USA

  • Historic Moments: African-American Unity Chess Tournaments (1992)

    When those following chess in the Black chess community worldwide are asked about a famous tournament in Harlem comprising of strong chess players of African descent, they will invariably mention the Wilbert Paige Memorial. However, there was a precedent. Maurice Ashley (right) sent a provocative letter calling for an initiative…

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  • Confessions of a Former Chess Jerk

    Confessions of a Former Chess Jerkby Steven B. Dowd, Ph.D. As we age, dates blend, so forgive me for not giving exact dates. I remember Judge George Leighton not because he was an African-American, but because of his sportsmanship. One day David Sprenkle, the future Illinois and now Washington FM,…

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  • FM Sunil Weeramantry: Reflections on Libya

    Ever so often the chess community is blessed with a special personality. Sometimes that person is heralded as the next great player, but how often do we here about the people that are responsible for helping those players become great? A native of Sri Lanka, FM Sunil Weeramantry has been…

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  • Historic Moments: 1989 U.S. Open Photo Gallery

    Reflections on the 1989 U.S. Open The year of 1989 was an interesting year for Black chess. Maurice Ashley and Emory Tate had begun to get the recognition they had long deserved and had continued to prove themselves. Both starred at the 1988 New York Open earning IM norms. In…

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  • Historic Moments: The Honorable George Neves Leighton

    Oftentimes we see chess players at tournaments and do not realize who they are or what kind of life they lead in the “outer world.” Many of us have sat across from very powerful individuals and may not have known. George Leighton is one of these individuals. Born in New…

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  • The Curse of the Chess Expert

    In almost every sporting activity, there is one thought that inevitably enters a competitor’s mind… the quest for mastery. This level of attainment would place the individual in an elite group of competitors in that sport and they would stand as an example of the discipline and fortitude required to…

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  • Historic Moments: Roberts Vaux ‘Bad Bishops’

    Plotting moves, the “Bad Bishops” are closely watched by their coach, Jeffrey Chesin (at end of table). Kevin Giles and Michael Allen play a game of blitz (center). At this point, Vaux had won five consecutive national titles. Photo courtesy of Johnson Publishing Company. Roberts Vaux Middle School has a…

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  • Historic Moments: Emory Tate, Jr.: 5-time Armed Forces Champ!

    U.S. Chess Life magazine, January 1985 Air Force Sergeant Emory A. Tate, Jr., stationed at Ft. Meade, Maryland accepts the first annual Haskell Small Award for taking individual honors at the 25th Annual Armed Forces Chess Championship Tournament Tate won the tournament, which was held in Washington, D.C. from September…

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  • Historic Moments: Ashley & Muhammad at 2003 U.S. Championship

    GM Maurice Ashley and IM-elect Stephen Muhammad conversing after completion of the 2003 U.S. Championship. Photo by Daaim Shabazz GM Maurice Ashley and FM Stephen MuhammadPhotos by Jerry Bibuld GM Maurice Ashley vs. IM John Watson (Round 7)Photo by Daaim Shabazz IM Varuzhan Akobian vs. FM Stephen Muhammad (Round 7)Photo…

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  • The Mind of a Grandmaster

    In the chess world, GMs are considered the elite thinkers. Perhaps it is safe to say that a GM is superior in the handling of one or more key areas of the game which most times leads to finding the clearest path to victory. In his popular book, Road to…

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