Search - List of Books by Maurice Ashley
"I see myself more as an ambassador of the game. And I hope to bring chess to a higher level in the United States. Making bigger tournaments, more interesting events. Making it a respectable profession for young people to be able to pursue in the future." -- Maurice Ashley
Maurice Ashley (born March 6, 1966 in St. Andrew, Jamaica) is a chess grandmaster. He is the first and only African-American grandmaster. In the October 2006 rating lists, he had a FIDE rating of 2465, and a USCF rating of 2520 at standard chess, and 2536 at quick chess. Ashley is associated with Chesswise. In 2005 he wrote the book Chess for Success, relating his experiences and the positive aspects of chess. He was the main organizer for the HB global chess event, with the biggest cash prize in history for an open chess tournament. FIDE awarded him the grandmaster title in 1999. Ashley and Englishman James Plaskett are the only two grandmasters to have made it to the studio stage of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?," each in his respective country. In 1992, Ashley shared the United States Game/10 chess championship with Maxim Dlugy.
Total Books: 56
In 1993, Maurice Ashley was married to Michele Johnson, then a teacher at the Bilingual Center of P.S. 189. On June 5, 1994 the couple gave birth to Nia-Ashanti Ashley, a professional actor, writer and currently attends Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School. Maurice and Michele have remained happily married since then.
Ashley graduated from the College of the City of New York (CCNY), and represented the school in intercollegiate team competition. Always promoting chess among youth, Ashley coached the Raging Rooks of Harlem, and the Dark Knights (also from Harlem), both of which have won national championships under his guidance. In September 1999, he opened the Harlem Chess Center which has attracted such celebrities as Larry Johnson and Wynton Marsalis. Ashley was named 2003 Grandmaster of the Year by the U.S. Chess Federation. He makes appearances all over the country speaking to young people and adults about chess and its benefits.
In 2003 Maurice Ashley wrote an essay The End of the Draw Offer?, which raised discussion about ways to avoid quick agreed draws in chess tournaments.
In 2007 Ashley returned to his birth country of Jamaica and became the first GM to ever participate in a tournament in that country. The tournament, a six round Swiss called the Frederick Cameron Open, was held at the Jamaica Conference center on the 15th and 16th of December 2007. After sweeping a field consisting of several of Jamaica's top players and Barbadian FIDE master Philip Corbin he fell victim to a potential double attack in the final round to Jamaican National Master Jomo Pitterson. He placed second on five points behind Pitterson (5.5).
In 2008, Ashley was featured in an interview for the CNN documentary Black in America.