About Chess University


The Origin Story

Chess University started off as a side project on Chess.com, known as Chess.com University. In 2015, the then-Chess.com University President Kairav Joshi spun off the project to build the world's first live online chess academy, what we now know as Chess University.

Chess University received considerable attention after launching the Prodigy Program, which helped create the youngest chess master in American history, chess prodigy Christopher Yoo.

Chess University later set new milestones in the chess community by being the first to organize live online masterclasses with former world champions GM Anatoly Karpov and GM Viswanathan Anand.

Chess University Today

Chess University hosts a community of over 100,000 chess learners and has taught live chess classes to over 50,000 chess players.

Chess University's mission is to provide the best online chess learning experience. Unlike other chess websites, we offer hands-on learning programs and the best-in-class coaching support. At Chess University, you get the world's best chess coaches at your fingertips, dedicated to helping you accomplish your true chess potential, whether you're a prodigy or a retiree.

Meet The Chess University Leadership Team

Kairav Joshi - President and CEO
Kairav started his career as the #1-selling chess coach on Chess.com. Quick bio:

  • President of Chess.com University, later spun off to Chess University
  • Taught over 50,000 students live online
  • Creator of the Chess University Prodigy Program
  • Entrepreneur, founder of Sentral X, and a corporate growth strategy consultant

FM Dalton Perrine - Director of Instruction
Dalton is a popular online coach and Chess University Instructor since 2014. Quick bio:

  • Taught thousands of students online through the Prodigy Program
  • Taught Chess University's Cahaba River Chess Program and Bibb County High School honors chess class, the first graded in-school chess class taught live online.

FM Arne Jochens, PhD - Director of Content
Dr. Arne Jochens is an accomplished researcher, educator, and chess coach. Quick bio:

  • Chess University Instructor since 2015
  • Taught thousand of Prodigy Program students
  • Known for his patient teaching style
  • Actively competes in the Bundesliga (first German league)

Ryan Murphy - Director of Analysis
Ryan Murphy is a USCF expert and accomplished scholastic chess coach from Wisconsin. Quick bio:

  • Offered personalized guidance for chess improvement to hundreds of Prodigy Programs students.
  • Created instructional video courses and learning materials
  • Leads the Game Analysis department at Chess University

Sophie Marthancho - Director ofย  Operations & Support
Sophie is Chess University's operations and member support specialist since 2018. Quick bio:

  • Organized and published hundreds of hours of instructional chess content
  • Managed admissions, enrollment, and onboarding of new chess students
  • Led customer support to nearly 100% satisfaction

Additional Team Members and Contributors (Full Bios Coming Soon):

Marek Simon - Former Assistant Instructor

Jarret Minkler - Director of Technology

NM Dane Mattson - Former Prodigy Program Instructor

NM Jeremy Kane - Guest Instructor

IM Kostya Kavutskiy - Video Author & Former Prodigy Program Instructor

IM Mark Dvoretskiy - Special Instructor

IM Nazi Paikidze - Former Prodigy Program Instructor

IM Lawrence Trent - Guest Instructor

GM Alex Yermolinksy - Former Prodigy Program Instructor

GM Roman Dzindzichashvili - Former Chess University Instructor

GM Ben Finegold - Guest Instructor

GM Peter Heine Nielsen - Guest Instructor

GM Alexei Shirov - Guest Instructor

GM Boris Gelfand - Guest Instructor

GM Anatoly Karpov - Special Guest Instructor

GM Viswanathan Anand - Chief Mentor and Instructor