Mario Amodeo Teaching

Mario Amodeo is a full-time professional chess coach. For beginners to tournament players rated up to about 1800. Ages 6 to adult.


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
  • 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 students age 10 and younger, the most important ‘chess goal’ of the lessons is to have fun, regardless of level or the expectations of others (for more details on expectations  see the ‘Student Achievements’ page)


  • 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 (Expert), id: 12523359, competing weekly at the San Diego Chess Club for over 24 years
  • current chess instructor since 2012 for San Diego Hua Xia Chinese School, the largest non-profit Chinese school in San Diego
  • head instructor, San Diego Chess Club Summer 2000 Chess Camp
  • 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.

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Student Featured in 92128 Magazine

Chess Life Magazine article featuring a student










  • “Mario Amodeo is a first-rate Chess Instructor of very long standing in San Diego.” –from David Saponara, a parent, MBA, UCLA, current and many time San Diego Chess Club President since 1982, former United States Chess Federation Board Member, former U.S. Navy Fighter Pilot
  • 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
  • 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
  • a parent’s feedback: “I’m impressed at how they are improving.” -March 2016 “…truly encouraging!…(student) can’t stop smiling.” -March 2016
  • a grandparent’s feedback: “Hi, I just had FaceTime with …. and he was so excited about his chess lesson and was telling me about what he learned. Thank you so much for providing …. with such an amazing learning opportunity.” -April 2016


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 Examples of places Mario can drive to: 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.