Find a Coach

Summit School of Chess is proud to introduce our brand new “Find a Coach” page. Here you will find the finest hand-selected coaches in the state of Colorado and beyond. All of our chess coaches have been thoroughly vetted for the highest quality. We don’t compromise when it comes to the quality of our coaches. We believe it is essential that students find a coach that is both highly qualified and a great fit, personality-wise, for them. The importance of the student-coach bond and relationship cannot be understated. Please feel free to try out different chess tutors online / chess teacher online/ chess coaches online until you find the one that best fits your needs.

***Please note hourly times do NOT include travel. Coaches may travel but will charge hourly rate for commute times.***

Steven Oakman

James Kranzdorf

Zak Brainard


Liam Newell


Are you ready to master the game of kings? Hi, I’m Steve, your dedicated chess coach! Teaching scholastic kids and beginners, I’ve honed a dynamic coaching style that makes learning chess fun and rewarding.

A little background on me: I am a chef who loves chess and I teach around the metro area in our schools in our after school programs. I am a dad of two kids, 4 and 10. We are constantly playing chess at home to develop their chess skills. I am an avid player who competes locally and a member of the Denver chess club. My only initiative is to pass the love of chess to my kids and the next generation. I want make  beginners into tournament players and champions!

As a passionate player and educator, I believe chess is more than just a game—it’s a tool for developing critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and strategic planning. My approach focuses on breaking down complex concepts into easy-to-understand lessons, ensuring each student builds a solid foundation and progresses at their own pace.

Whether you’re a complete beginner or looking to sharpen your skills for tournament play, I’m here to guide you on your chess journey. From basic rules and opening principles to tactics and endgame strategies, together we’ll unlock your full potential on the board.

Let’s make your next move a winning one—schedule your first lesson with me!

Much love!! And thanks for another great day of chess!!!  Your family is amazing!!!!

I’ve been playing chess since about the age of three. My first tournament was at 6, and I won the K-3 state championship at 7. Some of my best childhood memories were spent at tournaments, and learning chess from my various teachers. Now, 20-some years later, I have had the privilege to teach many of my own students. I have taught in elementary schools and middle schools in the Fort Collins area (I am now located in Longmont) as well as tutored several private students who have gone on to be successful in their local tournaments. I am delighted to be teaching again in my local area, and will be accepting private students at any skill level.

I am a musician and small business owner but chess is one of my greatest passions. I have been playing since 14 but haven’t been really competitive since the last couple years. I have an online rating that hovers around 1850 – 1900 but haven’t played enough rated over the board matches to have a legit OTB rating and aim to change that. I teach music for a living working with kids and adults and have been teaching chess for a little under a year now and absolutely love it. Teaching is my favorite way to learn and grow while helping others do the same. I would be a great choice for a beginner, intermediate, or advanced player though if you’re an advanced player Summit has some fantastic higher level coaches that may be a better option

My Father taught me how to play the game of chess at 4 years old. However, I only started focusing on the study of the game during the COVID lockdowns. I had found a love of chess that would follow me through life as a result. Over the next several years 2020 to present I studied chess and took it very seriously. this dedication has paid off as I have been able to accomplish many things in chess ranging from the formation of a successful chess club to winning the Colorado closed scholastic challengers division. I hope my continued dedication to the game will lead to strong collegiate performance.

I will Teach beginners and intermediate players up to 1200 rating.