Archive for the 'The Chess Drum' Category

Reflections on 2019 Abidjan Rapid & Blitz

Going back to Africa! Before traveling to Francophone (French-speaking) Africa for the first time, I had to brush off my French instruction books from grad school to brush up on vocabulary, cognates, listening, phrases, and passe compose’. I discovered that there were a lot of videos on YouTube and went through a number of them. […]

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Nigeria has plans to break through to produce their first Grandmaster and an official campaign was launched in February. One of the hopefuls in the Africa’s most populous nation is International Master Oladapo Adu. A long-time national team member, Adu spent a number of years in the U.S. before returning in 2016 to nurture chess […]

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GM Maurice AshleyPhoto by Daaim Shabazz Côte d’Ivoire was Maurice Ashley’s 7th African country, all in a relatively short period of time. This would be the first visit to a Francophone African country and the Jamaican-born GM would put his French skills to use. Ashley took up French in high school with a desire to […]

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The first event of the Grand Chess Tour is officially over and Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire will have in its history and world class chess event. There will be trivia questions such as the players who played, the hotel where it was hosted and that famous icon who was visiting the hotel during the event! All […]

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Congratulations to @MagnusCarlsen for winning Côte d’Ivoire, the first leg of 2019 #GrandChessTour with 2 rounds to spare!! pic.twitter.com/xbEc8RCkTo — Grand Chess Tour (@GrandChessTour) May 12, 2019 After the election in the past FIDE election, there was an assertion that the international chess body would be more inclusive. While the Grand Chess Tour is not […]

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Former World Champion Veselin Topalov with Daaim Shabazz in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. Photo by The Chess Drum. Veselin Topalov has seen a thing or two in chess. Known as a tremendous fighter and the master of the exchange sacrifice, he has playing many a scintillating game. However, he is a bit more relaxed and is […]

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When one thinks of the Ivory Coast, several things come to mind including their world-famous cocoa, but one unmistakable characterization is that the land of 23 million is a football-crazy nation. During the lead up of the Grand Chess Tour, there were a lot of promotional content including photos of Grandmaster Maurice Ashley interacting with […]

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The Grand Chess Tour has begun! Ten of the world’s top players have assembled in the capital of Cote d’Ivoire to launching the first event of the season. World Champion Magnus Carlsen will headline the 2019 Rapid and Blitz field after having had a blistering first half of 2019. This event is also important because […]

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Detroit’s Derek Wilder hosted his weekly podcast and invited me on the show. We discussed a number of issues including the founding of The Chess Drum, the autobiography of Emory Tate (Triple Exclam), methods of chess improvement, the value of blitz chess, harnessing talent in the Black community, and possibilities of greater camaraderie. I enjoyed […]

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This evening at 7pm the Jamaica Chess Federation (JCF) will celebrate its 50th anniversary at the famous Pegasus Hotel. Since February 18, 1969, the federation has evolved and is experiencing a surge of growth in Chess-in-Schools with 50,000 new players in the past decade. The JCF has blossomed under the leadership of Attorney Ian Wilkinson […]

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All chess roads lead to Africa! On Tuesday, May 7th, ten of the world’s strongest players will gather in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire for the Grand Chess Tour Rapid & Blitz. It will feature the resurgent World Champion Magnus Carlsen who recently won his third straight supertournament by winning the Grenke Classic in fine style. Now […]

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It is rare that one gets a perfect score in a chess tournament. The most famous example is Bobby Fischer’s 11/11 at the 1963-64 U.S. Championship in New York City. As a result, he got an interview on the cover of Life magazine. Spencer Masango of Zimbabwe will have to settle for coverage in African-oriented […]

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ST. VINCENT & THE GRENADINES CHESS FEDERATION LAUNCHED! GM Nigel Short (FIDE Vice President), The Honorable Ralph Gonsalves (SVG Prime Minister) and Ian Wilkinson QC (FIDE Vice President) President of Jamaican Chess Federation The evening of Monday, March 4, 2019 saw history being created in St. Vincent & The Grenadines with the launch of the […]

