Good positions don't win games,
good moves do*

Enriching lives by taking chess beyond
the board!

*Gerald Abrahams

ACA: Leading the way chess is taught and played since 2008.

American Chess Academy(ACA) is not just about teaching few strategies from manuals or helping you find some good moves on the
board. We believe the game of chess has the power to transform how you think and live your life, thus creating true
chess champions and life champions.

Many of the ACA students have competed in state, national and international tournaments of which
some have gone on to become national and international chess champions.

Upcoming Events


  • My daughter Agata Bykovtsev has been studying with IM Andranik Matikozyan since 2009. He is not just a dedicated teacher, but a coach and mentor too. Under his guidance, Agata earned several awards including: 8th place, World Youth Championship, Caldas Novas, Brazil, 2011; Bronze Medal, Pan American Youth Championship, Pocos de Caldas, Brazil, 2013; 9th place, World Youth Championship, Al Ain, UAE, 2013; Gold Medal, Pan American Youth Championship, Oaxtepec, Mexico, 2014

    Rita Makogon

  • My 9 year old daughter has been attending ACA classes at the Simi Valley location since November 2013. Under Coach Jerry’s tutelage, she has progressed from the basics and is now participating in tournaments. She really looks forward to the weekly class and homework assignments!! Coach Jerry is an excellent teacher with tons of patience. I would recommend ACA to anyone wanting to learn chess or for taking their game to the next level.

    Sachin Agrahar

  • My 11 year-old daughter Ruby is very enthusiastic about chess and looks forward to her weekly classes at ACA where she started out nearly 2 years ago. Coach Jerry has inspired her to have fun as well as to become serious about playing chess and playing in tournaments. Jerry is an amazing coach and gets a lot of the credit for my daughter’s dedication and love for  chess.

    Matina Gunzinger

  • “My son, Daniel, and daughter, Ellie, have been with ACA for over a year, now. Their interest has grown along with their skill level, and they eagerly anticipate and enjoy every lesson and tournament they participate in. I appreciate the way Coach Jerry has worked with my two children’s different learning styles and personalities to bring out their respective best. The lessons they have learned through ACA in critical thinking, focus, patience, and more, will help them throughout their lives – and not just in Chess.”

    Grace Korman

  • Michael Brown, before working with Armen, was struggling to cross the 1800 threshold. But after a year, he was already steadily improving and shot to Expert level without looking back. Now he has enjoyed working with Armen for five years, and is now a Life Master with a current USCF rating of 2419 and a FIDE of 2300. He has participated in several World Youth tournaments, and was the official US representative in the U16 section for the 2012 WYCC
    in Slovenia!

    Michael Brown

  • Armen leads by example, he aids in the development of character and most of all he cares through his heart. Leonardo da Vinci said it best…”Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.” Armen connects chess to everything else.

    Doreen Tanaka

  • My 9 year old son Evan has been attending classes at the Calabasas location and participating in ACA tournaments for two years. He always looks forward to his class and has made friends that I know he will have for a lifetime. Coach Jerry relates to his students and is always supportive and motivating. He even encouraged me to start playing chess and compete in tournaments! I highly recommend ACA and Coach Jerry to teach the basics of chess and ready your child for tournament play.

    Jennifer Vallens

  • “American Chess Academy stands shoulders above any other chess instruction available for youth. Armen Ambartsoumian leads a team of superb coaches, all of whom can be trusted unconditionally with your children. Students learn the skills necessary to become proficient in playing chess  competitively and they also develop emotional balance, judgement and decision making, which become lifelong assets.”

    Karen Payne, Ph.D. & Richard Polsky, Ph.D.

  • Coach Jerry’s chess program is a phenomenal forum for children to develop their chess skills. All three of my children (ages 5, 8 and 11) enjoy Coach Jerry’s class and love the camaraderie of playing chess with kids their age.

    Joelle Mertzel