Testimonials

“I first met Ivona at my son’s elementary school as he participated in the after-school chess program that Ivona taught.  I sat in on most of those chess sessions myself and was lucky enough to have Ivona teach me some chess during her moments of free time in between helping the kids.  Her passion about chess is infectious, and her style of teaching makes it simple for anyone to learn chess. I never had an interest nor thought I would ever learn chess, but I found myself growing more and more interested the more time I spent with Ivona. We later had her come to our home for private lessons with our entire family. She is very patient and an excellent teacher, and I would highly recommend her for anyone wanting to learn how to play!”

Eydie Grossman
Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations
The UCLA Anderson School 

“My five-year old son fell in love with chess after a chance encounter with Ivona at a friend’s house.  Two years later he looks forward to her chess club each Sunday and chess camp every summer.  Even I join the Sunday lessons as I’ve fallen in love with chess too, thanks to Ivona and her enthusiastic expertise.  Ivona has inspired our whole family, and we are grateful to have her as a teacher and friend.” 


Eric S. Miillstein, M.D.
ORTHOPEDIC SURGERY & SPORTS MEDICINE

“It’s been so wonderful to see our seven year old son develop such a passion for this incredible game. He met Ivona two years ago and now we hear her name regularly at home. My son insisted on teaching me to play chess. We now play regularly and he passes on Ivona’s wisdom to me with pride.  We are so thankful for Ivona’s chess expertise, but even more so for her dedication to and love for children. We recommend her every chance we get.” 

Stephanie Morton

“My 8-year old son has been taking chess lessons from Ivona for the past few years. Ivona is an exceptional chess teacher and also a very kind and patient leader. She started working with my son when he had zero chess experience. Thanks to Ivona, my son is a now a skilled and avid chess lover. Aside from chess lessons, he has also participated in her chess game days and competitions. I attribute much of his love of chess, to Ivona’s approach in teaching and true passion for the game.” 
 
Krista, Venice 
Owner, Legend of Lido

“Ivona has been not only an amazing chess instructor but also an incredibly positive influence on our son.  He started with only a basic understanding of the pieces and how they move and now gets complex chess strategy to the point that he can play with adults and beat them regularly (me included).  Ivona has fostered a sense of excitement and curiosity in chess through her teaching — traits which ultimately transcend chess.  I could not recommend Ivona more wholeheartedly.”
  
Dan​ Handman | Partner Hirschfeld Kraemer LLP

“I can’t say enough about Ivona. Not only is she a wonderful chess teacher, she is a wonderful person. She was my son’s chess teacher during elementary school in an after-school program. Taking chess from Ivona enriched my son’s elementary school experiences. I always admired Ivona. It felt like she was a family member; warm, loving, but never holding back when there were tough lessons to be learned. She easily gained respect and admiration from all of her students. Ivona also knew how to make things fun. In addition to being her student, my son attended many of her camps, both at the Jewish American University and at her home. Ivona also created a chess party at our house, inclusive of students and parents alike. The students played a tournament against the parents, and the students legitimately won! Also Ivona created city-wide tournaments for all of her students from all of her schools to compete against one another on a whole other level. I am grateful for the many years she inspired my son.”

Robin Cottle
Graphic Designer and Jewelry Designer

“Ms. Ivona has taught my son chess in school and in private lessons for the past 5 years, since he was in kindergarten. In that time, he has certainly learned a lot about chess: I’m especially impressed that he seems to have developed a sense for how the board will look, 2-3 moves in the future. But more importantly for me, Ms. Ivona has taught him patience, focus, sportsmanship, and self-confidence. When he first started to play chess, he hated to lose and would avoid playing opponents who were better than him. Over time, Ms. Ivona worked with him to increase his confidence, and to teach him to see playing those opponents as opportunities to learn and improve.  She was supportive, encouraging, positive, and affirming.  Not only did he overcome this issue with regard to chess, he has been able to apply the skills he has learned from Ms. Ivona to help him in sports, academics, and social situations. Thank you for all you do, Ms. Ivona!!”
 
Allison W., Attorney

“We can’t say enough about Ivona and her chess program. Every summer at Chess Camp, our son was improving his focus, problem-solving, and social skills–all while he was having the time of his life! There was never any summertime brain drain while he was at Chess4SuccessLA. The best part, of course, is that Ivona is the kind of wonderful teacher every parent hopes for — deeply knowledgeable, infinitely patient, and a genius at knowing exactly how to balance all the parts of the program that make it such a positive learning experience.” 

Nina Shimonovitz
Owner —Translation Bureau

“Ivona’s chess camp has been the highlight of summer for my three children over the years.  The only downside is that they now beat me on a regular basis! Most importantly though the skills and strategy they’ve learned at chess camp have taught them to think two moves ahead in other areas of their lives as well.” 
 
Beth Osisek

“I have watched Ivona teach chess for years; volunteering at preschool and chess camp so I could enjoy her uniquely patient and uplifting way of teaching children. It’s one thing to be a female chess champion (a huge fete) and another to have the passion to teach in a way that empowers. I’m thrilled Ivona is combining her skills and passion to create her lifelong dream— a program for girls and women.”
 
Judith Rivin Licensed 
Licensed Clinical Social Worker

“I worked with Ivona for many years and watched her teach hundreds of children to play chess. She can explain chess ideas to students of all levels. Her patient encouragement works wonders! Take my advice and let her teach you this great game.”

Jack Peters, International Master, former Los Angeles Times chess columnist

“Teacher Ivona has been wonderful for my son in his pursuit of chess. She has so much experience as a Master and internationally top ranking chess player. She creates an environment that isn’t too competitive yet still encourages kids to do their best and try to win. Her tournaments are always fun and fair – and her lessons are personal and professional. I highly recommend her!”
 
Mimi Lind
Clinical Social Worker
Mom of a 11 year old son

“Ivona is the sweetest woman ever. She is a master at chess and fosters an inclusive and positive environment within which to play the game. By both teaching broad strategies and moves for specific scenarios, Ivona sets you up to succeed at the game. I enjoyed all of my time learning from her and have definitely grown as a chess player in the process.”
 
Asher Radziner
Brown University student, Class of 2023

“Chess4Success has been a great resource for our son and our family. He has been able to practice thinking through consequences of his choices and we have a game we can play together! It is a great.”
 
Adriana E. Molina, LMFT, IFEC-MHS 
(Marriage and Family Therapist, Infant-Family Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist)
 
“I worked with Ivona for many years and watched her teach hundreds of children to play chess. She can explain chess ideas to students of all levels. Her patient encouragement works wonders! Take my advice and let her teach you this great game.”
 
Jack Peters, International Master, former Los Angeles Times chess columnist

“Ivona has guided my boys through the complexities and fun of playing chess. Attending private lessons and her dynamic camps, they have both developed a fondness for her and for the game. I have Ivona to thank for the development of strategic thinking in my children, a vital skill for them for the now and for the future.”
 
Honor Fraser, Gallerist