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Pete Prochaska

Our primary teaching master has been coaching chess players for more than three decades.  He first became seriously interested in chess at the age of 10, and organized his first chess club as an eighth grader.  Eventually he earned the rank of chessmaster and was subsequently recognized by the U.S. Chess Federation as a Life Master. 

Pete's first top-level coach was the legendary George Koltanowski.  Over the years their relationship evolved, as Koltanowski became mentor, advisor and a lifelong friend.  He was instrumental in getting Pete started as a chess coach and chess writer.  Many of Pete's early articles were contributions to Koltanowski's world famous chess column in the San Francisco Chronicle.  Pete now works directly with Grandmaster Emil Anka of Hungary.  

Pete began coaching chess professionally after graduating from U.C. Berkeley in 1974.  During this period Pete was founding chairman of CalChess (The Northern California Chess Association), and the first General Director of the National Chess League. 

In 1978 Pete joined the staff of the U.S. Chess Federation in New York as the Associate Executive Director.  He handled many major areas of USCF activity, including scholastic chess, membership services and the national tournament program during his tenure.  In 1982 he left the USCF staff to pursue a business career.  Though the world of finance occupied him for the next 14 years, Pete still found time to play and coach. 

Pete returned to the west coast in 1996, settling in Portland, Oregon.  Returning to chess coaching full time, Pete began to work with scholastic chess clubs in the metropolitan Portland area, as well as privately coaching a number of the top scholastic chess competitors in Oregon.  Over the past seven years, students Pete has coached have won eleven Oregon scholastic state championships and several national trophies.  In 1997 Pete formed The Portland Chess Institute, a five-year partnership with FM Chuck Schulien (who now lives in New York).  Chess Odyssey, a complete scholastic chess program, was conceptualized in summer 2002, and its first programs began in fall 2002.

Pete has long enjoyed writing about the game he loves, having served as co-editor of Northwest Chess magazine from 1998 to 2002.  He is a past president of the Oregon Chess Federation, on whose board he continues to serve.  Additionally, Pete is an Associate National Tournament Director, and directed the 2001 and 2002 Oregon Open Championships, as well as the 2002 Oregon Class Championship and Oregon Closed Championship.


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