There are many excellent instructors working with scholastic students in the Midlands area. Here is some information about local instructors and local programs. If you would like to be listed, if you know of an unlisted instructor, or if you are an instructor seeking employment, please let us know.

Sam Copeland

Sam Copeland

Titles: National Master, Local Tournament Director.
USCF Rating: 2302
Contact: sam.s.copeland@gmail.com
Programs: Heathwood Hall, Hammond, Center For Inquiry, Center for Knowledge, St John Neumann

Bio: Sam is a dedicated and enthusiastic award winning instructor, competitor, and organizer. He has been teaching chess in schools and privately since 2002 (full instructional resume here). Many of Sam's students have competed succesfully in state and national competitions. Sam was twice South Carolina's high school champion (2002 and 2003), and he represented South Carolina in the Denker Tournament of High School Champions. He was also the Dallas Chess Champion in 2006 and the Southwest Collegiate Champion in 2004. Sam is also a certified tournament director, and one of the most popular bloggers on the chess.com platform. For details regarding private lessons, see Sam's coaching profile on chess.com.


Ben Caiello

Ben Caiello

Titles: SC State Champion
USCF Rating: 2145
Contact: bcaiello@email.sc.edu
Programs: Montessori School of Columbia

Bio: Ben is one of South Carolina's strongest players and is the 2016 SC Champion. Ben has been teaching chess since high school and his students have also become succesful chess players. Ben is renowned for his fast tactical vision and creativity.


Erik Murrah

Erik Murrah

USCF Rating: 1761
Contact: emurrah@gmail.com
Programs: AC Moore Elementary School

Bio: Erik is a long time chess player in the Columbia community. He has filled many roles over the years including former Columbia Chess Club president, local tournament organizer, and tournament director. In his day job, Erik works with the local Lexington Sheriff's department where he has organized the Kings and Cops chess tournament. Erik brings lots of experience as a teacher of chess kids; before working with Strategery, Erik independently organized after school chess programs in Lexington 5 schools.

Jordan Anderson

Jordan Anderson

USCF Rating: 1568
Contact: jranderson1990@yahoo.com
Programs: Forest Lake Elementary

Bio: Jordan has been a staple of South Carolina chess for many years. In high school, he played for the perenially strong chess tema at the Governor's School of Science and Mathematics. After graduating, Jordan has for many years administered the chess club at the St. Andrews Library. He serves as Vice President for the Columbia Chess Club, and regularly runs tournaments and other events for the club. Jordan is also an experienced tournament director and has run many major events.

Drew Plyler

Drew Plyler

USCF Rating: 1225
Contact: aplyler@gmail.com
Programs: Lake Murray Elementary, Chapin Intermediate School

Bio: Drew is one of the bedrocks of the South Carolina Chess Association. He founded and ran the Florence Chess Club for many years in which he lived in the city. For many years, Drew has taught scholastic in South Carolina, building many strong programs and instructing hundreds of students in chess.


Jeremiah Southwick

Jeremiah Southwick

Chess.com Rating: 1500
Contact: southwij@math.sc.edu
Programs: Timmerman

Bio: Jeremiah is an avid chess enthusiast and an experienced instructor who perfectly combines fun and instruction in his classes. Jeremiah is currently a graduate student in mathematics at the University of South Carolina.




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