Jehron Bryant: National Master

NM Jehron Bryant

In rapid succession five young upstarts from New York have made waves in the chess scene by making National Master. Kassa Korley, Justus Williams, Josh Colas and James Black Jr. will welcome the newest African-American Master in the New York area, Jehron Bryant. Just last January Jehron celebrated breaking the coveted 2000 rating barrier.

Jehron was born on June 24, 1996 to Derrick Bryant and Belinda Pura and is a current student at VS Central High School in Long Island, New York. He is 20 minutes younger than his twin and best friend, Nigel Bryant. When asked what he did to make the push to make National Master, he stated that he had no special training plans, but his father had set up a study plan for him. Jehron took that plan, followed it and still executes it to this day.

When it came to studying, I stuck to my schedule and I followed my coach’s (GM Giorgi Kacheishvili) instructions to study classical games and going over old games from world champions. By doing so I would adapt to their style of play, and get a better understanding of piece placement.

This is something that may be missing in the training of today’s youth. There is an emphasis on openings and blitz chess and not the total package. This addiction to “fast food chess” is what stunts development and causes players to rise quickly but to hit a plateau. Given the amount of information that can be absorbed with databases, it is no matter that younger players are content with rifling through hundreds of games in a short time.

Nigel and Jehron Bryant at 2009 World Open. Photo by Daaim Shabazz.

Nigel and Jehron Bryant at 2009 World Open.
Photo by Daaim Shabazz.

Jehron had mentioned that his motivation is close to home. Obviously his parents are two of his biggest fans, but it is Nigel who he credits with motivating him in his chess pursuits.

Nigel, is the one that I can go to for everything. He inspires me more and more each day, even now that I’m a master he is still inspiring me and motivating me to strive farther and telling me that 2200 is not the farthest I’ll go. I think I made Master more for him.

When I got my 2200 rating he was probably more happy than me. He immediately came to me and told me how proud he was of me, and how much I deserved it; and out of everything I will get from this (the title, the certificate, the recognition) those words from him is probably the greatest.

He also credits inspiration being drawn from the James Black Day Celebration. Already approaching 2200, this celebratory event honored Justus Williams, Josh Colas and James Black, each making National Master before their 13th birthday.

NM Justus Williams, Nigel Bryant, Josh Colas, Jehron Bryant, James Black, Jr. Photo by Derrick Bryant.

Several nicknames have been floating around for these five players. Whether they are the “Big Five”, “Fab Five”, “Young Lions” or “Young Masters”, these young talents are the new wave of chess in the Black community. Pictured are: NM Justus Williams, Expert Nigel Bryant, NM Josh Colas, NM Jehron Bryant and NM James Black, Jr. Photo by Derrick Bryant.

The formation of the ‘Young Master’s Club’ was an initiative formed by Adia Onyango and Sean Miller as a way of honoring excellence and motivating others to achieve higher heights. Members of this club have made master before the age of 16. To make the event even more special, GM Maurice Ashley was on hand to induct the first three members. Nigel Bryant also made some remarks.

Jehron admires his older brother Nigel who is next in line to reach the National Master title. Nigel will get plenty of encouragement, but none will be more important than Jehron’s. Calling his brother by his nickname, “Nige”, he gives these words.

“Keep, your head up high Nige. You will be there very soon with the support from the community and your family. Like I always say ‘better late than never, never late is better.’ Keep your head up high and everyone is here to help you.”

Congratulations to National Master Jehron Bryant!


  1. I know I have told you this already but I will say it again. I am so proud of you! There is no doubt that your hard work and achievement will inspire other young chess players to be great, work hard, set high goals and be disciplined. I know this is just the beginning of more great accomplishments in your life and I can not wait to see what else unfolds for you in chess and in life. Obtaining Master at such a young age let’s me know you are aware of the formula for success in life, hard work, belief in yourself, discipline and surrounding yourself with other positive people. I have known you since you were young and this makes me even prouder to welcome you to the elite Young Black Masters Club, which recognizes those able to make Master before 16. You will now make the fourth member, joining NM Justus Williams, NM Johua Colas and NM James Black Jr. Nigel, you are next and I can’t wait.

