Maurice Ashley appears in PBS documentary

by ChessBase
2/4/2004 – GM Maurice Ashley will appear in a TV documentary entitled America: Beyond the Color Line, which will be broadcast in two parts on Public Television in the US beginning at 9 pm New York time, Tuesday, February 3. GM Ashley appears in the second installment which will be broadcast at the same hour on Wednesday, February 4. Here's the full story...

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Maurice told us that he was asked to be on the show by its writer, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Gates was impressed with how Ashley, an accomplished professional, was giving back to his community by teaching chess to the children in Harlem.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is a humanities professor at Harvard. His documentary examines the changes in the lives of African Americans over the last 100 years. Gates travels to four different parts of America to explore the social scene that currently defines black America. This film is being presented as part of the American celebration of Black History Month. In his interview with Maurice Ashley he asks about the grandmaster’s views on the intellect and potential of African American children.

Garry Kasparov talks to anchor Maurice Ashley in the ESPN show

GM Ashley, the first African American Chess Grandmaster, was the host of the ESPN broadcast of the Man – Machine World Chess Championship (Kasparov vs. X3D Fritz) which was held during November, 2003 in New York.

What he does best: use chess to motivate school children in Harlem

Maurice Ashley also ‘put his money where his mouth is’ when, after complaining about the propensity of grandmaster draws, he organized the Generation Chess International – an invitational tournament which penalized draws before move 50. It was a great success and we hope to see more of them in the future.

Vinnie in "Searching for Bobby Fischer"? No, Ashley in the Park, many years ago

Look for Grandmaster Maurice Ashley to appear on the server in the near future. You can also catch him at the finals of the AmericInn Lodging National Youth Chess Championship on February 21 in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Susan Grumer


Maurice Ashley made history when he became the first and only African-American to attain the coveted title of International Grand Master of Chess in 1999. At the time the story was covered in Time Magazine , USA Today, New York Times, Sports Illustrated, London Times, Ebony, and a host of other papers around the world.

Maurice has appeared on The Charlie Rose Show, CBS News This Morning, National Public Radio, Today New York (W-NBC), CNN, Bloomberg Radio, and a number of radio shows around the U.S. He served as commentator for the IBM Kasparov vs. Deep Blue rematch (1997), 1996 Man vs. Machine match (Kasparov vs. Deep Blue), and other world championship matches.

Maurice was coach of the Raging Rooks (J.H.S. 43) of Harlem, winners of the National Junior High School Championships (1991) ; and also coach of the Dark Knights (also from Harlem), two time National Champions (1994 and 1995) in the Junior Varsity Division and was the head of the Dark Knights program as they continued to win six National Championship titles.

Maurice was named 2003 Grandmaster of the Year by the U.S. Chess Federation. Maurice makes appearances all over the country speaking to young people and adults about chess and its benefits.


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