1st Frederick Douglass Memorial (Key West, FL)

Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass will be memorialized September 21st-23rd in Key West, Florida with the inaugural Frederick Douglass Chess Tournament. Douglass was a well-known abolitionist, human rights advocate of the 19th century and one of the greatest figures in Black History. He became one of the greatest orators of his day, a lobbyist for equal justice and articulated the idea of social equality (for all).

He was a fierce advocate for emancipation (granted in 1865) and continued to fight to equal justice until his death. He was well-traveled and well-respected, rarities for a Black man who was born a slave. Douglass was born in Talbot Country, Maryland where he worked in shipping yards as a young man. Yearning for freedom, he escaped to New York with the help of a free Black woman (and first wife), Anne Murray.


“It is easier to build strong children
than to repair broken men.”

~Frederick Douglass


Brian Priester of Key West has secured Grandmaster Maurice Ashley to headline the historic event along with reigning two-time champion International Master Nazi Paikidze. Both will conduct separate simultaneous exhibitions of up to 50 boards. On Friday @ 2:00 PM. Registration for exhibition by mail only. $35 by 9/5, $55 by 9/15, $75 after or if still available at site.

Proceeds from GM Ashley’s exhibition will benefit the Florida Keys SPCA. Proceeds from WGM Paikidze’s exhibition will benefit Zonta International of Key West. Proceeds will be presented to representatives of both organizations.

1st Annual Frederick Douglass Memorial Tournament

5SS, G/90 + 30 sec. increment. World-renowned GM Maurice Ashley will kick off the event! $25,000 (b/200 entries) ($12,500 Unconditionally Guaranteed)
4 sections:

Open Section: $3,000-$2,000-$1,000-$500 Top Senior: $400 Top U2400 $1,500-$750-$350 Top U2200 $1,200-$600-$300
U2000 Section: $2,000-$1,000-$500-$250 Top Senior: $200 Top U1800: $900-$450
U1600 Section: $1,600-$800-$400-$200 Top Senior: $150 Top U1400: $700-$350
U1200 Section: $1,200-$600-$300-$200 Top Senior: $150. Top U900: $800-$400. Top Unrated: $250.

Unrated players may enter either Open or U1200 section, but are only eligible for Place Prizes in Open Section and Top Unrated prize in U1200 Section. Must be at least 55 on 9/21/18 to compete for Top Senior prize.

USCF September supplement used for pairing and prize purposes. If provisionally rated, arbiter may assign rating. All sections: Arbiter has discretion to appoint ratings. EF: $114 by 9/5, $144 by 9/15. $164 after or on site. Re-entry: $100 by Saturday 5:30 PM (1/2 pt byes for earlier rounds.).
GM/IM free entry available until 9/5, else $114 deducted from prize.

Special entry fee for Monroe County public or private school students in any section. $25 online by 9/5, $60 after or at site.

Reg.: Friday 4:00-6:30 PM.
Rounds: Friday: 7:30 PM. Saturday 1:15 PM & 6:30 PM Sunday: 10:15 AM & 3:30 PM.
Up to 2 irrevocable half point byes if requested by Saturday 12:00 PM.
Entry fees payable to Brian Priester, 1013 17th St., Key West, FL 33040.
Online entry available @ onlineregistration.cc
Please bring boards, sets and clocks. None provided.

International Arbiter Mike Kummer, Chief Tournament Director
mkummer@saintlouischessclub.org

US Chess Grand Prix Points: 80

LOCATION: 24 North Hotel, 3820 North Roosevelt Blvd., Key West, FL 33040. Telephone 305-928-1095. Please ask the resort for special chess tournament rate. You can also book directly online with the following booking link: https://24northhotel.reztrip.com/ext/promoRate?property=986&mode=b&pm=true&sr=349555&vr=3

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.

One Comment

  1. For those outside of the U.S., it may not be known that February is Black History Month. It is the time when special effort is made to reflect on the vast contributions made in American society by those descendants of Africa. One name often heard during this time is Frederick Douglass (1818-1895).

    While it is unclear if he ever played chess, Douglass was a contemporary of James McCune Smith, an avid chess player and Black physician in upstate New York. They met and with like-minded freedom fighters, established the The National Council of the Colored People in 1853.

    The organization would become an ardent voice in the quest for human rights and emancipation, but is not to be confused with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) founded in 1908. At the least, Douglass respected the royal game and Edward Winter gives perhaps another hint by citing his association with chess enthusiast Theodore Tilton in the book, Trials of Intimacy.

    Douglass’ name has been immortalized in the naming of schools, civic buildings and other monuments. There was once a chess team from Philadelphia’s Frederick Douglass Elementary depicted in the movie “The Mighty Pawns.” The team was managed by Steve Schutt, who coached the team to national acclaim. Douglass won the national elementary championship in 1982 after coming runner up in 1980 and 1981. Some of the players then went to Philadelphia Vaux which won six national championships.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button