At the recently-ended 2011 World Open in Philadelphia, James Black, Jr. had calculated that he had barely eclipsed the 2200 barrier, but the calculations from the USCF online rating application were perhaps inaccurate. However, there is no doubt now since Black broken one of the highest barriers in chess.
Call me “Master Black”
By earning ten points last night at the Marshall Chess Club he joins a handful of players who reach Master level. More notably, he joins two of his friends Justus Williams and Josh Colas as 12-year old African-American Masters. This is historic in a number of ways, but it accents the progress being made in making chess accessible to communities where athletic sports hold most of the influence. New York has another “Big Three” besides the famous trio playing for the New York Knicks!
As one of the most animated scholastic players, Black has deservedly grabbed the media headlines. He continues to pile up accolades such as the recent “triple crown” at the North American Youth Championships where he racked up three more titles. Last month, he was the subject of a video interview about his chess accomplishments. We gave a short interview with The Chess Drum and mentioned that he would like to improve his FIDE rating to 2300, earn his FM title and also vie for IM/GM norms.
More to Come
Not to be outdone, young James also stated that he’d like to take a shot at Ray Robson’s record of youngest U.S. Grandmaster. These are high aims, but certainly he is in the right city and has a supportive cast which includes his proud father, James Black, Sr., a host of other friends and Coaches Elizabeth Vicary and GM Alexander Stripunsky will also support his next mission.
(The Chess Drum)
James Black, Jr. (right) with his friends NM Justus Williams, Nigel Bryant, NM Josh Colas, Jehron Bryant. All are part of a new wave of long-awaited chess success in the Black community. Photo by Derrick Bryant.