About the Instructor

Russell Potter analyzingMr. Potter has given private instruction to a number of talented students who placed in the Top 50 List in the country for their age group. ( This list is published periodically by the United States Chess Federation ). His students have included many of the team members of no less than 5 National Scholastic Chess Championship teams from Pulaski, Va. during the years 1982-1986.

In recognition of Mr. Potter's extensive and successful work in teaching Chess, he was commissioned by the U.S. Chess Federation to write a National Scholastic Chess Manual.

Chess Life coverMr. Potter's work has been published in general circulation publications including Life magazine, Reader's Digest, The Roanoker magazine and several newspapers. Trade publications include the international Chess Informant, the national Chess Life magazine and numerous state-level chess periodicals.

In particular, Mr. Potter did extensive research for his highly acclaimed article on former World Champion Vassily Smyslov published in Chess Life.

Mr. Potter is an Original Life Master ( O.L.M. ), having maintained a Master's rating of 2200 or above in more than 300 games. His games have been published in Chess Life magazine and The international Chess Informant. He represented Virginia in the National Chess League. Below is only a partial list of his victories (tournaments in which he either won or tied for first place):

  • Virginia State Championship ( four times )
  • Virginia Open ( three times )
  • Virginia Master's Invitational ( First Place, four times )
  • North Carolina Open
  • North Carolina State Championship ( twice )
  • LPO
  • Tennessee State Championship ( twice )
  • DC Open
  • New Orleans Open


Student Comments

I started playing in tournaments as a teenager, but it wasn't an easy ride. I dedicated hundreds of hours to self-study, by trial and error. My opponent would play an opening, or an offbeat variation that I wasn't too familiar with. I'd lose, buy another book on the opening that 'beat' me and the vicious cycle would repeat itself all over again.

Sound familiar ?

Russell Potter has a proven system that will end up saving the student countless hours of time and frustration. Now, I actually spend far LESS time studying the game since we’ve started the lessons ! That's because Russell cuts to the heart of the material and through a very detailed and careful diagnosis, comes up with a training regimen ( the right blend of opening study, middle game planning, game score analysis, etc ) that sets the student on the right track from the very beginning. The results are plain. I started working with Russ only about one year ago and my rating has already jumped up nearly 200 rating points ! The game is a LOT more fun now. Russell Potter receives my highest endorsement as an instructor and chess mentor.

E Knudsen
Mechanical Engineer