There is a certain spirit that is traveling through chess halls within the African diaspora. There was the Wilbert Paige tournament; there is mention of a Mark Meeres tournament; there is talk of a Bob Marley Memorial (in the Caribbean). Consistent with this spirit was the recently concluded Malcolm X Memorial tournament held at Oxford Chess Club in Brooklyn.
Harlem's Ken Moody won the 17-player tournament by upsetting top-ranked Herminio Baez. Moody's win was perhaps secondary to the fact that he narrowly escaped being a victim in the World Trade Center collapse on September 11th. Moody is a veteran Fire Marshall in New York. Perhaps the biggest story of the tournament was the performance of rising star Jannelle Richardson who beat third-seed Dennis Moore enroute to taking clear second (on tiebreaks). Her coach, Herminio Baez took third place. Malcolm Crane was top junior (drew Baez) and 10-year old Delphe Morantes won top adult U1600. " I wouldn't want to play him a year from now," stated Harlem's Herman Waxter after beating Morantes. Other juniors making impressions were Melvin McRae, Ronny Romrantes and Nia Kari Blackmon. Look for great things to come from these young lions out of New York!
What's next? Perhaps a Marcus Garvey or Kwame Nkrumah Pan-African tournament! Stay tuned!
The Oxford Gambit chess club
Posted by The Chess Drum: 21 October 2001