Chess’ 1st Black grandmaster enters Hall of Fame

first_imgIn this April 12, 2016 photo, chess grandmaster Maurice Ashley talks during an interview at Chess Forum in New York. The Brooklyn resident has been inducted to the World Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)NEW YORK (AP) _ Maurice Ashley was 14 when he saw a high school friend playing chess and challenged him to a match. He lost badly, but it sparked a love affair that started him playing nearly non-stop ever since.There were the countless hours competing against the hustlers in city parks, and the serious players at chess clubs in Manhattan. There were the years spent against increasingly tougher competition in college, and ultimately against the best of the best at tournaments around the country and abroad.All that playing has led the 50-year-old Ashley to some trailblazing accomplishments _ the first Black person to be designated as a chess grandmaster, and last Wednesday, the first Black person to be inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis. He received his honor as the U.S. Chess Championship got underway, with Ashley taking on commentating duties.When he got the call in January that he was being inducted, for his contributions as a player, coach and commentator, Ashley said tears came to his eyes.“For me to hear that I’m being inducted for everything I’ve given to the game, that I’ve done to promote the game, that I’ve done to help young people play, and for the inspiration I’ve been, has just been absolutely incredible,” Ashley told The Associated Press in an interview at, where else, at Chess Forum, an all-things-chess shop in Manhattan.Born in Jamaica, Ashley came to the tough Brownsville section of Brooklyn with two siblings when he was 12, reuniting with the mother who had left her children a decade earlier to carve out a better life, working as a nanny and later in a string of office clerk jobs.Ashley got serious about chess during his high school years and continued at New York’s City College. From the start, he had one goal.“I was transported to this world and I wanted to be one of the grandmasters and that’s all I knew,” he said.The process of becoming a grandmaster is done under the auspices of the World Chess Federation, known by its French acronym FIDE, and involves earning overall points and performing particularly well in chess tournaments.At the time Ashley became a grandmaster, in 1999, he said there were about 500 or so players with the title. Currently, there are just over 1,500 grandmasters. They come from all over the world, but Ashley is still the only Black person to reach that status.Ashley, who makes a living from the game as a player, coach and author, says he wants to see more Black players reach the highest levels. “It takes a lot of ground seeding to get players on that path,” he said.Some of that seeding involves the work Ashley does with school children, including at an after-school program in Ferguson, Missouri.“Ashley is a great inspiration to younger Black players, and to younger players of any race, that they could be a grandmaster too someday,” said Frank Brady, past president of the Marshall Chess Club in New York, one of the oldest clubs in the country.Overall, Ashley said his experiences in the chess world have been good, with only a few moments in which his race became an issue.He recalled one incident when he was playing at a club and an older player came by and asked his opponent why he was letting Ashley beat him, using a slur to describe him.“It hurt. I was angry,” Ashley recalled. “Then he and I played eventually, two tournament games, and I beat him both times.”That’s what makes chess great, he said.“Your moves do the talking.”___Online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fN59P2bp9xs___Follow Deepti Hajela at www.twitter.com/dhajela. Her work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/deepti-hajelalast_img read more

Legendary Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, 8-time champion, dies at 64

