Chess in Ghana received a great boost with the visit of American Grandmaster, Maurice Ashley, in to the country. Maurice is a renowned author and commentator at high profile chess events but he is however revered as the first black person in history to attain the title of grandmaster.
After witnessing the closing rounds of the zone 4.4 chess championships and launching the West African Chess Academy at Spintex, he took time to conduct a chess workshop and a simultaneous exhibition which took place at African Regent Hotel.
The aim of the workshop was to mentor up and coming chess players especially children who could use the sport as a career.
The grandmaster managed to defeat all 30 opponents unscathed simultaneous whiles walking from table to table playing with 30 players simultaneously.
Notable among the participants were Candidate Master Joseph Jamena Mensah of Ghana and Toritsemuwa Ofowino of Nigeria who all represented their countries in the zone 4.4 championships. They together with Issah Chief were the most difficult to beat according to the grandmaster.
“I had a fabulous time in Accra and in Ghana in general. I was truly made to feel right at home, the Akwaaba spirit was everywhere, and I look forward to returning. There is a great passion for chess among the small but highly committed group of players, and it’s clear that with the right amount of support, leadership and vision, the sport will have a real chance to grow immensely, especially among the bright young people of Ghana,” Maurice Ashley.
Story by: Michael Okuley