Wizard of the Month Spotlight - May 2024 - David Green



Our employee of the month is David Green from Long Island. 



David was chosen as our Wizard of the Month because of his world-class level involvement with the students he cares for and the company as well. He is so memorable in classes that schools request him by name, and he always makes time to add a full load of classes to his schedule. David is so appreciated as an instructor and member of our team.


David, thank you for being such an outstanding employee and teacher!

To show our appreciation for your dedication and hard work – please check your email this week for a special gift from us.


Chek out our interview with David below:



1. Who are you, where do you come from, where are you going?

My name is David Green. I am originally from Brooklyn, NY and I’m currently based in Northport on Long Island. I’m a Syracuse alum and have three children. My future hopefully includes many more successful Chess Wizards classes! 


2. How long have you been teaching with Chess Wizards?

I’ve had the honor to teach with Chess Wizards since April 2023.


3. What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned since you started teaching? 

The amazing diversity of my classes has been an incredible learning experience for me; and one that I am so grateful for. Regardless of a student’s background, the universal appeal of learning and playing chess has never been more apparent: As two students play chess, and become friends over the board. 


4. What is the most exciting experience you have had while playing or teaching chess?

In 1972, American chess prodigy and legend, Bobby Fischer (my hero at the time), traveled from Brooklyn, NY to Reykjavik, Iceland to challenge the world champion, Boris Spasskly from Russia. As a lifelong chess fan, it was thrilling to watch all 21 games broadcast on live TV!

I set up a chess board with my dad—who taught me how to play—and we followed along with various rotating Grandmaster commentators, from the Marshall Club and elsewhere. In the middle of the “Cold War” America was obsessed with Chess! Fisher lost the first  game and forfeited the second - no matter, game 6 was his Queen’s Gambit surprise masterpiece! A game Fischer played so strong that even Spassky stood up and joined the applause in the arena. Fischer, now leading the match, never looked back and broke Russia’s 24 year reign as champions! 

It was an incredible experience, all those years ago, that has inspired me to always impart the excitement of chess to my students! 


5.  How do you motivate your students to succeed? 

The Chess Wizards’ point system, when used consistently and transparently, is an amazing tool to help motivate students at every class. The students see their point totals grow towards a trophy and parents see their child's success at every class. Points are given for good play (win or lose) and for good behavior and engagement at the Demo board. I strongly encourage my fellow Wizards to use the point system at every class, you’ll be glad you did!          


6.  If you could retire tomorrow and never have to worry about money again, what would you do with your time?

I would travel to places I haven’t had the opportunity to visit yet and bring chess programs to underserved communities. 


7.  What’s your go-to technique for dealing with ‘handful students’?

In my experience, students typically act out for attention. In a firm, but positive tone, I explain to the students what is and is not acceptable, emphasizing the rewards of good behavior. I reinforce rules that were discussed in the first class.


8. What is an unusual place you have been to?

I had the opportunity to study abroad in London for a semester in college. I took a trip to see Stonehenge, which was definitely the most unusual place I’ve ever been to—giant stones in an unusual circular formation in the middle of nowhere. Who would go through the trouble of doing this, and why?


9. Do you have a talent that not many people know about?

I have an unusual photographic memory when it comes to names and faces. I can learn everyone’s name in a class, the first time we meet. Unfortunately, this talent does not apply to chess or anything else! LOL 


10. What’s your #1 teaching tip?

Remember that children are not “little adults” and need to be taught with patience, some repetition, and a dose of humor, all in a caring and consistent atmosphere.


11. What is something interesting that you’re involved in, outside of Chess Wizards?      

Since 1999, I have been an eBay Powerseller, selling sports memorabilia, postcards, and more collectables. It has been a great hobby and way to earn some extra money along the way.


12. If you saw a kangaroo and a chimpanzee playing chess what would you do? Who do you think would win?

I would be interested in what openings they were both playing. I’d think the kangaroo is playing the 4 Knights (you know, all the jumping) and the chimp is playing Queen’s gambit. In the final analysis, the chimp’s more disciplined play would overcome  the kangaroo’s jumping around. 


13.  Star Wars, Star Trek, or they’re both lame?

I grew up with the original Star Trek series. So even though Star Wars is awesome, the fact that Captain Kirk would beat Mr. Spock in 3D chess reinforces the concept that sometimes great Chess is played outside the box - Beam me up Scottie!  


14. What do you like most about working with Chess Wizards?

I really enjoy working with everyone at Chess Wizards. Everyone acts professionally, and there’s a really positive culture. Chess Wizards continues to be a fantastic place to work and thrive, and it’s been especially rewarding sharing my love of chess with a new generation of players.