Justus Williams, Webster University
Photo by Paul Truong (SPICE)
FIDE Master Justus Williams has had an interesting ride in his chess career. Coming from Bronx, New York, he became a National Master at 12, starred in “Brooklyn Castle” in 2013, won the Junior Open back later in the same year along with many state titles. Apart from his scholastic success (including championships in K6, K8, K12, Cadet), he is now completing his freshman year as an International Relations/Economics major at Webster University.
Last weekend earned his third and final International Master (IM) norm after tying for first place with FM Joel Banawa at the St. Louis Winter IM Invitational. Both scored 6.5/9 and Banawa earned a norm as well. A graduate of the Bronx School of Science and Technology, he earned his 1st norm at North American Youth Chess Championship, his second norm at the North American Youth Chess Championship, and is only required to get his FIDE rating over 2400 to have the title conferred.
Justus has long had the idea of becoming a Grandmaster, and his goal is within reach at Webster University. He won a scholarship to attend the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC), but chose Webster as a place to pursue his dream. He has appeared on TMZ and car commercials, but now has his eye on a lofty goal of becoming a Grandmaster. Webster’s SPICE organization has been a force in shaping his play and Susan Polgar told The Chess Drum that Justus has been proactive in improving his play and the results have paid off. They certainly have.
New Yorkers FM Justus Williams, Shawn Swindell, FM Josh Colas of Webster University at the 2016 World Open. Photo by Daaim Shabazz
Justus’ last norm received lots of congratulatory remarks and certainly a bit of celebration by his grandmother Pamela “Nana” Ballard and his mother Latisha Ballard-Williams. While St. Louis may be called the “capital city” of chess in America, New York can certainly put up a strong argument on the talent it has produced. Justus has made his presence felt in St. Louis and hopefully the Grandmaster title remains in his sights.
St. Louis, Missouri, USA
|1||FM Banawa, Joel||USA||2370||x||1||½||½||0||1||½||1||1||1||6.5|
|2||FM Williams, Justus D||USA||2333||0||x||1||½||1||½||1||1||1||½||6.5|
|3||FM Gauri, Shankar||IND||2306||½||0||x||½||1||1||½||½||½||½||5.0|
|4||FM Colas, Joshua||USA||2317||½||½||½||x||1||0||½||1||½||0||4.5|
|6||IM Neimer, Vitaly||ISR||2356||0||½||0||1||1||x||½||0||½||½||4.0|
|7||IM Young, Angelo||PHI||2295||½||0||½||½||0||½||x||½||½||1||4.0|
|8||IM Brooks, Michael A||USA||2384||0||0||½||0||1||1||½||x||0||½||3.5|
|9||FM Hua, Lefong||CAN||2333||0||0||½||½||0||½||½||1||x||½||3.5|
|10||FM Eckert, Doug D.||USA||2135||0||½||½||1||0||½||0||½||½||x||3.5|