first_imgKNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Pat Summit is the greatest coach in women’s college basketball history. Period.She is the one who introduced many people to the sport, including this writer, who witnessed the first female NCAA Division I dynasty, punctuated by the “Three Meeks” — Chamique Holdsclaw, Tamika Catchings and Semeka Randall Raymond — winning three titles in four years in the 1990s.The legendary college basketball pioneer passed away early this morning at the age of 64 from complications associated with Alzheimer’s Disease. The news immediately sent shock waves that reverberated throughout college basketball and across the entire pro and collegiate sports worlds.Summitt is the winningest coach in the history of college basketball as she amassed 1,098 wins in her career, more than any coach of men’s or women’s basketball ever. She lorded over the the University of Tennessee Lady Vols program for 38 years, winning 16 SEC Championships, and eight national titles, including a 3-peat from 1996 to 1998.Geno Auriemma, the coach of college basketball’s second dynasty, may eventually obliterate every record that Summitt possessed, but he will never hold the cultural influence that Summit possesses because she was the pioneer who started from nothing and built a national powerhouse that changed the way the country viewed the sport forever.Summitt was more than just a coach, however, she was a model of excellence, perseverance and discipline in the sports community and American society. She began coaching the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers when she was 22 years old in 1974, earning $250 a week and driving the team van, washing their uniforms, as women’s basketball was not yet an NCAA-sanctioned sport. In 2000, she was awarded the Naismith Coach of the Century Award.President Barack Obama would award her the coveted Medal of Freedom in 2012, adding to her legend as one of the most important sports voices in U.S. history.Tyler Summitt, Pat’s 25-year-old son and a college basketball coach himself, revealed in a statement that his mother’s declining health (she stepped down from the Tennessee head coaching position in 2012 while she battled ‘Alzheimer’s Type’ dementia) is what ultimately led to her passing.She died peacefully this morning at Sherrill Hill Senior Living in Knoxville surrounded by those who loved her most. Since 2011, my mother had battled her toughest opponent, early onset dementia, ‘Alzheimer’s Type,’ and she did so with bravely fierce determination just as she did with every opponent she ever faced. Even though it’s incredibly difficult to come to terms that she is no longer with us, we can all find peace in knowing she no longer carries the heavy burden of this disease.last_img read more

Crosby-Stanley Cup – For Crosby, 2nd Cup tour is sweeter in many ways

first_imgPittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby fields questions during a media availability at his hockey camp at Cole Harbour Place in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, Wednesday, July 13, 2016. (The Canadian Press via AP Andrew Vaughan)HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (AP) _ As Sidney Crosby prepares to carry the Stanley Cup through his Nova Scotia hometown, he said the championship tour is in many ways sweeter the second time around.The Pittsburgh Penguins captain is in Halifax, Nova Scotia, this week overseeing his annual hockey camp and will bring the Cup to the city for a parade on Saturday, ending at the same rink where he honed his skills as a boy.During a break Wednesday from working with excited kids at the Cole Harbour rink, Crosby reflected on a season that had its ups and downs _ and a championship ring that was all the brighter as a result.“This time I appreciate it a little bit more,” Crosby said. “I’ll make sure I spend every second I possibly can with it (the Stanley Cup).”After the previous 2009 victory tour through this hockey-crazy suburb, Crosby said he naively imagined winning seasons might be an annual affair.Not so much.He struggled through a concussion, time away from the game, and the Penguins endured a seven-year hiatus from hoisting hockey’s greatest prize, until they raised it for the fourth time in franchise history on June 12 after beating the San Jose Sharks 3-1 in Game 6.Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby waves to the crowd while holding onto the Stanley Cup while riding along the victory parade route in Pittsburgh, Pa., Wednesday, June 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)As team captain, Crosby is permitted to have the trophy an extra day, meaning it will have a proud place at his home on the outskirts of the city. He said he intends to have friends over for a look, including several whose careers are over and may never have another opportunity to be so near it.“The best part is being able to share it with people,” he said.The Penguins evolved into a different team after a midseason coaching change, picking up speed, scoring more and improving puck possession when Mike Sullivan replaced Mike Johnston in mid-December.Crosby called it the “two-team” season during Wednesday’s news conference.The captain’s performance also picked up under Sullivan, along with forward Phil Kessel, who became a key postseason force on the third offensive line. The Penguins went 33-16-5 after Sullivan took over.“Everybody was talking about … do we need to change this, do we need to change that? There’s always those questions, and winning kind of answers all of those,” said Crosby, when asked about the season.The Conn Smythe winner was out on the ice most afternoons this week, joking with the young players and offering shooting tips.Crosby’s hockey camp is in its second year and is drawing children from Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States and northern Europe, say organizers. There’s a lottery for the 160 girls and boys allowed in, drawn from 5,000 applicants.Parents attending say many of the children, aged 8 to 12, have a Crosby story to tell from their workouts.For the NHL star, it’s all part of unwinding.“You see how excited the kids are. … There are kids from all over here. That’s neat,” he said.Crosby said he’s starting back on training after a short break, and is already reflecting on his role as a captain of Team Canada in this fall’s World Cup in Toronto.The tournament will leave little room for error and winning will depend on which squad adapts the most quickly, he said.The team is similar to the Team Canada that won gold at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.“The biggest thing in Russia is we got better as the tournament went along. A short-term event like that, it’s very important. We’ll have to see. We’ll have to find our identity pretty quickly,” he said.“It’s one-game scenarios so you need to execute pretty well.”Meanwhile, the veteran is soaking up his hometown celebration, conscious this time around that in professional sports, you don’t know what the future holds.“It’s a tough road … You understand it’s tough to get there, and you take in as much as you can when you do win it,” he said.last_img read more

