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“Dear Lior:

You are a hero in the community, and I thank you for your efforts. I applaud your innovation in using your skill as a chess champion to instill strategy and forward thinking in our students. The valuable life skills they learn from your class is priceless and positively impacts their lives for years to come.”

Tom Udall

United States Senator

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I cannot say enough wonderful things about Lior. He’s an amazing coach and fantastic influence for my son Johnny. Lior makes chess fun while his humor and friendliness help the kids feel at ease. If there’s a “Chess Coach of the Year” award, I would certainly vote Coach Lior.
Cheri Burrer

“Coach Lior has been a big help preparing me for tournaments and becoming a better chess player…He has helped me select specific openings and strategy that fit my style of play. And his lessons are always fun!”
Calvin DeJong

Colorado K-6 State Champion

“Our son attended full day chess camp and loved it! He looked forward to it *all* summer and was not disappointed. Every day he would come home excited to tell us what he learned that day and every night he would be sitting at the kitchen table, practicing his chess moves. Coach Lior is so great with the kids and makes learning fun and exciting. Thank you so much to both Coach Lior and Coach Maria – we are hoping to be able to send our son again in the future!”
Jamye Harris

My son joined Lior’s chess team in first grade and was soon thereafter diagnosed with dyslexia, which served to undermine his confidence on multiple levels – in the classroom and beyond. As a chess team member, however, he not only had fun while participating on the team and in tournaments, but he also received a massive boost of self-worth through his success at the board. I have come to understand that while he was playing chess, my son was exercising the portion of the brain that works to understand big picture, if-then scenarios. During a recent cognitive evaluation, my son was diagnosed among the 92% of highest thinkers in Fluid Reasoning. The psychologist explained to me that chess has a lot to do with this aspect of his success. Without Lior passing on his enthusiasm for the game, we would likely be looking at a very different academic outcome, but I am thankful to share that my son was recently accepted into a private high school with rigorous academic requirements. Thank you, Lior, for your dedication to your students, to the game of chess and for the long-term positive impact you have had on my son and my family. Ever grateful, Christina
Christina Morley

“I really can’t convey to you how fortunate we as an entire family feel having you as the boys’ chess coach. You are always prepared for your lessons and you almost always (not that we expect this now) go over the allotted time to finish the lesson. This is EXACTLY what we had been searching for in a coach and it is so wonderful to have finally found it! The fact that you have so obviously given actual and significant thought to what the boys should be working on to achieve their goals is so refreshing. I don’t know if any other parents have told you what an outstanding job you do but if they haven’t, they should have their heads examined. My guess is they don’t know how good they have it because they have only had you as their child’s chess coach.

On top of all I have pointed out so far, you LISTEN to my kids and they have never been LISTENED to before. You are a genuinely nice person and always encourage a collaborative process. You have hired my oldest son to assist you with some of your classes and paid him a very fair wage to do so, knowing that he was getting the benefit of observing you and learning from you at the same time. Both boys have LOVED every lesson with you….seriously, they are beaming after the lessons and feel like they have LEARNED from your lessons, every single time. I will stop now, knowing I could go on and on. I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for being really good at what you do (and I know that that involves a lot of WORK on your part). I don’t know how far my boys will go in chess but I can assure you that they will ALWAYS remember their time with you as their coach and will look back at this time in their lives as one of the most significant periods of excitement and growth in chess that they ever experienced.

Thank you SO much for caring about what you do and doing it so well!”

Kevin McConnell

father of K-8 Colorado State Champion and Co-Champion Sullivan and Griffin McConnell

“Simply stated, Lior Lapid is, without a doubt, the BEST chess teacher and coach I have ever met. As a teacher myself, with a masters degree in education and 25+ years experience teaching, I recognize talent and exceptionality when I see it. After having the pleasure of watching Lior teach a variety of students, in classroom settings, summer camps, and individualized lessons, I can honestly say he is terrific! As the founder of PALS Chess, Lior has created a specialized curriculum, unique to PALS, that scaffolds a wide variety of chess ideas within each lesson. Unlike most chess lessons which are dull and boring, Lior’s lessons are thoughtful and captivating.

Watching Lior teach chess is like listening to Mozart compose at the piano. Lior is an amazingly talented teacher and gifted chess player. His imagination and creativity are limitless. He weaves the depth of his chess knowledge together with his innate love of chess to create extraordinary lessons. Lior’s enthusiasm for teaching, along with his ability to entertain whilst conveying difficult ideas is exhilarating. His teaching style is magical; taking a basic chess concept and turning it into an exciting tale, breathing life and energy into the motionless plastic pieces. I have seen his students on the edge of their seats, hanging on his every word, excitedly throwing their hands up in the air and jumping out of their chairs trying to answer his challenging questions. I must, however, warn you, his love of chess is contagious.

Most importantly, Lior is a wonderful person. He understands that each child is a unique learner. Lior is engaged with all of his students making sure each of them grow in their chess knowledge and ability. Colorado students are fortunate that Lior has brought PALS Chess to Denver. I have no doubt Lior will be tremendously beneficial to the growth of chess in Colorado in the years to come. I feel quite lucky to have him as my coach.”

Ann Davies

“It wasn’t until I met Lior that I fully understood what it meant to improve and challenge my game. I’ll never forget the awe and confusion I felt when I tried to keep up with him during the very first game we played. Lior was able to explain not only his own strategies but also the mistakes I was making throughout the game. His ability to cater to different skill levels is unmatched; I went to a camp with my 7-year-old sister and other players across various spectrums of ability and was able to get just as much from it as they did because of how personalized he makes his lesson plans. On top of this, his warm demeanor and patience highlights how he cares about more than just your chess skills, but about you as a person. After the camp, I felt humbled but also inspired to continue to enjoy and pursue chess as a lifelong hobby. I can’t recommend Lior enough and owe it to him for renewing my passion for the game.”
Riker Johnson

“PALS offers a more holistic approach to chess education that develops a range of mental skills that will serve students in chess and in life… It is one of the best, if not the single best, scholastic chess programs in the area.”
Review of PALS Chess Academy