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Meet Lior Levy of The Chess Land in North Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lior Levy.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I learned the rules of chess from my dad when I was pretty young but it wasn’t until I visited the iconic Washington Square Park in N.Y. that I became totally hooked on the game. Washington Square Park is home to a unique “street style” kind of chess — fast blitz games, and lots of trash talking.

From that point on, I started playing all day every day. After about four years of passionate recreational playing, I started competing in tournaments. Soon after, the city council offered me a job running a city-wide project integrating chess classes into elementary school curriculum in low-income neighborhoods. This project achieved the same thing I loved so much about Washington Square Park — making chess an accessible game for everyone.

I realized right away how much I loved teaching chess to so many young talented kids, and that was the moment I realized I needed to be a professional chess coach. I’ve been teaching and spreading the joy of chess ever since — both in the LA area as well as online to students all over the world. My main goal as a teacher remains the same as when I started with the city-wide project: to make chess available to the youth in low-income neighborhoods.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The struggle I’ve had to overcome as someone who’s passionate about teaching is how to create a model in which I can actually make a lasting career out of it. Many times I’ve said to myself I should probably get a “normal job” to ensure financial security. But every time I see the kids’ happiness, and the changes I’ve helped make in their lives, I know deep down that I want to keep teaching. It’s taken some time and maturity for me to realize and embrace that anyone can make a career out of anything if they put their heart into it. And spending my days doing something I truly love makes me feel immensely fulfilled.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about The Chess Land – what should we know?
Beyond just chess, The Chess Land is about nurturing healthy behavioral practices through the game of chess. In my classes chess come second. First is and foremost is respectful conduct within the group.

As both the owner and teacher at the Chess Land, I am mostly known for my communication skills, especially with kids. I believe what sets me apart from other coaches is my ability to connect with everyone. I specialize in breaking down complex ideas into simple practices that anyone can understand. My personal interest in each student’s success is part of what keeps most of my students passionate about chess for years. I’m also very proud to make a difference in the lives of my students who are on the Autistic Disorder Spectrum or have ADHD. Many times parents have the misconception that chess might be too much for them. Last year, a parent wanted to sign one of her children up for chess lessons. When we first spoke, she told me she only wanted to bring one child as her other child is on the Autism Spectrum and she didn’t think he would fit. I encouraged her to bring both children and then see if the older child wanted to keep going. Not only did he keep taking classes, but he also ended up being the strongest in his class, and even won a first place medal in a tournament. His mom said that was the the best thing that’s happened to him, and that it made him feel empowered.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I’ve been told I make life look easy, so maybe the essential characteristic for success is being down to earth, funny, and overall optimistic.

Pricing:

  • $100 in person chess lesson
  • $80 online chess lesson

Contact Info:

  • Address: 6227 Craner Ave. North Hollywood
  • Website: thechessland.com
  • Phone: 917-415-4551
  • Email: chess.lior@gmail.com
  • Instagram: chess coach lior
  • Facebook: chess coach lior

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