Meet Our Coaches
Ryan started playing chess at the age of 14, while a freshman in high school. He is currently a US Chess Class A player (1800+ rating). He is also the winner of the 2023 Florida Collegiate Chess Championship.
Ryan is an active competitor in chess tournaments and owes his improvement to chess books, videos, and private lessons. What attracted him to chess was the competitive nature of the game, as well as the beauty of chess moves and positions. He also enjoys the ever-growing chess community, which is full of positive and supportive people who are always willing to help each other improve.
Ryan is currently attending the University of South Florida and pursuing a degree in Personal Financial Planning.
One of his notable academic achievements was winning 2nd place in the Perlman Price Young Entrepreneurs Program.
At 12 years old, Mark learned to play chess from his older brother. Over the years his interest in the game steadily grew. For Mark, there was no better game than chess. It was a contest of pure skill, with strategy, tactics and elegance.
To improve at chess, Mark read books and regularly competed in tournaments. In high school, he played 1st board on his school’s chess team, and led them to the Virginia State Championship. He also played in the National High School Championship, where he was privileged to meet Bobby Fischer. During his college years, he played third board at the University of Virginia (UVa.) and represented the school in regional and national competitions.
Before retiring, Mark was an attorney within the U.S. government. Mark earned two degrees at UVa: Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctorate.