My name is Felix, and my adventure with chess began when I was 8 years old. It all started with a suggestion from my piano teacher. She thought that learning chess might help me think ahead, so I decided to give it a shot.
I started taking lessons with Coach Atousa Pourkashiyan, a talented Woman Grandmaster who introduced me to the fascinating world of chess. I was amazed by the strategies and tactics involved in each move, and I quickly became hooked. Later, I had the privilege of being mentored by GM Melikset Khachiyan and GM Tamaz Gelashvili. Their guidance not only improved my chess skills but also taught me valuable life lessons about patience and foresight.
When the pandemic hit in 2020 and everything shifted online, I began participating in USCF rated tournaments over the internet. It was a different experience, but it allowed me to play against opponents from all around the world and continue honing my skills.
As the pandemic started to fade away, I found that returning to over-the-board (OTB) chess tournaments wasn't as easy as I had hoped, especially in West LA. There weren't many opportunities to interact with other kids through tournaments, and I often had to travel to various places just to play chess with peers.
The idea of interacting with other kids grew even more important. I wanted to bridge the gap between passionate young chess enthusiasts who faced similar difficulties in learning chess alone and finding local tournaments to play more rated chess games. With this goal in mind, I founded ICEA Chess in 2020 to offer both online and in-person opportunities for kids to come together, play, learn, and share their love for the game.
ICEA Chess transformed into a haven not only for learning but also for building lasting friendships. Workshops and matches became spaces where we could connect with other young chess lovers and experience the joy of over-the-board play. Moreover, ICEA Chess extends opportunities for fellow chess players to exchange their learning journeys with peers, all while acknowledging and celebrating their achievements.
Looking back, I'm amazed at how far I've come – from a beginner learning the moves to founding a community that celebrates the beauty of chess. My journey with chess has not only improved my thinking ahead but has also taught me the power of dedication, community, and the joy of sharing something you love with others.
At our chess community, we go beyond the board to foster a love for chess among kids. We believe that chess is not just a game; it's an opportunity to learn, play, and develop critical thinking skills.
Chess is like a never-ending puzzle, where each move holds the potential for creativity and strategic thinking. We aim to inspire young minds to explore the endless possibilities that chess offers.
But we're more than just chess enthusiasts; we are a community. We understand the power of connection and the joy that comes from sharing our passion with others. Our community brings together kids from different backgrounds, united by their love for chess.
In our community, every move counts, and every member matters. We support and encourage each other's growth, both on and off the board. Through friendly competitions, workshops, and mentorship, we strive to create an inclusive environment where kids can learn, improve, and make lifelong friendships.
Chess teaches us valuable life lessons: patience, resilience, and the ability to think ahead. Our community embraces these principles and helps kids develop skills that will benefit them beyond the chessboard.
Join us on this exciting journey of discovery, where the love for chess intertwines with the power of community. Together, we can inspire a new generation of young chess enthusiasts, fostering not only their love for the game but also their personal growth and connections with like-minded peers.
Let's checkmate the boundaries and unlock the potential within each child, one move at a time.
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