The Chess Drum in New in Chess!

Dear chess community,

New In Chess (2020-8)After urging from New in Chess Chief Editor Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam, I have penned an exclusive for the world’s premier chess magazine (2020-8). Dirk and I met at either an Olympiad or one of the Grand Chess Tour events in St. Louis. As we covered one of the events, he posed the idea of me writing an article for the publication, and I agreed to the honor.

Years melted away, and one event after another, Dirk would gently serve me a reminder. After another reminder at the 2018 Chess Olympiad in Batumi, I knew it was time. Then after the 2019 Grand Chess Tour in Abidjan, I started putting my thoughts together. I felt that I would have quite a bit of good news to write about the Africa Diaspora with this development!

In the year 2020, we exchanged e-mail and as I began writing the article, tragedy struck when both of my siblings (Ahvia and Abraham Jr.) developed serious health challenges. I was able to finish the final edit before becoming consumed by their health situations. Both would eventually pass away six weeks apart. This article is dedicated to them as they taught me the gift of reading and writing.

New In Chess (2020-8)

Perhaps it is a sign of the times, but New in Chess has made progressive strides going to the larger size in 2011 and broadening the horizons of coverage. In a time when digital media has diminished the demand for print media, New in Chess has shown that quality formats are still in vogue. The magazine is of coffee-table quality and has been a staple of top-level chess since 1984.

So… in the eight-page article, I give a bit of history on the beginnings of The Chess Drum and review some of the interesting moments in covering chess in the African Diaspora. There are some exciting games including annotated games of Emory Tate, Watu Kobese, Amon Simutowe and Kassa Korley. This may be the first article in the magazine’s history to feature an article on the African Diaspora.

New In Chess (2020-8)

Over the past 20 years, I have had a chance to see chess from a unique perspective. In the beginning, there were skeptics about why such a site was necessary. Decades later, The Chess Drum continues to be a platform to champion the universality of chess. The site has tens of thousands of pages of chess content and is available for the general public to enjoy.

As much as we want to extol the FIDE motto of “GENS UNA SUMUS,” there had been so little coverage of Black chess players, such a platform became a necessity. Fortunately, there have been other sites to express chess activities in the African Diaspora. Some are frankly offended that The Chess Drum exists. One day I will write the story of The Chess Drum, but for now, you’ll have to settle for this article in NIC.


Dr. Daaim Shabazz, The Chess Drum

Note: This article is not available online, nor as a single print. I do not have permission to copy and post here. You will have to purchase your magazine at NIC store! You can see my past reviews of NIC here!


  1. New In Chess (2020-8)

    8 Chess in Hell
    A new exhibition at the World Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis features artwork by Keith Haring, and newly-commissioned pieces by local artists paying homage to the pop culture icon.

    10 NIC’s Café
    Bruce Pandolfini’s pupil Oliver Boydell wrote a book. At the age of 10!

    12 Your Move
    A really weird game from McFarland’s Editor-in-Chief and a letter calling the historical Edo ratings ‘fairy-tale ratings’.

    14 The Queen’s Gambit
    The enthralling story of Beth Harmon’s stupendous rise in the male-dominated world of chess has stirred a veritable chess boom.

    17 Memorable games
    Erwin l’Ami traces Beth Harmon’s inspirations.

    26 Skilling Open
    Wesley So spoiled Magnus Carlsen’s party as he beat him on his 30th birthday to win the first leg of the new Champions Chess Tour.

    30 Fair & Square
    What was it that even Stephen King found ‘utterly thrilling’?

    42 Interview Alireza Firouzja
    Few doubt that the Iranian-born 17-year-old is World Champion material.

    46 US Champions
    Playing from his home in Minnesota, Wesley So became the 2020 US Champion with a massive 9/11 score.

    49 Celeb64: Bobby Darin

    64 Bobby Fischer Bible
    An excerpt from John Donaldson’s magnum opus Bobby Fischer and His World, including hitherto unpublished games.

    71 What would you play?
    Test your decision-making skills with Thomas ‘Toolbox’ Willemze.

    76 The Chess Drum
    For almost twenty years now, The Chess Drum has been focusing on Black chess players and highlighting chess activities within the worldwide African Diaspora.

    84 Maximize Your Tactics
    Find the right moves.

    86 Knight dances with Spassky
    Judit Polgar fondly remembers her encounters with Boris Spassky.

    90 Sadler on Books
    Petrosian books aplenty! Our book reviewer points out that with his ‘shuffle’ chess the 9th World Champion was way ahead of his time.

    96 Chess Pattern Recognition
    The strength of the Catenaccio Bishop.

    98 Levon Aronian
    Jan Timman looks at the Armenian’s outstanding performance in Norway Chess.

    105 They Are the Champions
    Thuso Mosutha is the national champion of Botswana.

    106 Just Checking
    Who is the all-time favourite player of Mark ‘The Week in Chess’ Crowther?


  2. Thanks Kevin!

    Actually, this article was years in the making. I just never got it done. I have a cordial relationship with Dirk and we have covered many events together. He asked me to do a piece about three years ago. I’m glad we got it done.

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