At some point and time, there’s the question raised about the existence of Black players in the world of chess. Black players are present at tournaments around the globe. They are very fervent about chess competitions. Nonetheless, those that are successful at the highest level are few and far between.

Today, there are a few grandmasters of African descent. Every one of these players experienced distinct challenges in their climb toward Grandmasterdom. No other Black chess player is close to making grand master because there are numerous challenges that continue to impede this rise. In this article, a few of these challenges will be discussed.

                    Maurice Ashley


Let’s address this honestly. I was once asked whether Blacks were smart enough to be grandmasters. The question was not asked with any meanness. It was a person asking a real follow-up question about the little number of Black grandmasters I had named.

Nevertheless, there are other mediums that make it a combative problem. There was once a debate on a White

supremacist website saying that it isn’t likely that a Black person can be a chess grandmaster. That was until one of the posters discovered an article on The Chess Drum about Black Grandmaster Maurice Ashley! Debate ended ASAP. The real question is, “Is chess truly a sufficient measure of intelligence?”

By the way, out of the small number of Black Masters in the world, several are from analytical sectors like medicine, mathematics, finance, physics, and computer science.

That chess players are essentially smarter than the next person, seems to be a misnomer. There just too many variations in the socioeconomic background of chess players to make that declaration. Many chess players, of every background imaginable, share some amount of skill in pattern recognition and analytical capability. But if raw intelligence was the only requirement, several elite thinkers would master chess with no difficulty.

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