are flexible.  Bryant is a US Chess certified District Chess Coach.  He is a youth coach and therefore not eligible for a background check.  Bryant’s rate is $20/hour.  Contact Bryant through his mom Jeanette at our_woodhaven@yahoo.com or 703-853-5733.

NM Justin Lohr:  Justin is a high school senior who is a National Master (2200+).  Justin has been playing competitively for 10 years.  He was Virginia State Scholastic Champion in 8th grade and represented Virginia at the national Barber Tournament of Middle School Champions.  Justin was the 2016 Virginia State K-12 Champion and represented the state of Virginia at the Denker Tournament of High School Champions in the summer of 2016.  In 2017, he finished second in the state and is the stand-by alternate to play in the Denker Tournament again.  Justin has earned numerous state and national level awards in both regular and blitz chess.  His current involvement in scholastic chess can be an asset to young students.  Justin is a coach at Grace Academy Homeschool Cooperative and Hampton Roads Scholastic Chess Club.  Justin resides in southern Chesapeake and is available to teach on the south side.  He is homeschooled, so his hours are flexible.  Justin is a US Chess certified District Chess Coach.  He has passed a background check run by HRCA.  Justin’s rate is $30/hour.  Contact Justin at chesswarrior01@gmail.com or 703-853-5733.

Nathan Lohr:  Nathan is a high school junior and a Class A (almost 2000) player.  Nathan has been playing competitively for 10 years.  He has earned numerous state and national level awards in both regular and blitz chess.  His current involvement in scholastic chess can be an asset to young students.  Nathan is a coach at Grace Academy Homeschool Cooperative and Hampton Roads Scholastic Chess Club.  Nathan resides in southern Chesapeake and is available to teach on the south side.  He is homeschooled, so his hours are flexible.  Nathan is a US Chess certified District Chess Coach.  He is a youth coach and therefore not eligible for a background check.  His rate is $20/hour.  Contact Nathan through his mom Jeanette at our_woodhaven@yahoo.com or 703-853-5733.

Nemanja Milanovic:  Nemanja is originally from Serbia and has been a Candidate Master for the past 10 years.  He is new to chess in the US but has a FIDE rating of 2008.  He was a Serbian state champion on a few occasions.  Nemanja has 12 months of experience as a coach at an elementary school in Serbia and upon catching the attention of HRCA in October 2017 was immediately snapped up as a private and school coach based on his gentle and patient nature with kids.  Nemanja has passed a background check run by HRCA and is a US Chess certified District level coach.  His rate is $30/hour and he is available most mornings – call or e-mail for availability. Contact Nemanja at nemanjamilanovic@yahoo.com or 757-927-9541.

David Ortiz:  David is a high school sophomore and Class E (1000+) player who has been playing competitively for about three years.  He is a member of the State High School Blitz Champion Chess Team from Grace Academy Homeschool Cooperative.  His current involvement in scholastic chess can be an asset to young players.  David’s rate is $15/hour.  He is homeschooled, and his hours are flexible. He is a youth coach and therefore not eligible for a background check.  David is a US Chess certified Local level coach. Contact David through his mom Gloria at gloplusnat@msn.com or 757-201-1857.

Nathan Ortiz:  Nathan is a high school junior and Class D (1200+) player who has been playing competitively for about three years.  He is a member of the State High School Blitz Champion Chess Team from Grace Academy Homeschool Cooperative.  His current involvement in scholastic chess can be an asset to young players.  Nathan’s rate is $15/hour.  He is homeschooled, and his hours are flexible.  He is a youth coach and therefore not eligible for a background check.  Nathan is a US Chess certified Local level coach. Contact Nathan through his mom Gloria at gloplusnat@msn.com or 757-201-1857.

Conrad Schesventer:  Conrad is a Class D (1200+) player who has been playing competitively for about 5 years.  He was a coach with the Hampton Roads Scholastic Chess Club and is qualified to work with beginners.  Conrad has passed a background check run by HRCA.  His rates are between $10-15/hour.  Contact Conrad for his availability (south side) at Conrad564@aol.com.

Ernie Schlich:  Ernie is a Class B (1700+) player and 2009 VA Amateur Champion who has been playing competitive chess for over 40 years.  Ernie and his wife Joan, who recently passed away, are the founders of chess in Hampton Roads.  He runs “The Chess House” just retired after many years of running the Hampton Roads Chess Club, although he still frequently helps out.  Ernie is the past Treasurer and current Membership Secretary for the Virginia Chess Federation and is a National Tournament Director.  He has taught numerous children over the years and specializes in working with children who complete a beginner’s program first – or any children who are intermediate to advanced competitive players.  He is a former Hampton Roads Scholastic Chess Club coach.  Children working with Ernie must be willing to work at and between lessons.  Ernie wants a parent or guardian to be present at lessons and encourages them to learn chess for free as part of the lessons. He encourages families to play chess together. Ernie also give lessons to adults rated beginner to 1400.  He has passed a background check run by HRCA and is a US Chess certified District Chess Coach.   Ernie’s rate is $25 / hour, $40 for 2-3.  He teaches out of his home in Norfolk.  Contact Ernie at ernest.schlich@gmail.com or 757-853-5296 (home).

FM James Schuyler:  James is a FIDE (World Chess Federation) Master (2400) who has been playing competitive chess for over 30 years, since he was a child.  James has held the title of Virginia State Champion three times.  He is the private coach for the reigning Virginia State Amateur Champion.  He has competed in numerous international events to earn his FIDE title.  James has extensive experience teaching private lessons, as well as after school groups.  He works with any child from beginner (knows the basic rules of chess) to advanced.  Because he is a FIDE Master with corresponding rates, he is recommended for players ready for Masters coaching.  James resides on the Peninsula and teaches there on days and times you work out with him.  He is only available to teach on the south side on days he teaches after school programs (consult him for information).  James has complete a background check run by HRCA.  James’ rate is $60/hour.  Contact James at jamesmschuyler@yahoo.com or 702-280-3909 (cell) or 757-327-0025 (home).

Dick Swager:  Dick is currently a Class D (1200+) player who recently returned to competitive chess after a 25 year hiatus.  His rating was mid-class C when he was active in the late eighties.  He is retired and has been volunteering as a coach with Hampton Roads Scholastic Chess Club for the past two years.  Because he is retired, Dick’s availability is flexible.  He resides in Great Bridge (Chesapeake) and is available to teach in that area.  Dick is a US Chess certified District Chess Coach.  He has completed a background check run by HRCA.   His rate is $15/hour.  Contact Dick at cswager@cox.net.