Ben was born in Germany, and his family moved to North Carolina when he was 3. In his childhood, Ben enjoyed many activities ranging from math and science to sports. However, it was during his freshman year of high school that Ben got introduced to the game of chess which redefined the focus of his career.
As soon as he was invited to the club, he immediately got hooked on the game. He started playing and studying with the club members for several hours a day. We traveled to chess tournaments on nearly a weekly basis. By the time Ben was in his senior year of high school, he achieved the rank of Expert (top 5% of all USCF tournament chess players) and placed second in the state scholastic championship.
While in college at NC State, Ben continued to rigorously study chess. And at the end of 2019 he was rewarded for all his hard work - he achieved the very prestigious National Master title (which ranks him in the top 1% of all chess players in the US!)
While perfecting his own game, Ben also started coaching chess and teaching chess basics in after-school programs. These programs have been giving him great satisfaction because this way he gets to share his love of chess with others. In fact, after achieving his NM title, Ben decided to become a full-time chess coach. This included teaching after-school programs, online group lessons through chess academies, and 1-on-1 private lessons with both children and adults across a range of skill levels. Many of Ben’s students have placed in the top 3 of their grade in the state championships. Noteworthy is our own chess assistant, Ilya Galushkin, who has been studying under Ben.
Ben aspires to earn the Grandmaster title one day. Learning from stronger players doesn’t just help him get better, but also gives him wisdom that he can pass along to his students. We are delighted to have Ben as a chess coach at GK!