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GM Maurice Ashley Meets the Dark Knights at Nationals 2011

On "Moving Up" Day on Day 2 of the 2011 National Scholastic K-12 Championships proved very challenging to the Dark Knights. The team was only able to score a total of 5 points vs a potential 12 points. The major 3 points came in the last round of the day as the Dark Knights, had to stop the decline in the team standings and give themselves a better chance for sunday. In Round 5, the Dark Knights scored a remarkable 3 pts out of 4pts., raising their team score to 8 points, placing the Dark Knights in the U800 Section to 20th Place out of 37 team. Only the Top 25 teams earn a National Trophy!

In the afternoon, GrandMaster Maurice Ashley, stopped by the Analysis Room where he observed the Dark Knights Chess Team reviewing their games with Barry Davis, shook hands with the first and only African - American Grandmaster in the United States, posed for a picture with the Dark Knights Chess Team, gave them each some encouraging words, signed autographed chess boards, programs and welcomed them to the Royal Game. Missing was Karl White who was playing in the U1200. For those of you who dont know but Maurice Ashley has been to Buffalo and was impressed with the talent in the area when he play a Simul Exhibition with 20 local participants Douglas Dubose and James Baldwin (Daquan)were the only two winners as National Master Barry Davis recalled. Chess Ambassador Mc Duffie, had visited the Knights of Valor Chess Club in Baltimore Maryland a few years ago and witnessed Grandmaster Ashley defeat 3 scholastic members while playing "BlindFolded Chess" and PawnMaster, David W. Mc Duffie was the last sitting player at the K.O.V. Simul Exhibition. On Sunday, May 1st, the Dark Knights will meet early to take a team photo with all of its members with Maurice Ashley, GrandMaster before the 6th Round.

Also pictured are the Dark Knights being interviewed for a future article that features the East High School Dark Knights and the new development and growth of chess activities in the Buffalo Niagara region. Staff members of the US Chess Federation travelled 2 hours from Crossville, TN to meet and talk with each member of the Dark Knights Chess team along with Barry Davis, National Master and USCF Chess Coach Mc Duffie. The staff was impressed and extended an invitation to have the Dark Knights stop by the USCF National Office on Monday morning, see pictured with Mc Duffie, Chess Ambassador are Susan Houston, Alan Kantor attend the Maurice Ashley booksigning.

Keep the Dark Knights in your hearts and minds, as they are fast asleep but very encouraged to wake up to a brighter future. Barry Davis and Coach Mc Duffie discussed their progress in the afternoon, added some changes that should bring forth the desired points in the final rounds. The USCF National Team Trophy presentation will be at 7pm CST on May 1, 2011. Dont forget to checkout the Facebook page for The Archangel 8 Chess Academy. The Dark Knights Chess team should be at the Sardina Tournament on Saturday May 7th, to celebrate and share their National Scholastic experiences.

Reported by Mc Duffie, Chess Ambassador

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