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What we stand for

When it comes to development, we all know that the mind is our most valuable tool, and excersicing it nowadays tends to be harder and harder... and expensive.

Chess should be accessible to everybody! Here you will find your next coach, available to you at any time.

Misha Vilenchuk wearing a blue suit and salmon tie

About The Founder

Hi! I'm Misha Vilenchuk, founder of Mindful Masters. I'm proud of being a chess master and a many-time national and Ohio chess champion.

In my experience as an athlete and coach, chess can be used to advance cognitive abilities, discipline and sportmanship.

I'm happily married and I live in Chicago. Here's a bit more about me.

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How it all started

My sisters and I practically grew up around a chessboard: we traveled to tournaments together, attended classes, and played on weekends. As we grew older, chess opened us to other opportunities: new friends, travel, and as my parents soon realized, improved my memory and analytical thinking.

Nevertheless, my mother had trouble finding quality chess coaches at reasonable costs: coaches were either cheap and did not teach well, or vice versa. Furthermore, there were language and social barriers.


I (and my sister Elina) turned my hobby into work and took on students of my own. For the past 15 years, I have been building on a toolkit of behavioral psychology and professional development techniques, as I've refined my own teaching style. Today, my students range from 500 to 2000 rated, are aged 6 to 30 years old, and have themselves won numerous state championships.

When the world went online during the COVID-19 Pandemic, I was faced with more students than I could handle. For the students I could not access accept, I started looking for other qualified chess Masters that were:

  1. Qualified

  2. Passionate about chess

  3. Had a growth mindset

  4. Empathetic

  5. Did not break the bank.

After months of interviews, I hand-selected a handful of coaches I wanted to work with, one of which, Zahar Efimenko, became my own coach. 


As I continued to receive coaching requests, I realized that there was no concierge service that matched qualified coaches to students, and worked with them to constantly improve. Thus, Mindful Masters Chess Academy was born.

How do we teach chess?

We follow a holistic way of teaching chess, so more than playing games, we set our students up for winning tournaments. We do so through the well-rennowed Chess Steps Method, which all of our coaches follow.

A role-model approach for kids it's also a must for us, thus, only chess masters teach in our academy.

Who are our chess tutors?

We selected top 0.1% players of countries from all over the world, especially if they had experience coaching, then we teached them our ways through our Special Development Program and analyze their profiency across time. Most of them come from Argentina, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Colombia and The Phillippines. 

Why is MM the best choice for chess lessons?

I bet you’re a bit like me, someone who understands the importance of nurturing a child’s abilities from a young age. Their brain is like a sponge!

If you’re a lifelong learner, just watched The Queen's Gambit, have wanted your kids to learn the game, or have always wanted to beat your dad, you now have a chance to learn from a Master at home.

Consider MM as the perfect choice not for one attribute, but for a balance between quality and affordability. 

Meet our team


Misha Vilenchuk

Head coach - Founder

I make sure to find the perfect coach for your children and help your coach to deliver the best experience possible!


Yeison Gutierrez

Head coach - FIDE Master

I make sure to find the perfect coach for your children and help your coach to deliver the best experience possible!


Sebastian Artigas

Director - Marketing nerd

Coolest dude ever, avid breather, still hasn't figured out our monthly tournaments.

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Omaira Sardá

Operations Director - Spiritual guide

I'm a Chemical Engineer, Musician and Peacemaker 🌎 my mindset is: everything starts with myself. I'm in charge to give solutions to any problem you might have.


Luis Briceño

Operation Specialist - 

I’m a sneaky expert in the operational processes of MM Chess, the silent ninja you won't see, but you’ll hear my answers to all your questions.

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