Obituary

  • Beejay Hicks, Abdullah Abdulbashir, Adia Onyango, Walter Harris, Kenneth Moody at 2014 World Open in Arlington, Virginia. They are posing with fellow New Yorker Walter Harris (second from right), the first Black player to earn the National Master title. Photo by Daaim Shabazz.

    New York chess loses Beejay Hicks to COVID-19

    Beejay Hicks Photo courtesy of Pearline Hicks Adia Onyango reported on Facebook group Chess Connections that, “fellow teammate and chess player, Beejay Hicks passed away due to COVID-19.” Beejay, born on December 19th, 1954 in Harlem (NYC), was 65 years old. According to Pearline Hicks, Beejay’s wife of 23 years,…

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  • Armand Kelley Memorial in April!

    Inez Kelley knew just how much chess meant to her brother Armand Kelley. They were part of a chess-playing family where the activity was valued. Armand naturally gravitated toward the game and became a fixture in the New York chess scene. He was active as part of the Kingsman Chess…

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  • Kobe Bryant’s Chess Mind

    The world is mourning the death of NBA retired superstar Kobe Bryant who was killed Sunday morning in a helicopter crash outside of Los Angeles. Eight others were traveling on the chopper including Bryant’s daughter Gianna Bryant. There were no survivors. Kobe Bryant(August 23, 1978 – January 26, 2020) Kobe…

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  • Warri Champion, September Christian passes away

    September Christian Cyril “September” Christian, one of world’s most heralded warri players, died Friday, November 15th after a battle with cancer. Christian was one of a line of strong warri players hailing from the small twin islands of Antigua and Barbuda. The game came to the West Indies along with…

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  • Cleveland master/coach David Allen passes away

    Dr. David Allen, Sr. Long-time Cleveland master Dr. David Allen, Sr. has passed away after a long battle with diabetes. He was well-known throughout Ohio and the Midwest for his chess coaching and was particularly passionate about the African-American plight in chess. Born January 31st, 1960, David was a couple…

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  • Bazemore of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands (1974-2019)

    Vincent Bazemore, Jr.Photo from Vince’s Voice The Chess Drum regrets to inform the chess community of the passing of 39-year old Vincent John Bazemore, Jr. on May 27th, 2019. The United States Chess Federation announced his passing at the Delegate’s Meeting at the 2019 U.S. Open. He was born September…

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  • USCF Life Master James E. Gwyn, Sr. (1930-2018)

    When Orrin Hudson informed The Chess Drum of the passing of James E. Gwyn, Sr., he recounted the mentorship that he received from the New Jersey resident. Gwyn was months shy of his 88th birthday. A U.S.C.F. Life Master, Gwyn had not played in a chess tournament since 2007, but…

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  • A King in Harlem: Peter Roberts (1952-2018)

    FUNERAL SERVICES FOR PETER SIMON ROBERTS (January 18, 1952 – August 9, 2018) Funeral Information Unity Funeral Home Harlem, New York, USA 126th Street and 8th Avenue Thursday, September 6, 2018 Viewing: 5pm to 6pm (service afterwards) Recently, it was announced on Facebook Chess Connections that Peter Roberts had passed…

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  • Judge George Leighton, chess veteran, passes at 105

    We have lost another legend, a sage, a walking library, legal scholar and an avowed chess enthusiast. George Neves Leighton has passed away on June 6, 2018 at the age of 105 at Veteran’s Hospital in his home state of Massachusetts. The cause was pneumonia. He practiced law in the…

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  • Sammy of NYC blitz fame dead at 55

    Samuel “Sammy” Barton, an icon of street chess, passed away after battling serious health challenges. He was 55. Sammy was known as a mainstay in the greater New York scene and is considered to be a legendary figure. Called “Bubba” by his sisters, he attended Lincoln High School in Coney…

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