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Dean of Chess Academy was formed in 2002 by International Master of Chess Dean Ippolito and has since grown exponentially.  Our core staff includes many notable instructors who hold many international and national titles.  In addition to their playing ability, our instructors have many years of teaching experience.  These accomplishments and talents combined make the staff at Dean of Chess unsurpassed and one of the finest in the country.  We currently coach dozens of nationally ranked scholastic players!  So whether you are a beginner interested in learning the basics of chess or if you have aspirations of a national championship, the staff at Dean of Chess Academy  can help you learn the lessons on what to do and what to avoid from these former child prodigies who have experienced it all.

Dean of Chess - Our Instructors

Dean Ippolito

International Master, Dean Ippolito, has been regarded as one of the top coaches in the US for nearly two decades. By age 25, he had already coached three of the five youngest national champions in US history.  A former prodigy himself who came up through the ranks of the US tournament circuit, Dean knows the strategies it takes to succeed in becoming one of the top Scholastic players in the country.   Trained by many of the top coaches, Dean spent years atop the nation's top scholastic lists, winning 13 national championships, and was a 10 time all America team member.  After several years of competing professionally as a US representative, Dean began coaching full time in 2001. 


By the age of 25, Dean had coached three of the youngest National Champions in U.S. history. To date, Dean has taught over 200 nationally ranked players and has 20 National Championships as a coach. Overall, he has trained more national and international champions in a shorter time frame than anyone in US history. In 2006, The New Jersey Chess Federation recognized Dean as Chess Teacher of the Year due to his ability to help all students from complete beginners to national champions.


In 2011, the Executive Board United States Chess Federation unanimously voted to award Dean the Frank J. Marshall Ambassador of Chess Award for his contributions to the chess world.


Many of Dean’s former students have been offered scholarships to elite colleges for their chess abilities, and Dean has personally helped them get into these prestigious colleges with his recommendations.   

Mackenzie Molner

Mackenzie Molner is a top US Grandmaster with many national titles to his name, including being the 2013 US Open Co-Champion.  He was one of 12 players who qualified for the 2014 US Championships.  Mackenzie has spent most of his life in NJ and won the state championship in 2008.  He has represented the US in the World Junior Championships.  He is the only player to complete his grandmaster title with norms only from the US.  Mackenzie has also won other major national titles such as the Denker Tournament of High School Championship in 2004.


After graduating from NYU in 2011, Mackenzie has devoted himself full time to playing and coaching chess.  He has coached many state and national championship teams and players, even coaching the United States World Youth Team and a student to a World Championship.    

Students will benefit greatly from Mackenzie's experience against many of the world's elite players.  He's known for his creative and aggressive style.  Many students have already seen some of his games in class, especially featuring the Fried Liver Attack.

Abhinav Chinnambeti

Abhinav is a nationally ranked chess player with a rating of 1970* who has been playing chess ever since he was eight years old. Abhinav's first ever chess tournament was at the Dean of Chess Academy and his accomplishments in chess so far include being the 7th Grade NJ State Chess Champion, CCA NY State Championship U1800 Runner-up, USCF Grand Prix 5th place and NJ Grand Prix 1st Place.


Having played over 270 USCF and FIDE tournaments with a norm of 250 wins of rated games and successfully achieving one Candidate Master Norm. Abhinav is currently studying to achieve the title of National Master of chess.

Abhinav teaches in our classes at the academy and assists chess instructors in our schools programs in New Jersey. 

*USCF rating as of September 2018

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