Meet the Players: John Bryant

FM John Bryant earned his seat to the U.S. Championship by winning the U.S. Junior Open.

By Brian Jerauld

The USCF lists your first tournament as the Walter Stiern Tournament in Bakersfield, CA on Jan. 8, 2000. Since then, you have played in a tournament nearly every month for 13 years – even picking up that pace over the past couple years. So, do you like chess, or what?

Yes, I like chess. Honestly, I played a lot more tournaments when I was younger than now. I play chess for aesthetic purposes, but I also played to learn about myself. I express myself in chess. I play my own moves. I like the creative aspect of chess, without that it'd be boring.

Do you have a limit to how much chess you can take in a day? Do you ever get sick of chess? What do you do to “get away?”

I'm hardly addicted to chess. I hardly ever play or study. I do often play chess variants though, namely bughouse and Tempest Chess. I also like basketball.

Are there any additional non-chess realted interests? 

 I'm interested in acting, business, economics, and entrepreneurial endeavors in general. 

Your stepfather is GM Enrico Sevillano. How important has he been to your chess development?

He came into my life when I was 1800. What I've taken away from him is his encouragement to play deep and study more. I've learned some of his openings, and just his presence and interactions with me profoundly affected my analytical process.

Some people argue that becoming elite in chess means you’re born with something special. Do you feel special? Or are you just proof that anything can be done with a little dedication?

I feel special, but I'll feel less special if I get blown away here. Hopefully, I'll make a strong showing!