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

Maurice Ashley, who became the first black chess grandmaster in 1999, uses the game of chess to teach life lessons.

Ashley fell in love with chess at the age of 14 after immigrating to the United States from Jamaica.

To achieve his goal of achieving the highest title in chess, Ashley said he had to learn an important lesson, which he explained as the concept “‘Becoming, being.’

“To become, you first have to be, and that means if you’re always chasing a goal, you think, ‘I have to do this, this, this, to be able to get there,’ but first you have to be that person who can succeed.Whatever you want to do in life.

His advice is not to worry about the results, but the process.

“So you have to adopt the mindset of the champion, the training you need, the focus you need, the type of commitment you need,” he said. “When you get to a place where you train as hard as you can and do all the things necessary to master your craft, then when the time comes for you to take that test or win that match, it will just happen. Don’t worry about the results, worry about the process.

Maurice Ashley, the first black chess grandmaster, discusses his new book on CBS Mornings April 2, 2024.

CBS News

Ashley’s new book, “Move by Move: Life Lessons on and off the Chessboard,” offers life advice drawn from the wisdom of chess.

For him, the most important thing is to have a beginner’s mindset.

“That’s the beauty of the approach when you look at it from the perspective of a child, a beginner, that there is so much to learn. Even those who have mastered any sport or any what business activity. You could be the greatest millionaire “You could win the Super Bowl. There are always things you continue to learn. “

Although he is a grandmaster, which is the highest title one can have in chess, Ashley considers himself an advanced beginner chess player.

“Because there is so much grandeur and wonder in the game that the learning never stops,” he said.

Ashley also has a children’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Chess,” which he says teaches patience.

“If you go too fast, you’re not going to win the games, because you’re going to make a mistake and lose pieces very easily. So we teach the kids to slow down, to be patient, to make sure they’re focused.” .


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