2021-2023 “Lichess Plays” Presenter

  • Hosted weekly event playing viewers for two hours every Sunday, followed by hundreds of viewers on Twitch and YouTube
  • Lichess.org is the second-largest chess website in the world and a charity, open-source website

2020 IM Not a GM Speed Chess Champion (online)

  • Won 16-player knockout event featuring all International Master field

2020 Collaborations with World Champion, GM Magnus Carlsen, for Chessable

2019 Minnesota Chess Hall of Fame inductee

2013-Present Coach at Metcalf/Nicollet Middle School

  • Premier scholastic chess program in Minnesota; multiple national championships over decades under Brian Ribnick

2014-Present Content Creator, YouTube

  • Over 1,700 instructive videos for 192,000+ subscribers (as of February 2024) (YouTube channel)

2015-Present Co-founder, Chessable.com

  • One of the foremost chess e-learning platforms
  • Co-founded with chess enthusiast and tech entrepreneur David Kramaley
  • Sold company to Play Magnus Group in 2019

2015-Present Author, Chessable.com

2017-Present Content Creator, Twitch

  • Streaming entertaining and instructive chess content

2001–Present Self-Employed Chess Instructor

  • Extensive teaching experience at K-12 schools and chess clubs in Minnesota, New York, and Texas
  • Hundreds of private students online and in-person
  • Highest-rated student was Andrew Tang, who John coached from 2013-2015 and became a Grandmaster at age 18
  • Coaching full or part-time since 2011

2011-Present Content Contributor, Chess.com

  • Creating and editing videos, writing articles, and appearing on Chess.com/TV broadcasts  for the world’s foremost chess website
  • Author of the educational series “Sensing the Critical Moment
  • Chess.com Twitch Partner

2013-2014 Instructor, U.S. Chess School

  • Instructor for sessions held in New York, St. Louis, and San Francisco

2013-2014 Writer, Chess Informant

  • Author of the “Inspiring Moments” column

2011-2013 Writer, ChessPublishing.com

  • Author of the “Flank Openings” and “1.d4 d5” opening theory sections

2013 St. Louis Grandmaster Classic champion (St. Louis, MO)

  • Earned GM norm

Nov. 2012 Coach, World Youth Chess Championships

  • Coach for the American team at the 2012 WYCC in Maribor, Slovenia

2011 Coach, Chess in the Schools College Bound program

  • Coach in NYC for one of the largest 501(c)(3) chess organizations in the country
  • Taught chess to at-risk youth who were working to enter top colleges and universities

2007-2009 Manager, Dallas Destiny (Richardson, TX)

  • Managed an 11-player team in the United States Chess League
  • USCL champions in 2007 and 2008

2007-2008 Writer, United States Chess Federation

  • Wrote tournament reports for Chess Life magazine
    • “Can Anyone Take Down UTD?” Published Mar. 2008  
  • Authored reports for Chess Life Online

2006 Age 19: John earns his International Master (IM) title

  • Second-highest title in chess

2005 Age 18: John matriculates to the University of Texas at Dallas

  • He goes on to play for four years on UTD’s famed chess team, contributing to three Pan-American Intercollegiate championship wins, and one President’s Cup championship.
  • Graduates with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (cum laude)

2002 National High School champion (Louisville, KY)

  • Perfect 7-0 score as a freshman in high school

2001 Age 15: John becomes a National Master (NM)

  • Simultaneously wins the 2001 Minneapolis Open
  • At the time, the youngest NM in Minnesota state history

2001 National Junior High School co-champion (Kansas City, MO)

  • First on tiebreaks
  • Earned a full-ride academic scholarship to the University of Texas at Dallas

1999 Age 12: John wins his first major title

  • 1999 Minnesota State Elementary School (K-6) co-champion (Robinsdale, MN)

1998 Age 11: As a 5th grader, John’s talent for chess begins to attract attention, and he is invited to play for the local middle school chess team. Very quickly, the middle school coach recommends John to the local high school chess team!

  • John goes on to play for seven seasons on the Eagan High School chess team, earning seven “letters” in chess and helping his team to multiple Lake Conference titles.

1998 Age 11: John plays first rated chess tournament

  • John finishes with a 3/6 score at the 1998 Minnesota Junior High State Championship
  • Obtains his first rating of 1024

1994-1998 John falls in love with the game

  • He begins learning everything possible about chess, checking out books from the library and challenging any friends and family members who play (and some who don’t!)
  • During this time, John’s parents notice his keen interest in the game and purchase him a 72-level chess computer to practice against. John later describes his experiences playing this machine in a YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b59-NaWOmtg

1994 Age 8: John learns how to play chess!

  • A friend of John’s, Aaron, taught him the game at a before-school program. Thank you, Aaron!