John C. Fernandez Campaign for US Chess Executive Board

By Candidate Master John Fernandez, our 156th Podcast Guest

Dear Voting Member,

I’m John Fernandez, and I am running for US Chess Executive Board. I’m a father of three based in Hannibal, Missouri, after living in New York City for the first 42 years.

Chess has been a big part of my life for 30 years. Getting into chess in the post-Searching for Bobby Fischer boom, I had it made – growing up in New York City made Chess very accessible to me. I could play daily at the world-famous Manhattan and Marshall Chess Clubs, and my first job as a Senior in High School was working at the American Chess Shop on Restaurant Row, learning the game, business, and ways to organize and direct events.

Over the next dozen years, I was able to be a part of many unique projects, from 3 matches with Garry Kasparov (vs. Anatoly Karpov, Deep Junior, and X3D Fritz), to the famous New York Masters, which ran 132 events over three years in post-9/11 New York City and paid out over $100k in prize money to 105 different players including 36 different GMs.


I also helped build the world of Internet Chess at the turn of the millenium. As the Director of Public Relations at the ICC, I helped build the first partnership with US Chess and organized and ran the first ever online US Chess rated event in 1999, among the over 300 events I organized from 1996 to 2005.

Chess was a springboard for my career, going from the Internet Chess Club to the tech startup world, where I’ve led organizations through $1.4 billion in equity events between Seed, Series A, Series B, Series C (2x), Series D, Acquisitions (3x), and IPO. I’m currently the SVP of Marketing at Glia, where I am responsible for revenue marketing and business development worldwide, leading a team of 46 marketers across the globe.

The past two years have provided me with one of the greatest honors of my life, serving on the US Chess Executive Boards. Since COVID, we’ve grown incredibly, with record-high membership and the best financial position we’ve ever had. And with your support, I aim to further serve for the next four years, where I plan to focus on the following:

  • Safety for US Chess members everywhere and anywhere they interact with the game or its players
  • Building the critical operational Infrastructure for US Chess to grow further and support our members
  • Marketing our beloved game across the country to people of all ages

If there is anything I can ever do for you, please do not hesitate to reach out. I can be reached by email at and phone/text at +1 (917) 771-0102.

Thank you for your time and consideration,


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