New York gets Justus!

Justus Williams

So much has been said about a number of rising stars in New York’s African-American community. Many names have been tossed around, but one of the latest stars has been Justus Williams who has slowly, but surely become one of the top 11-year olds in the country. Recently, Justus played in the Marshall G/60 tournament tying for first with IM Justin Sarkar. He ended by beating another rising star, Darrian Robinson and gained 31 points and is now rated 2051.

To show the level of competitive spirit that is growing in New York scholastic circles, several young stars were also participating. Elizabeth Vicary told The Chess Drum that Justus will take his skills to I.S. 318 located in the Brooklyn. This will continue the tradition of outstanding scholastic players having come through the program.


  1. Congratulations to Justus Williams for tieing first with IM Justan Sarkar in G/60. The slow games is where you’d like to see performances like that, it shows your true strength!

    At just 11-years old and already an expert is the road that leads to great hights like grandmaster level and even world champion status. That’s how all the great ones has done it, and I truely believe with performances from more of our African-American Brothers and Sisters like that we’re on to see IM’s and GM’s coming out of the wood works.

    Once again, good job Justus and keep up the good work. I hope to be hearing more great things from you.

  2. Had a chance to see that game and Darrian beat herself! Darrian rating does not reflect her strenth near master. Watch 318 as they inflate rating with their own games.

  3. The interesting thing about a possible match between Justus and Joshua is that these boys have been in countless tournaments together and oddly have never been paired with each other. So this should really be fun to watch.

  4. tone,

    I have played Darrian and she is still improving. To say someone beat themselves goes without saying. Chess is a game of twists and turns and the loser usually has made a big mistake. If you are saying she was winning and then lost that’s something different. We’ll have to see the game.

  5. Which Darrian Robinson game are you referring to exactly? Is it the one justus played against her? Hey i just wanted to respond to the comment about 318 inflating their ratings. I know for a fact that the members of the team, every single one of them, have definitely earned their current rating status. as for Justus Williams, (a member of 318) he has competed against everyone from Po (he played him in union square), JP Morganski (Washington Square Park) to Michael Rhode and Asa Hoffman (Marshall Chess CLub) and has either out right beat them straight up or has had draws with them. The other members of the team are awesome as well and their history and talent are indisputeable. Justus walked in the door of 318 as a 2000+ rated expert!!!! there is no inflation there. stop hating brother

  6. All these kids play at the Washington Chess Club too with all the strong players. All he has to do is examine the records of these young players. Josh has beaten IM Jay Bonin already. How many 10-year olds do that? Darrian has played all over the world… Columbia, Turkey and the Republic of Georgia. She competes at the Marshall and has received training from GMs. All of these young players are doing well and have a bright future. It is the largest crop of young talent in the Black community since the 80s.

    Just heard from Isaiah Gadson’s father (of Missouri) … he’s now at 1973.

  7. So proud! Justus is the youngest expert in Chess-in-the-Schools history and the only one to ever beat a GM if memory serves me correct. I taught Justus the basics of the game just under 3 years ago and he will be our youngest master in no time. At 318k he has the ability to become a very dangerous player…I know I would rather not be paired with Justus in my next rated game. I told him the other day that he is making me play more chess so I can try to keep up with his rating. He is a hard worker and with the support he has in school and more importantly from his parents Justus will do great things.

  8. Nice to hear theses young people doing well in the royal game, however there are some such as myself who havent seen any of their games. Brother Shabazz could you put up a special game section for them or something like that? I havent seen anything in the chessworld that highlights our youth. Congratulations to you all. Peace.

  9. Hey Shaun!

    I’d like to meet Justus and his parents. It’s always good to look at the success of a child through the parents. Latisha has kept me abreast of Justus’ progress and she is the biggest fan. I’d like to analyze some games with Justus and put some of them on the website.

    Lionel has asked to see some of the games and maybe I will build a section. I have “The Chess Academy” but have not done anything with it lately.

    I’ve met Josh’s family and remember the day I met him playing blitz with his Dad. I took one look at his play and knew he was something special. By knowing Guy Colas, I can tell that Josh will do good things.

    We have to support the rising stars.

  10. Daaim, we’d be happy to meet you and give you some of Justus’ games. Just let us know your availability, location, etc. Justus is excited to meet you as well. Thanks!!!

  11. KB,

    You helped to set the bar. Justus and Josh now set the bar the highest since the time K.K. Karanja was a 2100 at age 10. The 80s were clearly a special time for Black Masters and now in the 2000s we are seeing it again. Both Justus and Josh may shatter Kassa’s record of becoming a Master. Kassa did it in 15 years 2 months. They are a full four years ahead of schedule. They may break Master at 12!

  12. Congradulation are the order of the day for all of our youth, especially when they have represented their talents insuch a fine way! Darrian Robinson and Justus Williams keep on kepping on the road to your personal success has many twists and turns but, stay focused, an “remember to enjoy the journey!” I pray they continue along the path and as they do remember him who sits on high makes everything possible! Great scholastic program at 318 in Brooklyn NY Elizabeth Vicary please keepin coming !!

  13. Greetings rising stars I am the “ULTRAMODERNIST” a veteran chessplay, im on the chesspark server , im ready when you are!!! I defeated their “Elite'” guys{2700+) on ICC, but it got kinda mundane after a while , especially with them sneakin around with low accounts! {Nakamura, now u know what i meant on ICC when i said they are hiding behind computers},what a joke! Nigel Short its one thing to use Afrocentric ideas, but its another thing to try and get it off the ICC server then switch over to the Playchess server and train with it there cuz you think we dont know what ur doing, then pretend like its your own creation and try to deny us our part in chess histotry. Yo Susan Polgar, i told you no more Mr. Niceguy! I look forward to meeting some of you rising stars on the chesspark server. TNEDISERPNAMKCALB!!!

  14. Liz,

    You beat me to it. I was talking to another player who told me about Justus beating Asa Hoffman. This kid is the real deal. He will be playing Josh Colas in a match next weekend. More details coming!

    Williams, Justus – Hoffman, Asa [B07]

    1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 c6 4.f4 Qa5 5.Qf3 e5 6.fxe5 dxe5 7.dxe5 Ng4 8.Bd2 Nxe5 9.Qg3 Nbd7 10.0–0–0 Qd8 11.Nf3 Qe7 12.h4 h5 13.Nxe5 Nxe5 14.Bf4 f6 15.Bxe5 Qxe5 16.Qg6+ Ke7 17.Bc4 Be6 18.Bxe6 Kxe6 19.Rhf1 Rh6 20.Qf5+ Qxf5 21.exf5+ Kf7 22.Rd7+ Kg8 23.Rxb7 Bd6 24.Ne4 Be5 25.Rd1 g6 26.Rdd7 gxf5 27.Rg7+ Kh8 28.Nc5 Bd4 29.Ne6 Be3+ 30.Kd1 Re8 31.Rge7 Rxe7 32.Rxe7 f4 etc. 1–0

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