John Hardin

John H.

Long Island City, NY
Available Locations:

Here goes...
I am a chess teacher, tutor, singer, and Shakespearean actor in NYC! I guess you could say I wear a lot of hats.

I graduated with honors in 2009 from New York University with a BFA in Drama. I've been professionally teaching since 2012, but I have always loved sharing the game of chess with anyone who wants to learn (just ask my friends).

Students can expect to face new challenges and to improve each and every week. I am happy to work with students of all different ages and experience levels. As a teacher in the New York Public School system, I know how to make chess simple and friendly enough for Kindergartners, Senior Citizens, and everyone in between! And as an active tournament player (current rating 2000), I can offer great insight into the needs of any skill level. I am thrilled to work with ambitious tournament players and those who just want to learn how to beat their friends :).

Chess is a wonderful, challenging game, but I truly believe that anyone can learn to play if they are motivated. Come work with me and discover your new obsession!

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Reviews (20)

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Bert Aug 24, 2019
Chess · Online

Welcoming and patient. Socratic teaching method. Intellectually challenging yet kind and supportive.

Emanuel Jan 17, 2019
Chess · In studio

John is an excellent instructor. A complete beginner, after working with him I’ve turned a casual curiosity into a real hobby. I leave each session excited having learned something valuable and difficult to obtain otherwise (from books or online videos.) I highly recommend John.

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Jon Dec 13, 2018
Chess · In home

John is energetic and knowledgeable!

Mac Nov 6, 2018
Chess · Online

Really enjoyed my first lesson, it was fun and learned some good things. Excited for the next lesson!

Jithendra G. Oct 18, 2018
Chess · Online

Galen Oct 10, 2018
Chess · Online

Very good instructor! Definitely worth every penny!

Christina Jul 22, 2018
Chess · Online

This is an update to my prior review. My reviews remain excellent! There was an error in posting and my prior review showed only one star which was a huge mistake! I meant to give 5 and if I could give him 10, I would. John is a terrific teacher!

Felix H. Jun 18, 2018
Chess · Online

John was great! My 10 year old son learned a lot and really enjoyed it.

Nick Jun 13, 2018
Chess · Online

John was terrific! He has a very nice way about him and the delivery of the information is understandable and fun. My son can’t wait for his next lesson. Thank you!

Chip Jun 5, 2018
Chess · Online

First of five lessons. Off to a great start! John is very attentive and insightful. Looking forward to my future lessons!

Matt Mar 7, 2018
Chess · Online

Well prepared, interesting, and highly qualified. Excellent for a player like me.

Joey Feb 7, 2018
Chess · Online

My son loves taking lessons from John

George Jan 31, 2018
Chess · Online

it was awesome.

Luke H. Jan 28, 2018
Chess · Online

Kenneth H. Nov 18, 2017
Chess · In home

He can interact with my kid quickly, understand his weakness right away. work with my kid nicely.

Jeannette Nov 16, 2017
Chess · In home

wonderful teacher.

Ed Oct 17, 2017
Chess · In home


Julie Sep 18, 2017
Chess · In home

I started working with John almost a year ago. I was completely new to chess and was interested in learning to play. John has done a great job teaching me the basics (and now some more advanced material) and has also gotten me really excited about the game. Lessons are a nice mix of tactics, broader strategy, and some chess history. It has been really wonderful taking lessons with John. Beyond providing great lessons, he is a really fun and enthusiastic person. It's hard not to be excited about chess when working with him. He is also a dedicated teacher and regularly follows up by email in between lessons, sending homework and lots of resources for outside work.

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Jessica Aug 23, 2017
Chess · In studio

I have had the pleasure of being one of John's chess students for almost a year and half now, and I can confidently say I have improved leaps and bounds from where I started. While John always has an interactive and challenging lesson planned, I appreciate that the lesson is fluid and adaptable to my particular needs/interests that week, whether it be because I have questions about a specific tactical exercise or master game we are reviewing, or because I have experienced a particularly memorable success or failure in my chess-play that I would like to review. The lessons logically and effectively build upon themselves so that your basic skills are solidified and bolster you as you move on to more complex theories and exercises. As an adult, with a hectic job, I am immensely appreciative of John's flexibility when it comes to arranging lessons and his ability keep me challenged and developing into a more formidable chess player.

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Owen Aug 17, 2017
Chess · Online

I first met John at an unrelated event, but he really got me interested in Chess, and it has become an activity that I really love and enjoy due to his instruction. John's lessons are engaging, substantive, and honestly fun, and he's helped me improve my game dramatically. John is a great guy and an excellent instructor, and I would encourage anyone with even a passing interest in Chess (no matter the skill level) to give him a try.

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Managing Chess Teacher
Sep 2012 - Present


Curriculum Chess Teacher through NYChesskids for New York City Schools. I currently manage the entire chess program at an elementary school in Harlem


Bachelor of Fine Arts - Drama
Aug 2005 - May 2009

New York University



Fluent / Native Proficiency


Limited Proficiency


United States Chess Federation
Jan 2009
The United States Chess Federation (USCF) is the official, not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) US membership organization for chess players and chess supporters of all ages and strengths, from beginners to Grandmasters. Our mission is to empower people through chess one move at a time. Our vision is to enrich the lives of all persons and communities through increasing the play, study, and appreciation of the game of chess.

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