Mario Amodeo is a full-time chess mentor and trainer. UCSF Candidate Master title, ID: 12523359 

For beginners to players rated up to 1800. Ages 6 to 106. Call 619 508 2312

Young Students Chess Achievements

  • From a parent of 8 year old, San Diego Chess Club, May 2019: “I am very pleased to tell you that he won 1st place.  He had a rough start losing the first game, but I was so glad to see he could pull it off emotionally and continued on wining 4 straight games.  He told me he learned a lot from your lesson so that he recognized all the techniques his opponents tried to use on him.  I can see he’s built more confidence and interest in chess after today’s winning. It was a very good experience for both of us.  I am very grateful for the teaching, guidance and help you have given…”
  • 13 year old taking lessons weekly with Mario for 3 years is the 2018 S. Carolina Middle School Girls State Champ. Update: she finished top female South Carolina High Schools 2019 while still in Middle School, winning the GRIT (Girls with Respect, Integrity & Tenacity) Award and also qualifying for All Girls National Invitational for the next 4 years (link to Edgefield, SC newspaper story here).
  • 9 year old taking private lessons weekly with Mario for 10 months tied for 3rd place among fourth graders, 2018 New Mexico Scholastic Championships (she is pictured to the right). Update: after 5 wins at US Nationals in Nashville, TN, May 2019: “A great experience and also a very humbling one for the girls…A big thank you from her and all of us!”
  • 9 year old taking lessons with Mario for 4 years is ranked 11th in U.S. for his age, 2017.
  • “Not plateauing is a reflection of your teaching method. Instead of quick fixes to win games, you focused on teaching fundamentals.” Jerry, a parent -Jan, 2012

Young Students Academic Achievements & Feedback

  • From a parent: “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; Seven years later she wrote: “Benefit from her chess experience and also your help over the years, she has got into Princeton early action.” -Jan. 2017 (note: she eventually chose Harvard)
  • From a parent: “…truly encouraging!…(they) can’t stop smiling.” -March 2016″; It was a desperate decision for me to consider chess when they were bringing home failing grades… 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; A year after moving to the east coast: “Thank you for being there for them.” -Oct 2018; “Thank you for all that you do!” -May 2019
  • From a parent in 2019: “You provided great opportunities for him. It is a lifetime experience to him.” -This student had weekly lessons with Mario from 2014-19, and was accepted to Northwestern in 2019.
  • Very first one-on-one student (1999-2001) graduated Yale class of 2014.
  •  From a parent: “He has had some behavior issues… Thank you so much for communicating with us and being willing to help him. Again a lot of thanks to you and we appreciate all of your hard work.” May 2019

Life Benefits

    “Mario…Thanks again for all you do for her – above and beyond pure chess.  You have a great balance of encouraging her, letting her be a little kid (to a degree), but also pushing her, treating her like an adult, teaching her very profound concepts that will help her in all aspects of life in the future.” -a parent, 2017
    Chess develops self-esteem and tenacity. Other benefits include development of observational, evaluative, and planning skills. See also Benjamin Franklin’s “Moral’s of Chess” on the links page.

2019: 10yr old student playing a 3 time US Champion!

Adult Student 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.
  • “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.” Sept 14, 2010; “It means a lot that you care so much about your students…” Dan -Sept 4, 2010

Published Students, and Teaching Example Links:

icon Ankit
Student Featured in 92128 Magazine
Student Featured in Chess Life Magazine

Administrative Testimonials:

“Mario Amodeo is a first-rate Chess Instructor of very long standing in San Diego.”
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 Volunteer and Board Member

Contact Info:


call or text 619-508-2312


Six year olds and up learning from each other!