Jim Freerksen - Chess Coach
Playing chess has been a lifelong passion of mine. I've been playing in rated USCF tournaments for nearly fifteen years. In 2005, I was part of the Ankeny High School State Championship team and I placed third in the Iowa High School Closed Championship. It was chess that helped me through my teenage years and provided me with a strong sense of community. Through chess, I met my wife and made many close friends who are still an important part of my life. As a student at Drake University, I worked hard to revive Drake Chess Club and together we have worked to turn our chess club into a community outreach group. I served as President of the Drake Chess Club for several semesters. In addition, I teach chess at several area elementary schools and provide private coaching to those who would like more personalized instruction. Recently, I have begun offering several classes for chess players of different skill levels. I enjoy working to grow both the adult and scholastic chess community in the Des Moines area, and I love working with students who are passionate about Chess. Please contact me at Jim@dsmchess.com to learn more about DSM Chess and our programs that foster community and youth development.
Katie Freerksen - Chess Coach/Administrator
Chess first became a part of my life when I met Jim at the Ankeny High School Chess Club when I was fifteen years old. My ride home had been delayed, and I needed something to do while I waited. I ended up having a great time learning how to play, and I continued attending the club for the rest of my time at AHS. After meeting Bill Broich and working with him at the chess clubs he was running, Jim and I decided to start DSM Chess Company in 2016. I handle the administrative side of the business, including the website. In January 2017 I began to help out with coaching the K-2nd graders at some of our larger clubs and it has been an incredible experience. It is so amazing to see these younger kids come in, sometimes not knowing anything at all about chess, and watch them learn how to play an entire game of chess. I believe chess teaches us how to deal with life problems in a logical and strategic way, and I enjoy being able to help these kids gain self-confidence and problem solving skills.