Meet Our Instructors

Instructor Jim SantorelliJim Santorelli has been teaching chess for over 20 years and can count 13 National Champions among his students. A USCF Expert, Jim emphasizes strategy and planning in his chess and in his well-prepared classroom lectures. 

Jim teaches chess throughout the Westchester and Lower Connecticut area. He also coaches the Greenburgh School team and heads the Saturday Scarsdale chess classes. Jim is the Associate Executive Director of the NSCF.

Ricardo Perez

Ricardo Perez Billinghurst has been teaching chess in New York City and Connecticut since 2005. He joined NSCF in 2007. A National Master who is an active tournament player, Ricardo frequently draws from his own experience in tournament play to engage his students and enliven his presentation.

Ricardo brings tremendous patience and enthusiasm to his teaching and displays a keen sense of humor that is much appreciated by his students. His vast experience with children of different ages and backgrounds, as well as his ability to communicate with ease in Spanish, provide a valuable addition to the NSCF.

Ricardo holds a Senior Tournament Director certificate awarded by the United States Chess Federation. He has been responsible for running the NSCF tournaments since 2012.

Danny Rade is a USCF Candidate Master who has been playing chess since before he could read. Growing up in New York in the 90’s, Danny played in many of the same tournaments in which his students now play, enabling him to draw on his own childhood experiences when teaching and coaching young players. In both 5th and 7th grade, Danny finished in second place at the National K-12 Championships. At 14 years old, he reached his peak national ranking of #14 in the U.S. for his age group.

Danny graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in ‘09 with a BA in Psychology and Economics and has been working as an NSCF Instructor for over 5 years. Although constantly trying to improve himself and his instructing techniques, Danny prides himself on being patient and empathetic, yet engaging and charismatic. According to Danny, “there is no better feeling than a student coming to me and raving about how he just played a game of chess and won because he used some technique that I showed him.”

Tharin Chadwick

Tharin Chadwick teaches chess in Westchester County and in Greenwich, Connecticut. Tharin has become very popular with young children, capturing their fancy with various lively characterizations of the role of the chess pieces. Tharin has been playing rated chess since 1997 and is a frequent competitor in Bronx/Yonkers Chess Club tournaments.

Tharin is one of the principal instructors in the curricular chess program at Greenwich Academy and has coached their team at several National All-Girls Championships.

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Endorsements

As part of our commitment to educating the “whole child” academically, socially, culturally and morally, the instruction by NSCF staff was a key contributor to this success.