When QCC’s Chess Club Advisor and Art Professor Jerry Williams jokingly told QCC Student Nadia Ackerman that girls can’t play chess, what happened next didn’t surprise him.
“I got her interest with that comment and she showed up to play,” he said.
Not only did she show up to play, she showed up to beat him. Since 2013, Ms. Ackerman has quietly and efficiently been taking on and beating opponent after opponent including her advisor and mentor, QCC’s Chess Club Advisor and Art Professor Jerry Williams.
Today the QCC student is an avid member of the school’s chess club and also its president. When asked what she likes about the game, one that historically has been male dominated, she offers a telling answer.
“It’s very intellectual and challenging. The more you play the more you grow and learn new strategies,” Ms. Ackerman said. “Anyone can play chess. It’s fun and social and you meet new people, which is great.”
Ms. Ackerman has played in both the QCC and the Assumption College tournaments, placing in the top sections in each.
According to Mr. Williams there are preconceived notions about chess (being incredibly smart or a nerd) that both he and Ms. Ackerman have been working to dispel.
“I like to say I made it cool years back,” she said.
“She’s helping to promote chess,” Mr. Williams said. “She is also willing to help any newcomer to the game.”
Ms. Ackerman said a person must take the game step-by-step and not get frustrated, and said she is willing to teach anyone who is interested.
“I’ll help them along the way. It makes me happy and it’s fun. I’ve loved chess for a long time and intellectual games in general,” she said, adding, “I also like to win!”
“Anyone who wants to can play anytime, anywhere and at any age,” Mr. Williams said.
QCC ‘s Chess Club meets in Room 67A in the Administration Building every Monday, Wednesday or Friday between 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. Members of the club can also often be found in the cafeteria in the morning or later in the say playing a game or two.
“Other people can also participate and it’s free,” Mr. Williams added.