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About us

The Directors

The Monmouth Chess School and Club was founded by Dr. Michael Koblentz in 2008 and became a United States Chess Federation (USCF) Affiliate in 2009. Dr. Koblentz is a certified USCF Tournament Director, past officer of the Berkeley Chess Club, Director of the Little Silver Chess Club and director of nearly 200 USCF-rated tournaments in California, Texas and New Jersey. As a player, Dr. Koblentz has been a USCF Candidate Master since the late 1970's, winner of the UTD Championship and winner of top places in the city championships of Dallas, Omaha and other USCF events. He played for the Bell Labs Chess Team, is ranked in Chess World's Top 10 as a correspondence player and is the 2012 New Jersey Open Seniors Champion. As a teacher, Dr. Koblentz has lectured and performed exhibitions for many community events, summer camps and K-12 school chess clubs across central New Jersey. He has authored articles for Atlantic Chess News, is a frequent annotator on ChessWorld and a contributor to The Chess Improver blog. His group students and private students include winners of major scholastic chess events in New York, Philadelphia and New Jersey, including two New Jersey State Elementary Champions, the US Amateur East and High School State Champions. Dr. Koblentz holds a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) and has been a resident of Monmouth County with his wife Belle and daughter Lili since 1990.

Belle Koblentz co-directs the morning Chess School and afternoon Club. She holds a BA in Visual Arts, graduating summa cum laude, and an MA in Humanities, majoring in Aesthetic Studies, from the University of Texas at Dallas. Her background includes business administration and non-profit management. Her website is



New opportunities arise from time to time for experienced, reliable teachers. Interested parties should contact Dr. Koblentz



Students range in ability and experience from Beginner to Novice, Intermediate and Advanced. Please see "Chess School Classes" for more details.


Club Members

Our Club Members form a highly diverse group of individuals and families with one thing in common - the love of chess! There is no age limit for club members and current members range in age from 10 to over 80. All members have prior playing experience and know, at minimum, the rules of chess, basic strategy and tactics, and the etiquette of the game for club participation. Playing abilities of club members range from intermediate to master. When you visit the club, you are likely to be paired up with someone who can give you a really interesting game!


Honorary Members and Distinguished Guests

The Club is frequently visited by special players. This includes  USCF Master Vladimir Lipman, USCF Life Master and two-time New Jersey State Champion Dr. Edward Allen, USCF Master, U.S. Cadet Champion and North American Youth Champion Andrew Ng, FIDE Master Boris Privman, and FIDE Master Dr. Anatoly Volovich, who was twice Moscow Champion, twice New Jersey State Champion and Trainer of ex-World Champion Boris Spassky. All of these distinguished masters have generously donated their time to support charity simultaneous exhibitions for the 2009, 2010 and 2011 YMCA Strong Kids Campaigns and 2014 Club fundraiser. In 2012 the Club was delighted to host Grandmaster Nigel Davies, who gave two in-depth instructional clinics and simultaneous exhibition.


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