14 Year Old Chess Champ Justus Williams Heads to World Chess Championships to Represent the USA

This National Master at Chess is Featured in the Critically-Acclaimed Documentary “Brooklyn Castle” Now Playing in Theaters Across the U.S.

NEW YORK – Justus Williams, the 14 year old high school student from the Bronx who broke the record and became the youngest-ever African American “National Master” according to the U.S. Chess Federation, and led his junior high school team (Brooklyn’s I.S. 318) to the high school national championship earlier this year, at 5:00 PM today will depart from John K. Kennedy International Airport for central Europe where he will participate in the World Youth Chess Championship 2012 in Maribor, Slovenia.

He will participate in the Under-14 category, competing for the gold medal and the title of the world’s best chess player age 14 or under. Williams is the only New York-area teen who will be participating in the Under-14 category. He has travelled to international tournaments in Brazil, twice including for the World Youth Chess Championship 2011, and Greece.

Williams is one of five New York City teens profiled in the critically-acclaimed and award-winning documentary BROOKLYN CASTLE, about I.S. 318 the junior high school in Brooklyn that is home to nation’s most-winning chess team and happens to be a Title 1 school where more than 60% of families are below the poverty-level. BROOKLYN CASTLE is now playing in theaters across the U.S.

In the movie, Williams enters I.S. 318 as a 6th grader who must manage the high expectations and pressures that come along with achieving remarkable success in the chess world at such an early age.

Generous individuals and organizations raised the funds to allow Williams to travel. Donors who have made this trip possible include CHESS NYC and The David MacEnulty Chess Foundation.

Williams said this morning: “I am expecting nothing and gaining everything. I am focused on playing well.”

He added: “I will be playing and praying for all of the victims of Hurricane Sandy, especially in New York.”

Justus Williams will be available for interview before he leaves. He will return to the U.S. in two weeks.

UPDATE: Brooklyn Castle star and National Master Justus Williams, currently in Slovenia to represent the United States at the World Youth Chess Championship 2012, defeated a top national player from Yugoslavia, Alekansdar Konstantinov, in the first round of competition yesterday! Today in the second round Justus defeated Andrew Norton, a top national player from England. Congratulations, we’re pulling for you Justus!!!