This episode of Hacker Valley Studio podcast’s Hacker Valley Red Series features guest Maurice Ashley, a chess grandmaster and author of Chess for Success. Maurice is a chess guru and has been playing it ever since his high school years. He is currently involved in commentating for chess events, teaching chess, and training national chess champions. In this episode, Maurice and the hosts talk about Maurice’s chess journey along with some parallels between chess and cyber security.
The hosts, Ron and Chris, start off the interview by pointing out one parallel between chess and cybersecurity: the art of training. Maurice responds by sharing about the rigorous training of chess, and of the different strategies and techniques that must be learned. He also takes some time to explain his own journey with training in chess and how it progressed through the years. In high school, he started playing with his brother, and then moved to playing in more formal settings with more challenging opponents. This eventually led to earning the title of chess grandmaster. Being the first black male to receive the Chess Grandmaster title, Maurice speaks on how this accomplishment inspired others to reach for their goals.
Circling back to the parallels between chess and cyber security, Maurice touches on the importance of practicing for performance. This means knowing your opponent, studying their strategies, and using their energy against them. Chris and Ron highlight how this parallels with cyber security in knowing how to approach the opponent. They then ask Maurice about his thoughts on an unbeatable chess player and how it relates to an unhackable system. Maurice responds by explaining that in the game if chess with its millions of possible outcomes, having an unbeatable player is impossible. Additionally, He emphasizes how this truth relates to cyber security. Rather than focusing on being unbeatable, Maurice encourages focus to be spent on readiness which is acquired through practice. In cyber security, Chris and Ron explain how readiness means having the ability to respond automatically to situations. They ask Maurice about blitz and bullet chess and how it relates to this kind of practice. According to Maurice, blitz and bullet chess rely heavily on instinct and experience.
The conversation ends as the hosts ask Maurice to share some tips for people interested in learning chess. Maurice encourages people interested in chess to download his new app, Learn Chess with Maurice Ashley, where he provides lessons on chess. He closes by encouraging others to reach for the greatness inside them. According to Maurice, greatness is defined as having the right mindset, doing the hard work, making the sacrifices, and learning through the process. This is the greatness that will be reflected in the end goal.
2:49 - Maurice introduces himself
6:46 - Maurice’s journey of becoming a grandmaster
9:20 - The impact of Exposure
11:07 - Maurice tells of the significance of being the first black male to earn the title of Chess Grandmaster.
15:00 - Maurice tells of the influence of his family in earning the title of Chess Grandmaster.
17:58 - Maurice speaks on practicing for performance and how it relates to cyber security.
22:00 -The parallels between an unbeatable chess player and an unhackable system
25:18 - Maurice explains blitz and bullet chess and how it relates to cyber security.
33:25 - Maurice gives some tips on how to get started playing chess.
37:04 - Maurice gives advice on how to reach greatness.
To learn more about Maurice Ashley, visit https://mauriceashley.com