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Born and raised in Nashville, TN, Lindsey spent most of her life trying to figure out what path to traverse. After graduating from high school in 1999, she went into the workforce as a Production Assistant for various film projects, commercials and music videos in the surrounding Nashville area. As film work is not always stable, she also handled the publishing and merchandise for a family-run company, Scruggs Music, Inc. After four years of PA work, she felt disillusioned by the film industry and began to realize that she needed and wanted to go to college.
Thusly, in 2006, Lindsey went to Nashville State Community College with a major in Psychology. Near the end of her two-year stint at NSCC, she began spending much of her time at the Nashville Chess Center. After graduating with an Associate’s from NSCC, she continued on to Middle Tennessee State University with a major in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. During her time at MTSU, Lindsey realized that she was quite skilled in working with children and thusly was hired on to teach children chess at the Nashville Chess Center.
She has also coached the chess clubs for Pennington Elementary, Two Rivers Middle School, Stanford Montessori, Eakin Elementary, Currey Ingram Academy, Our Savior Lutheran Academy, and Julia Green Elementary. In May 2010, Lindsey graduated Summa Cum Laude from MTSU with a B.S. in Psychology. She currently attends Trevecca Nazarene University and is working to attain a Master's of Arts in Counseling. She is a student member of the Tennessee Licensed Professional Counselor's Association and the American Counseling Association. Post graduation, Lindsey strives to attain licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and specialize in the child population.
Dr. Jim Lech
Jim Lech is our longest tenured teacher at the NCC. He began teaching our children's chess program on Sunday afternoons as an assistant instructor to Grand Master Sam Palanik soon after moving to Nashville to attend Vanderbilt Divinity School in 1998. Shortly thereafter he became the primary children's instructor on Sunday's, and in 2006 he became the Director of Scholastic Chess for our after-school programs. He is highly experienced instructor - teaching over sixty of these year-long after-school programs, and nearly 10 week-long summer camps.
Jim continued his education at Vanderbilt by earning a Doctor of Education at Peabody (2007), while also working as a city planner for three middle Tennessee cities: Millersville, Hohenwald and Cross Plains for the last ten years. He is stepping down as Director of Scholastic Programs next year to more vigorously pursue his current graduate studies at Harvard University. Jim hopes to begin a tenured-track position as a university professor in political science with a specialization concerning the unintended consequences of public policy in the next few years.
To contact Jim about private chess instruction email: James Lech <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Jesse Jones is a senior at Vanderbilt University, double-majoring in English Literature and Asian Studies. He is currently president of the Vanderbilt Chess Club and in high school was captain of the Farragut High School Chess Team.
When not playing or teaching chess, Jesse likes to read, write, dance, attend random campus events, and speak Spanish with his hall mates at McTyeire International House.
(FM) Todd Andrews
Todd was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee and has played competitive chess since being 11 years old. At the age of 16, Todd attained the rank of National Master and was a member of the United States Olympic Youth team sent to Europe to represent America. It was during this time, Todd began his first teaching job as an after-school chess instructor for the University School of Nashville. At the age of 18, Todd attained the international title of F.I.D.E. (pronounce Fee-Day) Master and was invited to participate in the United States Junior Championship. He was ranked number one in the country for 17-18 year olds during that time. Todd currently holds the title of Tennessee State Champion, which he has achieved 7-times. He was also Georgia State Champion when residing there in 2004.
Todd spends most of his time teaching chess now, not competing. Todd has worked at dozens of programs over his 13-year teaching career and currently coaches the programs at University School of Nashville, The Covenant School, Hume-Fogg Academic High School, The Ensworth School, St. Paul Christian Academy and Ross Elementary, our longest running program at the NCC. Todd has taught chess in New York, Georgia and Tennessee and currently holds the position of Director of Operations and Scholastic Chess at the Nashville Chess Center.
Besides chess, you will find Todd camping, canoeing, hiking, going to rock-n-roll concerts and rooting on the Nashville Predators!
(pictured here with her son Kyler - an award recipient at our camp)
Tiffany Elliott grew up in Nashville, Tennessee and learned chess growing up with her brother, Todd Andrews. He taught her how to play at a very young age, and the two made up their own variations of the game as well. Tiffany enjoyed attending tournaments all across the United States with her family, but never competed.
Tiffany entered into the child care field at age eighteen and began working her way through college. Along the way, she earned the Child Development Associate Credential from the Council for Professional Recognition. In 2006, she opened and began operating New Responses Family Child Care in White Bluff, Tennessee caring for up to fifteen children ages six weeks through twelve years old. The agency earned and maintained three star quality from the State of Tennessee Department of Human Services.
In 2007, she joined her brother, Todd, in instructing their first Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Chess Camp at NCC. Tiffany uses her training and experience in child development to teach and encourage children as young as three years old to play and enjoy chess using developmentally appropriate methods and strategies. These camps have grown into a big success!
Tiffany earned an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Early Childhood Education, Summa Cum Laude from Nashville State Community College in May of 2009. In May of 2010, she earned the Tennessee Early Childhood Program Administrator Credential from Tennessee State University. In April of 2011, she closed her child care program after five years of operation in order to care for her grandfather and continues to teach chess at NCC. She also enjoys crafts, organizing community environmental projects, and little league baseball with her sons, Kyler and Kasen.
To contact Tiffany about private chess instruction email: EarlyEducationNR@aol.com
Bill is currently the instructor at Overbrook Elementary. Here are some facts he provided:
Born in 1958. Lifelong resident of Dickson TN. Married 1992 to wife, Lucy. Two children, three grandchildren.
