Teen Chess Prodigy Smashes Record Books
Feb 11, 2013
By Jeff Mays
Place of Residence: New York City
Why He’s a Game Changer: At the age of 14, Justus is one of the top-ranked youth chess players in the world. According to the U.S.C.F., Justus, who was 12 at the time, became the youngest African-American National Master ever. And he led his Bronx middle school team to the national championship. To top it all off, Justus recently traveled to the World Youth Chess Championship in Slovenia, where he competed for the title of the world’s best chess player under 14.
Despite his success at such an early age, Justus is still a regular kid. He told the Grio that he loves martial arts and wants another dog. And when asked what inspires him, Justus listed God, his mom, coaching younger children, and winning in that order. His mother deserves a lot of credit for keeping him grounded and focused, especially after he was featured in the documentary “Brooklyn Castle.”
Justus has said he wants to be an international banker when he gets older. In the meantime, he’s working on video chess tutorials and is launching a national campaign to expose kids to chess.
“I didn’t think I was going to be good at chess, so just try everything, and try the things you don’t think you’d be good at. If those don’t work out, then try the things that you don’t think you’ll like,” Justus told the Norwood News.