Each year, Kevin Bachler – OleChess Camp Director and FIDE Master – brings the best available masters to OleChess. Past camp instructors for include Grandmasters Gregory Kaidanov, Alex Onischuk, Yury Shulman, Greg Serper, and Alex Yermolinsky, WGM Camilla Baginskaite, and International Masters John Bartholomew, and Irina Krush.
Other highly qualified instructors and counselors will be added to the camp roster to assure excellent player/instructor/counselor ratios. New faculty will be added to the site when the information becomes available.
Chess Camp Instructional Approach
Our instructors take an historical approach to teaching chess: it’s been noted in a couple of classic works on chess that the development of an individual’s chess mind largely tends to mimic the progression of the “collective” chess mind, meaning that by studying historical games up to now, people are following a sequence of learning that appears to be natural. With this in mind, the games of American Paul Morphy from the 1860s are often used, as well as games of Germans Adolf Anderssen and Johannes Zukertort. The first world champion, Wilhelm Steinitz, is studied, as are Emmanuel Lasker, Jose Capablanca, Alexander Alekhine and other more recent world champions. Robert Fischer, Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov are among the modern-era grandmasters used in class, depending on the level of the class and the instructor.
OleChess Staff Included:
GM Gregory Kaidanov
Greg earned his Grandmaster title in 1988; his current USCF rating is 2633. His first major tournament win came in Moscow 1987, where he defeated Indian star Vishwanathan Anand. He earned the IM title that same year, and was awarded the GM title just a year later in 1988. He won the 1992 World Open in Philadelphia and the 1992 U.S. Open, and tied for first in the National Open four times (1990, 1992, 1994 and 1999).
GM Alex Onischuk
Alex is cuurently the thrid highest ranked player in the US with a rating of 2737. Alex wont the 2006 US Championship.
GM Gregory Serper
Greg earned his Grandmaster title in 1992; his current USCF rating is 2592. In 1992, as a member of the Uzbekistan team, Greg won the silver medal in the 30th Chess Olympiad. In January of 1996 he moved with his family to the United States. In 1999, Greg won the World Open after drawing an Armageddon playoff game as Black against BorisGulko, one of nine players who had tied with Greg in the main event. In that same year, he advanced to the finals of the U.S. Chess Championship by defeating Alex Yermolinsky in the semifinals.
GM Yury Shulman
Yury achieved the Grandmaster title in 1995 and moved to the US four years later to become one of the top American players. Shulman also uses chess for philanthropic causes. He founded the Yury Shulman International Chess School and consistently contributes to not-for-profit entities, schools and camps.
IM Irina Krush
Irina holds both the International Master and the Woman Grandmaster titles from FIDE. Her current FIDE rating is 2487. Irina is a three-time U.S. Women’s Chess Champion, winning in 1998 at age 14, and again in 2007 and 2010. She is known for her chess training videos, the “Krushing Attacks” series.
IM John Bartholomew
John grew up in nearby Eagan, MN, and in 2002 as a freshman at Eagan HS won the individual National High School Championship. John was awarded his IM title in 2007, & has a current USCF rating of 2499.
FM Kevin Bachler
In 2012 Kevin was named a Professional Chess Coach (Level V) – the USCF’s highest certification in their Chess Coach Certification program. Only four other people currently have this designation. Kevin became a National Master in 1982, and FIDE Master in 2001. From 1995 -2007 Kevin coached chess teams that won 9 state championships (second 3 times), 3 national championships, and that were in the top 10 nationally another 7 times. Kevin is married to camp co-director Deborah Socha.
EX Robert Rasmussen
Robby is a counselor who will sometimes fill in on a few classes. Robby is a three-time IL HS champion, and a member of the many Coach Bachler championship teams mentioned.
“A” Robert Riddle
Robert is a counselor who may also assist with some instruction and as a house-man. Robert is a two-time former IL scholastic champion, and a member of the many Coach Bachler championship teams mentioned.
Co-Director Deborah Socha has been involved in running chess clubs and chess camps since 1994. She is married to camp director Kevin Bachler, and has been ChessMom to many championship chess teams.
Anna Lace Riddle
Anna is an eighth grade English teacher and choir director. She has been a camp counselor for many years. Anna is passionate about family, friends, and children (of all ages) and she is excellent in math!
Stephanie is an experience camp counselor in her first year with OleChess, and loves sports! She will soon be starting a career as an elementary school teacher. Watch out chessplayers – she’s very, very crafty.
Bill is a sports nut – a world class weight lifter, and a solid “C” chess player – also a member of the many Coach Bachler championship teams mentioned.