-Welcome to the show.
-Thank you, thank you. So, I, uh, should know
the answer to this question, but what is a chess Grandmaster? How do you become
a Grandmaster in chess? Well, Grandmaster’s the highest
title you can have in the game. So you have to beat
other Grandmasters, top players
from around the world. So, you know, basically,
we’re just bad-ass. -But if you beat…
-(laughter) if you beat a Grandmaster, then how come that Grandmaster’s
still a Grandmaster? Shouldn’t he, like, go down
like Highlander-type thing? No? You still stay
a Grandmaster? Who’s the first
Grandmaster, then? They had the Grandmasters
back in the 1900s, early 1900s– 1914–
the top players, and once they established them
as Grandmasters, -Yes. -then, you know,
the rest of us come up, -you know, and just invert…
-So Grandmaster means you basically know, like,
all the finishing moves, like in
Mortal Kombat-type thing. -Not exactly, but…
-But close. -You know a lot of stuff.
-Yeah. -You know a lot of stuff.
-Yeah. I play chess. I, uh, I know all the chess. -Um…
-You called it a… -You called it a horsey earlier.
-(laughs) I actually… I actually did
play chess in school. We had to choose a sport, and then there was, like,
options like rugby, which is our version
of football, and I was like,
“I don’t want to get hurt.” And then I chose chess. And then… And, you know, what’s interesting
is I say that now, but… You can’t see this
in the cameras, but if you look
at, like, Maurice’s arms… Like, I’ve met
a few chess players recently. You guys have a lot of muscles for people who just move
a piece of plastic around. -No, no… -Those chess pieces
are heavy, man. But this is a real thing,
though. You actually have to try and be
in shape to play chess well. -Is this a true thing?
-It’s absolutely true. When you’re sitting there
four or five hours playing, you’re concentrating,
you need the stamina, you need to be able to focus
for that kind of time. You’ve got to be in shape,
and all the top players– Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana,
the guys who are playing -in the World Chess Championship
right now… -Right. They’re working out three,
four hours all the time. Every day, man.
They have to stay in shape. You see, that’s mind-blowing
to me, because, I mean, you talk about these people.
Some people may know Magnus. You know,
he’s a world celebrity now. I mean, he models, as well. He does endorsements
for Porsche and everything. You commentate on the games.
I find your story fascinating, you know, because you come
from a world where you go… You don’t think
that a young black kid is gonna get into chess
at the level that you got into. Right? Chess was that sport that maybe you saw the old guys
playing in the hood. It wasn’t, like, something
everyone wanted to get into. But you played it,
you got good at it, and what I like is that you
brought elements of the hood into the way you commentate
on chess now. Like, why did you do that,
and how did you get into it? ‘Cause you-you don’t commentate
in, like, a boring way. No, you know, it’s funny,
because when we played chess -in Br… I’m from Brownsville,
Brooklyn. -Right. -(cheering)
-That’s what’s up. -Brooklyn in the house.
-Brownsville in the building. No, Brownsville… We say
Brownsville is so rough– -’cause Mike Tyson was
from Brownsville. -Right. Brownsville was so rough, -Mike had to get out
of Brownsville. -(laughs) And the people who play chess
in the hood, -the brothers were usually
the cool guys. -Right. Not, like, the old guys.
So they’d be talking to you, trash-talking
the whole time you’re playing. And they’re like,
“Yeah, Maurice, um, you know, I was playing chess
with your sister last night.” (laughter) Wait. The idea that guys
are trash-talking. -I mean, trash-talking
all the time. -Right. So you get that in your head. You get used to being distracted
by players -while you’re playing, and you
just stay cool. -Right, right. So now when I do commentary,
I do the same thing. I try to bring that energy
and that flow from the hood. -You know, it’s just normal.
-It’s a game that many people have lauded
as the ultimate thinker’s game. You know,
CEOs have said you learn chess, and you learn how to defeat
your enemies in the boardroom. You teach people chess tactics
in life. Is that a thing people just say
to make chess sound cool, or do you actually think
chess can help a person think analytically in life? First of all, chess is cool. (laughter) -I-I agree.
-All right. I play…
I’m telling you, I play chess. -I’m not lying about that.
-Okay. I play chess. You know, you trashed chess
on this show before. -I… -You were…
Yes, yes, you did. Yes, you did. The same way I make jokes
about South Africa. I love South Africa,
I make the jokes. -I make jokes about myself.
I love chess. -Okay. -All the chess. -No, I thought
it was a good segment, though. -I thought it was funny.
I thought it was funny. -Yeah. -But still. All right?
-(laughs) But no, chess is used
all the time -as metaphors for politics
and business and sports. -Right. I mean, it’s always being used.
You always hear… You’re watching football,
and it’s like, “Oh, yeah,
they just substituted that guy, -and it’s like a chess match
out here.” -Right, right, right. Right? You always see that.
So yes, it’s a thinking game, a strategic game,
it’s one against one. You’ve got to figure out
your best ideas, and as soon
as you figure it out, the other person is coming back
at you with their best ideas. -Right. -So yes, it’s just like
business, politics, you name it. And you teach kids
to play chess. What would you say is the one
thing that changes in your mind when you start to learn chess,
like, that you apply in life? That the other person
is more important than you are. -Huh. -Right?
Because we get inside our heads. We got our own opinions. This is me.
This is my best ideas. It’s like Democrats
and Republicans -talking across from each other,
right? -Right. But when you play chess,
you realize the other person
has valid points, and you’ve got
to really get inside their head more than anything else. So it’s not my best idea
that counts. It’s your best idea,
and how am I gonna beat you is by really studying
what you want. And that’s where the deep
strategy comes into the game. That’s fascinating. So we need
to teach the president how to play chess… is what you’re saying. That’s gonna be
really hard, man. (laughter) (cheering and applause) Dude, I’m excited
for the World Championship. Thank you so much
for coming to the show. Maurice Ashley, everybody.