Diamond in the Rough… trying to shine

Abdul Shakoor (father) and coach National Master David Allen flank Diamond Shakoor as part of a story in Cleveland’s Call and Post newspaper.

Diamond Shakoor has been trodding a path since she was seven years old having learned the moves from her father, Abdul Shakoor. This path has taken her through more than 240 tournaments leaving a trail of promise to her goal of chess prominence. The 14-year old has been featured on these pages of The Chess Drum countless times as well as being the interview subject of many TV, radio and newspaper outlets.

Despite her prolific accomplishments, her biggest challenge has not been her opponent on the other end of the 64 squares. Like many aspiring chess masters, the problem is usually securing the funds needed to fulfill her dreams. Raised by a single father, Diamond entered her teen years with a lot of promise and dreams.

One of her dreams is competing on the national and international circuit. Last year her father launched a campaign to raise funds for his daughter’s chess development and more specifically, to compete in the World Youth Championships in Athens, Greece from October 24th – November 5th. She has a schedule of events that she is seeking financial assistance for. Help make her dreams come true!

Link: https://www.gofundme.com/diamond-chess

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.

32 Comments

  1. Abdul has been unyielding in his quest to provide everything necessary that his daughter Diamond needs to keep moving forward towards her chess goal. By being in a similar position, I definitely can understand his passion and have nothing but respect and appreciation for his deeds. With determination, I believe Diamond will prove she’s worth her name. Team work!

  2. Thank you very much to everyone! Special thank you to Guy Colas! Much Respect! Diamond has a peak rating of 1794
    #2 in Ohio for All Girls; #2 in Ohio for All 7th Graders; Current 2014 State Champion for Missouri 9th Grade & Under Division, Diamond has competed in 307 Tournaments, World Youth Chess Championships are in October 2015. She is in the 97th percentile for all Women Chess players in the United States! This is a Celebration of a young African American Female making her mark on the World Stage of Chess!

    1. As-Salaam Alaikum! I remember meeting you in Chicago several years back at the KCF All-Girls National. I was one of the assistant TDs there. We played a few blitz games and went over some of your daughter’s games. How have the two of you been? I’m in Charlotte now, and if you are ever this way, please give me a call at 980-236-7339. I play regularly at Charlotte Chess Center.

  3. I am happy to see Brother David Allen involved in the progress steps of the Shakoor family. Best wishes for success on and off the chess board!
    Kimani A. Stancil

    1. Thank you very much! Diamond may have qualified last night for THE WORLD YOUTH CHESS CHAMPIONSHIPS IN ATHENS, GREECE IN OCTOBER 2015 TO REPRESENT USA; NEW RATING MAY BE 1803! WE NEED THE CHESS DRUM COMMUNITY TO STEP FORWARD AND HELP THIS YOUNG HUMBLE CHESS PRINCESS! 14YRS OLD AND 1 OF THE BEST IN THE CHESS WORLD! GOD IS THE GREATEST!

      1. CONGRATULATIONS on the success in chess, TD, also CHESSDRUMMERS, GM Pontus Carlsson is in a practice tournament called Gilbralter.

  4. The Shakoors have made us proud and I am sure will continue to do so. Best wishes for a magnificent 2015!

  5. I think she’s always had the natural ability, and the support of a great father. Now that she has David Allen working with her…well, I’d just advise Ohio’s experts and masters to tread with extreme caution. 🙂 She’ll be among them soon enough.

  6. Diamond Abdus-Shakoor has just qualified for World Youth Chess Championships in Athens, Greece in October 2015! For Two Weeks! She has done her part! Against All Odds! The Chess Drum community should be proud and everybody should HELP to get her the financial support to get there! Her new USCF rating is 1801! The qualification was 1800! Much Respect! SHAKOOR MAKES CHESS HISTORY ONCE AGAIN!!

