Chess Instructors

GM Joel Benjamin

FM Roger LaFlair

Paul Ascolese

Harold Scott

About GM Joel Benjamin

  • Joel Benjamin broke Bobby Fischer’s record for youngest U.S. master
  • He has won the National Elementary, Junior High, and High School titles, as well as the U.S. Junior and U.S. Senior Championships.
  • He played in a record 26 U.S. Championships, winning three titles
  • A grandmaster since 1986, Joel has played on several national teams, including gold medal winners in the last three World Senior Team Championships
  • The chess consultant for IBM’s Deep Blue computer, Joel was inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame in 2008.
  • For the last two decades he has been teaching classes and camps and coaching private students.
  • Joel has authored five chess books - Unorthodox Openings, American Grandmaster, Liquidation on the Chess Board, Better Thinking Better Chess, and World Champion Chess for Juniors.

About FM Roger LaFlair

  • Roger LaFlair is a FIDE Master (peak rating 2440).
  • He has been a coach for over 25 years and is an after-school teacher and coach for the Portledge School in Locust Valley, New York.
  • He has coached the School at the city, state, and national levels.
  • He has coached many students and has ran camps on Long Island over the years.

About Paul Ascolese

  • Paul Ascolese is a Chess Teacher and Highschool Chess Coach at Portledge School in Locust Valley Ny.
  • Paul has been teaching chess for over 35 years and has been involved with many organizations teaching after-school chess programs and summer camps.
  • In the 1980's he was a member of a chess team that won the New England team championship two straight years and reached a peak Fide rating of 2275.

About Harold Scott

  • Harold Scott is a Candidate Master (Peak rating 2112) who has over 25 years of chess coaching experience.
  • He is a FIDE Instructor and has coached Championship teams on the city, state, and national levels.
  • Harold is also Head Coach and Lead Instructor at Avenues – The World School in New York City.
  • Harold is also a member of the USCF Competition Integrity committee and on the Board of Directors of the New York State Chess Association. He is a also a columnist for Empire Chess.
  • Also, he is an avid chess book collector and Senior Tournament Director.

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