65th Square (Index of Essays)

Queen Nefertari of Egypt playing chess.
| Alphabetical | Date |


What Matters… Champion or #1? (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – What happens when the World Champion is not the highest rated player? Who then has the greatest leverage?

Africa: Too Much Voting Power in FIDE? (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – For FIDE Elections, many say that smaller chess nations (especially in Africa) should not have the same vote. Is this a fair statement?

The Challenges of Black Chess Masters (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – Why are there not more chess masters of African ancestry gracing the tournament halls around the world? What are the issues they face?

The Drum Beats in Africa (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – This photo essay is a display of African beauty and hope and also documents my visit to the Kenyan chess community. Africa shall never be forgotten.

FIDE: Which Way Forward? (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – The chess world will have elections at the 2010 Chess Olympiad. Anatoly Karpov has decided to stand for the position. Which way shall FIDE go?

Is Nakamura the ‘Real Deal’? (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – Hikaru Nakamura is a phenomenon is the world of chess. However, there are those who claim the praise is too early. Are they right?


Does the Soviet School of Chess still rule? (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – During the FIDE World Cup, there was a lot of talk about the domination of players from the Soviet tradition. Does this tradition still rule?

What Anand’s Visit Means to Africa (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – World Champion Viswanathan Anand made a visit to southern Africa in late August 2009. Will it have an impact?

Simutowe’s Last Mile (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – Amon Simutowe set out to be a chess Grandmaster. This essay looks at lessons we can learn from his example of determination.

The Myth of ‘Chess Geekism’ (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – We often hear some disparaging characterizations of chess being a game for socially-retarded individuals. Is this true?

Why Chess? (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – A common question with so many ways to answer. What is it about chess that we find so attractive? You tell us.

GENS UNA SUMUS: Are We One Family? (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – This essay raises an important question. Is FIDE a body that lives upto its motto? Events at the Olympiad showed some disturbing trends.


Reflections from Dresden Olympiad (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – A celebration of the world’s premier chess tournament! More than 140 teams came to participate. Here are my memories.

The Rise of the “Asian Dragons,” Part 2 (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – Seven years since the first part of this article ran, China and India have created a wave of activity in the entire region. Dominance is afoot!

How do I become a Grandmaster? (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – The immortal question for chess aspirants or inquisitive minds is how one becomes a Grandmaster. This essay takes a look at this question.

Chess and the Dynamics of Business (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – Reading the business section, one will see many references to chess in advertising and in headlines. Is there really a connection?

Is Chess Dead? (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – There is often the fear that in the age of computers, chess is dying… or dead. Have computers reduced chess to a game of mere memorization?

The Socio-Politics of the First Move in Chess (Dr. Daaim Shabazz)- It is  often stated that the first move offers an advantage and players points to the higher winning percentage for white? Is  there more to this? (Dr. Daaim Shabazz)


The Importance of Chess Literacy (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – We often talk about basic literacy, but what about ’chess literacy’? What is it and why is it important in chess development?

Is The Chess Drum a Racist Website? (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – There are many opinions about The Chess Drum… most are favorable, but there are a few who think otherwise.

African Chess has to do better (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – Botswana’s performance in the 1st Women’s Team Chess Championship gives us a lot of lessons and insight. Will we learn from it?

Becky Covington redefines 'Help Mate' (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – Is chess to marriage like oil is to water? No… the two can happily co-exist, but it takes a special spouse to realize this. Becky Covington is one such person.

Chess & Self-Actualization (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – Chess is an activity of the mind. It allows introspection and provide us with an opportunity for self-fulfillment, a basic human need. Why is this so?


Chess at America’s HBCUs (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – Is there chess life in America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities? This essay takes a brief look at chess at these schools and the challenges.

Who will be the next Black Grandmaster?  (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – The immortal question… Maurice Ashley earned the GM title in 1999. Since then no player of African descent has earned the coveted title. Who’s next?

How Bright will Black Stars Shine? (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – There is emerging a rich talent pool in the Black chess community. Talent has never been the issue. What are the key issues in realizing Black talent?

Can Pan-Africanism work in Chess?  (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – A continent of almost 800 million inhabitants has only 600 active chessplayers. This essay looks at Pan-Africanism as a method for chess development.

Afro-Brazilian Chess (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – An essay about the Afro-Brazilian chess activity in a place with the world’s highest concentration of African descendants.

Flashback on Maurice Ashley (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – This essay takes a look at the tireless efforts of Maurice Ashley an his role in shaping the international chess consciousness.


The Caribbean Tigers of Chess? (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – With the Asian region rising, are Caribbean islands going to see a surge in chess activity. What needs to be done if that is to happen?

Hurricane Katrina: A Black Chess Player’s Story (NM Glenn Bady) – A gripping story about a chess player who lost his home during Hurrican Katrina, but found a home and family in Philly.

Keeping Men in Check! (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – Female chess players are beginning to make strides and the latest example of success in the Black Diaspora is especially encouraging.

The Beauty of Capoeira and Chess (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – Both capoeira and chess are beautiful martial artforms in their own rights. What are some similarities between the two?

