Chess Underground #36: IM Kassa Korley

Chess Underground FM Kassa Korley

This month, Pete Karagianis sits down with IM Kassa Korley for the Chess Underground.

Born and raised in New York City, Kassa learned to play chess at the age of five and has been passionate about the game since. Having never had a coach or formal instruction, he has always learned by playing, losing, and making adjustments.

FM Kassa Korley as a child

At 15, Kassa became the youngest African-American National Master in history, a mark that has since been broken. In 2010, Kassa became a FIDE Master and, in 2014, he became an International Master. The same year, he switched federations and became a member of the Danish federation, where he also holds family ties as a dual-citizen.

After graduating from Duke University in 2015, Kassa worked at Codecademy, a tech startup that teaches millions of people how to code. In 2019, Kassa left this full-time position to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a Grandmaster.

Follow IM Kassa Korley on InstagramYouTube, and Twitch.

Below, play through Kassa's game they discussed during the podcast!

[pgn][Event "Xtracon Chess Open 2019"] [Site "Helsingor DEN"] [Date "2019.07.22"] [Round "4.4"] [White "Moiseenko, A1."] [Black "Korley, K."] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D35"] [WhiteElo "2628"] [BlackElo "2437"] [PlyCount "50"] [EventDate "2019.07.20"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "10"] [EventCountry "DEN"] [SourceTitle "The Week in Chess 1289"] [Source "Mark Crowther"] [SourceDate "2019.07.22"] [SourceVersion "2"] [SourceVersionDate "2019.07.25"] [SourceQuality "2"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 c6 6. e3 Bd6 7. Bd3 O-O 8. Qc2 h6 9. Bh4 Re8 10. Nge2 a5 11. h3 Na6 12. a3 Nc7 13. O-O Ne6 14. f3 Ng5 15. e4 Nfxe4 16. fxe4 Nxh3+ 17. gxh3 Qxh4 18. Rf2 Bxh3 19. Rd1 Re5 20. dxe5 Bc5 21. Nd4 Bxd4 22. Rdd2 Qg3+ 23. Kh1 Bg4 24. Bf1 Bf3+ 25. Bg2 Qh3+ 0-1 [/pgn]
FM Kassa Korley
Image Caption
Photo: Crystal Fuller


"Chess Underground" is a monthly US Chess podcast hosted by US Chess Assistant Director of Events NM Pete Karagianis that explores eccentricities, peculiarities, and theoretical novelties. 

Listen to the whole family of US Chess podcasts at or through the links below.

Cover Stories With Chess Life, Hosted By John Hartmann

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One Move At A Time, Hosted By Dan Lucas

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Ladies Knight, Hosted By Jen Shahade

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Chess Underground, Hosted By Pete Karagianis

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