FM Mike Klein is an award-winning chess player, coach, and journalist, and also the voice of ChessKid.com. He is now much better known as “FunMasterMike.”

He began playing chess at the age of four in Charlotte, NC. In 1986, Mike played Josh Waitzkin at the National Championship featured in the movie “Searching for Bobby Fischer.”

A 6-year-old Mike after the 1986 National K-3 Championship, where he finished 15th.

A year later, Mike became the youngest member of the very first All-America Chess Team, and was on the team a total of eight times. In 1988, he won the K-3 National Championship, and eventually became North Carolina’s youngest-ever master. In 1996, he won clear first for under-2250 players in the top section of the World Open.

FunMasterMike is now the zany face of ChessKid.com, the world’s largest chess site for kids.

Mike has taught chess full-time for more than 20 years in New York City and Charlotte, with his students and teams winning many national championships. He now works at ChessKid.com as the Chief Chess Officer. In 2012, 2015, and 2018 he was awarded Chess Journalist of the Year by the Chess Journalists of America for his work reporting for Chess.com and Chess Life magazine.

Mike Reporter
Mike (standing, left) working as a reporter alongside Team USA. This was from the Chess Olympiad in 2008 in Germany, the first of four Mike has attended as a journalist.

He has also previously won other awards from the CJA such as Best Tournament Report, and also several writing awards for mainstream newspapers. His chess writing and personal travels have now brought him to more than 80 countries.

An artist’s rendering of two journalists at work at the 2018 World Championship in London. At left, GM Ian Rogers, with FunMasterMike at right.

Here’s Mike during a year-long sabbatical, where he traveled around the world:

Besides making funny videos for ChessKid, Mike enjoys snowboarding, surfing, hiking, and playing tennis.


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