Ashley graduated from the College of the City of New York (CCNY), and represented the school in intercollegiate team competition. Always promoting chess among youth, Ashley coached the Raging Rooks of Harlem, and the Dark Knights (also from Harlem), both of which have won national championships under his guidance. In September 1999, he opened the Harlem Chess Center which has attracted such celebrities as Larry Johnson and Wynton Marsalis. Ashley was named 2003 Grandmaster of the Year by the U.S. Chess Federation. He makes appearances all over the country speaking to young people and adults about chess and its benefits.
In 2003 Maurice Ashley wrote an essay The End of the Draw Offer?, which raised discussion about ways to avoid quick agreed draws in chess tournaments.
In 2007 Ashley returned to his birth country of Jamaica and became the first GM to ever participate in a tournament in that country. The tourney, a six round Swiss named the Frederick Cameron Open was held at the Jamaica Conference center on the 15th and 16th of December 2007. After sweeping a field consisting of several of Jamaica's top players and Barbadian FIDE master Philip Corbin he fell victim to a potential double attack in the final round to Jamaican National Master Jomo Pitterson. He placed second on five points behind Pitterson (5.5).
FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN GRAND-MASTER, MAURICE ASHLEY TAKES ON 12 MEMBERS OF BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN COMMUNITY COLLEGE CHESS CLUB AT ONCE
Oct 30, 2007; The City University of New York's Borough of Manhattan Community College issued the following news release: Maurice Ashley has...