Maurice Ashley 2016 Hall of Fame Inductee!

Mar 18, 2016, 7:46 PM |

Maurice Ashley

(b. 1966)
United States – Inducted 2016

Through chess, Maurice Ashley not only made history as the first African-American International Grandmaster in 1999, but has also translated his talents to others as a three-time national championship coach, two-time author, iPhone app designer, puzzle inventor, motivational speaker, and ESPN announcer.

He has provided engaging commentary for major matches such as Garry Kasparov versus Viswanathan Anand in the 1995 World Championship and Kasparov’s 1997 match against Deep Blue, an IBM computer, as well as matches in the Professional Chess Association’s Intel World Chess Grand Prix, the U.S. Chess Championships, and the Sinquefield Cups.

Ashley has conceptualized and organized Millionaire Chess Open, the highest-stakes open tournament worldwide with a record setting prize fund, which aims to bring sponsors and a sense of glamour to the game of chess.

Ashley has worked as a Joint Fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center and MIT’s Media Lab to bring the benefits of chess and other classic games to a wider educational audience through the innovative use of technology. He has traveled the world as an ardent spokesperson of the character-building effects of chess.

Ashley has also served as the coach of the Harlem-based school teams the Dark Knights and the Raging Rooks, the latter of which tied for first place in the 1991 National Championship and was featured on the front page of the New York Times, publicizing chess as an enriching alternative for adolescent boys.

Ashley’s book, Chess for Success (Broadway Books, 2005), further crystallizes his vision of the many benefits of chess, particularly for at-risk youth, and he continuously spreads his message of living one’s dream to universities, businesses, chess clubs and non-profit organizations around the globe.

His app, “Learn Chess! With Maurice Ashley,” has been sold in over 30 countries, and he has received multiple community service awards from city governments, universities and community groups for his work.

In the fall of 2011, Ashley toured six Caribbean nations to bringing chess, books and technology to children in the region. In 2015, Maurice announced a partnership with the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis and Ascension, Your Move Chess. This program supports after school chess in the Florissant-Ferguson School District alongside other schools in the Saint Louis area. Longer term, the goal is to expand the program on a national level. 

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