About Us

Highly Original Thinkers (HOT) Chess Academy is directed by Justin Gardner. We celebrate, honor, and respect the uniqueness of each student. We also encourage our students to explore, express, and discover the enjoyment of chess. Students are exposed to a variety of openings, positions, strategies, and competition opportunities. As a result, our students see a developmental evolution in out-of-the-box thinking skills, literacy, listening, problem solving, social skills, and self-esteem.

Research shows that early exposure to chess is helpful to your child’s total development and can make a significant life-long impact on learning. HOT Chess Academy uses the famous Dutch Step Training Method; creative chess instruction for students in a one-on-one or small group setting. The power of chess is enormous. You are in for a marvelous journey.

Each Step is both 1) rating appropriate and 2) level/knowledge appropriate.  Here is a breakdown of the Steps:

Step 1: Takes the student to roughly USCF Rating of 1000.
Step 2: Takes the student to roughly USCF Rating of 1100-1200.
Step 3: Takes the student to roughly USCF Rating of 1300-1400.
Step 4: Takes the student to roughly USCF Rating of 1500-1600.
Step 5: Takes the student to roughly USCF Rating of 1700-1800.

HOT Chess Academy offers chess instruction incorporating Chessbase, Fritz, and Rybka – all state-of-the-art chess learning tools.

HOT Chess Academy is dedicated to providing the best quality chess instruction in a professional and courteous manner. Our goal is to provide caring and intelligent chess instruction to children in any environment.

Through chess, children learn important skills that will remain useful for the rest of their lives. Concentration, critical thinking, and pattern recognition as well as sportsmanship are all part of the experience that playing chess provides.

Chess is also excellent for enhancing social skills. Children are taught to shake hands before and after a game, to show respect for their opponents and to accept responsibility for their actions. When children win chess games, they begin to believe in themselves. In fact, the most important thing chess does for many children is to build confidence. A confident child is a child heading for success.

We have a vast amount of experience in chess education, in addition to having competed at the highest levels of chess. HOT Chess Academy works in cooperation with administrators, teachers, parents and counselors to provide a high level of chess instruction to children in various settings.

HOT Chess Lesson Selection

Private Lessons: In Person or Over-the-Internet
Group Lessons: Create your own group lesson with your friends!
Group Classes: Every weekend at HOT Chess Academy
Computer Labs: Learn how to use the power of computers with Chess

HOT Chess Programs

In School and After-School Programs
Home School Programs
Simultaneous Exhibitions
Organizing Tournaments
Tournament Directing
Summer Camp Programs