Cuba

  • IM Nestor Velez passes away

    IM Nestor Tomas Velez BetancourtMay 5th, 1956 – June 28, 2022 It is with regret that The Chess Drum announces the passing of Cuban International Master Nestor Velez. According to social media sources, he passed away this afternoon. Correspondence International Master MI José Guillermo De La Rosa Solórzano sent the…

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  • Black History Month 2022-Day 20: Afro-Latino Chess

    In this Black History Month, we honor our Afro-Latino chess kindred as part of our shared history. The Chess Drum has spent 21 years covering chess around the globe and while the site has presented coverage of major international events, it has focused its energy on the African Diaspora. One…

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  • Black History Month 2022-Day 2: Rogelio Ortega

    Cuba has long been a country of great courage and pride. It has a proud tradition of chess in the memory of José Raúl Capablanca and has produced a number of strong players. Unbeknownst to many, there has been a strong cadre of Cuban players of African ancestry and we…

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  • FM Ignacio Pérez (1967-2022) passes away

    FM Ignacio Perez (1967-2022)Photo by Washington State Chess Federation The Seattle chess community is in mourning after the passing of Ignacio Pérez on January 11th, 2022. The long-time Seattle resident succumbed after a lengthy battle with throat cancer but remained active in the chess community despite his illness. He was…

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  • GM Román Hernández Onna dies at 71

    GM Román Hernández Román Hernández Onna passed away early this month on June 1st from a lengthy illness. The Cuban Grandmaster and former national champion was 71 years old. As a pioneer, Hernandez had a long résumé before he ventured abroad and faced some of the world’s elite competition. Recently,…

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  • Costa Rica’s Tania Hernandez renewed chess passion

    Tania Hernández Álvarez was a prominent player in the Cuba’s women’s circuit haven competed in the national championship several times. However, she joined a large migrant population of chess players and she settled abroad in Costa Rica and renewed passion for chess. A few years ago, she obtained Costa Rican…

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  • GM Román Hernández… Afro-Cuban trailblazer

    During “Black History Month” in the U.S., there is a lot of pride taken in the pioneers who made proud accomplishments while fighting against the odds. Of course, this is an American invention, but we would do justice to extend accolades to the greater African Diaspora. Cuba is one such…

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  • Oleiny Linares wins 3rd Cuban national crown!

    WIM Oleiny Linares Napoles 2019 Cuban Women’s Champion Oleiny Linares (35) has appeared on these pages many times. She has been one of the top Cuban players on the women’s circuit and has competed since the age of 10. The Santiago de Cuba native has represented the island nation numerous…

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  • The Story of Cuba’s Oleiny Linares

    I found a very touching story that ran last year in On Cuba magazine featuring Oleiny Linares Napoles, silver medalist in the 2008 Chess Olympiad in Dresden, Germany. She has been featured on The Chess Drum several times and is one of the strongest women of African ancestry. Oleiny Linares…

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  • Drum Interviews @ St. Louis 2017 Rapid & Blitz

    Drum Interviews @ St. Louis 2017 Rapid & Blitz The inaugural event was launched in St. Louis on the tailend of the 2017 Sinquefield Cup won by Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. It is hard to top such a strong field, but the intrigue was heightened when the 13th World Champion decided to…

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