Between a position as a Chief Federal Probation Officer, teaching criminal justice courses to college students and instructing judges and prosecutors around the country in the newest federal laws, Tony Garoppolo had a long and fulfilling career.
At some point during all of that criminal justice, Tony realized his passion for teaching. His favorite thing to teach? Chess, a game taught to him as a boy at an after-school program.
Since learning at the age of eight, Tony realized that chess not only teaches how to focus one’s attention and strategize, it also improves cognition, slows down brain aging and keeps the brain active.
Tony now teaches students of all ages – from preschoolers to seniors. “Anyone can learn. No one should be intimidated to learn chess,” he says. “Of course you make mistakes, but the most important thing to do is learn from them.”
With an increase in the game’s popularity, schools and after-school programs throughout the boroughs are adding chess as part of their curriculum.
This past weekend, hundreds of students from private and public schools in New York gathered in Downtown Brooklyn to compete in the 2014 New York City High School Chess Championship.
“These kinds of competitions are great and individualized lessons can give students a big advantage,” says Tony. “While teaching a student one on one, they learn much more than what moves to make. They learn strategies.”
Now retired and living in Brooklyn Heights, Tony has the flexibility to teach even those with the busiest of schedules, and best of all his lessons are free of charge.
“All you need is the motivation to learn the game,” he says. “Once you have the commitment, acquiring the skills is the easy part.”
Visit BrooklynChess.org for more information or call Tony Garoppolo at 718-855-8530 to schedule a lesson.