US Chess on HBCU Chess
Participants of the 2023 HBCU Chess Classic at Morris Brown College
Photo by Daaim Shabazz
Dear Chess Community,
The HBCU Chess Classic took place on April 22nd and many noted figures in the African-American chess community were in attendance. US Chess was also represented by Melinda Matthews who did a number of interviews including this writer. This event was the first of its kind and it sheds light on an overlooked segment in the chess community.
What can we say about such an event in which many in this college event played in their very first tournament? Some stated they learned to play during the pandemic while others had not played chess in years. There is something missing in the outreach efforts in the U.S. since these players could have been members for more than a decade, but are only now joining the fold.
Nine members of the HBCU family attended the event and represented their schools with immense pride. GM Maurice Ashley served as the advisor of The Black Odyssey (TBO) to host the event. It is the first step in a movement toward great inclusion and it is something that has been a part of The Chess Drum’s vision for 22 years.
This is just the beginning. Stay tuned!
Dr. Daaim Shabazz, Associate Professor of Global Business
Florida A&M University
Photo: Melinda Matthews