2023 Mid-South Chess Camp
Limited space is still available in within certain age groups. Please call 901-494-2526 to find out if space is still available for your child's age group.
Sunday, June 18, 2023 at 3:00pm - Saturday, June 24, 2023 at 12:00pm
Memphis University School (MUS)
6191 Park Ave
Memphis, TN 38119
Join us from June 18- 24, 2023, for the 21st Annual Mid-South Summer Chess Camp - The Premier Chess Camp of the South - All Ages, All Levels! This camp is centrally located in Memphis, TN, on the beautiful campus of Memphis University School, 6191 Park Ave. The camp, founded by GM Alexander Stripunsky and IM Jake Kleiman, will feature coaches GM Joel Benjamin, IM elect Alex Velikanov, NM Nolan Hendrickson, and more. These instructors represent years of extensive, successful chess coaching and are considered among the best in the country.
We divide our campers into small groups according to age and level of play, each with a counselor. This is an exciting and intensive, yet fun, chess camp with multiple hours of age and level appropriate instruction combined with special activities including sports, interactive chess play, and optional evening activities. Our instructors rotate during the day - what a difference this makes! Camp includes Sunday afternoon opening orientation/reception for parents and campers, a unique camp designed T-shirt, special camp medal, autographed certificate, group photo. a Grandmaster Simul, and concludes with an awards closing ceremony followed on Saturday June 24th with free entry to the camp tournament.
At Mid-South Chess, our goal is chess for life. We believe in all that chess has to offer - integrity, honor, chivalry, and education. Chess is not just a game - it's a way of thinking, living and believing. When children develop a passion for chess, they develop a passion for life. So as we take children from the foundations of chess to deeper levels of strategic thinking, their goals in chess can parallel their goals in life. Success begins at Mid-South Chess!
Experience the top quality of Mid-South Chess and its 20th Annual Summer Chess Camp. Don't miss out!
- $425 - Early Bird Individual Registration by April 15th
- $455 - Individual Registration by May 20th
- $485 - Individual Registration after May 20th
- $525 - At-The-Door-Individual Registration (Limited Space)
Camp Registration Includes
- Simul with GMs
- Camp Medal
- Camp T-Shirt
- Group Photo
- Daily Souveneir
- Autographed Certificate
- Entry to June 24th Tournament
Camp Registration Options
Click here to submit your registration online.
Register by Mail
Click here to download the official registration form to download our printable registration form to submit your registration by mail.
- Small Class Sizes
- Counselors with Each Group
- Sports Breaks (optional)
- Game Analysis
- Consultation Games
- Instructor Rotation
- Before and After Care (7:30am - 9:00am & 4:00pm - 5:30pm)
Sunday, June 18
3:00pm - Opening Reception at MUS
Monday, June 19 - Thursday, June 22
9:00am - Camp
7:00pm - Evening Sporting and Chess Activities
Friday, June 23
9:00am - Camp
4:30pm - Awards & Closing Ceremony
Saturday, June 24
10:00am - Camp Chess Tournament
Homewood Suites is the suggested hotel for our out-of-town campers and families:
Special Code: Mid-South Chess (MSC)
7855 Wolf River Parkway
Germantown, TN 38138
Meet the Founders
Alex Stripunsky International Grandmaster · Founder and Head Coach of Mid-South Chess Camp
GM Stripunsky has gained great respect and recognition as one of America's Elite Grandmasters and is known as one of the Premier Chess Coaches in the US. He has coached many of the top young chess players in the country including NM Joshua Colas, the 20IO 7th grade National Champion, IM elect Parker Zhao, IM Teddy Coleman, and IM Jake Kleiman of Memphis. An avid runner and exercise proponent, GM Stripunsky often combines his enthusiasm for chess and fitness by quoting Goethe when he says, "Chess is the Gymnasium of the Mind." Some highlights in GM Stripunsky's career include: US Co-Champion 2005, Invitation to play in the World Championship, Coach of US Women's Olympian Team, Continental Open Champion 2008, National Congress Champion 1st Place, Philadelphia Open 20IO 1st Place tie, Continental Open 2014 lst Place tie, Atlantic Open 20l4 lst place tie, and Manhattan Open 2014 Champion.
Jake Kleiman International Master · Founder of Mid-South Chess Camp
Jake Kleiman is a Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude graduate of Rhodes College. IM Kleiman was invited to play in the US Cadets, the World Junior Olympics, the US Masters, and on the US World Youth Team. In 2005 and in 2006, he was invited to play in the US Championships. In 2006, he was runner-up in the US Junior Championship. In addition, he was recognized by the United States Chess Federation with its annual Scholar/Chess Player Award. IM Kleiman took first place in the Millionaire Satellite Chess Tournament held August 20l4 and is the highest rated player in our region. No stranger to chess instruction, IM Kleiman has been coaching at Mid-South Chess Camp as well as in school settings for twenty years. He has coached some of the top-rated Tennessee Scholastic Chess Players. IM Kleiman recently graduated from dental school.
