Dear friends and intimates:

National Master (NM) Grace Nsubuga -- the strongest chess player in Uganda -- has been denied a visa by the U. S. Consul in Kampala, on grounds that he has not proved to her satisfaction that he will return home after playing in two chess tournaments in the United States. NM Nsubuga was invited specifically to participate in one of these international tournaments -- the Wilbert Paige Memorial International Chess Tournament -- and has paid his entry fee of US$250 to participate in the other-- the World Open Chess Championship. Both tournaments are registered with the World Chess Federation (FIDE). This denial of a visa on such errantly arrogant racist grounds has been committed by a representative of the government that in the past month shrieked, "Foul!" to the high heavens, when it was removed from the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations.

For what reason did the U. S. consul make her decision? Is it that NM Nsubuga is poverty stricken and wants to trade a mud hut in Uganda for a palace on the gold-paved streets of the U. S. A., land of milk and honey? No. His father is a well-to-do doctor of medicine, with whom NM Nsubuga lives in Ntinda, a suburb of Kampala. Is it that NM Nsubuga is a card carrying, bomb throwing Bolshevik, desiring the overthrow of the world's "leading democracy"? No. NM Nsubuga is a born again Christian, who, according to the President of the Chess Federation of Uganda, "gets along well with everyone."

Is it that he is a young man thirsting for adventure on foreign soil, who finds his family and homeland too tame? No. NM Nsubuga has played on the Ugandan Olympiad team in Armenia (1996), Kalmykia (1998) and Turkey (2000). In addition, he has traveled to Egypt to represent his national federation in the World Chess Championship Cycle and has visited Egypt and Kenya to play in international tournaments hosted by those two countries. For some reason, he always returns home after participating in such chess activities.

NM Nsubuga is a professional chess master. Now, he has the possibility of winning relatively big money and -- more importantly, in the world of chess -- earning norms toward the coveted FIDE title of International Master. But the racism of a U. S. bureaucrat seeks to prevent him from pursuing his vocation and life's work.

You may view the above statement as bitter sarcasm. However, as a native born citizen of the United States, who has spent the great majority of his 73 years fighting racism in his homeland, I assure you that I am not exaggerating the situation.

(Incidentally, how does one go about proving he will return to his family and homeland? And, why should the "land of the free and home of the brave" require such proof in order to issue a visa?)

Following is some material on the Wilbert Paige Memorial International Chess Tournament, to which NM Nsubuga has been invited. The Wilbert Paige Memorial International Chess Tournament will be held at the old Hotel Theresa building in Harlem from 14 through 23 July 2001. It will be a FIDE Cat. IV tournament, in which International Master norms can be earned. The Wilbert Paige Memorial will be not only the first international chess tournament ever held in Harlem, but also the strongest tournament in history in which every player either has been born in Africa or is of relatively recent African descent.

Following is the list of players, with their FIDE affiliates and their April 2001 FIDE ratings:

IM Amon Simutowe (ZAM) 2470
IM Mark Schleifer (CAN) 2374
IM Watu Kobese (RSA) 2373
FM William Morrison (USA) 2381
FM Stephen Muhammad (USA) 2307
FM Ronald Simpson (USA) 2296
NM Kenneth Solomon (RSA) 2290
NM Norman ("Pete") Rogers (USA) 2272
NM Grace Nsubuga (UGA) 2264
NM Ernest ("Steve") Colding (USA) 2258
Average FIDE Rating = 2328.5 (Cat. IV). has donated a Best Played Game Prize for the Wilbert Paige Memorial. GM Maurice Ashley has agreed to act as the judge for this award.

The tournament will be open to the public and three outstanding Afro-American masters have volunteered to analyze the games during play: GM Maurice Ashley, NM Jerald Times (who played at a FIDE2500+ level in the recent Foxwoods Open) and NM Elvin Wilson (current Philadelphia Champion). It is expected that our Afro-American and Latino coaches in the metropolitan NYC area will bring their students to the playing site, where they will see ten dark-skinned chess players in an international tournament and will benefit from analysis by other outstanding players. In addition, there will be a daily bulletin and the players are expected to do their post mortems at the demonstration boards in the analysis room.

The Internet Chess Club will put the games, "live", on the ICC's website. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at the above email address or by telephone (914) 939-5023. The same number may be used for sending facsimiles.


Jerome Bibuld