Teen makes moves to become chess Grandmaster
6:40 p.m. EST December 17, 2014
Look at Joshua Colas.
He’s a rake-thin black kid, bespectacled, neatly dressed and self-possessed. There’s nothing flashy about him. You might think he’s just a regular 16-year-old high school junior — and in many respects he is.
But then drive to a certain building on South Lexington Avenue in downtown White Plains, take the elevator to the sixth floor and knock on the door to the modest apartment at the end of the hall where Joshua lives with his mother, father, brother and sister. Walk inside and be amazed.
The family living room is filled with trophies — scores of gleaming trophies of various shapes and sizes, all belonging to Joshua. It hardly seems possible that there could be enough space for more trophies, but surely more are destined to come his way.
So now you are looking at Joshua with fresh eyes. Maybe you are looking at history in the making. To say Joshua is a chess whiz on White Plains High School’s chess team would be an understatement. He’s a chess champion, a prodigy whose ambition is to become one of the best players in the world, if not the best.
His father, Guy Colas, a self-described “average player,” taught him to how to play when he was 7 years old. The kid immediately took to it.
“Well, I’d say it took about a couple of months before I started to beat him,” Joshua said one night this week.
“Now he beats me blindfolded,” his father said.
“I just memorize the board,” Joshua said. “I know where all the pieces are at. I have a photographic memory.”
Guy Colas said, “It blew my mind when I saw him doing it. I asked him, ‘How do you do it, Joshua?’ “
Joshua compared it to knowing the way home. Do it enough times, and the route becomes second nature.
That’s easy for him to say.
When I spoke to Joshua, he was seated in the living room with his dad and his mother, Yanick, both of whom are originally from Haiti. Dominating the room was an extremely large trophy, the latest fruit of victory earned at the 2014 National Chess Championships held over the weekend in Orlando, Florida. When I told the Colas that I thought about challenging Joshua to a match, they laughed loudly — and that was the end of that idea.
Full article here.