ICA Staff
Co-Founder - Irina Levitina
Irina is one of the most accomplished woman players from the days of the Soviet Union. Irina was a three-time USSR Women's Champion in 1971, 1979, and 1980, as well as winner of the Women's Olympiad in 1972 (scoring 5.5 out of 6), in 1974 (scoring 7.5 out of 9), and in 1984 (scoring 6.5 out of 11). Irina was given the rank of Woman's International Grand Master in 1976.
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Founder - Diana Tulman
Diana, one of the co-founders of the ICA, has an obvious love for the game of chess, which helps inspire her students not only to become better, but also to develop their own passion for the game. It is this passion that compels so many of her students to stick with chess.
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Joe Pacella
Joe is a Chess Teacher and ICA Chief Tournament Director. He specialize in teaching chess to the younger children ages 5 to 11 years old.
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David Rubenfeld
David, as a result of three years of diligent concentration and earnest self-study, attained expert strength at sixteen years of age.
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Ivette Rubio
I've been playing chess ever since I can remember. I didn't like it at first, but because it was introduced in school as part of the curriculum I had to learn how to play.
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Justin Rosales
I have taught chess in New York City for a year. I have been playing chess for 7 years and love going to many tournaments. I really enjoy teaching kids. My grandfather founded Bergen Chessmates
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Igor Yeliseyev
Always passionate and excited about teaching kids to love chess. With over four decades worth of chess playing experience Igor is a seasoned tournament player and realizes how chess can teach children the importance of good sportsmanship and achievement.
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Melanie Lerner
Melanie Lerner carries a love for teaching chess.
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Senior Coach - Hana Itkis
Hana is going into her fourth year at Bard College, hoping to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in literature and creative writing. She started playing at the international chess academy when she was eight years old.
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International GrandMaster - Alexander Stripunsky
Alexander Stripunsky was born in 1970. Originally from Kharkov (Ukraine) he moved to United States in 1997.
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Beginner And Intermediate Coach - Eugene Sokolovsky
If there is any counselor within our organization who can provide you with over 100 correct phrases for any given term, it is Zhenya.
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Junior Instructor - David Shekhtman
David, who is named the hardest working student of all time (by his coaches), has become an ICA instructor.
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Senior Coach - Max Schwartz
Max began his career with the ICA as a student, and after three years of distinguished work started teaching in 2003. During that time he trained with Artur Yusupov, Alex Chernin and Mark Dvoretsky.
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Senior Coach - Tanya Grabuzova
Most kids are surprised to find that Tanya is, as they put it ,“a girl,” is the strongest chess player in our main camp. No one, and I mean no one save for perhaps Sergey or Gregory (with the help of a few well-timed distractions) can come close to beating her at the chessboard. If it was a competition involving carrying refrigerators and TV sets up and down the stairs,
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Senior Coach - Simon Tsinis
Simon is a childhood friend of Ms. Tulman, and was a major influence in her entrance into the chess world. As a child, Ms. Tulman suffered a stunning defeat at the hands of her childhood acquaintance at a local park, and was driven to ensure that it would never happen again. The two have been friends ever since, and Simon has been a staunch supporter of the ICA program.
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Beginner and Intermediate Coach - Genry Krichevsky
Genry is another of the ICAs up and coming stars. Genry started playing chess at four, and is now a senior in high school, which ranks him among one of our youngest instructors. In his three years as an instructor while also continuing his chess training, he has shown the rare ability to convey the basic rules and concepts to even the youngest of our children, and he has infinite patience.
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Beginner and Intermediate Coach - Slava Koza
Slava has been teaching chess for roughly a decade, which is an intriguing feat given that he is only twenty-five years old. His knowledge of chess is based on both the tutelage of the ICA's founders, as well as informal games with his grandfather.
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Senior Coach - Solomon Lerner
Solomon has been with the ICA for nearly a decade, first as a student, and then as a teacher. Still an active tournament player, Solomon thrives in games where he is the lower-rated player, always ready to play up to the strength of his opponent. This ability to perform under pressure is one of his greatest assets, and he certainly utilizes it in his teaching.
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Math Teacher - Zoya Koza
Math education in the 21st century has visibly evolved. As a math teacher I was very active in the implementation of new math standards in the New York City public school system for 20 years.
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Senior Coach (Tournament Director) - Harrison Coleman
Harrison is a master chess player and a USCF certified Tournament Director. He has been the director for all ICA tournaments held since 2000.
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Senior Coach and Camp Director - Master Sergey Grabuzov
Sergey is a graduate of the "Russian State University of Physical Education," (http://www.sportedu.ru/), and a respected senior member of its faculty. Dating back to 1990 Sergey has trained and prepared a total of 5 current Grandmasters, and just about an infinite number of International Masters.
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GM Artur Jussupow
Appearing three times in the semi-finals of the world championship, Artur is unquestionably considered one of the best players of the last two decades. He is one of Mark Dvoretsky's star pupils, and played a major role in the preparation of many of today's younger Grandmasters such as Peter Svidler...
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GM Alex Chernin
Currently Based out of Hungary, Alex "Sasha" Chernin is a former candidate to the title of world champion, as well as former Soviet co-champion. Chernin has also authored a number of best selling books, the most famous of which is the "Pirc Alert!"
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IM Mark Dvoretsky
IM Mark Dvoretsky is arguably the single best chess trainer/coach in the entire world (an argument you would probably win at that).
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