    If anyone is aware of a young Black student in there community who is close to achieving Master (e.g., 2100+) please let me know this students name and city (if you know it). You can contact me via email at or request to join my Facebook group: Chess Connections

  2. Pingback: The Chess Drum » Blog Archive » Jehron Bryant: National Master | Chess IQ

  4. 1.Jehron,
    You’ve been playing at Master Level for quite sometime, but now you can officially sport the acronym next to your name NM-Jehron-Congrats! And what a coincident, all four young master’s first name begins with J?

  5. Jehron, It’s been long over due!!! Congats on your new status as National Master!!! You are an inspiration to many and you’ve only begun to scratch the surface of your potential. We all know how great you are, now the world knows!!!

  6. I’m impressed by Jehron because of his writing. I asked him several questions and the way he articulates means that he will excel in more than chess. Very intelligent. Bright future. Leader.

  7. About 2 weeks ago I learnt that you were very near to accomplishing this feat. I spoke to your dad, since, and it was indeed a pleasant interchange. Jehron, congratulations on this wonderful accomplishment. You young folks are indeed inspiring a lot of older folks to work harder in their pursuit of titles. All I am hearing these days is that from a lot of chess players is that I will be a master.

    Congratulations to you National Master Jehron, and keep up the great job.

  8. We recognize your achievements and we are proud.Congratulations from Barshon,Scorpio,Mele Mel of the Furious 5

  9. Congratulations Jehron! Very proud of you and your brother! You inspire me and other young African Americans to reach for our goals and be happy and enjoy everyday! Hope to be at 2200 one day; with hard work and patience! Keep up the good work!

  10. (Announced throughout the world… by a voice emanating from the Serengeti) ANOTHER YOUNG LION IS IN THE GRASS!!! NM Jehron Bryant has joined the other roaring, young lions who are crouching in the “grasslands of chess,” awaiting their prey. “Checkmate” is the fate of all prey who dare to enter their realm. Jehron, you have been groomed by your parents to be an impressively honorable, young man. I recognize and appreciate your intelligence, excellent character and talents. By observing you, I know that you are fiercely competitive….with stealth (like a lion)! You are the ruler of your “pride!” Shhhhh!! I hear the grass rustling. Could it be……………..N……? Many Blessings! Shaala L. James

    1. so eloquently written, never read anything as poetic as this, it brings tears to my eyes as I have seen these young awkward cubs growing into young graceful lions. Thanks for everything, I mean, for supporting my children in these quest for greatness. Kudos to you, as well, Mr. Shabazz.

  11. Congrats Jehron!! You have achieved master and you are an inspiration to me and many others. Keep it up.

  12. There are several chess-playing twins, but the last set I remember that gained any prominence in the U.S. were the NM Tom Costigan and IM Richard Costigan of Philadelphia. These identical twins became National Masters at St. Joseph’s College Prep High School in the 70s. Richard is still active and plays in the U.S. Chess League.

    Outside of the U.S., GM Aimen Rizouk and IM Ryad Rizouk of Algeria (North Africa) are perhaps the strongest pair now. Ryad is not active right now. IM Alisa Maric and WGM Mirjana Maric are probably the strongest female pair. They are not identical twins. Alisa, born in the U.S., also had a set of twins earlier this year and lives in her ancestral land of Serbia.

  13. The seed they planted in your hearts take some time before it grows and have their roots. Now, it bears fruit.
    Playing chess is not merely using your mind but your heart, dedication in what you are doing, you are not thinking of winning but doing your best.. It is a game of hope, patience, meekness..
    A player needs that qualities to win a game, and you have that.
    Proud and blessed is your parent for having you..
    Continue to bring out the best in you.. Encourage more and be a light for everyone to see..

