Warm. Supportive. Caring.


Ray Garrison

CEO and Instructor

In the fall of 1997, Ray purchased a chess store on Main Street in Ann Arbor, Michigan that he called “Chess Express”. He also began teaching in public and private schools where he successfully led many chess programs to team win in state championships.

He sold the store eventually and then grew a new chess business, Arbor Chess. In addition to school chess programs and private instruction, Ray expanded Arbor Chess into a premiere summer day camp program for the past 20 years now.


Tony Nichols

National Master


Tony Nichols has been the Okemos chess coach since 2014.  His students have won numerous state championships and some of his students have been ranked in the top 100 in the U.S. for their age.  Mr. Nichols achieved the title of “National Master” from the US Chess Federation in 2015 and is one of the top twenty active players in Michigan.  Mr. Nichols has been teaching as a summer camp counselor for Arbor Chess since 2007.  Mr. Nichols also teaches Arbor Chess virtual classes and camps. 


Andrea Kelly Garrison

Sales and Marketing

Andrea has been in marketing since graduating from University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Spending her career working from fast growing companies, managing their marketing and systems as they expanded. She is the wife of the owner, Ray Garrison, and is helping to do national advertising, social media, webiste managment, and more for Arbor Chess as it expands online.


Sam Curran



Jack Hauptman