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Ray Charles
Ray Charles 
Number of games in database: 1
Years covered: 2002

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(born Sep-23-1930, died Jun-10-2004, 73 years old) United States of America

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Born Ray Charles Robinson in Albany Georgia, he later moved to Greenville, Florida. In 1936 he contracted glaucoma, which eventually left him blind for life. It was while he was attending St. Augustine's School for the Deaf and Blind that Ray excelled at a variety of musical instruments, including the piano. Ray released a number of records in the early years, but his first big break came in 1952 when he signed on with Atlantic Records.

Ray was known to be a chess fan and often played against fellow band members, friends, and even at times interviewers. Ray's chess board was designed so that each square was the same color, but the 'dark' squares were slightly elevated and the 'light' squares were slightly lowered. Each square also had a hole in which to fit the pieces, in the style of traveling sets. The dark pieces' tops had sharper edges in comparison to the whites.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and his chess set was displayed there until September 5th, 2005.

Wikipedia article: Ray Charles

Last updated: 2016-12-01 12:52:12

 page 1 of 1; one game  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Ray Charles vs Larry Evans 0-1242002Chess Life InterviewC47 Four Knights

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-04-05  elahevad: If you haven't heard "One Mint Julip", do yourself a real favor.
Aug-05-05  Kingsandsquares: Thank you chessgames!
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: If we are submitting requests, I want 'Hit the Road, Jack'. :-)
Aug-06-05  50 Quatloos Newcomer: There is a link somewhere here, to a chess Life article about Ray, and a game he played against columnist Larry Evans, an Exchange Ruy, I think. Ray was down a pawn after the middle game and lost, but it was close.

Sep-23-05  aw1988: Here's to a fine musician.
Sep-23-05  ConfusedPatzer: Did Ray really play by feeling the pieces like in the movie? I thought that was odd.
Sep-23-05  dzanone: I don't know about Ray Charles, but I used to play a blind guy who used a special set. It was a peg board with grooved lines to show the squares and diagonals. I can't imagine being able to do that, but he could manage fairly well. The piece were short and stout, almost like checkers with symbols on the top of the disk.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: The chess set described above is now in the smithsonian national museum. (From Chess Life, Nov. 2005 issue) And if you look really closely at the B/W photo, you can see the peg holes on the board.
Nov-20-05  elahevad: yes the set had peg holes, and the white pieces had a different texture than the black pieces. Grooves to show different lines, etc. All essential details moved from visual to textile, in effect. His mother insisted he continue to play despite his blindness!
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Hey <AJ>, Do you have Georgia on your mind? Or to be more precise, The Georgia State championship, where you had a 1909 perfomance rating?
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <elahevad> That's some cool avatar! I'm nominating you next year for best avatar!!
Dec-04-05  supermanprime: ha! <chancho> nice.
Jan-11-06  Jim Bartle: Was just listening to a live version of "Busted" by Ray and Willie Nelson, and as the crowd applauds, Charles calls out, "Willie Nelson, my chess partner!"
Jan-11-06  HannibalSchlecter: I read Ray's chess set is in the Smithsonian.
Jan-20-06  morphyvsfischer: I agree with <WannaBe> for 'Hit the Road Jack' to be played on this page. A contender for best song ever!
Premium Chessgames Member
  norami: A recent Jeopardy final answer went something like this: "Ray Charles spent a lot of money for charity to help people with this handicap which he considered the worst"
Jan-20-06  Morphy Fan: norami

The jeopardy question was: "what is playing black against Topolov?"

Feb-23-06  Pawsome: What's the worst thing about being blind? asked an interviewer for a music magazine of Ray. Ya can't see, replied Ray.
Mar-20-06  alexandrovm: this man was a true genious of music...
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Okay, I'm a little behind on my movie watching, just saw 'Ray' last night, and the chess set was seen in the movie. Not sure if it's the original set or a replica of it. Still, a cool looking/feel set. =)
Sep-23-06  chessmoron: Happy Birthday Ray. Sing Georgia for me while I fall asleep. zzz.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Happy Birthday Ray! Thank you for the joy and entertainment that you brought to us.

And of course, this:

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: "I don't think any of us really KNOWS why we're <here>. But I think we're suppose to BELIEVE we're here for a purpose."

--Ray Charles

Aug-23-08  Jim Bartle: What'd he say?
Mar-11-09  Dredge Rivers: Does Stevie Wonder have an entry?
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