We believe that with Chess, the mind, the body, and the spirit are interconnected. Our select team of scholars bring chess expertise and specific disciplines to instruction.

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Kasaun Henry - Music Director and Chess Expert for Chess Across BordersKasaun Henry – Music Director and Chess Expert
Kasaun has masters degrees in music theory, history, philosophy. He played on the Raging Rooks Team who won the National Championship in 1991. Kasuan connects the Spirit to Chess.


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Candido Tirado - Playwright and Chess Master for Chess Across BordersCandido Tirado – Playwright and Chess Master
Candido is the Winner of the 1989 Sundance Award for his chess play “King Without a Castle.” He won the Steinberg/ATCA Best American New Play award in 2012 for “Fish Men”. Candido sees the chess game as a conversation between two people: the one who has the more complete argument will usually be the victor. Candido connects the Spirit to Chess.

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Abdul Musawwir - Tai Chi Instructor for Chess Across BordersAbdul Musawwir – Tai Chi Instructor
Hall of Fame martial artists who was featured in Wesley Snipes’ “Salute to the Masters”. Through the subtle movements of Tai Chi, Musawwir exposes his students to the Warrior’s Spirit inside of them. Musawwir connects the Body to Chess.


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Jerald Times - FIDE Chess Master, Chess Educator, Chess Across Borders CEOJerald Times – FIDE Chess Master, Chess Educator, Chess Across Borders CEO
Jerald is a native New Yorker and a Harlemite.  Jerald started playing chess at age eleven, which he says was way too old to start.  But somehow he caught up and became the Harlem Chess Champion at age fourteen.  In 2002 he was designated Chess Master by FIDE, the World Federation of Chess.  Jerald graduated Rice High School in Manhattan and received his BS from St. John’s University.
Early in his career, Jerald worked with the Teacher’s and Writer’s Collaborative and taught poetry to students of all grade levels.  While there he organized poetry readings in homeless shelters and drug rehab programs that resulted in poetic pamphlets.
Jerald is also an accomplished and published poet. While residing and acting as curator at the Langston Hughes House, Jerald wrote Da’ Bad Man Songs – a factual collection of African American folkloric poems.
During his versatile career, Jerald also worked for the Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF) at the acclaimed Mott Hall School in Manhattan.  He was also the Chess Director for the Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ), which was headed by Geoffrey Canada.  At both these programs, Jerald worked with at-risk students and through a holistic chess program turned them into champions and academic scholars. Jerald’s accomplishments, as an instructor, chess master and poet are numerous.  Here are a notable few:

Articles and Interviews
New York University Film Documentary, 2007
Rosalyn Yalow Film Documentary, 2017
New York Magazine, May 21, 2005
New York Times Editorial, December 15, 2002
New York Times, March 13, 2015

Published, Da’ Bad Man Songs, April 2010
Winner of Seven National Chess Championships – 1993 – 2007
Curator of the Langston Hughes House, 1995-2004
New Yorker of the Week, October 1996

In 2010, Jerald was sent by the MacEnulty Foundation to teach chess in the townships of South Africa. Within a year, Jerald rose from township teacher to become National coach of the country, his teams placed second and third in “The All African Games.”  Upon his sojourn, Jerald also taught in the rich and gated communities in South Africa. As an American observing the post-apartheid legacy he noticed that the child in a township would play a child living in a gated community and that chess had the ability to connect disparate groups. This experience is the birth of Chess Across Borders. Presently, Jerald is organizing a Hip Hop Chess Day tour to connect chess to youth culture. Jerald connects the mind to Chess.