Maurice Ashley lives his passion. Through his love for chess, he not only made history as the first African-American International Grandmaster in the annals of the game, but he has managed to translate his love to others as a three-time national championship coach, two-time author, iPhone app producer, puzzle inventor, DVD creator, ESPN commentator and motivational speaker.
He has traveled the world as an ardent spokesperson of the character-building effects of the game, going from the rough and tough streets of Kingston, Jamaica and Brooklyn, New York, where he grew up, to the crime-ridden neighborhoods of Detroit, the townships of Cape Town, South Africa and the poverty-stricken jungles of Belize, Central America. His book, Chess for Success, (Broadway Books, 2005) crystallizes his vision for the character-building effect of chess, particularly for at-risk youth, and he continuously spreads his message of living one’s dream to universities, businesses, chess clubs and non-profit organizations around the globe.
His app, “Learn Chess! with Maurice Ashley,” has been sold in over 30 countries, and he has received multiple community service awards from city governments, universities, and community groups for his work. His drive and enthusiasm always has him on the go: for the fall of 2011, Maurice toured six Caribbean nations bringing chess, books and technology to kids in the region.