IA Andre Harding (1983-2023)

US Chess is saddened to learn of the sudden passing of IA Andre Harding at the age of 40.


Andre Harding
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Andre Harding (photo courtesy Danny Rohde)


Andre’s passing is a massive loss for the tri-state chess community. An active teacher and tournament director for more than 20 years. Andre began as an active player. With much work, and through many tournaments, he eventually made it to becoming a US Chess candidate master and expert. Andre started his professional chess work as a tournament director for The Right Move Chess Foundation in 2002, and as an assistant manager at the Marshall Chess Club.

After graduating from the City College of New York, in 2005, Andre decided to take on additional responsibility as a chess teacher. He worked in several schools across the tri-state area, including CGPS. Chapin, Brearley, Horace Mann, Avenues, Harlem Children’s Zone, Bronx Lighthouse Charter School, and many public schools in NYC. He also worked on his knowledge along the way, becoming a FIDE National Instructor in 2011.

Andre was an outstanding tournament director, working for many years in the NYC scholastic tournament scene, and for many organizers. He worked over 500 events and close to 1400 sections as a tournament director. Recently, Andre pushed himself to work more norm events, achieving the ANTD title from US Chess. He reached a pinnacle in tournament directing by earning his IA title from FIDE in 2023. His US Chess and FIDE directing records are testament to his dedication to his craft.

Andre’s students and peers all noted his mindful nature and kind, gentle soul. This allowed Andre to work with students in a way that successfully guided their own paths with the game. Andre used his own experience as a player to provide positive motivation for his students.


Andre Harding with friends
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Harding with some of his friends and students (photo courtesy Danny Rohde)


No task at a chess tournament was beneath him — Andre was happy to take on any needed role. From providing a calm, instructive game review with a scholastic player after they finished, to working as a floor or computer TD at a major scholastic event, to having the privilege of writing up norms for players after their achievements... his impact across many areas of the chess community will be sorely missed.

Andre often talked about his contributions, role, and provided resources for players, students, parents, teachers and directors via his website, chess-essentials.com. He always appreciated being around the New York area chess community, becoming a critical part of the culture himself.

Andre is survived by his parents, Sharon and Louis Harding, as well as his sister, Lauren. His family would like everyone reading this to know just how much he loved what he did in the chess community.

If you are in the New York area, here is the information for the viewing and funeral on Friday, December 8th. The viewing is from 3pm-5pm, with the funeral service immediately after at Canaan Baptist Church of Christ, 132 West 116th St, New York, NY.