Chess player, coach and commentator Maurice Ashley was recently inducted
into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame after becoming a chess grandmaster in
1999. Out of the 1,500 grandmasters in the United States, Ashley is the only African
American one and the first African American player to be
inducted into the hall of fame.
“For me to hear that I’m being inducted for everything I’ve given to the game, that I’ve done to promote the game, that I’ve done to help young people play, and for the inspiration I’ve been, has just been absolutely incredible,” Ashley said in an online article.
The honor comes after years of competing at every level: city parks, colleges, chess clubs and tournaments.
According to the Associated Press, the process of becoming a grandmaster is done under the auspices of the World Chess Federation, known by its French acronym FIDE, and involves earning overall points and performing particularly well in chess tournaments.
In addition to his role as player and coach, the 50-year old Ashley also works with children at an after-school program in Ferguson, Missouri.