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Maurice Ashley, first Black chess grandmaster, uses game to teach life lessons: “Learning never ends”

staticwire | April 2, 2024
maurice ashley

In a world where success is often measured by tangible results, Maurice Ashley, the first Black chess grandmaster, is using the game of chess to teach life lessons that transcend the board. Ashley, who achieved his grandmaster status in 1999, fell in love with the game as a 14-year-old high school student after immigrating to the U.S. from Jamaica.

For Ashley, the key to achieving his goals was embracing the concept of “To become, be.” He explains, “To become you first have to be, and that means if you are always chasing a goal, you’re thinking ‘I have to do this, this, this, so I can get there,’ but you first have to be that person that can be successful. Whatever it is that you want to be in life.” This philosophy emphasizes focusing on the process rather than the end result.

In his new book, “Move by Move: Life Lessons on and off the Chessboard,” Ashley draws on the wisdom of chess to offer valuable life advice. One of the key lessons he imparts is the importance of maintaining a beginner’s mindset. According to Ashley, even as a chess grandmaster, he considers himself an advanced beginner because there is always something new to learn and explore in the game.

Ashley’s dedication to teaching extends beyond his book to a children’s book titled “The Life-Changing Magic of Chess,” where he emphasizes the value of patience in the game. He urges young players to slow down, be patient, and stay focused to avoid making mistakes and losing pieces easily.

Throughout his career, Ashley has exemplified the power of determination and perseverance. He advises aspiring champions to embody the mindset of a champion in their training, focus, and commitment. By honing their craft and mastering the process, success will naturally follow.

As Ashley continues to inspire and educate through his books and teachings, he remains a beacon of resilience and excellence in the world of chess. His legacy serves as a testament to the transformative power of the game and the enduring lessons it imparts to those who embrace its challenges.

Written by staticwire

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