Josh Colas launches GM campaign!

Senior Master Josh Colas

Sixteen-year old Joshua Colas has been playing chess for nearly ten years and has been able to accomplish many titles along the way. According to his personal website, Josh has won six national championships and has been named to the All-American Scholastic Chess Team every year since 2009. He also qualified to represent Team USA at the World Youth Chess Championships in Greece (2010), Brazil (2011), Slovenia (2012), United Arab Emirates (2013), and South Africa (2014).

He also has a growing list of GM scalps including Mark Paragua, Michael Rohde, Mikheil Kekelidze, Joel Benjamin, Zviad Izoria and Irina Krush. More importantly he is improving his standard gradually and is now seeking to earn the coveted GM title. Along the way, Josh hopes to compete in tournaments at home and eventually abroad.

“My parents constantly remind me that if I work hard
and believe in myself, nothing is impossible.”

At 16 years old, Josh’s USCF rating is 2403 and he has constructed a plan to achieve his endeavor to become a Grandmaster, thus the youngest African-American to do so. In order to achieve this goal he is seeking financial assistance and has launched a campaign.

Tournament schedule for 2015:

  • – PHILADELPHIA OPEN (PHILADELPHIA) $1,000 (4/16/15)
  • – CHICAGO OPEN (CHICAGO) $1,500 (5/22/15)
  • – WORLD OPEN ( VIRGINIA) $1,000 (6/30/15)
  • – US MASTER CHAMPIONSHIP (NORTH CAROLINA) $1,500 (8/28/15)
  • – DC INTERNATIONAL (VIRGINIA) ;$1,500 (6/26/15)
  • – WASHINGTON INTERNATIONAL ( MARYLAND) $ 1,500 (8/9/15)
  • – SPICE CUP (ST. LOUIS MO): $1,500 (10/22/15)
  • – NORTH AMERICAN OPEN (LAS VEGAS): $ 1,500 (12/26/15)
  • – VILLA DE BENESQUE OPEN (SPAIN): $5,000 (7/15/15)
  • – COACHING(YEARLY) : $7,800

TOTAL: $ 23,800

Check out the short video below which features a commendation from the Senate!

Campaign Link: https://www.indiegogo.com/

More information about Josh’s chess journey can be viewed on his website, joshuacolas.com. Please support his effort!

Daaim Shabazz

Dr. Daaim Shabazz is the creator and webmaster of The Chess Drum. He serves as a tenured faculty member of Global Business & Marketing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He holds an MBA in Marketing and a doctorate in International Affairs & Development. He has served the journalist community for more than 30 years and still competes in tournaments occasionally.

40 Comments

    1. Interesting how Guy is trying to test Josh by…

      • trying to play …a6 twice
      • asking Josh where his queen was and
      • taking on f4 with his queen

      Josh was having none of it! Nice try Guy! 🙂

  1. That’s a very nice article Daaim. It encapsulates Joshua’s ten year chess career and his current goal in a clear and concise manner. I truly hope that Josh gets the needed benefactors to assist him in his endeavor. I think all of us will benefit greatly in having Joshua at the helm of the chess world. I think he has already proven that he is more than capable of reaching the highest level -Grandmaster. I’m very excited about the new generation of chess talents and I’m looking forward to seeing some great chess games in the near future.

  2. I am optimistic that, in due time, things will work out for Josh. This admirable rundown come as no surprise, as Daaim is one of the best at creating masterpieces with words. We welcome your unremitting support for Josh!

  3. I wish Josh all the luck with becoming a GM. Huge inspiration for every young chess player, even for a 31 year old like myself…

  4. He has quite a bit funded on indiegogo since the opening date of November 26, but why is the closing date December 26? At the rate he’s going he needs more time than that.

  5. Good observation Mikhail. After the 26th, people can still make a donation via his website. The time frame was set by Indiegogo.

  6. The options of ULTRAMODERNISM is available we have fun, we laugh and we learn, close game vs Mandiza, good to see, good talent. Ill comeback to ICC if any of the chessdrummers wanna practice , u can set the time control. CHESS.

  7. Oh, thanks Daaim im checking it out the chart now, im at the Buffalo Public Library, is that U.S.C.F. or Fide Ratings?

  8. Lionel,

    Josh just got 49 FIDE points at the North American Open! He finished ahead of 4 GMs. He’s up to 2269 FIDE. If I’m not mistaken, FM is earned when you reach 2300, right? He doesn’t have far to go.

  9. Mikhail, that 49 point gain is from National Congress. Josh gained 88 points from NAO. His FIDE will be 2357 come February.

