Welcome and thanks for visiting my site! My name is David Bennett and I offer private or group chess lessons, simuls, seminars, and pro bono classes in the DC area for all ages and skill levels!
A little bit about me:
A Los Angeles native, I have played chess competitively since the 9th grade. The pursuit of chess mastery has brought me to tournaments around the United States, Eastern Europe, and Latin America. I am currently a National Master (2200+ US Chess Federation rating) and World Chess Federation (FIDE) Candidate Master (which requires achievement of a 2200+ World Chess Federation rating), ranked among the top 5 players in Washington, D.C. It is my goal to one day become a grandmaster (which requires a 2500+ international rating and 3 grandmaster "norms") and play in tournaments around the world, while my immediate goal is to clinch the FIDE Master title. Growing up wrestling as well as competing in chess tournaments taught me about the mental toughness that it takes to succeed.
I studied history and political science at the University of Michigan and then completed a dual master's degree in public administration and urban planning at the University of Southern California. After several stints with nonprofits and government agencies, followed by completing my year of service with AmeriCorps VISTA assisting military families, I recently worked with a nonprofit serving DC's chronically homeless, helping them to get housed and successfully integrated into their new communities across the District. Working for social justice is something that is in my blood, which I have incorporated into my teaching with my pro bono work at DC nonprofits.
My teaching background and unique approach:
Once you're bit by the chess bug, there's no turning back! Last year, I returned to my passion for chess. I worked as a professional scholastic chess coach with Silver Knights Chess Company, teaching classes in schools across Northern Virginia for a year in addition to private lessons. I am VIRTUS certified, which requires one of the most rigorous background checks and a training to ensure a safe environment for youth. I have enjoyed seeing my students' self-confidence and skills soar throughout this process (please see my endorsements and Twitter feed for more info about my students and what they have achieved working with me).
I am extremely passionate about The Royal Game and all of the benefits it provides to youth and adults alike. I love to work with people of all ages and skill levels with a passion for this wonderful game. I emphasize the importance of deep strategic/positional understanding and a patient, flexible, dynamic playing approach combined with a powerful thinking technique to effectively dissect and understand any position in order to consistently play strong moves. I begin with a tactical warm-up, with problems targeted to the student's skill level (while challenging them to go the next level) and generally incorporate a blend of positional training, endgame training, and analysis of the student's games, asking questions throughout the process to help my students arrive at their own conclusions, followed by reinforcing learned concepts at the end. Most importantly, I listen to you, tailoring my approach based on your goals so you can get the most out of your time with me. And I'm bilingual, so if you prefer I do that listening/speaking in Spanish, todo estábien!
Do you want to improve your chess game while experiencing the myriad benefits that it has to offer (improved cognitive function, memory, strategic thinking, self-confidence, concentration, calculation, visualization, creativity, artistic enjoyment, to name just a few)?
Reach out to me to try an intro lesson today! I tailor my approach to directly meet your needs, helping you get to the essence of your unique strengths and weaknesses so that you can fully realize your chess potential . . . and take your mind places you never thought possible!