Meet Our Team

Each member of our enthusiastic team has had their life positively affected by chess. It is this passion for the game and the desire to share it with others that led to the founding of the academy. We are proud to introduce to you our dedicated team members who are always around to help and provide support towards excellence.

  • Loraine Salinas-Biag

    Director

    Coach Loraine is a web designer and programmer with a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science. The love for chess has never gone away and started directing tournaments and coaching in multiple schools in NYC - which eventually lead to the founding of the New York Chess Academy.

  • GM Mark Paragua

    Head Coach

    Coach Mark became a master at the age of nine and received the Grand Master title at the age of 20. Aside from being a professional grandmaster, he has been teaching chess internationally and across the US for a number of years. Mark is still an active tournament player with a peak FIDE rating of 2621.  He is also part of the main team who co-founded the NYCA.

  • FM Ivan Gil Biag

    Head Coach

    Coach Ivan received his master title at a very young age and become one of the remarkable chess player and coach. Ivan, a FIDE master from the Philippines, finished his Bachelor's degree in Information Technology and decided to pursue his passion in Chess. He is also a professional and experienced teacher – also worked with the top Chess school in the Philippines and Singapore. He has been teaching several schools in New York City, and co-founded the New York Chess Academy.

  • FM Nelson Mariano

    Coach

    Coach Elo is a FIDE master from the Philippines. He finished his Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Communication and is pursuing his passion for Chess. He is a professional chess teacher who has been working with all ages, from beginners to advanced levels for more than 10 years. Coach Elo worked with the top chess schools in the Philippines and Singapore, and few major organizations where he has proven himself as a coach, prior to becoming part of the New York Chess Academy team.

  • NM Joey Florendo

    Coach

    Coach Joey is a National Master with a peak FIDE Rating of 2162

  • NM Emmanuel Emperado

    Coach

    Coach Emman is a National Master with a peak FIDE Rating of 2328. 

  • WNM Christy Bernales

    Coach

    Coach Christy is a Woman National Master, a three-time Olympian, and a National Arbiter. She has been coaching many prodigies since 2014. Christy is also a Physical Education Instructor in one of the most prestigious colleges in the Philippines.

  • Christian Flores

    Coach

    Coach Christian finished his Bachelor's degree in Marketing, and currently working in a Law office. Chess has always been his passion and he does chess coaching as part-time. He has been teaching kids and adults for few years now.

  • Christine Paragua

    Coach

    Coach Christine is usually around and assisting at the NYCA camps and tournaments. She won the 1st place in the U1200 38th Annual World Open Tournament.

  • Eliseo Budoso

    Coach

    Coach Eli has a FIDE Rapid Rating of 2036. He is also a Music, Arts, and Physical Education instructor.

  • Marc Paraguya

    Coach

    Coach Marc was tagged as an Arena Grand Master. He has a peak FIDE Blitz Rating of 2020.

  • Joseph Navarro

    Coach

    Coach Joseph has a peak FIDE Rating of 2068

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