National Master Joe Lux 

​Senior Instructor, Jersey City 

Joe Lux is a New York/ New Jersey chess legend, having been an active player since 1969. He has been teaching in schools in Jersey City, Bayonne and New York for 20+years. Furthermore, he is a National Tournament Director, former President of the New York State Chess Association and a current member of the New Jersey State Chess Federation Board of Directors. For more insights about Joe, see this Hudson Observer article:​

​Jack Heublum
Instructor, Binghamton 

Jack Heublum is a Senior at SUNY Binghamton and United States National Expert, who won the 2004 K-3 National Championship, finished 7th place in the 2014 High School National Championship, and defeated International Master Jay Bonin. 

Alex Little 
Instructor, East Brunswick, New Jersey 

​Alex Little is an 1800 rated chess player from Atlanta, Georgia. Having taught chess with Kid Chess and the International Chess Academy, he enjoys working with children and seeing their development in chess. He is a two-time winner of the Land of the Sky tournament in Asheville, NC, hometown of famed Allman Brothers guitarist Warren Haynes, and 2012 Atlanta U1500 Champion.  

​National Expert Rooney Simonaitis

Senior Instructor, Bronx 

Rooney Simonaitis is a United States National Expert who has been playing and teaching in New York for 10+ years. He has defeated Grandmaster Michael Wilder, GM Lev Alburt and FIDE Master Sunil Weeramantry. Rooney was on the 2nd place team in the Commercial Chess League of New York the last three consecutive years. He has coached PS 116, which has won 10+ National Championships.

National Master James West 

Senior Instructor, Edison, NJ 

"James (Jim) West has authored The Philidor Countergambit and The Dynamic Philidor Counter-Gambit.  In 1996, the Chess Journalists of America awarded him the top prize in the Best Analysis, Openings category.  He has been a member of the Marshall Chess Club since 1972. For the last 10+ years he's been teaching school programs and private students in New Jersey and New York. For more about Jim and to keep up to date with chess news, see his blog ​

Doron Brookhim

Instructor, Houston 

Doron Brookhim is a passionate chess player, who will be taking his skills from coaching basketball to teaching chess. Doron studied for a year at Tel Aviv University in 2008, a few blocks away from Israel's Chess Federation in Ramat Aviv.  He has played on a semi-professional team in Israel and served as the Head Basketball Coach for the Houston 13-14U team.



National Expert Mikhail Layeskiy

Senior Instructor, Staten Island 

Mikhail Layevskiy has been teaching in New York City Schools, including Epiphany, for 10+ years. Mikhail serves as the Co-Captain of the Phil AmCC team of the Commercial Chess League. He is glad to be working with us as lead instructor for the borough of Staten Island! 

Lucca Castrucci 
Instructor, Manhattan 

Lucca Castrucci started playing chess competitively at Millennium High School, where he was Vice President and Co-Founder of high ranking team. At Beloit College, he trained new members to the chess club how to advance their game, honing their technique and understanding of theory. He has also taught at Brooklyn Friends school under the guidance of esteemed teacher Gary Ryan. 

After graduating from university, he returned to his roots in New York for one of his true passions- teaching chess! 

National Master Evan Rabin 


National Master Evan Rabin started playing chess at a young age of 7 as a member of the Churchill Chess Team. He later studied with World Chess Champion Candidate, GM Leonid Yudasin. Evan made master in 2010. He won the 2007 United States Amateur East, tied for first at the 2011 World Open U2200 section and won 1st place at the 2015 Eastern Class Championship. He has scored wins against US Open Champion, GM Alex Lenderman, IM Jay Bonin and IM Justin Sarkar. 

He has a wealth of chess knowledge and a great intuition, having played in 900+ rated tournaments in 9 countries. In the last few years, he has instructed at camps all over the country, coached some of the top schools in the country, including Dalton, and taught private students of all ages and levels. 

Our Team

All of Premier Chess' Instructors are both great chess players and highly qualified instructors with 3+ years of teaching experience. This is a working list so check back often.  Meet the team here: 

Curt Brock 

Instructor, Lewiston, ME 

​Curt Brock has been playing active tournament chess for over 10 years. Even with juggling work, his wife and twin boys, he has managed to become a class "A" player. Curt has beaten and drawn a National Master and Fide Master in tournament play. Other highlights of his chess career, were winning the 2008 Downeast Open and being the only of 18 players to hold GM Perelshteyn to a draw in a simultaneous exhibition. Curt enjoys the eternal challenge of improving his game and helping others to do the same through coaching scholastic chess clubs and Adult Ed classes throughout central Maine.

National Master Jehron Bryant 
Senior Instructor, Binghamton 

National Master Jehron Bryant, along with his twin Nigel Bryant, have been stalwarts in the New York City Chess scene for many years. As a Senior Pre-Med student at Binghamton University, he is busy with his studies, but we are lucky to have Jehron teaching for us as ​at Seton Catholic Central High School. He caught the eye of Binghamton University newspaper: