My name is Andre Harding, founder of Chess Essentials, and author of the content here.
I began playing tournament chess in middle school. After nearly 13 years of competition, I earned a 2000 rating on December 3, 2008 and became a US Chess Federation (USCF) Expert.
It was one of the happiest days of my life.
In July 2009 I played in the US Expert Class Championship, held in Boca Raton that year. I paced nervously the entire last round and felt like throwing up. A solid draw secured a tie for first place.
The tiebreaks were not decided and I had to rush to the airport and fly back home to New York.
When I landed at LaGuardia Airport my dad called and told me, in his cryptic way after checking the tournament website, that I had the best tiebreaks. Somehow, I was a National Champion.
The USCF awards dozens of National Championships each year; but I never expected to win one after nearly giving up competitive chess a couple of years before. My only regret: not getting the champion’s plaque.
I did not have any chess instruction until I was already an 1800-rated player. I understand the challenges most players have in trying to improve, and this experience has enabled me to help others shorten their learning curve.
I’ve taught thousands of students chess in New York City since 2003. That instruction has taken place in homes, in schools (public, private, and charter), and online.
In 2011 I was awarded the National Instructor title by FIDE, the International Chess Federation.
I am also a USCF Senior Tournament Director (2005) and FIDE National Arbiter (2019).
In 2020 I was awarded the Correspondence Chess Master (CCM) title by the International Correspondence Chess Federation (ICCF).
I want to share what I’ve learned over the years; I think you’ll find it thought-provoking.
Expect posts on a range of chess topics including opinion pieces, book and product reviews, and game analysis. Also look for helpful information for scholastic and adult players, parents, school personnel, and tournament directors.
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