Archive for the 'The Chess Drum' Category

The Chess Olympiad is less than two months away and it will be a very exciting event as usual. However, what will make the event more compelling is the FIDE Presidential elections. There are three candidates remaining after Kirsan Ilyumzhinov bowed out of the race after being adamant on his quest for reelection. FIDE Deputy […]

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Last week Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin (R) made an appearance at Nativity Academy, a predominately-Black middle school in Louisville. He was in an upbeat mood before he entered the building, but made a comment that created a firestorm. He posted the following video to his Twitter account: Enjoyed meeting the members of the West Louisville […]

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The World Open is a marquee tournament drawing over 1000 players each year. Many things have changed over the past 20 years. Of course, the venue has changed and the Adams Mark Hotel has been long gone. The iconic 23-story building was demolished in 2006 and the property now hosts a Target department store. Kishan […]

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More than 1,000 players and a few hundred spectators came to the Downtown Marriott in Philadelphia to compete in the 46th World Open. As much as journalists struggle with correctly writing the name of “Illya Nyzhnyk,” they will have plenty of practice after his topping the field at the 2018 World Open. The recent Webster […]

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The 46th edition of the World Open is currently taking place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania the iconic home of the tournament. While the final count is unknown, the tournament typically draws about 1300 competitors from around the country and world. Philly’s newly-unveiled emancipation exhibit Some interesting new sites around Philadelphia. The Uber driver pointed out the […]

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I found a very touching story that ran last year in On Cuba magazine featuring Oleiny Linares Napoles, silver medalist in the 2008 Chess Olympiad in Dresden, Germany. She has been featured on The Chess Drum several times and is one of the strongest women of African ancestry. Oleiny Linares Napoles at her home in […]

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Shane “The Magician” Matthews earned his moniker by his resilience in pulling out sparkling victories. Over his career, Matthews has represented Jamaica in a number of Olympiad teams and is a 7-time national champion. He is one of the many legends from a small nation who has a story to tell. Matthews began representing Jamaica […]

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Four years ago, Emmanuel Carter accomplished a feat that relatively few chess players are able to do. He earned his National Master’s title at the age of 14. Nowadays, the age threshold continues to be lowered as the youngest master has accomplished it at age 9. However, earning the Master’s title at any age is […]

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Chess tournaments probably have the greatest diversity of competitors than any activity. In many large events you can find people from various nationalities, ethnicities, educational levels and professions. It is interesting that tournaments tend to be an elitist arena where we judge people by their rating. It may be the only information we have, but […]

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Duke alumnus Kassa Korley went back to his stomping grounds to take a shot at a GM norm. Since his graduation the the Raleigh-Durham campus a few years ago, Korley has been seeking invitationals, both at home and in Europe. The New York native currently plays under the Danish flag, the home of his paternal […]

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Samuel “Sammy” BartonPhoto by Daaim Shabazz Samuel “Sammy” Barton, an icon of street chess, passed away after battling serious health challenges. He was 55. Sammy was known as a mainstay in the greater New York scene and is considered to be a legendary figure. Called “Bubba” by his sisters, he attended Lincoln High School in […]

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Dr. Essoh J.M.C. Essis Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) has some of the world’s top draughts players. If Dr. Essoh Essis has his way Africa will develop a foundation for an “African Renaissance” in chess. Dr. Essis has announced his candidacy for President of the African Chess Confederation (ACC). The voting will take place at the […]

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One of the marquee tournaments starts today in Wheeling, Illinois a quiet town just outside of Chicago. The Chicago Open is in its 27th year and once drew the likes of Hikaru Nakamura and top tier players from overseas. These days the tournament is a hot ticket for hungry norm seekers, top scholastic players and […]

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GM Bassem Amin, 2018 African Champion Egyptians GM Bassem Amin and WGM Shahenda Wafa are 2018 African Champions. The event was held May 12-22 and organized by African Chess Confederation (ACC) and the Chess Federation of Zambia (CZF). It is Amin’s 5th continental championship (2009, 2013, 2015 and 2017, 2018) and the second consecutive for […]

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Ju Wenjun, the long-standing salutatorian of Chinese women players won the world championship 5.5-4.5 on yesterday. Drawing the tenth game, she held off Tan Zhongyi who was the reigning champion. Ju makes the sixth Chinese player to win the title after Xie Jun, Zhu Chen, Xu Yuhua, Hou Yifan and Tan Zhonyi. Ju Wenjun, 2018 […]

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GM Nigel Short (England) This year is an Olympiad year, but more importantly, it is a FIDE election year. So far there has not been much in the way of campaigning, but in the past several months, there have been several announcements made. Earlier in the year we saw Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Georgios Makropolous announcement […]

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Herminio Baez On yesterday I received the unfortunate news that Herminio Baez, Jr. passed away on Wednesday morning May 2nd. He was 63. The proud chess-playing father left was survived by his loving soul mate of 38 years Daniella Baez, four children including his three sons Antonio, Steven, Chris and daughter Maya. He also had […]

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Chicago Chess Blitzers heading to DetroitYou knew it was going to be a “Thriller” in Motown. Chicago Chess Blitzers (CCB) drove four hours to take on sibling city in a blitz battle. The match had seen a buildup of trash-talking with Detroiters posting choice words in social media. On Saturday, April 21st, CCB met at […]

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FM Justus WilliamsPhoto by Daaim Shabazz FM Justus Williams of Webster University has spent the semester abroad in Thailand at the satellite campus. He is finishing his second year and appears to be having a great time thus far. He told me back in February, “Thailand has been great so far. I really like it. […]

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While limited supplies last, The Chess Drum is offering the final copies of the hardback version of Triple Exclam: The Life and Games of Emory Tate, Chess Warrior. The book has been the subject of favorable reviews worldwide in tribute to International Master Emory Tate. Triple Exclam is a hardback, full-color edition that includes 285 […]

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America is on fire once again. Another death of an unarmed man at the hand of police officers has evoked nationwide protests. In that aftermatch of numerous similar incidents, organizations are attempting to affect change to prevent these types of tragedies from recurring. Chicago’s David Heiser of Renaissance Knights Chess Foundation has launched one such […]

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Alfred CarlinPhoto by Ted Lampkin On April 2nd, Selby Anderson of San Antonio, Texas informed the chess community that Alfred “Big Al” Carlin passed away at Presbyterian Hospital on April 1st (Easter Sunday). He had been suffering from the effects of congestive heart failure. Herminio Baez stated that the five-time Louisiana state champion had worked […]

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I met Walter Hand many years ago at the old Border’s bookstore in Tallahassee, Florida where chess players met on Wednesday evening. He stood out due to his wheelchair and his cerebral palsy disability, but I also noticed that he was there every single week without fail. The transport service would come to get him […]

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During this rest day, the 2018 World Candidates tournament is heading toward a very exciting ending. America’s Fabiano Caruana has held sole lead (6/9) for a couple of rounds breaking away from Shahkriyar Mamedyarov (5½/9), also undefeated. Caruana has had a very solid showing thus far and only obstinate defense by Ding Liren (and some […]

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Chess is often thought of as a game of the high-browed intelligentsia. It has adherents worldwide and is touted as an activity to sharpen one’s mind and to enhance cognitive ability. Does chess really make people smart? No, but it can certainly help the mind stay sharp and teach valuable lessons about patience and decision-making. […]

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