Maurice Ashley (born 6 March 1966) is an American chess grandmaster, the first black grandmaster. In the October 2006 rating lists, he had a FIDE rating of 2465, and a USCF rating of 2520 at standard chess, and 2536 at quick chess.
- I see myself more as an ambassador of the game. And I hope to bring chess to a higher level in the United States. Making bigger tournaments, more interesting events. Making it a respectable profession for young people to be able to pursue in the future.
- There's so many lessons I get from chess, it's incredible, but I think the biggest thing for me has always been is that losing is learning.
- African continent GMs do exist; but, according to the system of racial classification, I am the first Black GM in history...it matters, and doesn't matter, all at the same time.
- As quoted in The United States Chess Federation profile
Quotes about Ashley
- Maurice is a born fighter; he’s tricky and aggressive. Maurice confidently contests the sharpest lines of any opening without worrying about whether his opponent will know it better or come up with a novelty. To earn the GM title, Maurice had to go past his natural talents and work hard on raising his positional and endgame play to the GM standard.
- Maurice Ashley is not only a chess grandmaster, but he is a grandmaster at story-telling. He knows how to get to get kids hooked on the strategies and complexities of chess. In an age where kids too often play video games that are like junk food for the brain, Maurice is getting kids to sharpen their minds and build their character through the ancient game of chess.
- Geoffrey Canada, President/CEO, Harlem Children's Zone, Inc, as quoted in "Praise for the book Chess for Success" at Random House
- Maurice's street savvy gives him instant credibility with children of all ages. I never tire of watching a room full of kids who have absolutely no interest in chess light up as Maurice tells his story. His ideas change lives and needs to be heard. Invest in your child's future; buy this book today.
- Cris Collinsworth, in "Praise for the book Chess for Success" at Random House
- As the first (and only) African American International Grand Master, Maurice Ashley is an historical figure. He is also a superb writer and a compelling teacher who makes learning even the most difficult aspects of chess appear possible. He shows us how chess can be used to put our young people on the path to success.
- Henry Louis Gates, Jr. in "Praise for the book Chess for Success" at Random House
- Chess improves strategic thinking, attention span, patience, camaraderie and sportsmanship. Maurice Ashley is not only an international grand master as a player but also as a teacher and activist.
- Wynton Marsalis in "Praise for the book Chess for Success" at Random House
- Maurice Ashley has been like a brother to me since I was twelve years old. I know the man, I know the competitor, I know the artist, and I know the teacher.