Archive for the 'Interviews' Category

Levon Aronian married the ravishing Arianne Caoili on Saturday, September 30th in a very quaint location at the Saghmosavank Monastery in the Aragatsotn Province of Armenia. The couple beamed brightly as shutters were clicking from all angles capturing the special moments. Just a few days earlier Aronian had won the World Cup for the second […]

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Publisher: The Chess Drum, LLCRetail Price: $40.00 (full color, hard back) On September 17th, Curtis Anderson spent an hour discussing with Daaim Shabazz, “Triple Exclam: The Life and Games of Emory Tate, Chess Warrior.” Anderson’s “Talking with Authors” podcasts are within a series of interviews of authors of different genres. The hour-long interview also touches […]

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Jerald Times has been shuffling around the chess world for decades. He is known more as a coach than a player, but he has recently launched a new initiative with his inaugural “Hip Hop Chess Day” in the Bronx. Hip hop heads will know that the Bronx is where the roots of hip hop sprouted […]

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GM Pontus Carlsson (Sweden)Photo by Daaim Shabazz Ben Johnson contacted The Chess Drum a month ago to ask questions in preparation for his podcast with GM Pontus Carlsson. The directory of podcasts can be found here. These podcasts feature chess personalities from around the world in about a 60- to 90-minute format. Carlsson talked about […]

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Detroit and Chicago have a close relationship with both being home to hard-working migrants from the south in search of hope and opportunity. The Midwest was the destination for many Blacks due to the abundance of factory jobs in the steel mills, foundry, and stock yards. The determination to find good paying jobs required a […]

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Triple Exclam was announced to the public March 11th and the reception has been very enthusiastic. The biography of International Master Emory Tate has won some plaudits around the country and slowly making its way around the world. It has been introduced at book parties and will be featured in upcoming book signings. The book […]

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Photo from Getty Images Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson was in a recent ChessBase feature recounting an interview he granted during the World Chess Championship in New York. Sixteen years ago, he was voted, “Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive” and his appeal is also based on his down-to-earth approach to physics. He is the Director of New York’s […]

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FM Harold Wanyama (Uganda)Photo by Kim Bhari In a story out of Uganda, FM Harold Wanyama has retired from competitive chess after a 10-year stint that included appearances on the Olympiad team, national tournament prominence and stellar play in the club leagues. He mentioned as part of his highlights his experience in the Istanbul and […]

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GM Maurice Ashley on the red carpet.Photo by David Llada The last few weeks have been a bit melancholy for Millionaire Chess fans. In an interview with The Chess Drum, GM Maurice Ashley reflected on the tournament, the challenges and the triumphs. The tournament encouraged a vigorous debate and introduced a number of innovations that […]

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GM Maurice Ashley GM Maurice Ashley was inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame back in April and thus a culmination to the decades of service rendered to the worldwide chess community. Known to the world primarily as a commentator, Ashley had dabbled in the organization realm by successfully hosting the HB Global in […]

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Drum Interviews @ Millionaire Chess Open #3 One of the most gratifying assignments in covering chess events are the interviews of various personalities. The Millionaire Chess Open attracts players from around the world and the diversity was apparent in all sections. In the under-2200, there were a number of interesting personalities and one of them […]

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Chicago is a city that is struggling with many things. Apart from all of the controversy surrounding the Chicago Police Department, the state is gripped in a financial budget crisis affecting many programs and institutions. Chicago State University, which is threatened with closure, had students who shut down expressways and traveled to Springfield, Illinois to […]

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Drum Interviews @ Millionaire Chess Open #2 The second Millionaire Chess Open is in the record books and it was even more eventful than the first. Accented by a marquee lineup of players, the tournament lived up to its billing as the brightest stars shone in the end. While Hikaru Nakamura won in the end, […]

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The Chess Drum caught up with WGM Jennifer Shahade during the 2015 Sinquefield Cup in a very short interview. While she has played in a number of U.S. Championships (winning two women’s titles), she primarily is known as a chess promoter and commentator. She is a fixture on commentary teams for tournaments held at the […]

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Rochelle BallantynePhoto from LinkedIn. In conjunction with Cover Girl, there was a beautiful interview done by Soledad O’Brien on Rochelle Ballantyne, a student at Stanford University. She is better known as chess player on the “Brooklyn Castle” fame and a successful student at Brooklyn Tech. Now as a Stanford student she has evolved into a […]

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IM Odion Aikhoje gave some interesting professional insights about the marketing of chess in an informative half-hour conversation. He has a Master’s degree in sports marketing management. The 2015 World Open remains America’s marquee event… for right now. It has staying power, but of course its consistency may suggest that a few tweaks are needed. […]

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An “unretired” FM Philip Corbin drawing Billy Turner at the 2014 World Open. Photo by Daaim Shabazz. With the World Open only a few weeks away, we always seem to refer back to novel games of that tournament whether played on the very top boards or boards in the amateur sections. The tournament will take […]

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2015 U.S. Chess Championship St. Louis, Missouri, USARound #10 (Saturday, 11 April 2015) Overall Table White Score Rating Black Score Rating Result 1 GM Troff, Kayden W 4.5 2532 GM Gareev, Timur 3.5 2604 ½-½ 2 GM Robson, Ray 6.0 2656 GM Nakamura, Hikaru 6.5 2798 ½-½ 3 GM Onischuk, Alexander 5.0 2665 GM Sevian, […]

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Wesley So wins 1st Millionaire Open and $100,000!! Amy Lee and Maurice Ashley present a triumphant Wesley So with the winner’s check.Photo by Paul Truong. GM Wesley So told The Chess Drum that he was skeptical about the tournament a month ago, but decided to play at the urging of Webster coach Susan Polgar. He […]

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Last month, the world’s marquee team tournament known as the “Chess Olympiad” ended in Tromso, Norway with record attendance of 174 nations. This included a record 34 present from Africa (excluding eight proxies). While I am not certain when the first African federation joined the World Chess Federation (FIDE), nations from this continent have been […]

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The Olympiad is the biennial chess festival attracting players, delegates and enthusiasts far and wide. Its beauty lies in the fact that all of the chess federations have arrived at the venue in many different ways… and in some cases for the first time. The 2014 Olympiad broke a record for entrants with 174 federations […]

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Claudia Munoz at the 2014 U.S. Open.Photo by Daaim Shabazz. Claudia Munoz is known in chess circles for her chess promotion activities in social networking. The 16-year old is the reigning National Girls champion and took part in the U.S. Open where we conducted a short interview. Enrolled in Texas Virtual Academy, an online school […]

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The Chicago Tribune ran an interview with Darrian Robinson who The Chess Drum will have read about. Now a rising 19-year old junior at the University of Chicago, she has a well-defined path to success in the public sector. Last summer, she interned at the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. The […]

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Josh and Guy Colas after 2014 Denker.Photo by Daaim Shabazz. Josh Colas has had many successes in his tournament career, but he has had a rough going lately. With two subpar results in the U.S. Junior Closed and the Cadet Championship, he entered the Denker Tournament hoping to make an impact. Leading late in the […]

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In our world of chess we play in a variety of environments… hotels, schools, barber shops, busy streets, parks, museums, office board rooms, malls, front porches and even balconies. Regardless of where chess is played the surroundings is often replaced with the world on the 64 square chess board. EARL HAMMUDTrenton New Jersey Maximum Security […]

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