Our chess summer camp

Designed to meet the individual needs of each student, our chess program offers classes for beginning to advanced players.

Usdan’s chess summer camp program follows the principles of the National Scholastic Chess Foundation and is uniquely designed to meet the needs of each student, whether they are new to chess or are experienced competitors. The Usdan Chess Ladder groups students in varying levels, from absolute novices to advanced tournament players. New players learn rules, notation, and the opening, middle, and end games. Advanced players develop a vast repertoire of complex strategies and the ability to apply them shrewdly in-game. All of our chess players benefit from improved problem solving, critical thinking, and concentration.  Students hone their skills through game-play and tutoring in competitive chess tournaments and exciting team competitions. Individual and group lessons are conducted by highly-ranked tournament players with decades of experience.  A major highlight of our chess summer camp is that celebrated chess masters come to Usdan to serve as guest teachers and share their expertise with our young players.

For more detailed information, please visit our Classes page.


2019 Faculty

Chess, Lead Teacher

Brian Karen

Brian Karen is a top-ranked tournament chess player for both the United States Chess Federation and Federation Internationale Des Échecs. As an instructor, Brian has served as co-director of Usdan’s chess program since 1997, coached three-time Long Island chess champions Friends Academy, and director of chess programs for the Roslyn School District, Long Island School for the Gifted, and St. Patrick’s. He additionally serves on the United States Chess Federation Scholastic Council.

Chess, Lead Teacher

Joel Salman

One of Long Island’s top 10 players, Joel Salman is a professional Chess Master who has been teaching chess to children in schools and libraries on a full time basis since 1994. The Long Island native joined the faculty of Usdan in 2003, where he co-chairs the Chess Department.

Chess, Assistant Teacher

Robert Spahn

Chess, Assistant

Joe Beganskas

Chess, Lead Teacher

Anthony Renna