CHESS QUEST: Ryan Shiroma’s rise to the top


Juan Miguel Adams

STRATEGIC THINKING. Shiroma ponders his next move before deciding on moving the rook, a piece that can only be moved in a straight line either vertically or horizontally. In addition, the rook is able to support pawns and cut off the opponent’s king’s routes effectively.

At 15 years old, Ryan Shiroma has risen high within the world of chess. While his talents have earned him a place within the top 70 chess players in the state of Minnesota, Shiroma remains humble and focused on his passion for the game.
Shiroma’s introduction to chess came about innocently. “In kindergarten, I was looking for an after-school activity, and I kind of came across it and I joined the club and it’s been there since,” said Shiroma. Since then, his dedication to the game has only grown stronger.

When asked about his training regimen, Shiroma mentioned, “I play a ton online tournaments with just randoms and also casually. I also gain a lot from competing in Chess Club.” His various experiences in playing against others both online and in person have allowed Shiroma to feel well prepared before going against someone new.

Shiroma acknowledges the pivotal role his family has played in nurturing and building his love for chess. “On my mom’s side, there’s a lot of people who play chess so it kind of means a lot to me because my family has been invested in it,” he said. The support and involvement of his relatives has fueled his passion and ambition to succeed on the chess board.
Throughout his chess career, Shiroma has achieved notable accomplishments. “Well, like in the chess club in elementary school, I won a lot of awards, and then I’ve played in the Minnesota Scholastic tournament for K-8,” he said. “I think I finished fourth place in that when I was in eighth grade, I also am in the 89th percentile in the USA and 97th percentile for under 20 in the USA.”

Currently, Shiroma is preparing for a highly anticipated tournament in Florida called the Southern Open. “I’ve had a lot of schoolwork but I’ve still been playing in tournaments recently and right now, I am preparing for the Southern Open that I’ll compete in during the summer,” he shared eagerly. During the tournament, Ryan will take on formidable opponents and put his skills to the test.

As Ryan continues to make strides in his chess journey, he remains grounded and focused on school as well. “I’m also nervous going into chess tournaments and sometimes I feel like I don’t have enough time to even practice chess with school, but I am trying my best to create a balance,” Ryan humbly states. Juggling chess with school and his other obligations has challenged him, but still he looks to continue and persevere.
Ryan’s passion for chess in which he is supported by his family and drive to improve has given him great success in the chess community. The future of his chess career holds great potential, and Ryan’s dedication will determine what lies ahead.