HBCU Chess Spotlight: Hampton University

Hampton University traveled 22 hours to the 2024 HBCU Chess Classic in Atlanta after a last-minute effort by the Hampton Alumni Association to fund their travel. As Breon McCray III described it, they nearly had to nix the trip when they could not raise the requisite funds to travel. They only discovered the day before the event that they had the means to make the trip. McCray, the HU Chess President, mentioned that Karla Booker of the Atlanta Chapter of the HU Alumni Association ensured they could represent Hampton.

Hampton University perhaps had a chess legacy that started with the late Dr. Sid Credle, who initially infused chess into the business curriculum. Credle, previously the Director of Academic Programs at Florida A&M University, had brought the idea with him when he assumed the Deanship at HU. However, chess was essentially confined to the School of Business. Hampton students wanted a much larger base for chess, so the chess club was launched.

McCray and co-founder Charles Lindsey created a strong campus presence and grew the social media following into the hundreds. Hampton fielded two teams from this population and ended up with the bronze trophy, which made the long return trip fruitful. With such success, Hampton may draw even more interest, and perhaps they will host a future HBCU Classic. Next year, Lindsey will take the reigns as President, and we look forward to hearing bigger and better things from Hampton.

Breon McCray III, Hampton University

Video by Daaim Shabazz/The Chess Drum

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