How Chess Expert Nemo Zhou Wins At InfluencingNemo, thank you for joining us today and allowing us to know a little more about your life. You have a tremendous track record in the game of Chess and were awarded "Woman Grandmaster" in 2017. And from what I understand, you go all the way back to the age of three playing chess in France.
Can you tell us how you first began playing on a chess board and with whom you credit your start? "I first picked up chess in France when I saw a chess set in the window of a small chess club. I quickly learned the rules from one of the coaches and started playing the game. My dad had played Chinese chess and Go before and was a really quick learner, so he picked it up alongside me, and we would play at night together. When I moved away from France, a local player started doing chess puzzles with me every week."
You are an incredibly talented influencer mixing the game of chess through social activities in your videos. What I like about you is that your authentic self and honesty come through while conversing with others in your videos. With that said, how do you stay humble with so much pressure to be pretentious? "Thank you so much!! I really appreciate the kind words. I think being anything other than "humble" would be strange haha, there are a lot of people who are really good at chess out there. Some of the typical fan favorite type of videos include "trash talking" (banter with the opponent, whether it's about the game, their chess skill, or other) - and I always set a rule for myself that if I'm not 100% sure I can beat someone 100% of the time I will not trash talk. I wouldn't say there's pressure to be pretentious, but there is pressure to put on an act to be more entertaining for the camera."
Do you have a process for creating your videos, or do the ideas flow naturally? "So actually, this year, I am going to go more in-depth about the process for creating my videos. I've spent a lot of time on certain videos, and they haven't done very well, so I get discouraged quite quickly, even though I understand it's always a grind. For the most part, ideas flow naturally, but there's a limited amount of content you can do with chess, without being too gimmicky or without production costs getting too high, in my opinion."
What are some of the pros of achieving fame and continuing success? "I am extremely thankful that I can be a content creator, not just with chess but in many other spaces too, such as poker and League of Legends, two games I enjoy immensely. My biggest pro is probably having friends in different industries and having a variety of things that I can do that I otherwise would've never had access to, such as playing in poker tournaments."
Do you plan on performing in any significant matches or chess-related events in 2023(in or outside your channels, special guests, etc.? "I don't plan on playing any significant chess matches in 2023, although it's still early, and maybe some events will happen later in the year. However, I am the captain for the Arch Bishops on the Pro Chess League hosted by chess.com, which I'm really excited for. Additionally, while I am taking a break from playing chess tournaments, I hope to make guest appearances at chess events and perhaps participate in blitz or other side events."
Any other exciting work you are doing this year that you would like to share? "I've really enjoyed learning poker the past year, so that's something I want to get really good at. I developed a variant of chess and have been in the process of launching that, which I am super excited about. And as always, like most other content creators, I'm constantly thinking about building up my channels, in particular, my YouTube channel. That's by far the channel I've had the most struggles with. Other than that, I'm focusing on my mental and physical health."
Nemo, you are an amazing individual and a tremendous role model in showing others how to elevate your talent by producing witty and entertaining videos. We look forward to hearing more about what you are up to and be sure and let us know when you release your variant of chess as we would love to be the first to feature your story about that game.
Photo Credit: Nemo Zhou