Archive for May, 2019

Illia Nyzhnyk and Vasif Dararbayli face off in round 7.The game was drawn. Aided by a strong 5.5/6 start Vasif Dararbayli held off a field of strong GMs to win the 2019 Chicago Open. Perhaps the key win was his 6th round win over then-co-leader Jeffery Xiong (2015 Chicago Open winner). He ended with three […]

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Summer is here and just outside of the “Windy City” in the suburb of Wheeling, the Chicago Open has begun. Aleksandr Shimanov is the defending champion, but Jeffery Xiong is the top seed and wants to repeat his 2015 win. Then only 14-years old, he has since evolved into a member of the U.S. national […]

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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 Abidjan, the economic capital of Cote d’Ivoire, to launch 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 […]

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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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