Koke: Atletico are used to the games and are focused on beating Real Madrid

first_img On Wednesday night they travel across the city to take on Real Madrid, with a last four spot up for grabs in Europe’s premier competition. “We are used to playing in these type of games,” Koke said on the eve of the match.  Koke was asked about those comments, but insisted Atletico are only focused on what they have to do.  21/04/2015 CEST Atletico won La Liga last season and progressed to the Champions League final, while they have also won the Copa del Rey and the Europe League under Diego Simeone’s guidance. “On the pitch we will focus on our own work,” he responded.  “We will also speak to the referee, but that’s another subject; we will do more things than just talk to the referee.” “We have been playing in them for three years now and thanks to our work we have been able to win the majority of them.” However, Koke isn’t giving too much importance to the absences, pointing out the depth at Carlo Ancelotti’s disposal.  Los Blancos have been hit by injuries since last week’s 0-0 draw in the first leg — Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Luka Modric will all miss out — while Marcelo will sit the game out through suspension.  Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos joked earlier on Tuesday that he will speak to the German referee before the game. Upd. at 17:58 “We think about the next game, and every game is different. We hope we can progress on Wednesday.” Koke says Atletico Madrid are familiar with these big games and are focused on progressing to the semi-final of the Champions League. “Madrid have a great squad,” he continued, “but we will go out to win the match and to progress in the tie.  Sport ENlast_img read more

Cesc Fabregas: I sincerely hope I can play 100 more Chelsea games

first_img IN SPORT.ES CEST Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas doesn’t see his future away from the London club despite the persistent rumours about a possible exit from Stamford Bridge during the January transfer window due to his lack of game time under Antonio Conte.  Upd. at 21:15 Brian Owen The Catalan, a regular for Chelsea since he joined in 2014, has not started a single Premier League game this season with five matches down. In two of them he didn’t even come off the bench. This is the backdrop to the reports of a potential departure this winter, although Italian coach Conte has rejected the idea he doesn’t count on the Spain international. center_img Cesc: “Espero jugar cien partidos más con el Chelsea” Cesc played his 100th game for the club against Liverpool on Friday, coming on as an 84th minute substitute to replace Nemanja Matic. And on Monday he’s manifested his desire to play another 100 games for Chelsea.  19/09/2016 “It was an honour to play my 100th game for this great club against Liverpool. I sincerely hope I can play 100 more starting from tomorrow,” he wrote on his Twitter account. Chelsea face Leicester in the third round of the League Cup on Tuesday.last_img read more