  10. First, I would like to commend Joshua on his “major” achievements. Next, I would like to say, that I have followed the chess careers of Justus Wiliams, Joshua Colas, and James Black from the point where they were each succeedingly, the youngest African American Masters. I have followed somewhat the chess careers of Rochelle Ballantyne, Medina Parrilla, and Darrian Robinson as very talented African American female players. When we speak of African American grandmaster, we speak of Maurice Ashley, and I commend him for his personal accomplishment, and for what he has done for the Chess community in the U.S. and abroad for that matter, but I want to see more African American grandmasters and “super” grandmasters”. Chess is a prolific game and it develops its players. It takes time, instruction, commitment, study, practice, play, and “money” to achieve the upper levels of this sport. Greater reward for individual incentive is needed, as demonstrated by Maurice Ashley. Chess in the U.S. achieved its great push during the “Fischer” era, and there were great numbers of players after his victory. It had since deminished somewhat, but is rebounding now in this era. We need it to be more of a spectator sport without loosing its constitution, so to speak; more media coverage in the U.S. as in other countries. Fabiano Cuarana, a great player, who once played for the U.S. and now plays for Italy, but has moved to different nations for instruction and support, has progressed and achieved much more notice by playing around the world and is ranked “#2” as a result of his abilities, decisions and achievements. I would like to see national community involvement in support of our young African American chess masters, and I am starting by making a small contribution of $100 to Joshua Colas’ campaign. I challenge other’s to give what they can and support our youth.

  11. I would like to submit a edit to my previous statement,”…succeedingly the youngest African American Masters and “super” grandmasters.”. I was editing my document and misplaced content. It should read,”…succeedingly the youngest African American Masters.”. The “super” grandmasters, statement, should read,”..but I want to see more African American grandmasters and “super” grandmasters”.

    1. Greg as a student of ULTRAMODERNISM I tend to be very precise in what im doing with chess or very particular about what I do it. Why do you write African American Master with capital letters then even in your “correction” write “super” grandmaster and use lower case letters? ARE U SERIOUS? or just writing to be writing? OH , IM AT THE BUFFALO PUBLIC LIBRARY RIGHT NOW TRYIN TO LEARN SOMETHING. IN REAL LIFE!!!

  12. So far, I have given $336 with another $164 to go. There have been successful online fundraisers conducted by Rochelle Ballantyne and Claudia Munoz. I had run fundraisers for Darrian and Medina here and was able to raised quite a sum of money. I have done a couple fundraisers for The Chess Drum.

    It is so much easier these days. However, more than the fundraising is a plan to execution. This is something that was lacking. I have seen players like Emory Tate spend an entire career with no support and without a coherent plan. That has been the foremost reason that many of us have not gotten to that level. Economics is a big part of it.

  13. It is magnificent and I am appreciative for the collective support that’s emerging from individuals like: Akers, Daaim, RJT, Mikhail and many others who seem enthusiastic to seeing that our young black chess players are getting the aid they too need to lift their games up to GM and perhaps to elite GM status. I‘ve made errors in the past, but now I have solicited the help of experienced chess professionals to help me make better decisions with things like: which tournament, whether here or overseas, that he should be playing in, FIDE vs. USCF, etc. Hopefully, comes next October, he will play remarkable chess in the upcoming classy chess tournament termed MC #2!

  14. Contact T.D. Michael McDuffie through the U.S.C.F. for Ultramodern Direction, ive seen your chess and your as talented as Nakamura or Robson or any of these other guys so I see no reason to limit yourself to just GM your young and talented enough to go for the title. Latisha the same goes for Justus or anyone of you young players who seeks to improve with ULTRAMODERNISM I boast a 100% improvement rate! lol chessbookwriter, Eric Schiller, Hows that for “SERIOUS” ,Chessdrummers , we talk on facebook he seems to like that word for some reason!!! lol

  15. His FIDE rating is now officially 2357, but I don’t see an FM title. I thought 2300+ was the only requirement?

  16. Mikhail, that is the requirement but now I have to remit a fee . As soon as the USCF sends me the email for payment, I will take care of it.

  17. FIDE actually requires a fee for all FM applications. That fee, along with the 2300 rating, is all that is required. (If you’re looking for a place on the FIDE website where the FM application fee is detailed, good luck.)

  18. Cool, Adia y didnt u give this child my phone number. keep it up and um comin down to the Marshall Chess Club. UM not Maurice the traditional gms learned that on ICC now they learnin on chess.com. IN REAL LIFE.

  19. IM norm for Josh??? He just scored 6/9 against a field that included 4 GMs. He went 2.0 against the GMs. Average FIDE rating of opponents = 2341.

    In the past I have seen an IM norm awarded from a performance of 5.5/9 with 2.0/4 against GMs and I don’t know the average FIDE rating of the opponents, but the average USCF rating of opponents was 2433. That looks comparable to 2341 FIDE.

      1. Ah there it is! Thanx. Great chart. Josh gets an IM norm!

        I knew that they use FIDE ratings only. It’s just hard to find old FIDE ratings from a past tourney unless you have the actual FIDE cross-tables or you log in to each player’s FIDE card. Finding old USCF ratings is super easy. I realized using those was a guess.

        1. OH i see, well congrats to Josh, Do anyone of da Chesdrummas KNOW if anyone of African descent ever won one of these things outright? UM just curious?

  20. OH good Mornin drummas! Yes Daaim i mean the World Open or any one of these so called super tournaments ( i just saw bilboa on the internet) that their gms are currently participatin in. The ones with anand or magnus or anyone of theses people , i wuz curious to KNOW if we eve crushed them in chess? and if so, when? If not, why not? They tellin me in buffalo that the chinese are doin well around the world so UM just askin questions tryna get a feel for International play over the board. They tell me in buffalo, N.Y their gms get stronger for some strange reason over the board as opposed to the internet, dunno? I havent competed with their traditional gms over the board yet so UM just curious? ULTRAMODERNIST.

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