Chess Instructor

“Henry Doktorski teaches chess with humor and patience, showcasing it not only as an expression of logical thinking, but also of good sportsmanship.”—Franklin Chen, U. S. National Master and Pittsburgh Chess Club Champion

Students at the Cranberry Township Community Center enjoy Henry’s Chess4Kidz classes. (July 2015).

Henry Doktorski is not only a musician, he is also a Chess4Kidz instructor, tournament director, and trophy-winning chess player. He began playing the game at the age of three, he was president of his high school chess club, and today he is a member of the the United States Chess Federation, the Temecula California Chess Club, and a former member of the Pittsburgh Chess Club. Henry plays in about a dozen tournaments a year. In 1997, he won first place in his division at Pittsburgh’s largest annual tournament, the Pittsburgh Open. In 2012 he tied for first place in his division at the same tournament. He achieved the ranking of a Class A Player (his highest recorded rating was 1951 points) in August 2014. Currently he is ranked in the 92nd percentile among 61,668 USCF-rated players in the U. S. He taught Chess4Kidz classes in Allegheny and Butler Counties (Pennsylvania) from January 2007 until December 2015, and since February 2016 has been teaching classes in Riverside County, California.

In March 2010, Henry’s North Fayette Township Chess4Kidz team won first place in the Pennsylvania State Game/29 Scholastic Tournament held at the University of Pittsburgh Student Union. In June 2015, Henry’s student Shane Patrick Mills won first place in a field of 22 other players in the Beginner Section at the 22nd Western Pennsylvania Scholastic Championship Chess Tournament.

Since moving to California, Henry has taught Chess4Kidz at Van Avery Preparatory School and Vintage Hills Elementary in Temecula, and the Home School Campus Charter School in Murrieta. He currently serves as Coordinator of Educational Programs for the Temecula Chess Club.

Henry’s Chess4Kidz students at the Home School Campus Charter School in Murrieta, California, prepare to battle each other on the chessboard (March 2017).

Henry’s Chess4Kidz classes can provide the following benefits to its participants:

• helps develop mental concentration, self-discipline, and patience,

• encourages students to think before acting, to examine and accept the consequences of one’s actions,

• teaches thinking on one’s feet,

• helps develop good sportsmanship and moral character.

Benjamin Franklin noted, “The game of chess is not merely an idle amusement. Several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired or strengthened by it.”—On the Morals of Chess (1779)

Chess4Kidz classes are educational and entertaining, and consist of classroom lessons and actual games between students. Skills taught range from basic checkmates to rudimentary tactics and strategies such as pins, forks, skewer attacks, opening traps, opening theory, pawn structure, etc. Students examine memorable and instructive games of famous grandmasters. During tournament games students are paired against opponents of similar strength. Mental discipline and good sportsmanship are encouraged. All chess supplies are provided.

For more about Henry’s Chess4Kidz Classes, click on the following links.

Chess4Kidz Program A Winner

Chess Class Teaches Game, Life Lessons

Chess4Kidz Team Wins State Championship

Testimonials from Parents

• Mr. Doktorski’s positive and unique instructional methods created an interest in chess that my son Connor will undoubtedly have for the rest of his lifetime; he introduced my son to chess and then took him to his first U. S. Chess Federation tournament.—Ken Summit, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

• My son Harrison not only improved greatly by taking in all of the lessons, but more importantly he has really developed a love of chess, a desire to play, think, and develop strategies. Mr. Doktorski’s passion for the game is contagious, and it’s evident in his students’ shared excitement during each class. We cannot recommend a chess teacher more highly!—Katie Salvi, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

• Mr. Doktorski’s chess class is the best chess class my kids have taken. He is an enthusiastic teacher and his love for chess is infectious. My kids truly enjoyed his class and significantly improved their game!—Aimee Chaudry, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

• My son Bryce really enjoyed Mr. Doktorski’s Chess4Kidz sessions, the competition, and the friends he made in the classes. He learned strategy and sportsmanship. Chess has provided our family an activity we can all enjoy together for a long time.—Mark Sekera, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

• My son Shane, who attended Mr. Doktorski’s Chess4Kidz classes for several years, recently told me, “Mr. Doktorski’s class was always so much fun! I learned many things—tactics and strategies—that I still use when I play in my tournaments.” To those who are considering sending their children to Mr. Doktorski to study chess, I would like to say: Mr. Doktorski’s professionalism and expectations for the children were exceptional. Each student was able to nurture their game while learning in an engaging environment. The kids truly had a great time. We never experienced this with any other chess class or instructor. Thanks again, we really miss him here in Pennsylvania.—Judy Mills, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Testimonials from Students

• Chess is fun. I like it when I win.—Shane, age 8

• Mr. Doktorski is awesome and explains it more.—Ameya, age 8

• Chess is very strategic. Chess has no mercy. Chess gives you an opportunity to crush your opponent.—Idan, age 8

• It’s a challenging game, it’s like checkers, and it makes me think.—Grant, age 8

• I love playing chess and Mr. Doktorski is nice. Also, it is fun to get medals!—Josephine, age 8

• Cause it’s fun. I can play against my brother. It’s a game that my whole family can play.—Bridget, age 9

• Mr. Doktorski makes us think, and he rewards everyone for participating. He also teaches us a lesson; not just playing.—Luke, age 8

• You get to slaughter your opponents. You get to go to chess tournaments.—Connor, age 7

• It works with your mind. You can learn what you did wrong in the previous games.—Renhan, age 12

• I love chess. I want to make new friends.—Harrison, age 9

• Chess is fun, we get to compete, and we can WIN PRIZES!!!!!!!!!!!!—Marie, age 10

• Mr. Doktorski makes it fun to play. I like to vs. different people each time my friends are in my class.—Derek, age 10

• It is fun; it is a hard game; it is challenging.—Eddie, age 8

Henry’s Chess4Kidz Students at Van Avery Preparatory School, hosted by the Temecula Chess Club (Temecula, California, April 30, 2017).

Henry and Van Avery Preparatory School Principal Tina Naber with the Chess4Kidz graduating class, hosted by the Temecula Chess Club. (Temecula, California, March 14, 2017)

Chess4Kidz at the Bradford Woods Elementary School, Wexford, Pennsylvania, with Assistant Instructor Mike Potter (December 2015)

Students at the Fanny Edel Falk Laboratory School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, enjoy Henry’s Chess4Kidz classes. (December 2015).

Chess4Kidz at Bradford Woods Elementary School (October 2015).

Chess4Kidz at the Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, Community Center (May 2010).

Chess4Kidz students learn to record their games and use chess clocks at the Pittsburgh Chess Club (May 2010).

Chess4Kidz students compete against other teams at the University of Pittsburgh (March 2010).

Teaching Chess4Kidz at the North Fayette Township Community Center (April 2009)

The master chess coach ponders his next move at the North Fayette Township, Pennsylvania, Community Center (May 2010)

Even the best players sometimes blunder!