Sixty Four Squares was founded by Jason Sunshine and National Master Ian Harris, and is advised by Grandmaster Daniel Naroditsky and Dr. Jonathan Jackson.


Jason W. Sunshine, Founder

Jason is a chess enthusiast whose love for the game far outweighs his playing strength. Jason was introduced to chess when he found his college roommates playing, and was immediately captivated. Shortly after, Jason found himself spending as much time as he could playing blitz games in New York City’s Washington Square Park. Family and career became priorities and chess playing was put on the back burner - for 20 years!

Upon returning to chess, Jason resolved to commit time to serious study and play in regular tournaments, something he had not done in the beginning. In trying to develop a training plan for himself, Jason was quickly overwhelmed by the enormous amount of chess materials available and conflicting advice on the best training methods.

To get to the bottom of what has been proven to work, Jason turned to the science of expertise and National Master Ian Harris, and the idea for the Chess Understanding Knowledge System—ChUnKs—was born.

For the past 15 years Jason has been a practicing attorney and obtained his law degree from Fordham Law School. Jason also holds a Master’s degree in research methodology from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Doctorate in Law and Society from New York University.

Ian R. Harris, Founder

Ian began his chess journey at the age of six.  What started as one hobby among many, quickly developed into a passion and eventually into a career.  After completing his undergrad at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where he earned a B.A. in Psychology and was a member of its renowned chess team, Ian earned the title of National Master. Ian’s competitive spirit continued and led to his winning three Connecticut State Championship titles.

For more than a decade, Ian shared his knowledge and love of the game with thousands of students through his work as manager of the Chess Club of Fairfield County through which he facilitated chess education in local schools. He later founded RedBandit Chess, his own chess coaching business. Now, as his two young children grow older, he looks forward to the next chapter of his journey, adding the “Chess Parent” title to his resume.

To Ian, the most important role of a coach is to help guide students along in their own unique paths to improvement, all while enjoying and reaping the benefits that the game of chess has to offer. In that role, Ian has coached students from all walks of life, skill levels ranging from novice to expert, and ages ranging from three to eighty years old. Many of his students have competed, with much success, at the national and international level. Over the years, Ian has given a lot of thought to what has been effective in helping students reach their potential and found that he shared many of the same ideas with Jason. Ian is excited about the prospect of developing a training platform that would provide essential tools to an even wider audience of teachers and students of the game of chess.

Daniel Naroditsky, Adviser

Daniel learned chess at six years old from his father and brother, and was hooked from day one! In the words of one of his former coaches: “His pure love for the game of chess is enormous.” Less than six years later, Daniel won the gold medal in the 2007 under 12 World Youth Chess Championship in Antalya, Turkey. Four years after that, Daniel became an International Master, and in 2013, at the Benasque Open in Spain, he earned his final Grandmaster norm and pushed his rating over 2500, fulfilling his dream of earning the Grandmaster title.

Daniel is passionate about teaching chess and sharing his knowledge and love of the game. In 2010, Daniel made history by becoming the youngest published chess author following New In Chess’s release of his book Mastering Positional Chess: Practical Lessons of a Junior World Champion. In 2012, Daniel published a second book entitled Mastering Complex Endgames: Practical Lessons on Critical Ideas & Plans. From 2014 to 2020, Daniel wrote the endgame column for Chess Life magazine.

Following graduation from Stanford University with a degree in History, Daniel became the Grandmaster-in-Residence at the Charlotte Chess Center and Scholastic Association in Charlotte, North Carolina where he focuses on coaching and regularly hosting a popular live chess stream on Twitch.tv, which boasts over 50,000 followers and several thousand monthly subscribers.

As a coach, Daniel draws on his extensive tournament experience and has coached many of the most talented and highest-ranked young chess players in Charlotte helping them reach and exceed their goals, several of which have reached the title of National Master. Daniel cares deeply about teaching chess and believes in crafting personalized training programs for each of his students. Upon learning that Jason and Ian shared this belief and were developing a training platform to facilitate personalized chess training, Daniel welcomed the opportunity to participate and help develop the platform.

Jonathan Jackson, Ph.D., Adviser

Jon is Professor of Research Methodology and Head of the Department of Methodology at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is an Honorary Professor of Criminology at the University of Sydney Law School and an Affiliated Scholar in the Justice Collaboratory of Yale Law School. He has held visiting appointments in criminology at Oxford, Sydney, Griffith and Cambridge, in psychology at New York University and John Jay College of Criminal Justice, in Yale Law School, and in public policy at Harvard (Kennedy School).

Jon is eternally intellectually curious and is gratified both by seeking to understand complex social processes as well as teaching and mentoring students. His research focuses on procedural justice (the importance of fair process in interactions between power-holders and subordinates) and legitimacy (perceptions of the right to power) in the context of the criminal justice system. As a professor, Jon has taught social science methodology and statistical analysis to countless graduate students. For many of them, he served as a mentor and adviser, helping them to complete their studies and obtain doctorate degrees. Reminded of fond memories playing chess as a teenager, Jon was excited by the challenge of applying social science methodology to better understand chess expertise and by helping to create a statistical model of chess playing strength.