Chess Masters

Village Kids is a strong proponent of chess education from an early age, and works closely with teachers and families to strengthen the chess culture in the Greenwich Village community. Our programs offer classes to all grades and skill levels, and practice sessions where students can hone their skills in a fun, relaxed atmosphere. Tournaments and Grandmaster Classes, scheduled throughout the year, supplement our regular coaching sessions and help broaden the students’ experience and knowledge. Seasonal Championships are organized during half-days and select holidays. Please consult the Calendar page for upcoming events.

** PS 3 ’til 6 Afterschool offers chess classes to all grades and levels throughout the school year. Open to PS 3 students.
** Village Kids Camps, available during school breaks, holidays and Summer, are open to elementary school age children from any school in New York. Chess activities include classes, games, puzzles and friendly matches. See our Calendar page for upcoming dates.
ONLINE PRACTICE OPPORTUNITIES is a great online resource for young players to practice and improve their game. To encourage participation, children enrolled in our chess program are offered free membership in the Village Kids umbrella account. This group site is managed by our coaches who monitor children’s online activities and progress and offer feedback as needed.

Frank Ashmun
Frank grew up in Nashville, TN, where he was one of the top High School chess players in the state. His best tournament results include second board for the TN High School State Champions (2005 and 2006), and second place in the U2000 section of the World Open (2008 and 2012). After receiving his B.A. in history at the University of Tennessee he worked with Chess-in-the-Schools, where he taught in hundreds of classrooms, and helped coach several trophy winners at National tournaments. He is an assistant manager at the Marshall Chess Club.
James Mann De Toledo
International Master
Brazilian International Master and chess author James Mann Toledo has been teaching chess in schools for over thirty years.  Thirteen of his students have won first place at national championships and two of them have since become Grandmasters. When he is not teaching and playing chess, James plays and teaches Shogi (Japanese Chess) and has recently won Shogi Championships in the U.S. and Brazil.
Light Buggiani 
Founder and Director of Educational Light School of Chess and Math, one of the top Chess Programs in the city. Light has been teaching young chess players for fifteen years in both schools and afterschool programs, including the Princeton Day School, LREI, the Browning School, and currently, St. Bernard’s School. While he has led many students to win state and national championships, his true joy is in sharing the wonder of chess and math. Light is a native of Rome (Italy) and a PS 3 graduate. He lives in NYC with his family.
Michah Saperstein has been teaching youth for twenty years. As an undergraduate he spent several years abroad in Asia studying Anthropology, traveling and teaching English. When he returned home to NYC, he continued to teach English as a second language and found teaching to be a rewarding and challenging career. As a chess expert and life long enthusiast, he found many analogies between chess and language as well as learning the fluency of a language and learning the fluency of chess. Michah works with students, schools and camps all over New York City. He is really skilled at making chess fun, engaging and meaningful.
Sergey Kudrin
Mr. Kudrin is an American chess Grandmaster who was born in the Soviet Union. He joined our coaching team recently and leads practice sessions for our most advanced players. His list of accomplishments is too long to quote here (a google search generates thousands of entries). For profile and list of notable games and tournaments, we suggest this website.

What’s the ideal age to learn chess? Each child is different. Some 4-year-olds might be ready while other children have to wait until 5 or 6.
What is the difference between chess classes and chess practice? Classes are led by professional coaches, in three separate tracks. Beginners learn how the pieces move and the basic rules of the game (capture, promotion, castling, etc). Intermediate and advanced players learn strategy and tactics, analyze famous games, and engage in supervised play.
My child attends PS 3. What’s the advantage of competing in tournaments as a member of the PS3 chess team? It’s a great way to test individual skills and take pride in representing her/his school in city-wide events. Scholastic tournaments typically tally the four best results of any given school to compute a team score.
Any other resources you would recommend? is a great online resource for young players. Children enrolled in Village Kids programs have access to a free membership under our umbrella account (coaches will distribute).
I want to help the chess program at PS3. How can I volunteer?  Please email your contact and availability to: