ImagesDerek O'Connor

I learned the rules of chess at the age of 4 from my dad, and while I have had a lifelong passion for the game, I played in only a handful of tournaments growing up. While attending university, I started tutoring math and discovered how much I enjoyed working with students and helping them develop their problem solving skills, and I continued tutoring until I graduated.

After graduating from university with an engineering degree, I moved to Berkeley and started working as a chess instructor, and soon realized how much I enjoyed teaching. I realize that not every student will go on to become a serious chess player, but I strongly believe that the critical thinking skills they develop are unique and rewarding! 

Teaching chess has also inspired me to start playing in tournaments again, and I recently became a National Master, and followed this by breaking 2300 USCF and 2200 FIDE. My goal in the near future is to attain the FIDE Master (FM) title. 

If you see me playing at one of the local tournaments, feel free to stop by and say "hello"!