Roma 2-1 Lazio: Perotti & Nainggolan goals wrap up derby win

first_img Eusebio Di Francesco’s side moved to third in Serie A level on 30 points with Inter Milan ahead of Napoli’s clash later with AC Milan after a hard-fought match decided by two goals in four second-half minutes from Diego Perotti and Radja Nainggolan. Dominant Roma looked set for a comprehensive victory when Perotti slotted home a 49th minute penalty and Belgium midfielder Nainggolan drilled home a fine low strike four minutes later. Goles Ciro Immobile tucked away the penalty in the 72nd minute to make it 15 goals for the season. Roma moved to within two points of Serie A leaders Napoli after squeezing past local rivals Lazio 2-1 on Sunday as Italy resumed domestic action following the World Cup disaster for the national team. “I always want to help my teammates and I gave my all to be ready to play, as this is the kind of match you cannot miss.” Gianluca Rocchi. Amonestó a Lulic, Leiva, Luis Alberto, Nani, Nainggolan y Fazio. “This is a Roma side that is improving and has great belief,” said coach Eusebio Di Francesco. “We’ve already turned our attentions to the game with Atletico Madrid. “We want to stay up at the top for as long as possible and I think we’ve got the right mentality to do just that.” AFP Alisson, Florenzi (Peres 80′), Manolas, Fazio, Kolarov, De Rossi, Strootman, Nainggolan (Jesus 85′), Perotti, El Shaarawy (Gerson 73′) y Dzeko. Árbitro Strakosha, Bastos, De Vrij, Radu (Patric 77′), Leiva (Nani 59′), Parolo, Milinkovic-Savic, Marusic, Lulic (Lukaku 58′), Luis Alberto e Immobile. Roma IN SPORT.ES La Roma destruye a la Lazio en cuatro minutos 1-0 M. 49 Perotti, de penalti. 2-0 M. 53 Nainggolan. 2-1 M. 72 Immobile, de penalti.center_img ROM MATCH FACTS Serie A Campo Lazio Roma’s fifth straight win saw them leapfrog Lazio, who drop down to fifth on 28 points after the derby defeat, ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Atletico Madrid, where they could qualify for the Champions League knockout stages with a match to spare. “We showed great spirit, we are in wonderful form,” said goalscorer Nainggolan. Stadio Olimpico. The Belgium international was a doubt for the derby after picking up a groin injury during the international break but was the star of the show for Roma in midfield. Upd. at 20:51 2-1 LAZ 18/11/2017 However a Kostas Manolas handball, initially missed by referee Gianluca Rocchi but picked by the video assistant referee after protests from Lazio players, gave the away side a lifeline from the spot. CET Lazio pressed for an equaliser but Roma held out for a nervy three points that strengthened their claims to be a contender to Juventus’ Serie A crown.last_img read more

Carmelo Anthony sinks a long 2 pointer, then apologises as he was inches away…

first_imgAdvertisement 6uNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs687psnWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E9e( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 140lWould you ever consider trying this?😱jCan your students do this? 🌚6z3dRoller skating! Powered by Firework Carmelo Anthony has begun his new journey with the Houston Rockets, and Wednesday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies showed that he is taking time to fit in.Advertisement Anthony drained a long two-pointer in the match, but then turned and actually apologised to the Rockets’ bench.Advertisement He pump-faked a three-pointer and then converted from inside the arc, but then said ‘my bad ‘ to the Rockets’ bench as he ran backward. This is in relation to Houston’s philosophy, which propagates shooting threes and making shots at the rim.Melo will take time settling into the system, but this showed that he is definitely making the effort. The shot was actually a good one, as he created space for himself by the fake, But that does not fit in with what Daryl Morey wants to do.Advertisement The Rockets broke the record for the most three-pointers made in a season last year(15.3 makes per game), and it was the second straight season in which they broke the record.Anthony has always excelled at his mid-range game, and he will find it hard early on to resist from shooting from inside the arc. But slowly and surely he will begin meshing with the Rockets’ idea. And he is so good at the two-pointer, he may as well be allowed to take a few once in a while. Advertisementlast_img read more

