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About the Founder: NM Ian R. Harris

Shortly after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where he was a member of the powerhouse chess team, Harris achieved the title of National Master.  He went on to take a lead role as manager of the Chess Club of Fairfield County, where for over 10 years, he has coached hundreds of students of all levels from novices to 2100 rated experts.  


Whether it is a one on one lesson, school class, or serious tournament preparation, Harris always brings not only his expertise, but also his passion for the game.  It is this passion that has motivated him to continue elevating his own game, resulting in him reaching a peak rating of 2364 and earning three Connecticut State Championship titles.  He is also the Head Coach of the Sacred Heart University chess team.  

The critical role of a chess coach is to provide a path forward for student to reach their own unique goals.  First it is important for students of the game to identify and improve on their strengths and weaknesses.  To aid players and coaches, Harris is also the Co-Founder of Sixty Four Squares, a unique online tool for identifying specific areas that need improvement.  


While one goal is improving at chess, there are many other benefits to studying the game.  For many the learning process alone is a fun and exciting process.  Studying chess also helps to develop valuable life skills (about Executive Functions).  This is the basis for Harris’s philosophy on chess instruction.  While few will reach the highest echelons of chess, the study of the game itself provides enormous benefits that can be tapped by anyone. 

See the recent profile and interview conducted by the Connecticut State Chess Association.  

Contact Ian at or (203) 981-7252.

Red Bandit Chess
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