FM Mike Klein, Director and Founder of Young Master Chess

Mike is a FIDE Master and Life National Master residing in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Mike's taught chess for the past 18 years.  He currently teaches many Charlotte school chess classes and clubs, as well as summer camps in Charlotte and Chapel Hill.  From 2001-04, he was a full-time chess instructor for New York City's Chess-in-the-Schools program.  

In addition to teaching chess, Mike is a regular contributor to, Chess Life Magazine and Chess Life Online where he researches and writes about many aspects of competitive chess.  He received his degree in journalism from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2012 and 2015, he was named Chess Journalist of the Year by the Chess Journalists of America.

He's eager to help your child benefit from chess while having fun and interacting in a positive way with his/her peers.

As a player:

  • 1985 - Received first rating of 1398 (age five)
  • 1986 - Played Josh Waitzkin at the Nationals (creating a mention in the book "Searching for Bobby Fischer")
  • 1988 - National K-3 Champion
  • 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 - North Carolina High School Champion
  • 1996 - Received National Master and Life Master titles
  • 1996 - World Open Under 2250 Champion
  • 1997 - North Carolina Open Champion
  • 2003 - Land of the Sky Open Section Champion (Largest open tournament in NC)
  • 2006 - Received FIDE Master title
  • 8-time member of the All-America Chess Team (inaugural member)

As an instructor:

  • Taught more than 4,000 children and adults over 16 years
  • Instructor at more than 50 summer camps
  • Head coach of 2003 National K-8 Champion Team (David A. Boody Middle School - Brooklyn, NY)
  • Coach of 2003 National Sixth Grade Champion (Jayson Lian)
  • Coach of 2003 National K-8 Co-Champions (GM Alex Lenderman and NM Alex Pelekhaty)
  • Coach of 2004 National K-8 Champion (NM Alex Pelekhaty)
  • Coach of several National Champion junior varsity teams and top-five open section teams
  • 2003 Chess-in-the-Schools Instructor of the Year
  • Coach of numerous top-5 teams and individuals at NC State Scholastic Championships


When he's not at home in Charlotte coaching and studying chess, Mike loves to play tennis, bike and travel.  In 2009, he completed a trip around world visiting 33 countries on 5 continents. Here's a video of his sabbatical.

Read about some of his international chess experiences:

"Castling Long Around the World"  Chess Life Online, September, 2009


LM Chris Mabe, Assistant Director & Senior Instructor

Chris has been a professional chess teacher in the Charlotte area since 2004. He currently teaches at more than fifteen schools and works with more than 300 students every week.

Chris grew up in Boonville, North Carolina, where he first learned how to play chess from his older brother at age 11. After joining a local chess club and competing in scholastic tournaments for about a year, chess took a back seat to sports and adolescence, and he took twelve-year hiatus from the game.

In his twenties, Chris picked up chess again with renewed dedication. In 2007, Chris attained the title of National Master, won the U2200 section of the World Open, and became the North Carolina State Champion. In January 2010, Chris attained the title of Original Life Master after playing 300 tournament games over the rating of 2200. Chris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of North Carolina.
In addition to chess, Chris enjoys playing pool and tennis.

Chris Callahan, Senior Instructor
Chris was born and raised in Charlotte and has been teaching chess for 12 years in Charlotte and Mexico.
He has coached numerous Charlotte area schools to national scholastic tournaments and helped thousands of his students improve their game. He currently works with many Charlotte area schools and individual students. He´s also an active tournament player himself, who first played in the national scholastic championship at age 5 and continues to play in rated tournaments today.

Chris believes in a hands-on, high-energy teaching style where pupils are encouraged to try what they've been taught as soon as possible.

When he's not teaching, Chris enjoys playing basketball and reading.