  7. Thanks to everyone for supporting Diamond Abdus-Shakoor on her journey to compete in 2015 World Youth Chess Championships! SHE IS THE ONLY AFRICAN AMERICAN ON THE USA DELEGATION! THIS IS HISTORY IN THE MAKING! GOD HAS BLESSED THE COMMUNITY TO BE A PART OF THE FUTURE WITH JOSH, JUSTUS, JAMES, DIAMOND, AVIVA, ROCHELLE, DARRIAN! WE SAY WE CARE BUT DO WE REALLY! WE NEED TO INSPIRE THE YOUTH AND BE REAL! HUMBLE AND DEDICATED FATHER! WE STILL HAVE TO COVER FLIGHTS TO GREECE AND FOOD FOR 2 WEEKS! http://WWW.GOFUNDME.COM/DIAMOND-CHESS

  8. Good Point Mr. Shakoor we need greater efforts in the world of chess in order for our children to grow to the hightest levels, more work needs to be done and less copyin of others, greater dedication!!! UM CHECKIN YALL OUT FROM THE BUFFALO PUBLIC LIBRARY, YES I SEE DIAMOND HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BE WORLD CHAMPION SO CONGRATS AND KEEP WORK! U MIGHT WANT TO STUDY SO OF JUDITH GAMES SHE SHOULD HAVE BEAT MANY OF THEM DUDES ANYWAYS! DEUCES.

  9. Abdul is a friend of mine, so I don’t think he’ll mind me expressing my opinion about Diamond. I wouldn’t jump hoops at this stage and claim she has potential to be world champ. That’s way too soon to predict and inviting criticism from… However, what’s important is she’s in the game and is improving bit by bit. Let’s settle for small goal, like making Expert, then Master and so forth…I don’t think it’s a good idea or helpful to lay claim to things that even the very best cannot claim for sure. I used to do that until my son told me, Dad It’s not that easy. Education must be the priority !

  10. Mr. Guy ur not Ultramodern so u dont actually have the ability to make such a claim so i understand ur position completely! Ive noticed over the years people in chess always talkin about small goals when it comes to talented players of african descent , well Um not like that my friend, so ill tell u like i told their gms when i competed with them on the ICC and u gunna think Um funny, but UM NOT MAURICE. SO U DONT KNOW WHAT I KNOW. but u can come to chess.com and hit that 1min play button – ULTRAMODERNIST AND FIND OUT! Adia u should have told him how i am, u know i dont go for this type of nonsense!!!

  11. Aim high, but focus on the intermediate steps and education should be the main priority = nonsense?

  12. Ya KNOW Chessdrummers they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so as an Ultramodernist UM certain with the strong support shown here her Education has already happend!!! ADIA?

    1. Peace and blessings. Chess Drum and Supporters. Diamond peaked at 1801 Rating. She has retired from Chess after qualifying for the 2015 Word Youth Chess Championships. She played in 326 tournaments. Currently she has a 4.0 and is going into the 10th grade. She is enjoying being a teenager and still has her positive personality. I am thankful as a Father, For the love and support nationwide and internationally. Diamond definitely has an entrepreneur mindset. Love you Diamond. Chess was one of her platforms however we all have many gifts to discover.

      1. So true! The youth are the future. Thank you Daaim, for the love and support shown for Diamond and her Dad. No regrets. Her legacy will hopefully inspire others! Much Respect.

  13. What happened to the so called prodigy, did she give up because she realized she’s not that good?

    1. Not sure where you saw the word “prodigy” used in my articles about Diamond. Nevertheless, she may have stopped for the same reasons that thousands of others stop playing chess in America (regardless of level). They simply find other endeavors more interesting and fulfilling than chess.

      1. Aameen. Peace and Blessings. We made history. The Chess Community. Knows what time it is! Im so glad we went hard and retired! Whatever hapoen to our friend Dyhemia? “Prodigy” at the end of the day. Life Goes On. Single Father raising a daughter. People sound crazy. James sounds like a genuine hater! That’s my word! Drop the Mic!

    2. First of all. God is running everything! Secondly. Mr. James you sound foolish; 1801 peak rating. At 14yrs old no formal training. Please so your research. 2015 World Youth Chess Championships Qualified. You sound like a hater! Do you play?Straight A’s. And other activities. We reached the pinnacle dummy. She is still a minor; so come for me Sir. Its bigger than Chess. 326 tournaments with many haters such as yourself. Lol. Thanks for the motivation. God’s Plan. Prodigy. Who cares. You sound mad! Peace and Blessings to the Chess Drum. 1 ? So i will drink my tea!
      Salaams. By the way I’m from Brooklyn. NY and we don’t play disrespect!

  14. Aameen. Peace and Blessings. We made history. The Chess Community. Knows what time it is! Im so glad we went hard and retired! Whatever hapoen to our friend Dyhemia? “Prodigy” at the end of the day. Life Goes On. Single Father raising a daughter. People sound crazy. James sounds like a genuine hater! That’s my word! Drop the Mic!

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