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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Persistent pursuit of passion - in life and chess - is the key to success, says GM Maurice Ashley

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

Why do some people become successful in life while others don’t? Maurice Ashley, the first African-American international grandmaster of chess, said he believes most people succeed through a persistent pursuit of their passion, according to this nice news report.

“Success is a path without an endpoint,” Ashley said in his lecture to Albany State University students in the ACAD Auditorium on Sept. 22. “In order to succeed, you have to be willing to stay on your path daily, even though you may be surrounded by distractions.”

Ashley made history in 1999 when he attained the coveted title of Grandmaster of Chess. At that time he was the only African American ever to hold that title. “Success is never easy; nor is it a straight path,” he said. “There will be difficulties, mistakes and failures, but you have to persist. I started playing chess at age 14 and became a grandmaster at 33. I kept going because chess was my passion; it was all I wanted to do.”

Ashley, who shared tales of his youth growing up in a violent area of Jamaica, encouraged ASU students to do what is necessary to find their own path in life.“Be authentic; don’t follow the crowd,” Ashley told the students. “Sometimes you will be all alone, but you will be all right as long as you remain true to who you are.”
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