Justus Williams at 2018 Bangkok Open

FM Justus Williams
Photo by Daaim Shabazz

FM Justus Williams of Webster University has spent the semester abroad in Thailand at the satellite campus. He is finishing his second year and appears to be having a great time thus far. He told me back in February, “Thailand has been great so far. I really like it. From the weather to the food.” As fortunes would have it, he is in the country during its strongest chess tournament and one of the strongest in southeast Asia.

For a country with modest chess community, it is an opportune time for Justus to make a strong showing to complete his requirements for the IM title. He is poised to gain a number of ELO as there are many strong players he can take down. So far, he has been paired down the first two rounds.

The defending champion is GM Nigel Short (2662), but he is not the top seed. Armenian Grandmaster Hrant Melkumyan (2669) will defend the top board among 16 GMs and 66 titled players from approximately 300 players. Russian veteran Alexander Morozevich is also among the contenders. India has brought a large contingent with 39 players. Justus is ranked 29th at 2364 FIDE. He is looking to gain some of the 36 points needed to secure the IM title.

2018 Bangkok Open

2018 Bangkok Open

For Justus, this tournament will represent the first major activity since competing for Webster University at the Pan-Am Intercollegiate in December. In that tournament he beat Polish Grandmaster Kamil Dragun of University of Texas-Brownsville. It would not come as a surprise if he came away adding to his handsome collection of GM scalps.

FM Justus Williams (2364-USA)
# Player ELO Nation
Flag
Result
1 SAJJAPORNTHEP, Jarunpol 1880 Thailand
1
2 PRIYANKA, K 2057 India
1
3 FLORES, Diego (GM) 2601 Argentina
4 MATZIES, Alexander 2019 Germany
1
5 PANDA, Sambit 2104 India
0
6 TARINI, Goyal (WFM) 2088 India
0F
7 ASHID, Tsetseg-Ulzii 1941 Mongolia
½
8 JAEEL, Atharva 1957 India
1
9 ARMSTRONG, Malcolm 2079 England
1
Score: 5½-3½ (LIVE GAMES)

Official Site: https://bangkokchess.com/
Live Games: https://chess24.com/en/watch/live-tournaments/18th-bangkok-chess-open-2018/1/1/1
Photos: https://www.facebook.com/bccopen2018/
Standings: https://chess-results.com/tnr344172.aspx?lan=1&zeilen=99999

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.

8 Comments

  1. I love Justus and Josh. I pray for these young brothers often and had the honor of meeting and playing blitz with both. Both are gentlemen and respectful from young ages. I have love for them as my own students. God bless them and their parents, and their endeavors.

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