Our coaches are all USCF or FIDE rated players of different chess rankings. This allows us to be able to teach chess at different levels. Our classes are tailored to meet the level of each student. We have a structured curriculum to take kids from completely foreign to chess to develop tournament-level skills. Our lessons combine theory and practice and are presented in a fun, kids-friendly manner to ensure we capture the interest of the students. Our average student teacher ratio is 10 students to 1 teacher for after-school-care programs. We also offer private and semi-private and small group lessons for all ages.
Coach Yaimy Chavez
USCF rating: 1000
Coach Yaimy is the President and Founder of Capablanca Chess Academy. She is a US Chess Federation Certified Chess Coach. Coach Yaimy is also a Certified Public Accountant with 14 years of experience. She started playing chess when she was 7 years old in Cuba. She played in the Old Havana Scholastic Chess Team from age 7 to age 13 and was the female Team Board no. 1 for several years where she participated in multiple scholastic tournaments and placed top three in her category.
Coach Yaimy attributes her academic and professional success to Chess. After she started playing chess in second grade her academic life changed: she became a Straight-A’s student and developed great analytical and concentration skills. As a result, she graduated top of her class in her high school in Havana, Cuba, in 1995. When she was 18, Coach Yaimy immigrated to the United States in 1996. She attended college in the US and graduated with highest honors from Miami-Dade College with an Associate in Arts in 2001, then Cum Laude from the University of Miami with her Bachelors in Business Administration in 2003, and from FIU with an Executive Masters in Taxation in 2008.
As a mother of two young boys, she has learned how to deal with young kids. Coach Yaimy realized how much she enjoyed coaching chess when she started coaching her own son, who at age 7 had a USCF rating of 700. She loves working with young children.
Grandmaster Yunieski Quesada
FIDE rating: 2630
USCF rating: 2700
Mr. Quesada was part of the Cuban Olympic team from 2004 to 2017. He represented Cuba in international competitions for 11 years, taking part in six Olympiads and two times setting up a record for Cuba to finish in 7th place both in 2004 and 2014. Mr. Quesada was the best chess player in Cuba in 2003. He became an international Grand Master in 2005 at 20 years old. He was the Cuba National Champion in 2008 and 2011, second place in 2013 and 2016 and third place in the rest of the times. In 2014, he reached 2655 FIDE rating placing him among the top 100 players in the world. He was a gold medalist in the Third Board at the World Championships by team in Armenia 2015.
GM Yunieski has won first place in over multiple national and international tournaments:
- Champion of the Carlos Torre Repetto in Memoriam in 2003, third place in 2004 and second place in 2008.
- First place in the Premier Group at the Capablanca in Memoriam (2005 and 2010), and second place in the Elite Group playing against World Elite players (2013).
- Second place at the Balaguer Open (Barcelona, Spain, 2010).
- Second place at the Badalona Open and third place in the Moncada Open (2010).
- Tied for first place at the Continental in Mexico and qualified for the World Championship Cycle held the same year (2011).
- Second place at the Torneo Magistral Casino de Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain, 2012).
- Gold Medalist in Third Board for the Cuban team at the Continental Team Tournament and team’s second place.(Brazil, 2013).
- Three-times second place at the Guillermo Garcia in Memoriam tournament (2013).
- First place at the National Open in Washington (2013).
- First place at the Orlando Open in Florida (2013).
- Second place at the World Open in Washington (2013).
- First place shared with GM Lazaro Bruzon at the New York Open (2014).
- Second placed shared at the Las Vegas Open(2014).
- Champion of the Pachuca Open (Mexico, 2015).
Grandmaster Aryam Abreu
FIDE rating: over 2450.
He has over 20 year of experience of professional chess coaching. He was the coach of the Cuba Olympic Chess Team. Under his leadership the Cuba Olympic chess team placed 7th in the Norway 2014 World Chess Olympiad and the Armenia 2015 World Team Cup, the best results of a Cuban team in history. Under his coaching, three of the Cuba top chess players won Olympic medals, including:
- Leinier Dominguez Perez- Bakú 2016/ 1st board (third place, bronze medal) and Tsaghkadzor 2015/ 1st board (second place, silver medal)
- Yuniesky Quesada Perez- Tsaghkadzor 2015/ 3rd board (first place, gold medal)
- Isan Reynaldo Ortiz Suarez- Norway 2014/ 4th board (second place, silver medal).
As a professional player, Coach Aryam has placed among the three top medalists in several international chess tournaments.
Master Carlos Manuel Lopez
FIDE rating: over 2300.
Master Lopez has been a professional chess instructor for over 32 years. He specializes in children’s early chess education and athlete development. He has also been a chess instructor for professional players, including some of Cuba’s top champions. He moved from Cuba to Colombia in 1998 and became the Chess Instructor for Colombian National Selection. As a chess player, Coach Lopez has won multiple national and international tournaments:
- Bronze Medal First Board of the Havana province at National School Games (1982).
- Gold Medal First Board of the Havana province at National School Games (Santa Clara, Cuba, 1984).
- Junior Sub National Champion of Cuba. (Colón, Cuba, 1986).
- First place International Tournament Clemente Vazquez (Guines, Cuba, 1994).
- Capablanca Memorial (Havana, Cuba, 1996-1997).
- First place International Tournament Bolívar Por La Paz (Cartagena, Colombia, 2000).
- First place International Tournament Universidad Autónoma de Colombia (Colombia, May 2005).
- First place International Gran Prix (Colombia, 2007).
- First place Gran Prix (Barrancabermeja, Colombia, 2008).
Coach Jose Fernandez
USCF Rating: 1560.
He started playing chess in high school and, within a couple of years, he was ranked 18nth place out of 497 national players in the United States Scholastic National Championship in the Under-1600 category and 4th place in Florida Scholastic Chess State Championship.
Coach Brandon Villa
USCF Rating: 1600
Brandon Vila began playing chess at Belen Jesuit Preparatory School in Miami, Florida at the start of his freshman year in high school. Since then he has been part of their competitive chess team for over three years, scoring many individual and team victories in scholastic tournaments from the regional to the national level. His most notable achievements are winning the first place trophy at the K-12 SuperNationals VI Blitz event for the best performance for a player rated under 1200 with 7.0/12.0, and contributing to the team effort for Belen Jesuit’s high school team to take home the seventh place trophy at the 2018 National High School Championships in the K-12 Under 1600 division, with a combined team score of 17.0 points. He plans to continue competing in the future as well as coaching for the Capablanca Chess Academy!
Coach Luis Piedad
USCF rating: 1470.
Coach Luis started playing chess in sixth grade at Rockway Middle School, which has a highly competitive chess program where he was part of a team that won several state and national titles. He continued to play chess at Southwest Miami High School where he became president of the Chess Club. Under his leadership, the Southwest Miami High School Chess Club was placed first in regional competitions and invited to the Super National Competition, which took place in Nashville, Tennessee in May 2017. He has placed 1st in his category in several state and national championships, including the Florida Scholastic Chess State Championship with an undefeated record, and the 21st Space Coast Open Chess Festival. He has placed 2nd in his category at the United States Scholastic National Championship and at the Arnold Denker Florida Chess State Championship.