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I met Maurice Ashley nearly 30 years ago at the 1989 U.S. Open held just outside of Chicago at the Rosemont Hyatt. At this time, I had already started the groundwork for a chess network for players of African descent. During a graduate-level marketing class, I was able to write a marketing plan for the […]

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Social change is rarely without an intense battle. Without going into the history of humanity’s ills against one another, there have been many tales of brutality in the history of the world. Many of these episodes involve nationality, gender, class, caste, religion, ethnic affiliation (tribe) and the general classification of race. In the U.S., racial […]

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2019 Capital City Open Tallahassee’s BBCC hosted the 1st Capital City Open on a beautiful spring weekend. The tournament was the first open tournament in Florida’s capital since 2014 Froemke Memorial. More than 50 players came from Tampa, Jacksonville and Gainesville. NM Todd Bryant trotting out the Dragon against Steve Lenhert. The large majority of […]

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On March 16th, the New York Times ran a story on Tanitoluwa Adewumi, a Nigerian boy whose family migrated to the U.S. for a better life. The story generated more than 400 comments. A follow-up story generated another 400 comments. “Homeless,” “refugee,” and “chess champion” are an unlikely combination of search words indeed, but the […]

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Darrian Robinson Hometown: Brooklyn, New York Education: B.A. University of Chicago (2016), London School of Economics (study abroad) Peak Chess Rating: 2128 (USCF) 2035 (FIDE) Chess Accolades: World Youth representation – Batumi, Georgia (2006), Antala, Turkey (2009); Pan-Am Games – Cuenca, Ecuador (2006), University of Chicago Chess Team Pan-Am Intercollegiate Activities: White House Office of […]

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Jessica Wamala Hometown: Milford, New Hampshire Education: B.A. Villanova University (2013), M.A. Villanova (2014), MPhil Middle Eastern Studies, University of Oxford (2016) Peak Chess Rating: 1790 (USCF) Chess Accolades: Massachusetts Junior High co-champ, U.S. Open “C” champion Activities: Phi Beta Kappa (honor society), Rhodes Scholar, Villanova varsity women’s basketball, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (Upsilon […]

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Dr. Shearwood McClelland III Hometown: Teaneck, New Jersey Education: B.A. Harvard College (2000), M.D. Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons (2004) Peak Chess Rating: 2311 (USCF), 2210 (FIDE) Chess Accolades: National Master (1994), All-American, 3-time National H.S. Champion, U.S. Junior Open Champion (1997), 2-time New Jersey State Champion, 12 state titles, beat GM Bu Xianghzi […]

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Chess has been said to have many qualities. Often misunderstood as a game only for the high-browed intelligentsia, it has many redeeming qualities that attract adherents of all demographics. Chess has been the subject of many studies and is often called a sport, game, and even a science. It is undeniable that chess players derive […]

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Tanitoluwa AdewumiPhoto by Nicholas Kristof Nigeria has long been one of Africa’s most heralded chess countries with an ambitious goal of producing the next generation of chess masters. Having already produced a number of International Masters, the country has recently launched a fundraising campaign to produce the first Grandmaster in history. There is a wealth […]

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FM Joshua ColasPhoto by Webster University (Paul Truong) Joshua Colas is making his rounds. The native New Yorker is studying in the “Show-Me State” of Missouri and is now going to take his talents to the “Sunshine State” of Florida for spring break. The Webster University collegiate is going to be participating in a weekend […]

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Tallahassee, Florida Tallahassee is known as the “capital city” of Florida. Situation in the panhandle and near the Georgia border, it is home to two major universities (Florida A&M University, Florida State University), a community college (Tallahassee Community College) and the state capital. With just a bit over 190,000 residents, it is a city sticking […]

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Theophilus Thompson1855-1948 This year Black History commemorations highlighted the events of the day including a rare photo of Theophilus Thompson, a chess icon known mostly for this book of chess problems, Chess Problems: Either Play or Mate. Until recently, the only photo known of Thompson is one as a teenager who had just published the […]

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