FM Colas earns 3rd and final IM norm!

Colas showing final position against GM Vladimir Georgiev.
Photo by Jon Winick.

FM Josh Colas has been on a mission to reach his goal as a Grandmaster of chess. He took another step over the weekend in earning his 3rd IM norm at the Clark Street GM Invitational in Chicago. He ended up with 5/9 against a tough field including Israeli GM Ilya Smirin. The event was organized by the Chicago Chess Center, held at the Avant Incorporated and sponsored by Clark Street Capital.

Colas came from St. Louis during the tail end of a successful freshman year at Webster University. He has thrived in the environment and is buoyed by his friend IM-Elect Justus Williams, who earned his final IM norm recently. Colas took a bad loss in the first round after failing miserably against Smirin’s preparation. He went undefeated in next four rounds beating GM Alexander Fishbein in the 5th. After two losses, he needed 1.5/2 for the norm, drew GM Priyadh Kannappan and proceeded to demolish GM Vladimir Georgiev in 23 moves.

Colas still needs to earn a 2400 FIDE rating to get his title conferred.

FM Josh Colas (2323-USA)
# Player ELO Nation
1 GM Ilya Smirin 2671 Israel
2 Aaskaash Meduri 2042 USA
3 FM David Peng 2270 USA
4 CM Jacob Furfine 2163 USA
5 GM Alexander Fishbein 2481 USA
6 IM Pavlo Vorontsov 2499 Ukraine
7 GM Akshat Chandra 2502 USA
8 GM Priyadharshan Kannappan 2530 India
9 GM Vladimir Georgiev 2530 Macedonia
Score: 5-4 (IM NORM)

Chicago Chess Center:
Clark Street Capital:
Avant Inc.:

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Avant, Inc., is a Chicago-based company in the financial technology industry. Avant is built from a team of passionate Chicagoans looking to lower the costs and barriers of lending for consumers. In 2015, Avant was named #6 to Forbes America’s Most Promising Companies.

Clark Street Capital is a full-service bank advisory and asset disposition firm specializing in loan sales, loan due diligence and valuation, and wholesale lending. Managed by seasoned professionals with extensive “buy-side” experience, Clark Street Capital offers intrinsic knowledge and expertise on a wide range of assets from bank portfolio loans to securitized assets.


  1. Congratulations! I have just gotten back into chess after a very long time. My goal is also to become a Grandmaster.

  2. I too plan to return to serious competition soon, starting with the NY International in June. (I’ve been playing in 2 local leagues the past 3 years, but I don’t consider that “serious competition.”)

    Josh’s successful results reinforce my sense of how difficult it will be to achieve my own goal of attaining my first norm or norms. To achieve this one, Josh had to score 2.5 / 5 against GMs, who comprised the majority of his opponents. For my part, I have done miserably against GMs (while doing reasonably well vs IMs and demolishing FMs / NMs…. in the seemingly overrated local league, at least). I well understand that to succeed in my coming quest, I will have to up my game to a point where I can do better than goose-eggs when I inevitably face those GMs.

  3. Josh is offering lessons on he’s mainly focusing on the helping the youth, but is open to help adults as well.

  4. Well done! Felicitations from the Jamaican Chess fraternity! Keep up the excellent progress. Now on to greater things of which you are more than capable!!!

  5. Congratulations Josh! So proud of the hard work and amazing results that you been getting lately. Webster was truly the right choice!

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