United States – Inducted 2016
Maurice Ashley is not only the first African-American player to achieve the title of grandmaster, but one of the greatest ambassadors and promoters the game has ever known. Ashley is a world-class commentator who has covered many major competitions including the 1995 Kasparov-Anand World Championship match as well as the 2013-2016 Sinquefield Cups. He has also organized some of the highest-stakes open tournaments worldwide, the HB Global Challenge (2005) and Millionaire Chess Open (2014, 2015), which featured record-setting prize funds. Formerly a Joint Fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center and MIT’s Media Lab, Ashley is at the forefront of bringing the benefits of chess to a wider educational audience through the innovative use of technology. He is the author of the bestseller Chess for Success: Using an Old Game to Build New Strengths in Children and Teens (2005).