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Rising Phoenix


"I began working with joel when I was a little kid with no goals and just love for the game. He not only helped me mature

as a player but as a person. He was there for the good and bad times and I can't thank him enough for the things he has done for me."

-Darian Nguyen

"You (Joel) are an excellent and overachieving coach, one that I would always recommend to other chess players.

- Jeffrey Yang (Father of National Master Kevin Yang)

"Head coach of the Rising Phoenix Chess Academy, IM Joel Banawa, is not only an extremely successful coach, but also an aspiring chess player, holding a Supernationals title under his belt himself. Joel has worked tirelessly to turn Arizona into the prodigy-filled area it is today, coaching many players over 1800, and even more than 5 players above 2100. It can be said without doubt that the Rising Phoenix Chess Academy dominates the Greater Phoenix Area, as IM Banawa and his students steal all the top places at all the local and national tournaments. Though he started with only a few weak students when he first arrived to Phoenix, IM Banawa has raised a powerhouse team of advanced players, Experts, Candidate Masters, and National Masters. Symbolic of the Rising Phoenix that the chess academy has coined its name after, Joel has done a convincing job at helping the youth of Arizona rising

 from the ashes and develop into the beautiful, strong phoenixes they are today. Soon-to-be Grandmaster Joel Banawa invites all aspiring chess players, whether they be young or old, Masters or beginners, coaches or students, to come play at his incredibly strong tournaments every month, as well as the new Sunday tournaments! All details for the Monthly Open and the Sunday Weekly can be found on the website, in addition to the contact information of IM Banawa himself. Make sure to check it out, and stop by for the strongest tournaments in the valley, and you will be ensured some fierce competition!" 

-Dave Mohan

"I've been an RPCA for a few years, and my experience has been phenomenal. The main Arizona coach, Joel Banawa, is an excellent instructor who has always pushed me to become a better player. I would recommend RPCA to players of all levels who are looking to improve their chess abilities and want to perform better in tournaments."

-Dhruv Khosla

"You are the best chess coach Ray has had. He gets a lot of progress under your friendly guideline. We do appreciate very much for your coaching."

-Xiaoqing Li (Mother of Ray Zhang from California)

"you are the best teacher in the world .J.B."

- Ulysse Worrall

"Joel is a master at opening theory. He has helped me prepare for local and national tournaments and was instrumental in helping me win my first international title. I am grateful for the numerous hours of preparation and training that he has put into my chess success."

-Powell Walker

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