Drum Majors

  • Black History Month 2022-Day 24: Frank Street

    Frank Street became a National Master in June 1965 and in the same year, graced the cover of Chess life magazine. As a 20-year old Street had just won the U.S. Amateur Championship and would go on to win the club champion of the Washington Chess Divan, defeating fellow master,…

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  • Black History Month 2022-Day 23: Ashley’s Unity Tournament Series (1992)

    The 1992 African-American Unity Tournament Series was a novel idea and 30 years later, has never lost its relevance. If there is one aspect of the Hall of Fame career of Maurice Ashley that is overlooked or perhaps underrated, it is his visionary ideas. We know about his ambitious tournaments…

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  • Black History Month 2022-Day 22: William Earnest Griffin

    William E. Griffin on page 101 of The Rice Gambit by H. Keidanz (New York, 1905). William Earnest Griffin is a chess player you may not know, but one whose words will make an indelible impression. According to the February 1905 issue of the American Chess Bulletin (page 34), Griffin…

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  • Black History Month 2022-Day 21: Alfred Blake Carlin

    Alfred Blake Carlin was larger than life figure in New Orleans chess. Carlin’s large physical size matched his personality and he was a well-respected chess player and coach. He was one of the few Black masters (Senior Master) in the south and was a five-time Louisiana state champion (1981, 1983,…

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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 17: Walter Harris

    Born September 28th, 1941, Walter Harris is known as the first Black chess player to earn the U.S. Chess Federation National Master title. There are a number of articles about Harris on The Chess Drum, twice as an interview subject {2006 (phone), 2014 (in-person)}. Walter Harris in action against Bill…

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  • Black History Month 2022-Day 15: Ashley & Muhammad

    In 2003, Maurice Ashley and Stephen Muhammad joined the roster of participants of the prestigious U.S. Chess Championship, the hallmark of American tournaments. It is a chance for glory and to be included in the annals of history along with the list of luminaries whose plaques now adorn the World…

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  • Black History Month 2022-Day 14: Raphaelle Bujisho

    France has a storied history and it one of the most iconic countries for chess. It is well-known that François-André Danican Philidor was one of the first chess pioneers and his Analyse du jeu des Échecs was a standard chess guide for more than a century. Even military commander Napoleon…

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  • Black History Month 2022-Day 13: GM Amon Simutowe

    If you were following chess in the early 2000s, there is a chance you may have heard of Zambia’s Amon Simutowe. I read about this rising talent on kasparovchess.com after coming across an article by South Africa’s Mark Rubery. After continuing to dig I realized I was already late in…

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  • Black History Month 2022-Day 11: Historic Games!

    Back in 2003, I wrote an article titled, “Ten of the Best Games Played by Black Masters.” Included in that list were games such as Tate-Ashley, Tate-Yudasin and Giles-Browne, to name a few. While Paige-Formanek is shown again for prosperity, there have been some worthy additions. Following are five historic…

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