Mario Amodeo is a full-time chess trainer and mentor. UCSF Candidate Master (CM) title, ID: 12523359 (for more qualifications click here).

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

Young Students Academic Accomplishments & Parent Feedback

  • “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 chose Harvard)
  • Blast from the past: very first one-on-one student (1999) took Mario to lunch a week after graduated Yale 2014.
  • “Thank you again for the recommendation you wrote for my summer internship program (UCSD). I believe it played a large role in my acceptance.” -2018
  • “…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 (2018 update: won the Girls 2018 South Carolina Middle School State Championship); A year after moving out of state: “Thank you for being there for them.” -Oct 2018

Young Students Chess Accomplishments and Feedback

  • 9 year old taking private lessons weekly with Coach Mario for 10 months tied for 3rd place among fourth graders, 2018 New Mexico Scholastic Championships (she is pictured far left).
  • 13 year old taking lessons weekly with Coach Mario for 3 years is the 2018 South Carolina Middle School Girls State Champion.
  • 9 year old taking lessons with Coach Mario for 4 years is ranked 11th in U.S. for his age group, 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
  • see also ‘Student Achievements’ page (in blue) and student publication links below.

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, responsibility, and tenacity (see also Benjamin Franklin’s “Moral’s of Chess” on the links page). Other benefits include development of observational, evaluative, and planning skills.

Structured lessons emphasize understanding, skills and fun.

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!