Education: Graduate of Dickson County High School and Vanderbilt University, BA '81
Professional: Manager, Orgain Insurance Agency, 25 years
Certified Insurance Counselor, Life Underwriting Training Council Fellow
Avocations: Chess (5 term TN Chess Assn President, 10 time US Chess Federation Delegate), Philately, Music (piano, saxophone, bassoon, composer) Astronomy, Sports, History, Trivia, Contract Bride, Poker
Social/Religious: 20-year member, Dickson County Chapter American Cancer Society Board
Member, St. Patrick's Church, Dickson TN
Lane Stafford grew up in southwest Florida before he served in the United States Air Force for four years as an aerospace maintenance technician (aircraft mechanic) stationed at McGuire AFB, New Jersey. To gain the civilian certification to repair and maintain all civilian airframes, Lane attended Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and earned his Airframe and Powerplant license in 2004 and worked for six years as a contracted mechanic to airports around the United States. Currently Lane in the process of starting a business and is a student at the University of Phoenix seeking a degree in small business entrepreneurship. He was taught chess by his grandfather in 1985 and has continued to study the game. The challenge of finding other chess players initiated a rewarding career opportunity with the Nashville Chess Center. Lane loves to share his knowledge and love of the game with Nashville’s brightest children.
“I learned how to play Chess from my father when I was 10. I remember him as a pretty decent chess player. It was our favorite game to play and we played as a family. My brother Bob is an excellent chess player along with his son (my nephew) Jeff. We played often through my High school years.
I continued playing chess when I was in college with a bunch of buddies. Claim to fame was beating a Chess Master (don’t remember his title) in a simul. I remember reading a lot of books on chess during this time and studying the game for many hours. With that the game improved greatly. This is where I first began to teach the game to many people growing our little group to a small chess club. We would meet on Wednesday night and play chess.
I gave up chess for many years until I started playing again when my triplets (Sam, Ean and Kelsey) went into the 3rd grade (8 years ago). I became the tournament Director for an organization in Charlotte, NC called CMSCA (Charlotte Mecklenburg Scholastic Chess Association). We employed and sent instructors to over 129 schools in that Mecklenburg County. I became involved with the NC State Chess Association and worked and supported through volunteer work numerous tournaments, chess camps and teaching sessions. I have taught privately many students the game of chess, how to play and respect others in competition.
I consider chess to be the best game ever invented as it competes mind against mind with no outside variables such as cards, dice or the “luck” of the draw. This is true skill of thought, I have seen through the years many scholastic age children learn many skills from chess like focus, critical thinking, honor and best of all teamwork. I hope to always continue to play and teach as long as I am physically able to do so for the pleasure and love of the game.
Dennis is the coach of Ensworth, St. Paul Christian Academy and University School of Nashville
Tony learned how to play chess as a child from his grandfather, Salvatore. He played as a child and later competed in high school. The chess set was put aside until his interest was rekindled twenty years later when his seven year old son, Salvatore, found his old chess set while they were packing to move to London. Salvatore wanted to learn the ancient game and took to it quickly. He began competing at chess tournaments throughout England. Tony and his family moved to Nashville in 2004. As Sal continued to compete locally Tony became more involved with the Nashville Chess Center, joining the Board of Directors as Treasurer in 2007. He has taught chess programs at Harding Academy, Julia Green and most recently, Battleground Academy Upper and Lower Schools.
Tony earned his B.A. in mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1986 and made his living as an actuary (both in the U.S. and overseas) until 2005 when he founded Stonebridge Financial Services, Inc. He continues to manage Stonebridge, enjoys attending chess and baseball tournaments with his family and tutoring kids in mathematics.
Tennessee's Most Active Tournament Director and NCC Chess Camp Instructor
My interest in chess began while still a teenager in Germany. In 1950 I moved from Chicago to Nashville, Tennessee. I played in my first Tennessee Open in 1956. Shortly after that I became interested in organized chess. With this I started the Tennessee Chess News in 1959 and was its editor for the next 18 years. After I let other players take it over I continued my involvement as TCA as President and Vice-President for the next 20 years or so. But I also directed many tournaments including the Tennessee Open and organized and directed the Music City chess tournaments.
But I was also active as a player. I made good scores in several Tennessee Open and the Mid-South events that were held and still are run in Memphis. I also made contributions to the Nashville team in matches with Memphis and Knoxville playing as high as board one. But I consider having won the Nashville Championship on three occasions my greatest accomplishment. One of my best scores was in the Sportsfest held in Nashville in 1990 were I scored three wins and two draws.
In the early nineties I started teaching chess in schools. This I have continued to the present.I have enjoyed this as much as the students I was instructing not just in the basics but also in advanced tactics and strategy. Several of the schools scored well in the state individual and team competitions.
In 1989, the officers of the Tennessee Chess Association recognized my achievement as an organizer to recommend me to the US Chess Federation. This honor I received from USCF was the "Outstanding Career Achievement" award in the form of a beautiful chess set.
In 1990 the Tennessee Hall of Fame was established. Along with six others I was inducted as a charter member along with the following: Tom Finucane, Robert Scrivener, Hunter Weaks, Jerry Sullivan, Robert Coveyou and Martin Southern.
In 1996 I wrote the book entitled A History of Tennessee Chess. The book was also dedicated to the first Tennessee Champion, Robert Coveyou, who won it in 1947 and seven more times after that. He passed away in the year the book was published. In addition this also marked the 50th time the Tennessee Open was held.
My interest in writing about chess history actually started already in 1992 with a book on the games by Alekhine. In 2009 my eighth book was published about the American Grandmaster Isaac Kashdan.
Here is a quote about Peter and his career:
"Peter Lahde is known throughout the chess world as a fair-minded, honest, dignified gentleman. In a quiet and methodical manner, he has brought the gift of chess to young and old alike for more years than most of today's players can remember. He has been a role model for generations of young players, as well as a model of sportsmanship and courtesy for all who come in contact with him."