  14. Bravo wiz kid! This is the new beginning, now its time for u to change the way you look at the game, sooner or later BOOM! SM!!

  15. Congratulations NM Jehron,
    It is an inspiration to see you soar to new heights in your game, and in life. Keep striving to be your best because you are your toughest competitor. I can’t wait to share the news of your achievements with my middle school students, and my own children.

  16. Congratulations!

    It’s great to see these young Masters doing so well. It is inevitable that Nigel will make it as well.

    My generation (from the late 90s) did fairly well, but never achieved this kind of success—though I still train every day. I’m thinking of the NYC players Chris Brooks, Raynard Simmons, Steadroy Lloyd, and myself.

    I want to see at least one of these Masters earn the GM title one day, though this is a huge commitment not everyone chooses to make. I plan to join them…I figure I have at least 15 productive chess years left.

    Keep up the hard work.

  17. Congratulations Jehron for becoming a National Chess Master. Your biggest chalenge now is to master yourself. That means to overcome every weakness within yourself that prevents you from reaching your full chess potential. I and others believe that you have became a complete chess player. You owe it to yourself and all of humanity to dream of Greatness and to make that dream a reality; The dream of becoming THE WORLD’S CHESS CHAMPION. GO FOR IT JEHRON!!!

  18. jehron is good rule model to kids nowadays.your parents are surely very proud of you.( also your brother)Congratulations.MYMP…..Make your Mama(and papa)Proud.God bless!!!

  19. Nice going Jehron. I have been following your status for many years. Glad to see you reach this milestone in your life. You continue upward and I’ll continue to follow. Hey Nigel, I’m watching you too. My congradulations go to the proud parents also.

  20. WOW!!!! To God Be the Glory for the AWESOME feat he has allowed you to accomplish! I am so very proud of you! I want you to keep up the excellent work. I not only want to see you excel in chess but, I also want to see you apply these skills to life. I know your training was extensive but it certainly paid off! Because of what the Lord has allowed you to accomplish, we must now recognize you as a Chess MASTER!

    God Bless You and I Love You!

    Rev. Nikka Hutcherson (Auntie)

  21. Well PRAISE THE LORD!!!! What an awesome privilege it is to see your grandchild become the MASTER of the game of chess. I am so very proud of you and give thanks to your father, Derrick, who is my son and to your wonderful mother Belinda. All of the sacrifices you made has really paid off. Keep up the good work. I will continue to pray for both you and your brother,

    Love Always and Forever
    Granny Joyce

  22. I just want to say this. I have alot to say, and I will say most of those things when I get to meet you Jehron and Nigel Bryant. Along with Justus Williams, Josh Colas, James Black Jr. and Kassa Korley. I am super estactic about the accomplishments you guys have made and the ones yet to come. I love you guys and I am so happy to be able to say, “look at those brotha’s fratnizing on chess!” Keep pushing those passed pawns, because passed pawns must be pushed. Checkmate you later!

  23. God bless you; young man congratulation on your achievement in Chess. I’m a sister in Christ to your auntie and granny; I have met you and your brother once never knowing about you until I read about you and your brother success in chess. I just felt moved and so proud of all of you young african american men; I had to write in. Keep leaping in every area in your life; and breaking down barriers. You have insirped to me to follow my dreams again; thank you!!!!!!!!

  24. Hey Jehron
    Looked over your game vs IM Justin Sarkar… “MASTERFULLY PLAYED”.
    I look forward to reading “The best games of GM Jehron Bryant” … of course annotated by YOU!

  25. Keep it up, Jehron! We are so proud of you, accomplishing all these at a very young age! Lookin’ forward to seeing you again! 🙂

  26. Never had doubts you and Nigel will go places… congrats!
    We are very proud of you and keep your feet on the ground.

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