Mario Amodeo Teaching

Mario Amodeo is a full-time chess trainer and mentor. For beginners to players rated 1800. Ages 6 to adult.

……….9 second introduction               6 minute segment of classroom teaching

Mario Amodeo has the UCSF Candidate Master (CM) title, ID: 12523359 (for more qualifications click here).

Lesson Objectives:
  • Structured chess lessons emphasize understanding, development of chess skills, and having fun.
Benefits of Chess Lessons with Mario Amodeo:
  • Students coached by Mario have been admitted to selective programs including Yale, Princeton, and the UC system. See ‘Student Achievements’ page, above (in blue), for chess related accomplishments.
  • Adult students coached by Mario have shown improved overall memory and chess performance (see ‘feedback from adult students’ below).
  • Children develop self-esteem, responsibility, and tenacity (for Benjamin Franklin’s “Moral’s of Chess” click on Links). Other benefits include development of observational, evaluative, and planning skills.
Student Highlights, Testimonials, and Feedback:


Union Tribune article featuring Mario Amodeo’s career choice.

icon Ankit

Student Featured in 92128 Magazine

Chess Life Magazine article featuring a student










feedback from parents and children:

  • “Benefit from her chess experience and also your help over the years, she has got into Princeton early action.” -January 2017; “Hi, Mario…You are a great coach: very patient, encouraging and responsible. (Her) chess has improved a lot. She has also learned something beyond chess, such as general attitude toward things, from you. Thanks and congratulations!” 2009 (a UCSD computer science professor and 6 year client)
  • blast from the past: very first one on one student (1999-2001) took Mario to lunch a week after graduating Yale 2014
  • “…not plateauing is a reflection of your teaching method. Instead of quick fixes to win games, you focused on teaching fundamentals that apply to all…” Jerry, -Jan, 2012
  • “Thank you for your conscientious and dedicated teaching.” August 2015 and later “You made his life much better!” Wendy, -September 2015
  • “I’m impressed at how they are improving.” -March 2016; “…truly encouraging!…(he) can’t stop smiling.” -March 2016″; It was a desperate decision for me to consider chess when they were bringing home failing grades. I was done yelling and I figured since I was learning chess, it might benefit them too. It was a shot in the dark since I didn’t think they’d enjoy it and love the challenge. It’s as if I’d hit the jackpot. Their grades are improving and they are way more confident. Thank you for what you do.” -May 2016; “…their grades are improving” Liza, -October 2016
  • “Mario, I just want to express my gratitude and admiration for how you are teaching (him). You keep it fresh with new material constantly. Your depth of knowledge is impressive to me. You set your pace to his. You are animated and supportive. You intuitively know and cater to his learning style. Most of all, you are gracious about his gaps of knowledge and his leaps of reasoning.” -August 2016; “…I love your humor and intensity…(he) benefits greatly from your example.” Evelyn, -Sept 2016
  • “…truly appreciate your teaching and homework during the last 2 years…he has learned many things from you, even outside of chess, and I think these learning goes a long way in his growth.” Eric, -July 2016
  • “Thank you very much for your great teaching… said he learned a lot from you and you are the best coach he has ever had.” Amber, – February 2016
  • “Thank you for inspiring him.” -August 18, 2015; “You don’t know how lucky we were to find you in SD.” -Dec 2015; “Thank you for everything you do. You really care about your students.” Victoria, -Feb. 2016


feedback from adult students:

  • “Hi Mario, I want to thank you so very much for the lessons and the training modules that provide the structure that has lead to my progression of understanding of how this game is played.” -Bruce Nov 2015, after climbing 329 rating point to 1771 by scoring 6-0 in a USCF rated tournament.
  • “Hi Mario,…I’m just writing to say thank you for your lessons and all your help. You sent me additional resources twice, even after we were done with the lessons…The things I have learned have even changed the way I see the world.Thank you, Mario. You are a great instructor and what you do is wonderful. Wishing you every success, Antonio.” -August 2016
  • “The new mindset I acquired from chess, and especially from your lessons, has made a big difference. It helps me explore problems from all different angles, in ways I would not have previously considered. It’s amazing the value that chess holds for everyday life.” -July 20, 2012; Before I met you I was walking in the dark in terms of chess and I did not even know it… You are like a flashlight! Sept 14, 2010; “It means a lot that you care so much about your students…” Dan -Sept 4, 2010


administrator testimonials:

  • “Mario Amodeo is a first-rate Chess Instructor of very long standing in San Diego.” –from David Saponara MBA (UCLA). David is current and many time San Diego Chess Club President since 1982, former United States Chess Federation Board Member, former U.S. Navy Fighter Pilot, and parent.
  • "...beating a Master couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. Congratulations, Mario! We salute you for your excellent play and even more importantly, your friendly style and easy going nature." -Chuck Ensey, longtime San Diego Chess Club Board Member and chess club volunteer tournament director twice a week since the 1990's, so Chuck deserves a 'salute' himself from the chess community!


for additional parent, student, and administrator feedback, click here
for Mario’s tips for parents click here

Contact Information:

call or text 619-508-2312



San Diego, 4S Ranch, Del Mar, Carmel Valley, La Mesa, Hillcrest, Clairemont, Mira Mesa, Rancho Penasquitos, National City, Lemon Grove, El Cajon, Santee, Tierra Santa, Linda Vista, Mission Valley, Point Loma, Pacific Beach,  Mission Hills, Del Cerro, La Jolla, North Park, South Park, Kensington, Poway, Spring Valley, Normal Heights, East Lake, Coronado, Bonita, Rancho Bernardo.