Mario Amodeo Teaching

Mario Amodeo is a full-time professional chess trainer and chess mentor. For beginners to tournament players rated up to about 1800. For children (ages 6 and up) and adults.

……….9 second introduction               6 minute sample of teaching to a group

Lesson Objectives and Benefits:
  • structured chess lessons emphasize understanding and development of skills
  • before each chess lesson Mario Amodeo prepares a written outline of a personalized lesson, including homework
  • adults report improved overall memory, chess performance and enjoyment after coaching from Mario Amodeo
  • parents report improved grades for their children after coaching from Mario Amodeo
  • children develop self-esteem, responsibility, and tenacity (for Benjamin Franklin’s “Moral’s of Chess” click on Links)
  • other benefits include development of observational, analytical, evaluative, and planning skills
  • for young children, the most important ‘chess goal’ of the lessons is to have fun, regardless of level or the expectations of others (for more details see the ‘Expectations & Achievements’ page)
Mario’s Qualifications:
  • over 4000 chess lessons taught to groups and ‘one on one’ (ages 4 to 84) at dozens of library and school locations since the 1990’s
  • USCF Candidate Master title (aka ‘Expert’), id: 12523359, competing weekly at the San Diego Chess Club for over 25 years
  • current chess instructor since 2012 for San Diego Hua Xia Chinese School, the largest non-profit Chinese school in San Diego
  • San Diego Chess Club Summer 2000 Chess Camp instructor
  • volunteer assistant tournament director for many scholastic chess events since 1997
  • State of California Substitute Teaching Permit for 2009-2010 (click for screenshot)
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










  • a parent’s feedback: “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” -October 2016
  • an administrator’s feedback: Hi Mario, I really appreciate your efforts to communicate with parents and students to minimize potential problems. You set up a role model for others. -David C. , Enrichment Administrator, San Diego Hua Xia Chinese School, October 2016
  • a parent’s feedback: “Mario, I just want to express my gratitude and admiration for how you are teaching (son).  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…(son) benefits greatly from your example.” -Sept 2016
  • a parent’s feedback: “…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.” -July 2016
  • blast from the past: very first one on one student (1999-2001) called Mario for lunch a week after graduating Yale 2014
  • Bishop’s H.S. Junior Rachel, a chess student from 2009-2015, teaches chess herself at La Jolla Riford Library since 2013
  • an adult student’s feedback: “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
  • an adult student’s feedback: “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…I am learning new things every day, and to me it is fascinating how the more one looks into the game, the more complex it becomes.  The things I have learned (from you and from the books you recommended) have made me a much stronger player, and they 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
  • a parent’s feedback: “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.” – February 2016
  • a parent’s feedback: “…enjoyed the time together. I like how you quickly zeroed in on…And I like how you helped him think about the board positions at that point, and more generally focus on process of evaluating a board…I can tell that you have a lot to offer … and are a good person to add to his life.” – Jan. 2016
  • a parent’s feedback: “Thank you for your conscientious and dedicated teaching.”  August 2015 and later “You made his life much better!” -September 2015
  • a parent’s feedback: “You don’t know how lucky we were to find you in SD.” -Dec 2015; three months later: “Thank you for everything you do. You really care about your students.” -Feb. 2016
  • “Mario Amodeo is a first-rate Chess Instructor of very long standing in San Diego.”from David Saponara. David is a parent, MBA (UCLA), current and many time San Diego Chess Club President since 1982, former United States Chess Federation Board Member, and former U.S. Navy Fighter Pilot


for Coach Mario’s chess tips for parents of young students click here

Contact Information: call or text 619-508-2312  


UCSF Candidate Master Mario Amodeo at the San Diego County Bonita Sunnyside Library


US Chess Federation Expert Mario Amodeo at the 2012 Bonita Sunnyside Library Annual Chess Tournament Lunch Break Chess Workshop

IMG_0245 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.