25 April 2016
In 1999, Maurice Ashley became a chess grandmaster – the first black man in history to attain that rank. He also became the first, and only, black person to be inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame.
A 50-year-old from New York, Ashley was born in Jamaica and fell in love with chess at the age of 14. After losing his first match badly, Ashley spent his years perfecting his talent and continued at the New York City College.
The title of Grandmaster is one of the highest titles a chess player can attain and is awarded by the Fédération Internationale des Échecs or World Chess Federation. Once achieved, the title is held for life.