our students SPEAK

Think Ahead Chess was founded by National Chess Master Benjamin Katz, and Alanna Katz, one of the strongest pairs of chess siblings in the country.


​National Master Benjamin Katz:


He has been playing and teaching chess for the past 25+ years, and has competed in tournaments all over the world. He is in the 99th percentile of all chess players in the United States.

Benjamin received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Albany, and an MBA in Finance from St. John's University. He has worked for several premier organizations, including MasterCard, Lehman Brothers, Barclays, and Credit Suisse, and speaks Russian fluently.


Alanna Katz:


 Alanna Katz is the lead instructor at Think Ahead chess. She has traveled all across the United States to play chess and has even found her way into international territory as was the sole United States Girls representative for the Pan American Chess Championships held in Brazil. Alanna holds a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from SUNY Buffalo and speaks Russian fluently.

Along with being a good chess player, Alanna is also an accomplished chess teacher in the New York tri-state area. Alanna has 15 years of chess coaching experience and has taught in many different schools, most notably throughout New York City. Alanna also spent 10 summers traveling across the United States to run competitive chess camps. She also spent the past 3 years coaching students to National Titles in Columbus, OH and Minneapolis, MN. 




we played competitively as children, and understand what works best in order to succeed!

Every student is unique. Through our vast experience as chess students, chess players and chess coaches, we can help you get the most out of this wonderful game.

We have studied with many trainers from the former Soviet Union and have employed their proven methods to our curriculum. Several of our students are among the top players in the United States for their age groups, and continue to impress and excel. 


our approach

who we are

Elite Chess Coaching

Michael is LOVING Chess Camp - Keep doing what you are doing!  Thank you so much for making chess interesting to all of the campers.

          -- Bayside Academy


Our Lady of Good Counsel School (Staten Island) began a chess program in 2013-2014. With 30 eager students...beginners and good players...and the encouragement and support of 2 wonderful dedicated chess coaches our team became CHAMPS! Our students learned chess, team work and had GREAT FUN! Start a chess program in your school...and see what happens!!!

           -- Mrs. Fran Santangelo, Principal