The ICA Youth Committee is devoted to promoting, expanding and improving youth chess in Illinois for grades K-12. Our premise is that every child should have the opportunity to learn and play chess. The committee is always open to new members who might be interesting in furthering the cooperation and coordination of youth chess in Illinois. Please contact the coordinator if interested.

Stephen Plotnick (Acting Coordinator) is also the ICA Metro VP and you can see his bio in the ICA Board section. Steve is looking for some good people to join the Youth Committee. Please e-mail him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The committee will be working with organizers, tournament directors, parents and players in an attempt to make Illinois youth chess the best in the country. So please contact Steve with any ideas, suggestions or a desire to join the committee.

Rachel A Schechter directs the Chess Enrichment Program at the Montessori School in Champaign-Urbana. Prior to that she taught chess at Carrie Busey, Dr. Howard's and Dr Gs ChessWorks, also in Champaign-Urbana. Rachel attributes her modest success to a fortuitous meeting with chess great Bobby Fischer in October 1999 during which he said: "While you may never be a good chess player, you'll be a helluva chess teacher..." Though primarily a Literary Arts professor, educating K through college students for more than 25 years, Rachel set up chess boards in several of her classrooms from coast to coast, claiming: "Chess education is life education. What can't we learn from the Royal Game?" Devoted to advancing youth across the board(s), Rachel utilizes chess to build confidence, character and community. Her memoir: Lost, With Bobby Fischer is in its opening phase. 

David Heiser is the President and Founder of the Renaissance Knights with over 13 years of experience developing innovative chess programs that enrich the lives of Chicago‚Äôs youth.  He successfully brought the multi-faceted benefits of chess to over 30,000 children in Chicago through our partnership with Chicago Public School (CPS). This partnership has dramatically increased the number of schools and students participating in after-school chess clubs, playing in CPS tournaments, and participating at the state and national level. It has also led to the development of the Cops & Kids Chess Initiative which utilizes chess as a tool to bridge the divide and unite police officers and youth across Chicago. David is the Chess Consultant and Chief Tournament Director for CPS, USCF National Tournament Director, FIDE National Arbiter, and Fide Development Instructor. His focus is to continue to inspire children towards academic growth and a love for learning, motivating them to think critically while building character that will inevitably transform the communities in which they live. 


Bios Pending:

Sam Salahi

Farah Turk

Bennett Joseph