Volunteer of the Month — Vladimir Bugayev

Vladimir Bugayev, dad to George Bugayev 302 and Elizabeth Bugayev 701, has been “Coach Vlad” at BSI since 2011. He coaches the BSI Chess Club and travels with the kids all over the country to compete in tournaments. Even for those of us who do not have kids on the Chess Team, it is always inspiring to see Coach Vlad’s blogs on the BSI school site, where his good heart shines through his words. As he describes the tournaments, you can’t help but be touched by his attention to the work each kid is doing and the recognition he always gives to other parents who participate.

“Creating a chess team is not an easy task, but the outcome is incredible. The benefits our children are getting cannot be measured by words. My favorite part is that they learn to be open-minded. Without this, you can not become a good player…or person.”


How did you start volunteering at BSI?

It all started in 2011 when my oldest son, who graduated last year from BSI, was in 2nd grade. At the time I had begun to gradually switch to chess teaching. Ever since the beginning I felt a great support from the BSI staff in terms of introducing me to the school, arranging hours and logistics. Supporting me in sending chess related info to all families.

Why do you think Chess is good for kids?

This is an easy and hard question at the same time. I could write pages here. First of all, it’s a perfect educational model which aids younger kids in learning different subjects at school. Just to name a few relationships: the chess board to classical graphing system, the movement of pieces to geometry, solving tactics and reasoning strategy to logical analysis, pattern recognition and planning.  Social aspects are tremendously important when many of our kids are sharing the same interest outside of school. Concentration and acceptance is extremely important for the different stages in their future. And on top of that it’s a game that with the right introduction is simply fun to play.

How did you get interested in Chess yourself?

My father showed me how to play when I was 7 and the game hooked me in right away. I’ve loved it with all my heart since then and can play for hours myself. I was constantly looking for a match. So my parents took me to a chess academy where I played for more than 10 years.

Do you have particular memories of your time volunteering with our kids?

I cherish every moment. When they win I’m happy for them and when they lose I am there to support them as this is the hardest part.

Do you have ideas for things parents could be doing to make BSI better? 

Whatever you’re good at or have a passion for just try, you never know…  It changed my life completely.

As one BSI parent wrote on the BSI Chess Facebook Page“Thank you for inspiring and molding our children’s character and future; and never failing to provide motivation and advice to parents.”

We are so grateful for you, Coach Vlad! You are everything the BSI community stands for — excellence, respect, hard work, high expectations and great kindness. Thank you for inspiring us all.