Rami, originally from Argentina, is a multifaceted individual with a passion for photography, a degree in Digital Marketing, and a deep love for the game of chess. His journey into the world of chess began at the age of 8, and by the time he reached 12, he had the opportunity to pursue chess professionally. However, after a few months of intense dedication, he decided to enjoy chess as a hobby, as the demands of professional play were substantial.
In 2018, Rami embarked on a new chapter, landing in New Zealand. On his very first day in the Nelson three years ago, he conducted an online search for “Chess in Nelson” and stumbled upon a local chess club. Eager to continue his chess journey, he promptly joined the club. In a serendipitous turn of events, a few months later, the person in charge of the club had to step down and offered Rami the opportunity to take over, recognizing his unwavering enthusiasm for the sport. He gladly accepted this responsibility, and in May this year, he founded his own chess business, aptly named “Chess in Nelson,” mirroring his initial internet search years prior.
The primary mission of “Chess in Nelson” is to promote the rich heritage of chess, a game with over 1500 years of history, and to make it accessible to every corner of the Nelson/Tasman region. Rami’s vision is to make chess inclusive for all ages and genders, breaking the stereotype that it was primarily a game for men and high-ranking individuals. To achieve this, Rami has been offering free chess classes in various schools, including Garin College, Nelson College for Girls, Saint Paul’s Richmond School, Waimea School, Nayland School, and homeschooled children. He attributes part of the resurgence of interest in chess to the popular series “The Queen’s Gambit,” which has played a significant role in making chess more inclusive and appealing to a broader audience.
Beyond its intellectual benefits, Rami firmly believes that playing chess sharpens the mind, fosters creativity, patience, and emotional resilience. It encourages strategic thinking, where each move requires careful consideration, ultimately enhancing decision-making skills. Additionally, chess promotes good sportsmanship and social interaction when played with others. Studies have also shown that chess can lead to improved academic performance, particularly in mathematics and problem-solving subjects.
“Chess in Nelson” offers four distinctive training programs:
– Checkmate, Mate: These workshops cater to both beginners and intermediate players, covering a wide range of concepts and topics, including puzzles, openings, motifs, and even entertaining team quizzes. Rami has conducted these interactive workshops at various locations, including Cultural Conversations, Richmond, and Motueka libraries.
– Chess: The Art of Creativity: This boot camp, hosted at the Victory Community Hub, is designed specifically for children. Its goal is to help young students develop their chess skills, from basic to advanced strategies.
– Nelson Chess Club: For intermediate and advanced players, “Chess in Nelson” organizes fortnightly practice sessions at the Tahunanui Community Hub. This provides players an opportunity to apply their knowledge and connect with fellow chess enthusiasts.
– 1 on 1 Knight Coaching: This personalized coaching program offers private one-hour sessions, tailored to individual student needs. Topics covered include openings, endgames, tactics, strategies, and more.
In addition to these programs, he actively organizes both online and over-the-board tournaments, providing ample opportunities for chess enthusiasts to test their skills and enjoy the game.
Rami Riachi’s dedication to promoting chess as more than just a game, but as a tool for personal growth and enrichment, continues to make a significant impact in the Nelson/Tasman region. Through “Chess in Nelson,” he seeks to create a welcoming and inclusive community where chess can flourish, providing valuable skills and experiences for all who participate.