Maurice Ashley

(b. 1966)

U.S. Chess

Hall of Fame

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). 


2/4/2018: Face 2 Face Africa — [Faces of Black History] Meet Maurice Ashley, the first black chess grandmaster

Notable Games

Lennart Ootes
Maurice Ashley at the 2017 Sinquefield Cup
Courtesy of the Saint Louis Chess Club
Lennart Ootes
Maurice Ashley and the 2016 U.S. Chess Championship Induction Ceremony
Courtesy of the Saint Louis Chess Club