Thursday, January 28th 7-8pm EST on Zoom Webinar. “The Queen’s Gambit,” Netflix’s blockbuster series about a chess prodigy, has ignited skyrocketing sales of chess boards and a new national obsession with the game. But, before the glamorous world of Beth Harmon, international master Rusa Goletiani and expert coach, Mike Amori, were fully steeped in the world of chess competitions and coaching. This program will take you into the real world of competitive, high-stakes chess—drawing on parallels from The Queen’s Gambit to illuminate true tales of confronting gender inequities, competing against masters, and the life skills benefits the ancient game can have.
Rusa Goletiani was born in Sokhumi, Georgia where she learned how to play chess at the age of 6 and started to play tournaments shortly after. She has won World Youth Championships for girls under 14, 16 and 18 and became a Women’s Grandmaster in 1999. After moving to the US in 2000, Rusa became an International Master, won the 2003 Continental Championship and the prestigious 2005 US Women’s Championship. Rusa has represented the United States at several chess Olympiads winning an individual silver and team bronze medal in Dresden 2008. She consistently taught chess to students while playing professionally and in 2015 transitioned to a career in Finance. Rusa still lectures and gives occasional lessons along with supporting her own kid’s interest in chess.
Mike Amori began playing chess seriously in 1990 while working on the floor of the American Stock Exchange. Through a series of twists he left finance to teach chess professionally. Believing chess to be a valuable and flexible teaching tool, Mike has spent 29 years teaching it in over 50 schools and adult programs in New York and Connecticut. Mike is a USCF rated Expert and has played more than 850 tournaments to date. Together with good friend and colleague, IM Rusa Goletiani, they formed the Westchester Chess Academy where the emphasis was on what they call the 3Cs (Confidence-Calculation-Concentration) The goal was to help students develop transferable skills that can be used in the real world in real time.