Magazine article The Crisis

Young Black Female Chess Players Thrive

Magazine article The Crisis

Young Black Female Chess Players Thrive

Article excerpt

Like most 12 year olds, Darrian Robinson enjoys television and video games. But unlike most of her peers, she also loves chess. In fact, it's far more than a game to her.

After winning more than 50 trophies in tournaments across the country, Darrian was the only African American to represent the United States at the 2006 World Youth Chess Championships in the Republic of Georgia. She's ranked fifth nationwide among girls aged 13 and under, according to the U.S. Chess Federation. Her ultimate goal is to capture the game's most lucrative prize by her 17th birthday: "I want to be a grandmaster."

Darrian joins a burgeoning wave of young African American players, including Kayin Barclay and James Canty III, in Chicago and Detroit respectively, whose presence might broaden the appeal of chess, which has long been considered a pastime for upper-income White males.

"We do have several talented players rising," says Daaim Shabazz, an associate professor of business at Florida A&M University who publishes the online journal, The Chess Drum. "But in the African American community, our best players are aging or inactive. Many of them are not able to support themselves full-time in chess."

Historically, African American advances in chess have been few and far between. It's been 20 years since Baraka Shabazz became the first Black woman to play in the U.S. Women's Chess Championships. In 1999, Maurice Ashley became the first African American crowned International Grandmaster. Since then, no other Black player has earned the title. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.