Maurice Ashley (@MauriceAshley) made history in 1999 when he became the first African-American chess Grandmaster. He is a three-time national championship coach, an author, ESPN commentator, iPhone app designer, puzzle inventor, and motivational speaker.
Maurice is well known for providing dynamic live tournament coverage of world-class chess competitions and matches. His high-energy, unapologetic, and irreverent commentary combines Brooklyn street smarts with professional ESPN-style sports analysis. He has covered every class of elite event, including the World Chess Championships, the US Chess Championships, the Grand Chess Tour, and the legendary “man vs. machine” matches between Garry Kasparov and IBM’s Deep Blue.
Traveling the world as an ardent spokesperson for the many character-building effects of chess, Maurice consults with universities, schools, chess clubs, executives, and celebrities on how chess principles and strategies can be applied to improve business practices and assist with personal growth. Maurice also acts as a master of ceremonies and inspirational speaker at business conferences and high-class chess events.
Maurice has received multiple community service awards from city governments, universities, and community groups for his work. In recognition of his immense contribution to the game, he was inducted into the US Chess Hall of Fame in 2016 and the Brooklyn Technical High School Hall of Fame in 2018.
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