About Me

I’m awesome. What more do you need to know?

Ryan Ackerman

Born and raised in Seattle, WA as well as on the east side of the state in Spokane, WA. As a child I resisted chess. Then towards middle school I started playing chess on yahoo.com casually a few hours a week.

But everything changed when I played in my first adult chess tournament at the age of 13. The tension in the air was unlike anything I’d ever seen in my life. Intense competitive focus is the norm. Players laser focus into the game under surreal pressure to discover deep truths that uncover game winning strategies. Each match is a new chance to be recognized for outwitting the opponent through a series of exquisite strategic blows. It’s art that provides an intellectual stimulation unavailable in the real world. A single game can last up to 6 hours. I wanted to play there every minute of every day.

Studying chess always helps me understand life, even today. It’s an excellent platform to self reflect on my own metacognition and recalibrate my priorities in life.

I returned to live in Seattle at the age of 18 to attend the University of Washington; and stayed there until my late twenties.

Teaching chess helped me get my start in Seattle.

I aspired to become a Psychology Professor, then Real Estate Agent, Standup Comedian, and most recently a UX Designer. I’ve failed a lot and bounced back up a lot more. 

My diverse skill set provides me with many quivers in my basket. And alas with great irony I have have returned to coaching as my full time career. 

Blindfold Chess

I can play multiple games blindfolded. This video shows me playing 3 games against blindbots using a chess software. To further understand how this works, see this video of the world champion doing this while being timed. Fun fact, the current record holder for most games played blindfold was done by GM Timur Gareyev while riding a bike nonetheless. You can read more about it at this link.

Eagle Scout – Teaching Chess Merit Badge

I completed my Eagle Scout award by conducting a fundraising chess tournament and donating the proceeds to the local Spokane food bank. It was great to give back to new boy scouts by helping them teach the chess merit badge.

Ranked in Top 100 in the State

I play competitively myself once every blue moon. My rating of 1954 places me near the title of “Expert”, and soundly within the top 100 players state wide. I love playing in tournaments; that’s where I experience true flow.

Chess Nerd Since 2009

After leading my team to win the Spokane high school team championship, I was really hooked.

Why Choose Me

Eagle Scout

Held fundraising chess tournament and donated proceeds to local food bank

University of Washington

Bachelors Degree in psychology