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The Chess Sage: Yaacov Norowitz

With a depth of understanding that goes beyond the chessboard, IM Yaacov Norowitz stands as a
beacon of wisdom in the game, having dedicated two decades to nurturing both young and mature

Born in 1982 amidst the rich history of the 3rd-generation Lower East Siders, Yaacov's journey began in Elizabeth, New Jersey. By age 5, the ancient game of chess beckoned, taught to him by his father. Joining the Jewish Educational Center Chess Club at 9, his prodigious talent was soon recognized by Dr. Richard
Lewis. Under this mentorship, young Yaacov swiftly ascended the chess ranks, besting expert and master-level opponents by the tender age of 12. This prodigy then became a beacon for New Jersey, representing it on the All-American Pressman Chessman team, as well as emerged as one of the best players ever to play the infamous Washington Square Park (NYC).

IM Yaacov's strategic duel against Ari Minkov with 5-1 odds
IM Yaacov in a thoughtful game with Mike Wojcio at time odds

His thirst for knowledge led him to Grandmaster Roman Dzindzichashvilli, once the world's No. 6. Under his guidance, Yaacov's prowess grew, and by 16, he wore the National Master title. By 1999, he was among the top 10 teenage chess maestros in the US, dazzling audiences with his performances, even while blindfolded, at the Homowack Lodge.

2002 saw him shine in the Jerusalem Championship, and by 2003, he was its victor. Inspired by Roman, Yaacov delved deep into the philosophical intricacies of chess, exploring light, dark squares, and harmony. This spiritual journey birthed Dacha, his unique chess approach, refined over 18 years.

In 2009, Yaacov bested the legendary Garry Kasparov in a thrilling Caro-Kann blitz game. 2013 was a monumental year for the Dacha community. Achieving norms in prestigious tournaments, Yaacov secured the International Master title, won the New Jersey State Championship, and made a mark in the US Championship. His accolades also include being a 5x World Open Blitz Champion and the victor of the 2016 Millionaire Blitz Chess Open with a flawless 10/10 score.

IM Yaacov, imparting wisdom, against IM Justin Sarkar

Believing in the transformative power of chess, IM Yaacov has dedicated 20 summers to nurturing young minds at camps across the country. From 2016-2018, he brought the joy of chess to 80 students annually in Dallas youth camps, with many cherishing it as the highlight of their camp experience.

Bryant Park, NYC - 5.11.23

IM Yaacov and his dedicated team now teach chess full-time to global enthusiasts. With pride, he introduces the YaacAttack academy and courses on Chessable. Each summer, they host a Virtual Chess Camp for students of grades K-12.

For those seeking to elevate their game and draw from a well of deep understanding, consider joining Yaacov’s YaacAttack Academy, studying Yaacov's Chessable courses, or personal lessons.

Shalom and see you on the board!

Original Oil Painting by Joe Renna
Yaacov as a commenter at the 2023 Chessboxing World Championship (which two of his students won!)
IM Yaacov at a tournament in Crown Heights, NY, USA - December, 24, 2023