For the second year in a row, The Chess Drum posted a Black History Quiz.  For the second year in a row, Paaras Modi of Chicago has won the contest, but this year he had to share joint 1st with NM Blair Machaj of Naperville (outside of Chicago) with 10/12. Machaj stated that he enjoyed the quiz and mentioned which ones he had an easy time with… #6, #8, #10.

Modi set high standards for other participants including his friend,
Teme Sejko. Both attend classes together at Eugen Field Elementary School. In an interesting development, Sejko diligently researched the answers and claimed that two answers existed for a couple of questions. Question #10 was of particular note:

10. There are only two Black players to earn a 2500 rating in the U.S. Chess Federation. Maurice Ashley is one of them. Who is the other?

Black History Quiz #1 (Answers)

In December 1993, Maurice Ashley reached a USCF rating of 2606 (according to data collected by Jerry Bibuld).  So who was the other? The answer was given as FM William Morrison who first reached a published rating of 2501 in December of 1994.  Sejko responded that FM Emory Tate had reached 2500 three times in 1996 and provided a link to the USCF site.

It turns out that Tate had technically reached a rating of 2508 rating in December 1996. His highest
published USCF rating appears to be 2499.  However, in those days, ratings were often inaccurate because Tournament Directors sent tournament results late, out of order, or the USCF was behind in their calculations.  In addition, it turns out that Morrison's highest rating was 2535 as opposed to the 2512 (Morrison's personal claim). So both answers were given credit.  This was a significant discovery by Sejko and he will receive a special prize for his alertness. Bunmi Olape of Nigeria tied Sejko with 9/12 and Christopher Girado of Chicago scored 7/12.

The one most commonly missed was #5. IM-elect
Pontus Carlsson, who was born in Columbia, but raised in Sweden, recently earned two IM norms in Spain to clinch the norm. It is easy to miss such an answer because few know about the young 23-year old talent who plays most of his chess in the Nordic countries.  Hopefully, the U.S. will get a closer look at Carlsson who is interested in playing in the U.S.

Thanks to everyone who participated!

Top 5 Results

1st: Paaras Modi, Blair Machaj, 10/12
2nd: Teme Sejko, Bunmi Olape, 9/12
3rd: Christopher Girado, 7/12

Quiz Answers

Posted by The Chess Drum: 12 February 2005