THREE ICA Students (Each At Least Ten Years With US!)
Posted: 8/16/2018 | Updated: 8/16/2018

THREE ICA Students (Each At Least Ten Years With US!)
Starting Princeton University This Fall!
Attend our Chess, Math, and STEM(!)
Classes Starting This September Just Like They Did!

Any time one of our students attends a prestigious Ivy league university or gets a full scholarship to college it is surely something we as a business, and a part of the local community, want to share with you, our parents and students.  As we highlighted during our twenty year anniversary this is something that has happened on a regular basis and underlines the faith and commitment parents, and kids have in our school and the value those students gain after coming here for an extended period of time.

However, never before have we had three(!!!) students attend the same Ivy League school in the same school year! We remember when Nastasia Klevak, Yehuda Koslowe, and Hillel Koslowe started taking chess classes, and coming to camp almost ten years ago and how far each of them has come along to get to this point in their lives.  As always, we asked them to comment on the time they spent with us so we can share with future generations of ICA students to educate and inspire.  There is no better advertisement for what it is that we do.

 Our Fall chess, Math, and STEM classes begin this September in both our Glen Rock, and Teaneck locations and we do hope that you join us.


Nastasia Klevak

I first learned chess from my grandfather at the age of 6, and I’ve been playing it ever since. From the beginning, I relished marching into imaginary battles with opponents, testing and improving upon my strategy from the comfort of a wooden table in a lightly air conditioned room. Almost instantly, chess became something I enjoyed over everything else. I began to take classes at the International Chess Academy, regularly play in tournaments, and eventually joined my school’s chess team.

While the game itself has impacted my life in countless ways, this impact would not have been possible without my experience at the International Chess Academy, where I spent many summers and hours during the school year. ICA was, and remains, a place where I could always learn something new and spend time with people as excited by chess as I was. The summers I spent at chess camp were not only valuable in terms of the chess knowledge I received, but allowed me to forge countless friendships with students and coaches alike. During the rest of the year, ICA’s various coaches, particularly Diana and Irina, constantly encouraged me to keep practicing and improving, as well as inspired me to later become a junior coach and do the same for others. The International Chess Academy has been a vital aspect of my life for years, and I hope it will remain that way for years to come; without it and its coaches, I would have never learned nearly as much from chess, nor would I have experienced such an amazing community.

The hours I spent playing chess games taught me to enjoy all opportunities to spend time accompanied by only my own mind. Chess has made me more introspective, shown me the benefits of an active imagination, and given me the ability to interpret real-world situations to predict what will happen next. More than that, the ease with which opponents connect has shown me the importance of identifying with others.

Because an enormous part of chess is analyzing the moves of one’s opponent and thinking ahead to how specific positions will play out, practicing chess consistently played a large role in helping me develop critical thinking skills - ones that I have used throughout my life. As I participated in other extracurriculars, such as Creative Problem Solving competitions, Mock Trial, and computer science competitions, it was the thought process I developed through chess that gave me the basis for the skills I needed.

What I value most about chess, however, is the close-knit community it provides to all of its players. At every tournament, there is always a crowd of exuberant players going over games with each other and sharing advice about both openings and life in general. This is a community where everyone is passionate about what they do, and everyone is welcomed with open arms. Chess is a great way to meet a diverse set of new people, and going to tournaments has allowed me to make countless friends with whom I could share my passion.

Overall, playing chess is something that has shaped my life in many different ways; it has developed my visualization and critical thinking skills, given me an exciting community, and has been something I have been passionate about for as long as I can remember. I truly believe chess is something everyone should try at least once, and I can’t wait to continue playing it at Princeton University next fall.

Hillel & Yehuda Koslowe

Many of our fondest memories as children revolve around ICA and chess. Whether it was lessons on Sundays, camp in the Summer, sports in Votee park, chess tournaments, or playing chess with family and friends, we always had a great time. Both of us looked forward to chess camp all year round and it was always sad at the end of the summer when it was over.  Yehuda and I, are grateful to the ICA for all that it has given us and truly believe that chess has helped us think critically and develop as human beings.