Whether as a player, coach, or fan, I have always been a sports enthusiast. (Go, Chargers! … well, next year.) In 1985, after a knee injury left me unable to play high school football, I wanted to get involved with a sport that was less physical. Some of my friends introduced me to the game of chess. Later that year, when my family moved from San Diego, CA to Tacoma, WA, I joined my new school’s chess team. I had been used to sports that were highly physical, so I didn’t expect much. So it was to my great surprise that I found the intense mental struggle of competitive chess to be just as exciting!
With growing interest, I began to study chess books and take lessons. As my understanding of the game improved, I soon began to ‘train’ our team’s players by teaching them what I had learned. It was immensely satisfying to see measurable progress in the players I had helped, and I soon discovered that training could be even more fun than playing. I didn’t know it at the time, but I had found a sport that would maintain my interest and involvement for the rest of my life. Sometimes teaching, sometimes coaching, always finding a spare weekend to play in tournaments: that was the story of me and chess.
After high school, I decided to limit my chess commitments in order to focus on my education. So it was ironic that it was a college friend who introduced me to contract bridge. I took to it quickly and was soon a frequent winner of weekend events. It was increasingly difficult to balance college with bridge, but I continued to compete. I climbed the ranking ladder, and in 1994, I was offered a lucrative, long-term sponsorship at the World Bridge Championships. While I still played chess intermittently, financial considerations put it on the back burner.
In 1995, I made the difficult decision to leave my family and move to New York. With NYC as my new home base, I began to earn my living by playing professional bridge in the Americas and Europe. I set myself the goal of achieving the bridge title of “World International Master”. As I worked toward this, I found that many bridge players would contract with me for private lessons. I had continued to teach chess when I could, and I realized it was time to make a serious study of the science of training for the benefit of all of my students. So I read books, studied DVDs, and attended lectures and seminars on training when my schedule permitted. Today, I have the support and counsel of dedicated training professionals, yet I have continued my private studies because teaching a new skill requires techniques that need to be constantly updated.
Eventually, I accomplished my goal in bridge. Growing weary of the constant travel and ever-changing accommodations of the tournament circuit, I ended competitive play and became a full-time bridge instructor. Some years later, I realized that chess was my first and deepest passion, and I focused my years of teaching experience on that game exclusively. Thus was Ciano Chess was born.
Company & Mission Statement
Ciano Chess was created as a fully-licensed, taxpaying business entity in the State of New York. CianoChess.com is the forward-facing internet presence of the parent enterprise. Our joint mission is to improve the chess skill of all students — adult or child, beginner or expert, individuals or groups — to the level of “master”. We believe that chess is most effectively taught as a positive experience by people that are cheerful and socially well-adjusted.
FIDE National Instructor Show Me See entry under “FIDE Arbiter/Trainer Information”
USCF Chess Coach Show Me See entry under “Advanced Chess Coach (Level III)”
USCF Tournament Director Show Me See entry under “Certification Level”
Past Head Coach for PS 166
For the safety of children, the NYC School District requires all personnel to have comprehensive security screening. I was cleared and approved by:
Though I am already the highest-level USCF chess trainer in the state of NY, I continue to study with world-class trainers, including Grandmasters Giorgi Kacheishvili and Alexander Stripunski. I compete in major chess tournaments around the country, including the US Open and World Open. I travel to play in national and international tournaments. At home in NY, I regularly face strong masters and grandmasters at the legendary Marshall Chess Club.