Meet the Coaches
Joel Benjamin International Grandmaster
Grandmaster Joel Benjamin was the prodigy who broke Bobby Fischer's record for youngest U.S. Master. After winning many national scholastic and junior titles, Joel competed in a record 23 consecutive U.S. Championships from 1981-2006 and took the title three times. He has also played on many national teams, competing in Olympiads for the U.S. six times including team silver 1990, team bronze 1996, and two World Team Championships, team gold 1993, team silver 1997. and individual gold 1993. He shared first in six World Opens. Joel was the chess consultant to the IBM's chess computer Deep Blue for its victorious match with Garry Kasparov in 1997, the subject of the 2013 off-Broadway production The Machine (Joel is a character in the show). He also had a cameo in the film, Searching For Bobby Fischer (1993). Check out his new books, "Liquidation on the Chessboard" and "Winning the World Open.''
Alex Velikanov International Master - Elect
Currently a student at The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, IM-Elect Alex (Sasha) Velikanov is a dedicated chess player and instructor. Alex has been hooked on the game ever since he first discovered chess at the early age of four years old, from a basic game on his computer. By the time he was 12 years old, he was a 2000 rated player with global experience, from Vietnam for the 2008 World Youth Chess Championships, to Russia, to Canada. Nine years later, he has added notable results such as the North American U-16 Champion and Denker Tournament of High School Champions Winner. Alex stresses tactics and opening knowledge (ideas, not just theory!) as two crucial cornerstones of chess development. As the #4 rated player in his home state of Wisconsin, Alex is still fascinated by the game and continues to work tirelessly everyday to get to the next level of chess understanding.
Dorsa Derakshani Women's Grandmaster
Women's Grandmaster Dorsa Derakshani is the Youngest International Fide Trainer/Coach. She is a 3-time Gold Medalist at the Asian Youth Chess Championships and accredited International FIDE journalist. She was Captain of the St. Louis University Women's Chess Team 2019 - 2022 and finished 3rd in US Women's Chess Championship 2020. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from St. Louis University and is a Medical Student at the University of Missouri School of Medicine. She co-Authored the Chess Book "Your Jungle Guide to Unbalancing Your Opponent".
Nolan Hendrickson National Master
Nolan is one of the top chess players and chess coaches in Wisconsin. He earned his National Master at the age of 17 and the life Master title at 22. Nolan was awarded a scholarship for competitive chess at Lindenwood University where he had the unique opportunity to study under coach GM Vasser Seirawan - an American chess legend. Nolan is extremely passionate about teaching chess and is motivated to help his students accomplish their chess-related goals. He has been teaching for over 10 years and has helped people of all ages improve their rating and zest for the game. Nolan utilizes his knowledge of psychology and learning to help his students maximize their success in chess. Nolan has taught for Mid-South Chess' Summer Camps for years and is held in high esteem by the campers, staff, and families. Outside of chess, Nolan holds a Master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and is a licensed therapist in Wisconsin. He hopes to publish his book on emotion theory in the years to come.
Michael Robertson Class A Player
Michael Robertson started chess late in life playing his first tournament at 24. Since then he has exhibited his chess talent as an admirable Class A player using his enthusiasm for chess to make his goal of Master. Using his love of the game, he now coaches two groups of selected players. Michael is married and has six children but still demonstrates great care, planning and devotion to each coaching session. Currently, he is president of his local chess club, is the West Tennessee Director for the Tennessee Chess Association, and in his time away from chess, works as the manager of an Internet Provider IT support team.
Dr. Andre Duvall Early Childhood Educator
André Duvall operates an independent piano studio for all ages, is on the conservatory faculty at Lausanne Collegiate School, serves as Pianist/Organist at Mullins United Methodist, and performs as a freelance collaborative/solo pianist throughout the region. He is President of Greater Memphis Music Teachers Association, a past-Dean of the Memphis Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and has performed as soloist with the Arkansas Symphony and Univ. of Memphis Symphony. André has worked with Mid-South Chess Camp since 2008, and was a longtime Shelby Co. Chess classroom instructor. He plans an engaging curriculum for our younger chess students, incorporating music and art. André holds advanced degrees in piano from the Univ. of N. Carolina at Greensboro, where he was Coordinator of Class Piano, and the UofM, receiving the university-wide graduate Meritorious Teaching Award.
Jennie Liu USCF Expert
Mid-South Chess welcomes Chess Expert Jennie Liu for the 6th year to its line-up of summer camp instructors. Jennie founded her elementary school's chess club while in high school and taught chess to the K - 3rd graders. In 2007 and 2008, she represented the USA in the World Youth Chess Championships. Jennie was President of the Chess Club at Columbia University (class of 2015). Since graduation, she has been working as a quantitative trader at a proprietary trading firm in New York City. Even with her professional commitments, Jennie continues to play skilled and competitive chess.
Eli Baumann Early Childhood Educator
Eli is a licensed school educator and a choral director in the state of Wisconsin. He has taught for five years in the classroom but has coached k-12 chess clubs for fifteen years. He founded an intercollegiate chess league and has hosted several collegiate chess tournaments. Currently, Eli teaches chess as part of curriculum at his school and is a Class A USCF chess player.
Memphis, TN 38119