Paul McKeown FA FI

Paul McKeown

In recognition of his profile and experience as a chess teacher, Paul has has been awarded the titles of FIDE Arbiter (FI) and FIDE Instructor (FI) by FIDE, the Fédération Internationale des Échecs, or International Chess Federation.

Paul sorts the organisational side of things, ensuring, as he says, that the other coaches can focus on what they do best – teaching chess. He took over the running of Richmond Junior Chess Club when it was at a low ebb, and is delighted that it has turned around and is once more a thriving hot-spot for the development of young chess talent.

An experienced chess tutor himself, he often pitches in in the analysis room and joins in lessons, workload permitting!

If you have a query about the club, ask Paul.

David Okike CM

David Okike

Head Coach

Former London Junior champion and Nigerian national champion, David has been awarded the FIDE playing title of Candidate Master (CM), and has devoted the last two decades or so teaching and coaching juniors at all levels. At RJCC the Advanced Group benefits in particular from his experience on a weekly basis.

Robert Eames FM

Bob Eames

Lead Coach (Intermediates)

Preferring to be known as Bob, and a recipient of the FIDE Master (FM) playing title, he has a vast experience in both playing and teaching chess. He has taken on many students on a one-to-one chess basis for the last 35 years, and has also worked with Chess in Schools. At RJCC he is responsible for the smooth running of the Intermediate Group, and can usually be found analysing games, with many children queueing up to be next!

Sorin Atanasiu

Sorin Atanasiu

Coach (Intermediates)

Experienced, friendly, and very popular with the children, Sorin helps prepare for those first competitive tournaments, and guides children from strength to strength.

Sorin has been working with kids since 2003 as a humanities teacher and chess tutor.

Agnieszka “Aga” Milewska FA NI

Aga Milewska

Coach (Beginners and Novices)

Our youngest and newest members love working with Agnieszka (Aga for short), who never loses her enthusiasm for teaching those all important basic tactics and strategies (scholar’s mate, anyone?)

Make no mistake, though. Aga is an experienced and strong player, having represented both Poland and England, and in addition has the FIDE Arbiter qualification and FIDE’s National Instructor title.

Besides helping at Richmond Juniors, Aga is very busy during the week as a member of the senior management team of the well-known and highly respected Chess in Schools (CSC) charity.

Aga is also the current ECF Director of Women’s Chess, and can be approached for all queries relating to chess for women and girls in England.

Update: Sep. 2022 Aga has been appointed Councillor on the European Chess Union’s Women’s Commission

Shahanah Schmid WFM

Shahanah Schmid

Coach (Girls)

Former Swiss national player and Women’s Champion, Shahanah brings her international experience and enthusiasm for girls’ chess to RJCC. As mum to two young RJCC members, Shahanah is very approachable, and understands the issues that come with being a ‘chess parent’.

Shohreh Bayat WFM IA

Shohreh Bayat

Coach (Girls)

Originally from Iran, Shohreh, a WFM (Women’s FIDE Master) now represents England. Not only a strong player she is also a very experienced arbiter, awarded the IA (International Arbiter) title by FIDE in 2014. Shohreh is the current ECF Director of Events. Shohreh was presented with the award, International Women of Courage in 2021 for her work in fighting for women’s rights.

An inspirational teacher, she has joined the Richmond Junior’s team to run the Girls classes.

Adam A. Taylor

Adam Taylor
Adam Taylor


An already strong and rapidly developing young player, Adam has been coaching with Richmond Juniors since 2019. He is generally to be found coaching the top Advanced classes.

Update: Sep. 2022: Adam’s phenomenal performance at the British Chess Championship in August 2022, was sufficient to give him his first norm for the International Master title, and has pushed his rating to 2265. We suspect he will not be claiming the CM title for passing 2200, but that he has higher ambitions!

Soumya Nargund

Soumya Nargund
Soumya Nargund

Coach (Beginners & Novices)

Soumya is established as a much beloved presence with the club’s Beginners and Novices, and an engaging mentor for young players at the club.. She has teaching experience from India and is fluent not only in English, but also in Hindi, Kannadu and Tamil. Besides teaching chess, Soumya is also an avid yoga enthusiast.

Darren Durkin

Darren Durkin

Coach (Schools)

Darren works with young children with great joy and loves to introduce them to chess for the first time. He is a key part of our schools programme.

Rick McMichael FM

Rick McMichael

Coach (Schools)

Another strong player, Rick has worked with RJCC since 2017. A Qualified Teacher by trade, he now teaches chess in schools and sometimes helps out in the main club on a Saturday or works with one of its teams.

Mark Josse CM

Mark Josse
Mark Josse


A strong club and county player, Mark has lots of experience in teaching chess. He has been working with RJCC since Autumn Term 2018 and is most often to be seen in the Advanced Group.
Besides chess, Mark is also coaches rugby.