The HB Global Chess Challenge (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – The HB Global Chess Challenge is an event of historic proportions. GM Maurice Ashley makes a public statement about its importance.

The Marketing of Chess (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – If you ask 10 people about chess, you may get 10 different impressions. What is the cause for such a diffracted view? Is marketing the blame?

Kujichagulia and Chess (Dr. Kimani Stancil) – The 2nd principle of Kwanzaa is “self-determination.” How does this relate to chess? Dr. Kimani Stancil gives us an illustration at the chess board.


Reflections on the Mallorca Olympiad (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – What was the 36th Chess Olympiad like? Well in the four days I was there, I collected a lot of memories… some good, some not so good.

Confessions of a Former Chess Jerk (Dr. Steven Dowd) – Dr. Steven Dowd reflects on something we all have seen, but perhaps would never admit to being… a chess jerk! He learned a good lesson.

FM Sunil Weeramantry: Reflections on Libya (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – The Chess Drum had a chat with FM Sunil Weeramantry and his experience in Libya for the 2004 FIDE World Chess Championship.

Generation Chess at the Masters (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – Special Report!! GM Maurice Ashley wrote, “The End of the Draw Offer?” and organized a theme tournament. A year later, he recharges the debate.

Is Chess Being “Outsourced”? (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – In the age of computer databases and chess engines, are we relying too much on these tools? Where is it leading?

The Curse of the Chess Expert (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – Are “Expert” players in the U.S. suffering from a curse? Why have so few Experts failed to break the barrier to become “National Masters?”

The Dynamics of Critical Thinking (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – What is critical thinking? How may it help us to play better chess? This essay provides some insight into the fascinating subject of critical thought.


Amon Simutowe: My Trip to Nigeria (IM Amon Simutowe) – Special Report!! The young Zambian star recounts his experience at the All-African Championships in Abuja, Nigeria. Very interesting reading!

Black Women in American Chess   (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – The question often asked in American chess circles is, “Where are the Black women in chess?” Perhaps there is an answer.

The Rising Stars of Africa (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – Three rising players have an opportunity to secure a place for Africa on the chess map of the world.

The Challenge of Online Chess Journalism   (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – What are the challenges to running a chess website? This essay looks at some of the critical issues in chess journalism.

Prison Chess: The Game Called Life (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – A look at the intriguing world of prison chess… its benefits and triumphs…challenges and obstacles.

The End of the Draw Offer? (GM Maurice Ashley) – Special Report!! GM Maurice Ashley’s essay examines the ethics surrounding quick draws in professional chess tournaments.

Can You Keep the Beat Going? (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – After two years, The Chess Drum has been keeping the beat in Black chess circles. What is the source of the beat and how is it to be maintained?

Metaphysics of the Chess Mind (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – An essay delving into the possible connection between chess and the metaphysical sciences.


Jamaica’s ‘Fantastic Sojourn’ at the Chess Olympiad (Atty. Ian Wilkinson) – Ian Wilkinson writes about his experiences at the 2002 Olympiad in very captivating detail and in his characteristic entertaining prose.

The Mind of a Grandmaster (Dr. Daaim Shabazz w/ GM Ashley) – This intriguing audio essay with GM Maurice Ashley provides us with glimpse of a Grandmaster’s aspirations, motivations, and thought process.

Chess and the Art of Business Strategy (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – Since chess is a miniature simulation of war and it is said that ‘business is war,’ this essay examines chess’ relationship to business strategy.

Lateral Thinking in Chess (Mark Bowen) – This essay examines the practice of using alternative methods for chess development including other sports, martial arts, warfare, and animal instinct.

Chess and Hip-Hop Culture (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – This essay takes a look at chess and its influence on hip-hop culture… namely rap stars and their involvement with the game.

The Making of The Chess Drum (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – This essay recounts the evolution of how The Chess Drum was founded from it’s conception to its launching on the 12th of February 2001.


What Does the Future Hold for Black Chess? (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – This essay raises the question of chess mentorship in the Black community and encourages an initiative to pass on a proud chess legacy.

Scholastic Chess (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – This essay examines the merits of scholastic chess and a few of the many success stories around the world, particularly in the Black community.

Special Profile on Akeem Gregory-Thompson (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – This is a special profile on a rising scholastic star out of Philadelphia. At the time of this interview, he had the state’s highest rating for his age group.

The Brotherhood Fraternity of Chess (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – This essay looks at the camaraderie that has been developed through the sport of chess. Perhaps this spirit needed to produce more players of the elite ranks.

The Rise of the “Asian Dragons” (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – This essay examines the rise of China and India as chess powers. In particular, the Chinese women and Indian men have made indelible impressions.

The Black Genesis of Chess – Moors of Spain (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – The Moors of Spain were accomplished chess players in their day. This essay gives a historical account of chess and its genesis in Black Africa.

The Spirit of Chess and “Trash-Talking” (Dr. Daaim Shabazz) – “Trash-talking” is common among Black sportsmen. This article talks about the phenomenon and provides some humorous anecdotes.

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