Chessville plays "20 Questions" with GM Ashley

David Surrat of has recently conducted a very interesting interview with Grandmaster Maurice Ashley. It is part of his "20 Questions" segment of interviews with high-profile chess personalities. is one of the world's most extensive websites and is known for its weekly newsletter covering international events.

Ashley has done countless interviews including a popular audio interview with The Chess Drum… all of his interviews appear to be star quality. This interview asks some general questions about Ashley's background, his motivation and personal inspirations. Also revealed was some of the possible obstacles faced in becoming the first Black chess Grandmaster in the world. This question is not often asked, but he was able to reflect on a particular incident some years ago.

Chessville plays 20 Questions with Maurice Ashley

"There were incidents. Some crass incidents… for example one Grandmaster remarking while I was playing against an International Master, Jay Bonin. We were playing speed chess. And he looked at Jay after I defeated Jay a game and said, "Are you letting this shvarts beat you?" And you know this term is a derogatory one in Yiddish. But, you know, stuff like that I, of course it angered me, but my best way to respond to that was over the chessboard and when I played this Grandmaster two games I defeated him both games and I had nothing to say. I let my game do the talking."

Much of the interview revealed Ashley's aspirations as a chess ambassador and organizer of the coming HB Global Chess Challenge. The tournament is to be held in March of this year and will be the world's largest open tournament. One of the motifs he is promoting is to make chess exciting by spreading the "fighting chess" mantra.  His Generation Chess International Tournament was a rousing success and he hopes to continue his ambassadorship of chess.

Read "20 Questions with GM Maurice Ashley"

Posted by The Chess Drum: 9 January 2005