Grandmaster Maurice Ashley inducted into the US Chess Hall of Fame

Grand master Maurice Ashley
Grand master Maurice Ashley

Grand master Maurice Ashley will be inducted in the US Chess Hall of Fame on 13 April. For many years now Maurice Ashley has been working tirelessly to promote the game of chess. When he is not promoting chess on the World stage he has been busy in communities helping to transform lives through the power of chess. As a player Maurice overcame huge obstacles to become a grandmaster. He tremendous faith and self belief carried him through that and he has taken that self belief and conviction to everything he does whether it is working with youths from poor communities or introducing new ideas in the way tournaments are organised.

Chess’ First African American Grandmaster: The Infectious Wisdom of Maurice Ashley

Maurice is one of the people behind Millionaire Chess, a tournament which has breathed fresh air into the way tournaments are organised with its unique format at the end of the tournament.

Together with fellow partner Amy Lee they have established a tournament that is already one of the most exciting on the chess circuit as it pulls in some of the very top players in the world. After only 2 editions chess fans like myself are already looking forward to the next edition.

By getting inducted into the Hall of Fame Maurice Ashley becomes the first player of colour to achieve such a feat and joins a select few black Americans who have been honoured to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. These highly esteemed individuals include none other that President Barack Obama.

A Jamaican immigrant raised in Brooklyn, Maurice Ashley became the first black person to achieve the rank of grandmaster in 1999. At the time, it was a title possessed by less than 500 people in the whole world.

Here is an interview with CNN – Maurice Ashley: Life As A Grandmaster

The first time I heard Maurice commenting on a game of chess I was blown away. It was one of the tournaments sponsored by Intel and featured heavyweights like Garry Kasparov and speed King Vishwanathan Anand. Maurice did his commentary with such energy and enthuasism it was like you were watching a game of football. He brought the game alive, taking you through all the drama on the board, the ups and downs, every single minute and second of it. It was a game you wanted to watch until the very end.

According to its the website the World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF) celebrates one of the world’s oldest and best-loved games (chess) through vibrant, engaging exhibitions and creative programming. A not-for-profit, collecting institution situated in the heart of Saint Louis, the WCHOF houses both the U.S. and World Chess Halls of Fame, which honor the accomplishments of the game’s finest players.

The tributes are already pouring in on social media about Grand master Ashley. Below are just a few comments that were posted on social media about Maurice’s achievement at the US Hall of Fame.

That is so amazing! Congratulations Maurice. You have worked so hard in this area of your life and deserve all the great rewards of your work. I feel blessed to have been tutored by a Hall of Famer. – CS

I had already foreseen this. smile emoticon Everytime I go to WCHOF and look at the plaques, I envision both of these. It was a matter of when. – DS

Can’t wait to hear your induction speech because you are the best speaker in the business as well. – EG

Also thanks for inspiring generations of young african-american men from afar to pursuit the game with love and respect that it deserves. Remember seeing you for the first time at 11 years old and thinking one day I’d love to achieve such a profound level of excellence. RW

I can never forget asking myself what is this guy’s brain made of the first time I met him and saw him play blindfold chess against 5 people back in 2009. Now that I am in business with him, I admire him for his integrity and kind heart. Maurice is truly a special man! Very proud of his achievements! – AL

For many of us who have been following the Grand master’s career we cannot wait to see what his next milestone is. He is someone who is always aiming high and for the very best in everything he does. Let’s part with a quote from the Grandmaster, Losing is learning!

Finally what happens the Grandmaster meets a trash-talking hustler from New York.

Bruce Mubayiwa

I am the founder and editor of Africa Chess Net. I have been playing chess for over 25 years and love writing about the game. Our goal is simple, to get more people playing chess in Africa! The game of chess is not only absorbing but a great deal of fun.

Leave a Reply