Richard Milnamow has lived on both coasts — in Marin County, California; Bergen County, New Jersey; and Boston. His older brother was instrumental in developing Richard’s love of chess, and the two have battled for dominance at more than 50 years of family gatherings. Over the years, Richard has taught the game to his numerous nieces and nephews. He has two adult daughters who live in the Chicago area and one grandchild.
After college he began a career in sales, initially with TWA and other travel-related companies. He later obtained an MBA and began a second career in marketing research. He has traveled extensively and always found chess to be a common denominator for striking up new encounters with others. Language was never a problem, as “check mate” was universally understood.
Oleg Trifonov (intermediate group at Indian Trail) is a parent volunteer whose daughter will start kindergarten at Indian Trail next year. Although four years old, she is already an intermediate-strength player. Oleg’s USCF rating has been as high as 2035. Originally from Russia, Oleg has a degree in business and is a real estate broker with Coldwell Banker in Highland Park. He likes reading, swimming, spending time with his family and long walks with his dog.
Gopal Menon became a National Master in late 2010 and has a current USCF rating of 2266. He’s played tournament chess since 2002 and hopes to advance to even higher levels in the chess world. Gopal has been teaching chess since 2005 and bases his teaching style on the importance of practical play and an emphasis on fighting spirit. Gopal enjoys chess in other forms as well, such as chess960, blitz, and bullet (one minute chess). He achieved an all-time high blitz rating of 3163 on the Internet Chess Club (ICC) as well as twice holding the number one spot on the 1-minute best list on the same site. Away from the chessboard Gopal enjoys reading, writing haikus, music (making and listening), films, and vegan cooking.