Photos – The Malia Manuel Story

first_imgAdvertisement 82xeiNBA Finals | Brooklyn VszkddxWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Enta( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 4ehWould you ever consider trying this?😱7njCan your students do this? 🌚hgRoller skating! 93jxhtSee more on YT⬇️⬇️⬇️See morembtBody tricks that only special people can do pt-1enfssHow though? 🤔😂#AdrenalineJunkies4yz16sA visualization of how Karma works 4r0z3sd6g8Powered by Firework Advertisement Malia Manuel (born August 9, 1993) is a current female professional surfer from Kauai, Hawaii.Advertisement She won Rookie of the Year in 2012 and was ranked 5th on the 2014 ASP World Tour.Advertisement In 2008, at the age of 14 she became the youngest surfer ever to win the U.S. Open of Surfing.Malia Manuel surfs with equal parts grace and grit.The way she cuts fearlessly across those tumbling sheets of water, you can tell there’s surfing in her blood.Indeed, her parents met surfing in Hawaii, and when she was just two years old her dad would paddle out with her so she could catch waves on his shoulders.At the age of 14, Malia became the youngest ever female or male to win the US Open of Surfing. Today, at 21, she is a top-10 surfer who competes with the most elite surfers on the pro circuit.Yet even with the world watching, she’s usually smiling.We talked with her about the reasons she keeps paddling out, how yoga fits into her routine, and what keeps her inspired.Image Courtesy –  Malia Manuel (Instagram)  Advertisementlast_img read more

Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary clinch gold in Asian Airgun Championship

first_imgAdvertisement rNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vscjp2yWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E2t( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 47t6rWould you ever consider trying this?😱t0iffCan your students do this? 🌚3vqfRoller skating! Powered by Firework India’s teenage sensations Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary added another feather in their cap as the duo clinched another gold medal, this time at the 10m Air Pistol mixed team event in the Asian Airgun Championship in Chinese Taipei.Advertisement Saurabh Chaudhary and Manu Bhaker stand in the pole position at the 12th Asian Airgun Championships 2019 (Image Credits- Jaspal Rana)In the qualification round, the pair shot a combined 784 which also helped them to break Russia’s Vitalina Batsarashkina and Artem Chernousov’s world record set at the European Championships five days back.In the final round, they shot 484.8 piping South Korea’s Hwang Seongeun and Kim Mose, who had to settle for a silver medal after scoring 481.1. Chinese Taipei bagged the bronze medal as Wu Chia Ying and Kou Kuan-Ting could only muster up 413.3 points.Advertisement Exactly a month ago, Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary struck gold in the same event at the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi on the final day. Manu also won gold in the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games whereas Saurabh Chaudhary replicated it in the 2018 Asian Games in the 10m air pistol. Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

Frank Lampard and Allegri on Chelsea wishlist as Sarri exit looms large

first_imgAdvertisement pdebNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vsjtn3Wingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Edjt( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) hz4zWould you ever consider trying this?😱pyjgCan your students do this? 🌚3kmeaRoller skating! Powered by Firework Maurizio Sarri’s stay at the Premier League is believed to be drawing to a close as two different reports are coming out of West London. One, says that Sarri is interested in the Juventus job which is now vacated by Massimilano Allegri and the other says Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is keen to replace Sarri with preferably a more reputed coach or even Frank Lampard.Advertisement Allegri is up for his new challenge and talks could develop between the Italian and Chelsea.Advertisement The Scudetto winning manager is not looking to take a break, saying: “I am not particularly looking for a year off. I’ll only take a sabbatical if I have to, but otherwise the idea is to find a project that convinces me. Life is full of surprises and you have to be ready for anything.“I train with joy and fun, because if I am not convinced by the squad at my disposal, I try changing things around, moving players into new positions and finding something different, otherwise I get bored.”Advertisement Frank Lampard is also a name on the cards for Chelsea. The Chelsea legend has achieved brilliant results with Derby after taking a below average Derby County squad to the Championship Final at Wembley. Advertisementlast_img read more