What’s next in Black Chess?

The year 2007 had some interesting developments both in general and within the African Diaspora. The World Cup brought us the first non-European champion since Robert James Fischer and saw Viswanathan Anand rise to the top of the rating charts. There was the exciting knockout tournament featuring the resurgence of Gata Kamsky who will know face former FIDE champion, Veselin Topalov. Perhaps after the Anand-Vladimir Kramnik affair and the Topalov-Kamsky match, we will settle down to a stable championship system.

Within the Black chess-playing community, three individuals secured international titles and another completed the norm requirements. Emory Tate and Stephen Muhammad both received their International Master titles after many decades of competing at high levels and slaying Grandmasters. Pontus Carlsson earned his Grandmaster title after strong efforts the past few years. Amon Simutowe earned his third norm and only has to vault over 2500 to make the title official. The African Team Championships were held with great anticipation. While the coverage was poor, Egypt continued to show their continental dominance. GM Ahmed Adly would later win the World Junior Championship. Then the African Individuals featured the emergence of IM Pedro Aderito who went on to the World Cup Knockout tournament.

What is most disturbing is the lack of a information infrastructure for reporting fresh information from these regions. I’ve written several essays about this in “The 65th Square.” There are still very few websites or blogs to capture the activities of the African Diaspora. Even the blogs that exist show very few contributions. Black chess seems to have lost momentum and with the 2008 Olympiad rolling around, one wonders if there will be any stories besides one or two upset victories by individual players. We have to get beyond the contentment of these isolated victories and make a consistent presence.

What’s next in 2008?

Daaim Shabazz

Daaim Shabazz is the founder of The Chess Drum, while serving as a tenured faculty member of Global Business & Marketing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He holds a B.S. Computer Science from Chicago State University, an MBA in Marketing and a Ph.D. in International Affairs & Development, both from Clark Atlanta University. He has served the journalist community for more than 30 years and still competes in tournaments occasionally.

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