Thursday, June 2, 2011

James Black in the NY Daily News!

12-year-old Brooklyn chess champ eyes bold move: becoming youngest grandmaster ever

Thursday, June 2nd 2011, 4:00 AM
Already a rising national star at age 12, Bed-Stuy chess champ James Black Jr. wants to become the youngest American grandmaster in the game's storied history.
Black led the chess team from Intermediate School 318 in Williamsburg to national championships in both the K-8 and K-9 divisions in April - and is only seven points away from the 2,200 needed to be named a master by the United States Chess Federation.
"It would mean a lot because I've worked so hard for it," said James. "I've practiced a lot to become a great player."
James wants to beat the record of Ray Robson, a Florida player who became the youngest American elected grandmaster at age 14 in 2009.
He needs to amass at least 2,600 points by continuing to win tournaments and score favorable results against existing grandmasters to receive that title.
Few players ever reach that level, but Black's IS 318 coach Elizabeth Vicary said James has the ability to do it.
"I'm amazed by James," she said. "He's got enormous potential and is one of the smartest people I've ever met."
James' quest to be the best started at a young age after his dad, James Black Sr., bought a chess set at a K-Mart to teach himself how to play.
"My dad showed me how to move the pieces around and I just liked it," he said.
James joined the chess team when he was in third grade at Public School 308 and quickly developed into a formidable player.
"He learned some things so he could start whipping on his dad," Black Sr. said.
Years of waking up early before school to play against a computer or to read chess books helped James to become an elite player, but his dad said the game also helped his son grow into a well-rounded young man.
"Over the years his chess has become something that makes him think first before he reacts," he said. "We attribute that all to chess. It's a wonderful feeling."
As one of the few young African-American players to play on the national circuit, James wants to serve as a role model for others who want to take up the game.
"It means a lot for me to be able to continue to play and win and inspire others," he said.
James' strength as a player comes from his lack of ego, Vicary said. He is willing to try whatever he can to win and doesn't become discouraged when one plan of attack doesn't work.
"He's got a fantastic memory and is very clever at forcing plays," she said.
James said he likes to "create ideas...I like to dictate what the other player has to do."
He said he models his game after Mikhail Tal, a Russian grandmaster and world champion player who gained fame in the 1950s and '60s for his attacking technique.
"We have the same aggressive style," James said.

original article here

Hilariously, the article is reprinted/reposted on Susan Polgar's blog, but all references to me are edited out, and I'm cut out of the photo. :)


Anonymous said...

Low class Susan, low class. Congratulations James!

Jeff and Sharon Childs said...

Great job James! Keep up all the great work. We know you are destined for greatness. We love you.

Jimio said...

Great job James and nice teaching Elizabeth. Hope James can beat the record! **Cheers!**

Anonymous said...


es_trick said...

How fortunate you are to have the privilege of working with such talented individuals!

es_trick said...

re: the repost on SP's blog, I can understand the natural tendency to feel left out, but the link to the original article is there, and anyone who's really interested in the story will see your involvement. What was reposted represents only about a quarter of the whole article, so it's not as though SP (or more likely Truong) posted most of the article with only the references to you deleted.

Anonymous said...

Actually, es_trick, it initially was posted in the latter format and then later edited down to its current size.

Elizabeth Vicary said...

It's true-- the original article was a complete reprint, minus only my name. Since I mentioned her editing, she (or Paul) has made a much more complete edit to cover her tracks.

LinuxGuy said...

The Polgar's are pretty women, okay we got that already, but that is an "icy" site, IMHO, I never go there.

I think it is great what you are doing, Elizabeth. You have such a great story going, and I would only wish that James breaks all the records.

I can't stand the jerk comments about how some European GM got there first, being younger. Heck, we can't even produce any White GMs in this country, just about. I love this James Black and Justus saga, I hope they both become GMs. :-)

Wonderful video, BTW, and I like all the props, too. ;-)

Anonymous said...

As I love both James and Justus (and Joshua also) I doubt that any if them are going to be a GM, unless it is going to be some big money PR project. And it is gonna turn out from chess more low middle class white kids who would not be able to fit this money game, and should pay everything from theirs parents pockets.

And James, who is going to turn 13 this year would like to be a GM before 14? Is there some reality check?

Anyway congratulations to James!
Forget about stupid ratings and just go, play and get these last and psychologically hard a couple of stupid rating points for your official National Master Title!

And congratulations to Elizabeth!
She is not just coaching or teaching kids, she is living for these kids! Tremendous job!

Elizabeth Vicary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

To. Anonymous-June 5,2011 1:26 pm