Archive for the 'Opinion/Editorials' Category

Social change is rarely without an intense battle. Without going into the history of humanity’s ills against one another, there have been many tales of brutality in the history of the world. Many of these episodes involve nationality, gender, class, caste, religion, ethnic affiliation (tribe) and the general classification of race. In the U.S., racial […]

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A very interesting report has been released by World Chess, the marketing arm of FIDE. If one can get past the board that is set up wrong (black square on right), there are some very serious admissions in the report. However, one may wonder why FIDE is revealing such a sordid picture for the world […]

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At the launching of the World Chess Hall of Fame in Miami in 2001, the inaugural year of The Chess Drum. Chess journalists often take on the task of presenting the face of chess to the world and oftentimes, that effort is overlooked or taken for granted. In my almost 18 years of covering chess […]

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As a newswriter for most of my adult life, I have always appreciated the craft of composition and the artistry behind “wordsmithing.” Literary works present one’s inner-thinking and create a world through the eyes of the writer. In my earlier years, I devoured Chess Life and later improved my game by subscribing to Massachusetts Chess […]

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Chess community, I am Dr. Daaim Shabazz, Associate Professor of Global Business at Florida A&M University and the creator/owner of The Chess Drum website. I am in good standing with the United Stated Chess Federation where I am an active player, Board Member of Florida Chess Association and have selflessly served the chess journalist community […]

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Hikaru Nakamura has started strongly in 2015. Photo by Eteri Kublashvili. Hikaru Nakamura started the year trying to rebound after a mediocre result in the London Classic and being relegated to America’s #2 position after Wesley So’s impressive showing at the Tata Steel. While there were no public comments by Nakamura, there was a sense […]

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Michael Jordan always sought the toughest competition. Michael Jordan is perhaps one of the world’s most recognized sports names even long after he has retired. He has been viewed as the best competitive basketball player ever to play the game. Of course arguments can be made for Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Elgin Baylor, Larry Bird […]

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Uganda Chess President Vianney Luggya receiving Garry Kasparov. Photo by New Vision. Former World Champion Garry Kasparov recently embarked upon an Africa tour covering several countries. Since his retirement in 2005, Kasparov has not rested. He has been a prolific author and has been active in the political realm as a prominent opposition to current […]

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Back in 2007, I visited London, England for the first time to attend a conference held by the International Academy of African Business Development (IAABD) at London Metropolitan University. I had heard much about the famed metropolis of eight million, but particularly the rainy, gloomy days and pedestrian congestion. While these notions were true, there […]

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The year of 2012 was supposed to be a magical year with all the Mayan calendar prophesies and such. In the year of the Olympics, a World Championship match, the Chess Olympiad and Kasparov’s record falling, there was quite a bit happening in the chess world. The Chess Drum was able to capture the news […]

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The first Black National Master Walter Harris on the March 1964 cover of U.S. Chess Life. In the U.S., the World Open serves not only as the marquee tournament, but as the unofficial barometer for how healthy the chess environment is in the country. Approximately 1000 players trek from around the country and world to […]

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The World Open is a special tournament in U.S. history. Having finished its 40th version, the tournament will move to Arlington, Virginia next year. There are no clear plans on whether it will return to Philadelphia. Nevertheless, I have many good memories of the World Open. Here are some of them from the 2012 event. […]

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How can GM Hikaru Nakamura reach the next level?Photo by CCSCSL. After having won his third U.S. Championship (2005, 2009, 2012) and moving to 5th-6th on the Live Rating List, there is no doubt that Hikaru Nakamura is a championship contender. To all the naysayers in years past, they must be busy trying to think […]

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James McCune Smith February is deemed “Black History Month” for the celebration of important figures in African Diaspora. Originally “Negro History Week” the commemoration was created by Carter G. Woodson in 1926 who wanted to honor the accomplishments of Blacks. The month has primarily focused on those born in America, but there are those who […]

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Bobby Fischer and Magnus Carlsen In the 1972 60 Minutes interview with Mike Wallace, then-championship challenger Bobby Fischer stated that he like to “crush a man’s ego”. He then played Boris Spassky for the World Chess Championship and beat the Soviet player mercilessly even after forfeiting the second game and falling behind 2-0. Fischer had […]

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Scan the code…where does it take you? 🙂 They look like crossword puzzles, but are powerful diagrams of pixels. They are called Quick Response (QR) codes and they are coming to chess soon. In chess we record moves by writing down algebraic notation with a pen or use an input device (i.e., Monroi system or […]

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GM Hikaru Nakamura, 2770 ELO on FIDE list. Photo by Daaim Shabazz. The pairings of the first round of the FIDE World Cup were released in July and after a couple of changes will commence on August 26th in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. Russia will bring a delegation of 26 players. China will bring nine players; the […]

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In a recent ChessBase article, Uzbekistan’s Rustam Kasimdzhanov made a pronouncement about the state of professional chess and its appeal to sponsors. In a very stark admission, Kasimdzhanov opened with, I am writing this open letter, addressed both to FIDE and the entire chess playing world, due to a certain crisis, in which our noble […]

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The Chess Olympiad is less than one month away and there are continued grumblings about the logistical arrangements. One month ago there was a story about the venue in Khanty-Mansiysk still being under construction. There was also the revelation that the organizers may have chosen a venue unable to accommodate all the attendees. Israel Gelfer, […]

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Sweden’s GM Pontus Carlsson at 2008 European Championship. Photo from www.eicc2008.com. From time-to-time there is a question raised about the presence of Black players in the chess world. Players in this demographic can be seen at tournaments around the world and are seemingly enthusiastic about competition. However, those who have found success at the highest […]

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