Staff

Adam Weissbarth - Founder and President

Adam Weissbarth has taught thousands of children to play chess in New Mexico, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Virginia. Many of his students have won local, state, and national championships. Adam has won numerous scholastic and adult tournaments all over the country, including two New Mexico High School Championships. Adam earned his National Chess Master title in the winter of 2006 and became a U.S. Chess Federation-certified Senior Tournament Director in 2009. He has appeared on the Howard Stern show and been profiled in Chess Life magazine. Adam has an M.S. in Statistics from the University of Washington, where -- in a preview of his future career -- he enjoyed being a TA far more than taking classes or doing research.  Adam lives in Annandale with his wife, daughter, and son.

 

 

Daniel Weissbarth - Director of Operations

Daniel has been playing chess for as long as he can remember (see picture), and achieved the title of Expert in 2009.  After working for Silver Knights as a teacher for a year near Philadelphia, Daniel moved to Northern Virginia in the summer of 2009 to be the Program Director for the new branch of the company.  Over the last few years he has overseen Silver Knights' growth in the DMV area from 10 locations and 200 students to more than 3,500 students all over the region - look at the map!  He's taught a few state champions, a bunch of players in the top 100 in the country for their age group, and thousands of kids who love playing chess! He lives in Arlington, Virginia, with his wife and their two cats.

 

 

Ashley Smurthwaite - Program Manager

Ashley has always had a passion for both STEM and early childhood development. As an undergrad she studied Biology at Utah State University and practiced teaching at the Edith Bowen Laboratory School on campus. She has many years of experience with after school programs and directing summer camps! In her free time, Ashley loves to travel, explore new places, and scrapbook her adventures.

Tiffany Tu - HR

Tiffany started playing chess with her father as a child to bond in a fun, educational way. As an undergrad, she studied public relations at George Mason while working as a chess aide with Silver Knights. After graduating, she joined full time, and is now in charge of HR, which allows her to use her communications skills to help other children have the same great experience with chess that she had.

Tanner Nicely - Coach

Tanner learned how to play chess from his dad as an eight years old, and was captivated. Two years later his elementary school started a chess club and he joined. Thursdays immediately the highlight of his week. He loved playing with my friends and traveling to tournaments with them on the weekends. In June 2011, the same month he graduated from high school, Tanner started at Silver Knights. Tanner feel super lucky to get to give thousands of kids the same great experiences he had in elementary school, whether it be in the classroom or online!

Luke Everett - Coach and Asset Manager

Luke was taught how to play chess when he was six years old.  Learning about pins and forks from an Australian neighbor created an enduring fascination for the game.  Unfortunately, "real life" interfered with Luke's chess ambition for decades and he only started playing in tournaments after immigrating to the USA in 1996.  Luke joined Silver Knights after seeing how much his daughter enjoyed the after-school programs and tournament training clubs.

Sid Schwartz - Coach

Sid Schwartz has been playing chess for a long time, dating back to before Bobby Fischer became World Chess Champion.  Sid holds an M.A. in Mathematics from York University (Toronto, Canada).  While studying there he established a chess club and obtained University funding to send a team to the Pan American Intercollegiate Chess Championship where the team tied for 4th place.  Sid earned his National Chess Master title in 1983.  He has been teaching chess with Silver Knights since he retired from the Federal Government in 2016 after a 37-year career. At the time of his retirement Sid was Director of a Center of Social Scientists, Statisticians, Survey Specialists, and Data Analysts at the US GAO.  His other hobbies include singing and magic.  Sid and his wife have two sons.  They live in their Vienna, Virginia home with their cats’ permission.

David Shin - Coach

David has been teaching chess, math, and computer science for more than fifteen years.  This includes some individual and school state champions in Maryland!  David has a peak USCF rating of 2088, and once played blitz chess with world champion Mikhail Tal!  David loves sharing his enthusiasm for chess with students of all skill levels, from new beginners to strong tournament playes.  David is a graduate of the University of Illinois - Champaign.