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Who is Teaching?

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The team is led by a former Australian Junior Chess Champion.


Alex Stahnke is a renowned QLD Chess instructor.  He started playing at the age of 8 and has been professionally teaching since 2013.  Alex soon fell in love with chess, and at age 10, he was playing 100 online bullet (one minute) games everyday.  He is an elite player with a peak ACF rating of 2030.


Alex is a former Australian Chess Champion (U12 & U14 years old).  He became triple under 12 year old Australian Chess Champion in Sydney, 2008.  He won 3 different titles in lightning chess (5 minute a side speed chess with a picket fence score of 11/11), rapid chess (medium paced 15 minute time control) and Problem Solving Champion.

In Tasmania, 2010 he became outright under 14 year old Australian Chess Champion.  The elite competition went over the course of two weeks with only one match per day (time control - 90 minutes + 30 seconds increment each move).  Top juniors from across the nation attended, and it was during this time that Alex fell in love with teaching.  He coached himself to victory; studied previous games of his opponents and learned new opening theory.

Alex was in his best career form, also winning the 2010 Sydney International Challengers tournament.  He finished with an impressive score of 8/9 and a performance FIDE rating of 2105.  He won his final game of the competition with a Knight + Bishop + King vs King endgame. This is a position that some Grandmasters find difficult to win.


In the 2010 Australian Chess Championships, Alex played the best match of his life – winning the Brilliancy Game Award (Verse Ben Ingram) – selected by Grandmaster Ian Rogers.  He is also an author of the children’s book: Chess Made Fun.  These are among some of his greatest chess accomplishments.


A few words from Alex:


"I started Topchess in 2018, because I want to make a positive difference in children's lives.  Playing and learning chess has helped me overcome many of life's obstacles.  When I was in primary school, I was a "C" student...struggling with my grades.  Then, chess came into my life.  After learning chess, my grades went from C's to straight A's and I promise I have chess to thank for that.  Chess gave me confidence, I learnt to take responsibility for my actions and most importantly it was so much fun along the way.

I believe through Topchess, I can give back to the community by sharing my knowledge for social and educational success.


Based on my personal experience, I know that the benefits of playing chess have presented me with many great opportunities.  I have made new friendships, improved my reaction time, strengthened my calculation and memory, cultivated my logic and reasoning, enhanced my mathematic and reading skills, and I truly learned to think ahead.  I use all of these strategies every single day...and like life, competitive chess can be challenging.  But moving forward requires sacrifice and change....and change comes from embracing challenges.


Be consistent and never give up - checkmate, good game!"



The Team:


Do you want to learn from an Australian Chess Champion?

Topchess have strong coaches with tournament experience.  They follow a specific teaching program with levels that are most suitable for the students' ability.  All of our coaches are required to hold blue cards and are trained extensively to provide a high standard of teaching in a fun and professional environment.

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