Justus Williams (far right) with Josh Colas and the Bryant twin brothers, Nigel and Jehron Bryant. Watch out for this crew! Photos by Elizabeth Vicary.
Rising star Justus Williams of I.S. 318 has won perhaps his first major tournament. Entering with a pre-tournament rating of 2092, the 11-year old placed sole first at the 5th Annual Empire State Open during the Christmas holidays. Justus held top-seed Igor Nikolayev to a draw in the penultimate round and the second-seed to a draw in the last round. His undefeated score of 4.5/6 gained him 48 points and his rating now stands at 2140.
Justus is one of the cadre of very talented players coming out of I.S. 318. He also participates in the Chess-in-Schools program and seems to be improving rapidly. An All-American scholastic player, Justus has played training matches in an effort to improve his game and the results are paying off. Coach Elizabeth Vicary arranged a recent match with FM Andrei Zaremba. Williams continues on having beaten GM Michael Rohde, FM Asa Hoffman and many strong players.