About Me

Hi there! This is International Master Yaacov Norowitz. I am a Professional Chess Coach with 20 years of experience teaching both children and adults of all ages.

I was born in 1982 to 3rd-generation Lower East Siders, and moved to Elizabeth, New Jersey at the age of 5. A few years later, my dad taught me the rules of chess, and I joined the Jewish Educational Center Chess Club when I was 9. Dr. Richard Lewis saw my talent, and started giving me intensive, one-on-one lessons. Under Doc's tutelage, I shot up in the ranks, and just two years later beat my first expert-level opponent. When I was 12, I defeated a master for the first time, and represented New Jersey on the All-American Pressman Chessman team.

Shortly thereafter, I began studying with Grandmaster Roman Dzindzichashvilli, who at one point was ranked #6 in the world. With his training, I continued developing, and at 16 I achieved a National Master title. When 1999 rolled around, I was a top-10 teenage chess player in the US. That year, I did a 16-person simul at the Homowack Lodge, where I was the main entertainment over the 8-day long Passover holiday. I also did 4-person simuls while blindfolded, and ran events at the Homowack up until 2006.

In 2002 I came in 3rd place in the Jerusalem Championship, and won in 2003. It was around this time that I was inspired by Roman to explore ideas relating to light and dark squares and harmony. This was the origin of Dacha, my unique approach to chess which I would go on to refine over the course of the next 18 years.

In 2009, I took down a former World Champion for the first time when I defeated Garry Kasparov in a blitz game. 2013 was a golden year for the Dacha community. I achieved norms in the Philadelphia World Open, Bahamas Open, and finished 3rd in the Reykjavik Open, thus securing the title of International Master (IM). In that year, I also won the New Jersey State Championship. To top it off, I was invited to the US Championship, the most prestigious chess event in the country, where I scored a 4.5/9, good for 12th overall. I am also 5x World Open Blitz Champion. In 2016, I won the Millionare Blitz Chess Open, going a perfect 10/10.

I am a strong believer in the benefits which chess has on kids. It makes a lifelong impression on them, builds confidence, and opens avenues of self-expression. Over the past 20 years, I have spent numerous summers at camps both in the Tri-State Area and throughout the country. Most recently, from 2016-2018, I taught 80 students/year in Dallas youth camps. It was a really rewarding experience, as I was able to get total beginners to love chess and have a special time. Many said it was their favorite part of camp—more than color war, snacks, and swimming. I think I have made a difference in many lives.

I teach chess full-time to players around the world, and will be coming out with a few books in the coming years. This summer, I will be running a Virtual Chess Camp for students going into grades K-12. 


If you are interested in one-on-one lessons, please email me at chessrebbi24@gmail.com. Let's take your game to the next level!

Yaacov Norowitz